The Cardano network is in the watershed phase of its network development and upgrades. The ongoing phase of the protocol’s roadmap is the Goguen phase, bringing smart contracts to the network. This is the third phase of the roadmap after Byron and Shelley. The Goguen phase was split into three stages, Allegra, Mary and Alonzo.
The Allegra update went live on December 16 last year, and the Mary update was deployed on the mainnet on March 1 earlier this year. This leaves the Alonzo upgrade, which was further split into three different phases, named Blue, White and Purple. While the final deployment of the Alonzo upgrade on the mainnet was planned to be in August 2021, there seems to be a delay in the phase’s release, as Alonzo is still in the testnet part of its progress.
Since Alonzo brings the much-awaited smart contract functionality to the network, the community has been eager to see them in action, as it entails the enabling of decentralized applications (DApps) on the blockchain.
On July 15, Input Output HK (IOHK) announced on Twitter that their Alonzo testnet has hard forked from the Alonzo Blue to the Alonzo White node, allowing for the expansion of their smart contract functionality on the platform. Although Alonzo Blue offered smart contracts, its availability was only limited to a set of insiders. Alonzo White now allows operators of stake pools, and network developers and 500 validators will be able to test this functionality going forward. The Alonzo White testnet is scheduled to run for a period of two to four weeks before transitioning to the final stage of the Alonzo update, Alonzo Purple.
Cardano’s network is in the third phase of its development, known as the Goguen Update, named after American scientist Joseph Amadee Goguen. This update integrates smart contracts into the network, allowing for the creation of DApps. In phases one and two, the network has gone through the Byron and Shelley upgrades which focused on the establishment of the network and its decentralization, respectively.
After completing the Goguen phase, which was initially supposed to be finalized in August 2021, the blockchain will go through phases four and five of the project’s roadmap, named Basho and Voltaire. Basho will improve the scalability and interoperability of the network, while Voltaire promises to make the network “truly decentralized” with the transfer of the entire governance mechanism to network participants, and will no longer be under IOHK’s management.
Optimistic prediction fails
Despite a well-structured roadmap and phase updates that the network promised, some questions are being raised on its current utility. Cardano founder, Charles Hoskinson, had predicted on July 27, 2020, that in a year’s time there would be hundreds of assets running on Cardano, along with thousands of DApps and “tons of interesting projects.”
In the following year, the crowd has called out this optimistic prediction, pointing out the network is nowhere close to the levels of utility that Hoskinson predicted a year ago. Meanwhile, many members of the Cardano community defended the network, saying that the statement made by Hoskinson was just a prediction and not a promise. Hoskinson himself responded to the critics, saying that “There are thousands of assets on Cardano.”
He also released a YouTube video on July 8, claiming that the project is progressing in line with the framework of the defined roadmap and that more than $10 million of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have been sold throughout the network. He added that once Alonzo White is deployed on the mainnet, developers will have the ability to launch DApps and NFTs on the network. Ben Armstrong, youtuber and creator of BitBoyCrypto.com, told Cointelegraph:
“The Cardano team hasn’t backed away from their smart contract launch period starting in September. Considering how well the Alonzo White hard fork has gone, I don’t expect any further delays. That said, Cardano’s…
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