Cardano finally rolled out the public testing phase for its Shelley upgrade yesterday as the transition from the Byron era to the Shelley era ramped up.
The upgrade will introduce a reward system for holders of ADA, which will be paid to any user wanting to stake the token to help power the network.
A spokesperson for IOHK said, ‘The Shelley public testnet will open up so any operator that wants to set up a Cardano stake pool can do so, ready for staking and delegation on mainnet later this summer.’
What is Shelley?
It’s common knowledge that Cardano is rolling out the Shelley testnet this month, and the news yesterday came as no surprise, but what is Shelley and how will it affect the Cardano network?
Shelley is the second of the five eras of Cardano’s development. These eras and the specific capabilities and functionality they deliver facilitate the development of ensuring Cardano becomes a fully decentralized, PoS network.
Shelley will introduce Cardano’s network decentralization and is by far the most significant milestone in the network’s history.
During the Byron era the network was federated, but the Shelley upgrade will introduce a PoS model and see it become a decentralized network run by the community.
As the Shelley upgrade evolves and the majority of nodes are run by network participants, Cardano will also enjoy greater security.
Once Shelley is fully operational, Cardano expects ‘at least 100 staking pools to be partaking in the staking reward system, making the network at least 50-100 times more decentralized than any other blockchain.’
All other eras (upgrades) are being worked on simultaneously, but once Shelley is fully launched it will form the foundations of the network and the transition to the next era ‘Goguen, which will introduce smart contract capability to Cardano, becomes a reality.
What Next For Cardano?
The news of the upgrade came as no surprise to the community. IOHK's announced last month that June would see the evolution from Byron to Shelley eras.
And there are more significant dates to look out for, especially June 23rd, which will see the Combinator hard fork take place.
The idea behind the hard fork is so Cardano will have something that resembles the mainnet on Shelley, so they can fully test everything that works on the mainnet.
If this all runs smoothly, Cardano will release the Shelley client on June 30th and will be available for anyone to download.
Users will be given four weeks to download and start using it before the Shelley mainnet hard fork at the end of July.
And a few days after the mainnet hard fork, the Shelley Incentivized Testnet (ITN) rewards will be available on mainnet to anyone who has taken part in it.
It seems like the big news for Cardano keeps coming, and on time. The bearish years of 2018 and most of 2019 weren’t easy for many hodlers, but the hodl community are now being rewarded for their faith.
Shelley was expected this year, but as with so many other blockchain delays, some might have doubted IOHK.
But the team is delivering and on time, too. The Shelley testnet will begin the process of a transition to a proof of stake consensus, which will ultimately lay the foundations for smart contracts and scale, and with the bull season nearing, it could turn out to be a good year for the community.
Author: Tommy Limpitlaw