Cardano Introduces Proof-of-Stake With 'Shelley' Hard Fork

It's alive! Cardano has successfully hard forked to its major upgrade, Shelley, which introduced proof-of-stake to the network.

Jul 30, 2020 at 8:14 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:38 a.m. UTC

It's alive! Cardano's blockchain has undergone a momentous transformation.

  • Announced Wednesday, the open-source smart-contract platform designed to challenge Ethereum's lead position hard forked from the centralized Byron network into the decentralized Shelley network.
  • The team behind Cardano's transformation is blockchain research and development startup IOHK.
  • IOHK's CEO Charles Hoskinson said Cardano has been carefully developed over five years and "hundreds" of assets are expected to be running on the blockchain in a year's time.
  • According to a press release, Shelley will increase "security and robustness," while enabling more blockchain use cases.
  • The upgrade will utilize the Ouroboros consensus algorithm – a proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol leveraging cryptography, combinatorics and mathematical game theory.
  • By implementing Shelley on Cardano's mainnet, staking pools will now be able to register on the chain visible to token holders, enabling them to delegate to pools immediately once registered.
  • The PoS delegation process lets users holding Cardano's native ADA token commit their tokens to a pool for a share of rewards, which the company said will incentivize the network to run "accurately."
  • Cardano will reach consensus equilibrium once 1,000 stake pools have been established, 485 of which are currently live.
  • IOHK said Shelley represents a "first step" in a series of enhancements to the network over the coming months with expectations that its Project Catalyst will launch by year's end.
  • Catalyst will introduce a governance model enabling the Cardano community to cast votes on the direction of the blockchain, including software updates, technical improvements and the long-term future of the network.
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