The Cardano team has announced the successful launch of their Alonzo hard fork, also known as the smart contract upgrade. This was a major milestone in the Cardano roadmap, and it is now considered to be one of the most advanced smart contract systems ever developed.

Cardano is viewed as a next-generation cryptocurrency and was often referred to by naysayers as the smart-contract platform without smart contract capabilities. That is until now.

We provide a breakdown of Cardano’s most recent update and its impacts.

What is Cardano?

Cardano is a next-generation cryptocurrency developed by Charles Hoskinson, one of the co-founders of Ethereum and his company Input Output HK (IOHK). With a market capitalization in excess of $70 billion at the time of writing, Cardano is the fourth largest crypto project on earth and it has seen consistent growth since its inception.

The ADA journey began back in 2015 when IOHK were contracted to develop the platform. The Cardano Roadmap is made up of five distinct phases: Byron, Shelley, Goguen, Basho and Voltaire.

Cardano was created to provide a more balanced and sustainable ecosystem that better accounts for the needs of its users as well as other systems seeking integration. Its native currency ADA was designed to be used as a medium of exchange for goods and services.

Cardano has built upon the lessons learned from previous cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple etc. It is the first blockchain project to evolve out of scientific philosophy and it seeks to develop a more robust protocol that can facilitate transactions in different industries while being flexible enough so that future developments can be easily added.

[Snippet] Did You Know: You may have seen Cardano’s latest update referred to as the Alonzo hard fork. In blockchain tech changes in the underlying code are referred to as soft or hard forks.

The Alonzo hard fork

The IOHK team has been hard at work over the past months on said future developments. Now they have launched Cardano’s first smart contract, known as Alonzo.

It’s also worth noting that this update is called Alonzo because it represents Cardano’s first step towards decentralization.

Up until recently, the Cardano network was nowhere near its full capabilities. While it still has a way to go this major milestone has brought them much closer.

[Snippet]: Did You Know: If you’re unfamiliar with smart contracts, they are computer programs that execute automatically when certain criteria are met. More information can be found here.

Following the Alonzo upgrade, Cardano now has smart contract functionality and capability, allowing developers to deploy their own smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain. This in turn lays the groundwork for native decentralized applications (dApps) and decentralized finance (DeFi).

This update also represents the end of Cardano’s second phase, Shelley, and the start of the Goguen phase.  Goguen will be the first major upgrade that includes mobile wallets and enhanced regulatory compliance.

[Snippet]: Important to Remember: Shelley is the second phase of Cardano’s roadmap which focuses on decentralization, distribution, and scalability all of which are necessary for a decentralized blockchain platform such as Cardano.

In addition to developers being able to build their own dApps, they’ll also be able to mint Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

What impact has the smart contracts update had?

In the lead up to the Cardano smart contracts upgrade on September 12, the price of ADA reached a new all-time high exceeding $3 USD. The price saw a slight slump following the successful launch of the upgrade, however, this is not uncommon in crypto markets as a lot of investors try to capitalise on their newly found crypto gains.

The Cardano Chief Marketing Officer has said, “With the advent of actual contracts, Cardano’s utility and usability goes through the roof.”

Cardano has also already been noted as one of the most actively developed blockchains in terms of commits per month. This update is expected to see a further surge of developer activity.

dApps remain on the horizon as Cardano has only just entered its Goguen phase, but this is certainly a step in that direction.

Interested in investing in ADA?

You can buy Cardano (ADA) in Australia by creating a free trading account with Swyftx. Click the signup link at the top of this page, provide all the required personal details. Before you purchase ADA, you’ll need to verify your identity and deposit AUD. These two steps can be completed in a few minutes.

Read: How cardano elections can change the future of voting

Written by Ted

Written by Ted

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