The Cardano blockchain, which runs the ADA token, will become a multi-asset chain with its hard fork today.
Named "Mary," the hard fork will allow users to create tokens that run on Cardano natively, just as ADA does. Enabling new tokens was one of the first big use cases that caught on for Ethereum, enabling 2017's multi-billion dollar initial coin offering splurge.
In a video update previewing the hard fork, Charles Hoskinson, founder of IOHK, the company behind Cardano, called the move "historic."
Hoskinson said that for node operators, the transition should be fairly simple. They just need to update their software and everything should work well. "We've been testing it for almost a month, and the test looks good. Exchanges are happy," he said in the video.
Enabling new tokens is a step on the path to full smart-contract functionality.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.