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Cardano’s 2021: anniversary and summit

The blockchain founded by Charles Hoskinson is approaching both the anniversary of its launch and the Cardano Summit 2021.

Cardano’s initial release occurred on 27 September 2017, with the first exchange listing its cryptocurrency ADA 2 days later.

In this piece, we will look at what Cardano has achieved over this past year.

Mary hard fork

The Hard Fork Combinator (HFC) event that applied the Mary upgrade took place at the beginning of March 2021. This allowed Cardano to become multi-asset. From that point on, it became possible to mint tokens on this Proof of Stake blockchain, including NFTs

It’s worth pointing out that Cardano doesn’t require smart contracts for the creation of native tokens. This is a key difference with Ethereum, which has a more cumbersome and costly way of issuing tokens through smart contracts.

First NFTs on Cardano

It didn’t take long for developers to start issuing the first tokens. One such developer is Alessandro Konrad, who minted some Berry NFTs for those delegating to his stake pool. He then also co-created SpaceBudz NFTs, which alongside CardanoKidz are the first major NFT collections that appeared on the Cardano mainnet.


Cardano NFT
First major NFT collections on Cardano: SpaceBudz and CardanoKidz

100% decentralized block production

On March 31st, the Cardano community celebrated d=0. This parameter was set to 1 when the Shelley upgrade was implemented back in 2020. 

Over the course of several months, IOHK’s federated nodes gradually validated fewer blocks and allowed the independent Stake Pool Operators (SPOs) to take over the block production, leading to the over 2000 SPOs validating 100% of the blocks.

Cardano in Africa

At the end of April, the monthly Cardano360 show was taken over by a Cardano Africa Special. The more than 2-hour long stream was packed full of announcements and partnerships on the African continent. 

One of the most notable partnerships was with Word Mobile, which is aiming to bridge the digital divide by 2030. The Cardano blockchain was chosen to issue the WMT token and develop the necessary infrastructure that will allow Africa to easily access the financial world. World Mobile is connecting the unconnected.

A guest on the Cardano SPO Column here on The Cryptonomist, was April from ZOEPOOL. She’s based in Nigeria and was also featured in the Cardano Africa Special. With regard to another important partnership she told us:

“There was a lot of exciting news on the Cardano special. First was the partnership with the Ethiopian government to upload the credentials of 5 million students on the blockchain. This is the biggest blockchain deal I have ever seen and I’m particularly proud of the minister of Education of Ethiopia, for taking this bold step”.

A bridge between Cardano and Ethereum

The ERC20 Converter was announced back in May. This tool allows to easily move tokens back and forth between the 2 blockchains, opening the possibility for a migration from Cardano to Ethereum.

During the latest Cardano360 at the end of August, Francisco Landino gave an update on the project and confirmed that SingularityNET’s AGIX will be the first token to experience this bridge.

Alonzo hard fork

Last but certainly not least, was the HFC event that began the Goguen era for the Cardano ecosystem. This era is all about smart contracts and after the successful Alonzo hard fork that took place on 12 September, developers have already started to run smart contracts on the Cardano mainnet.

This was a long-awaited upgrade and there are hundreds of projects, including DEXs, stablecoins, lending protocols, wallets and more, that are working hard to deploy their solutions.

Cardano Summit 2021 to celebrate the anniversary

To celebrate its fourth birthday and the beginning of the Goguen era, IOHK has organized a Cardano Summit, which according to the website will be:

“A mix of virtual and live events from around the world on September 25-26 2021. The whole world is invited. And it’s free”.

Some of the cities where the physical events will take place include London, Berlin, Cape Town, Wyoming, Miami and New York.

The Cryptonomist is a media partner of the event.

Sidney Vollmer, Head of Brand & Comms at Cardano Foundation, said that there will be announcements of partnership that will blow people’s minds:


All that remains is to wait for the weekend and tune in to find out what Cardano has in store.


Patryk Karter
Patryk Karter
Passionate about new technologies, nutrition, and philosophy, Patryk spends his days exploring the infinite universe of the web. He moved to London after living most of his life in Rome. He starts studying Computer Science at King's College of London but soon understands that it is not his path, instead he decides to invest his time and money in blockchain technology and in the meantime takes university courses available on the web. Now he is a trader and works as a freelancer.