After meticulous testing, Cardano is ready for its Alonzo hard fork upgrade, which will allow the blockchain to support the functionality of smart contracts.
The hard fork combinator event will take place on Sunday
To confirm the launch is IOHK, the research and development company behind Cardano:
“LAUNCH CONFIRMED: Today, around 17:26 UTC we successfully submitted an update proposal to the Cardano mainnet, to trigger a hard fork combinator event on Sunday”.
LAUNCH CONFIRMED: Today, around 17:26 UTC we successfully submitted an update proposal to the #Cardano mainnet, to trigger a hard fork combinator event on Sunday 💪🙌 #Cardano $ADA 1/6 pic.twitter.com/rEtjrdGiBV
— Input Output (@InputOutputHK) September 7, 2021
Charles Hoskinson, who is both the CEO of IOHK and founder of Cardano went live to share the news and congratulate everyone:
During this live stream he explained that smart contracts will be active at the epoch rollover, the next one taking place on Sunday 12 September at 21:45 UTC. From that exact moment onward, anyone who is ready to deploy their smart contracts on the Cardano mainnet, can do so.
To inaugurate this event, Charles says they have a few toy smart contracts they wrote for fun, one of them being for the bet put forward by Polymarket, which on 14 July tweeted:
“Will Cardano support smart contracts on Mainnet by October 1st, 2021? The clock is ticking for ADA after countless missed deadlines. Trade now or follow the odds on Polymarket”
🚨 Will @Cardano support smart contracts on Mainnet by October 1st, 2021?
🕰️ The clock is ticking for $ADA after countless missed deadlines
Trade now or follow the odds on Polymarket: https://t.co/qXgldPK8il
— Polymarket (@PolymarketHQ) July 14, 2021
It’s interesting to see how the odds have changed in favour of “Yes”. When the bet was launched, at the end of July the odds were more or less 50/50. At this point, the odds are highly in favour of Cardano being able to support smart contracts on mainnet before 1 October, with 96% betting on “Yes”. The total trade volume of this bet is $849,092.
Cardano’s philosophy for a secure ecosystem
Some critics are saying that it took Cardano way too long to finally have smart contracts and that they are late. The main reason is Cardano’s scientific approach and the fact that they have taken their time to research, write papers and have them undergo a peer-review process. Their philosophy is that since they are aiming to become a global financial operating system, handling billions if not trillions of dollars of value, it is crucial to have a secure and formally verified ecosystem.
An analogy with Ethereum that often circulates in the Cardano community is that the blockchain led by Vitalik Buterin is like an airplane already in air, and repairs are being made during the flight, which is both hard and dangerous. Whereas the developers behind Cardano want to take things slow and build and improve the airplane on the ground before finally getting it in the air.
What’s next for Cardano after the smart contracts upgrade?
The activation of smart contracts is an important step in the Goguen era, finally adding the ability to build decentralized applications (DApps) on Cardano. There are already several DEXs and protocols who have been working hard over the past months, one of which being Minswap. We interviewed the team behind this DEX.
It seems that there will be many novelties coming to the Cardano ecosystem in the upcoming months if everything goes smoothly on 12 September.
One of which being the ERC20 Converter which was recently deployed on testnet. After the Alonzo hard fork, this solution will be available on mainnet and projects will be able to easily move their tokens between Ethereum and Cardano.
The next eras in the Cardano roadmap are Basho, which will focus on scaling the ecosystem with solutions such as Hydra, and Voltaire, which will be all about governance.