Waiting for Alonzo: Cardano smart contracts approaching full launch

The Cardano network is under development and updating. The ongoing phase of the protocol roadmap is the Goguen phase, bringing smart contracts to the network. This is the third phase of the roadmap after Byron Y Shelley. The Goguen phase was divided into three stages, Allegra, Mary and Alonzo.

The Allegra update was released on December 16 of last year, and Mary was deployed to the mainnet on March 1 of this year. The Alonzo update remains, which was further divided into three different phases, called Blue, White y Purple. Although the final rollout of the Alonzo update to the mainnet was scheduled for August 2021, it appears that there is a delay in the launch of the phase, as Alonzo is still in the testnet portion of its progress.

As Alonzo brings the long-awaited smart contract functionality to the web, the community has been eager to see it in action as it involves enabling decentralized applications (DApps) on the blockchain.

The 15th of July, Input Output HK (IOHK) announced on Twitter that its Alonzo testnet has been forked from the Alonzo Blue node to the Alonzo White node, allowing for the expansion of its smart contract functionality on the platform. Although Alonzo Blue offered smart contracts, their availability was only limited to a set of insiders. Now, Alonzo White enables staking pool operators, and network developers and 500 validators will be able to test this functionality in the future. The Alonzo White testnet is scheduled to operate for a period of two to four weeks before moving on to the final phase of the Alonzo upgrade, Alonzo Purple.

The Cardano network is in the third phase of its development, known as the upgrade Goguen, named after the American scientist Joseph Amadee Goguen. This update integrates smart contracts into the network, allowing the creation of DApps. In phases one and two, the network has undergone the Byron and Shelley upgrades, focusing on the establishment of the network and its decentralization, respectively.

After completing the Goguen phase, which was initially due to be completed in August 2021, the blockchain will go through phases four and five of the project roadmap, called Basho Y Voltaire. Basho upgrade to scalability and interoperability of the network, while Voltaire promise make the network “truly decentralized” by handing over the entire governance mechanism to the network participants, and it will no longer be under the management of IOHK.

Optimistic prediction fails

Despite the well-structured roadmap and phased upgrades that the network promised, some questions are being raised about its current usefulness. Cardano’s founder, Charles Hoskinson, had foretold on July 27, 2020 that in a year there would be hundreds of assets in Cardano, along with thousands of DApps and “tons of exciting projects.”

In the following year, the crowd has claimed this optimistic prediction, pointing out that the network is nowhere near the utility levels Hoskinson predicted a year ago. Meanwhile, many members of the Cardano community defended the network, saying that lThe statement made by Hoskinson was only a prediction and not a promise. Hoskinson himself responded to the criticism by saying that “There are thousands of assets in Cardano.”

Too public a video on YouTube on July 8, in which he claimed that The project is progressing according to the defined roadmap framework and that more than USD 10 million in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been sold across the network. He added that once Alonzo White is rolled out 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 has not backed down from their smart contract launch period that begins in September. Considering how well the Alonzo White hard fork has gone, I do not expect any further delays.” That said, Cardano’s methodical approach means that they will push a deadline before the possibility of stepping back on a bad launch. “

Marie Tatibouet, marketing director of Gate.io, a cryptocurrency exchange, told Cointelegraph that the roadmap remains intact. On questions raised about the utility aspect of the Cardano network, Tatibouet opined that, Since the main proposition of the Alonzo updates in the Goguen phase is the implementation of smart contracts on the network, their lack of usefulness cannot be judged until the smart contracts have been fully integrated.

Armstrong also addressed the dilemma of smart contracts slowing network growth: “It’s a chicken and egg situation. You need smart contracts to jump-start the development of DApps, but you also need DApps that are successful to bring more development into the space. There are a lot of DApps that are on Ethereum and they wait on them. wings for Cardano. “

He even mentioned that since blockchain developers are in high demand right now, poaching has become a big problem.. “When ICP came to Coinbase this year, Charles was open about how DFinity poached several of its best engineers. I imagine that has caused some specific development delays for Cardano across the industry.”

Almost 72% of all ADAs are staking

In its current state, the low utility of the Cardano network could be affecting an important aspect: the staking of its native token, THERE IS. According to the data, almost 72% of all ADA tokens are bet on the net, what represents about USD 30 billion of a market capitalization of approximately USD 42 billion. This includes 2,745 active pools and a total of almost 716,000 staked addresses.

Tatibouet spoke about the current usefulness of the ADA tokens themselves, saying: “As of now, the two main functions of ADA tokens are staking and governance. In this sense, it is a very good sign that so many holders have faith in the network and have staked their tokens in the ecosystem.”

He also added that it is important to remember that ADA staking is much more flexible than the usual staking mechanisms of other protocols. It allows stakers to access their tokens at any time they choose, since the tokens are not completely far from the staker, which increases the convenience of participating in the network. Armstrong also gave his opinion on the integration of smart contracts, which will affect the high proportion of bets on the network, and explained why tokens are bet:

“They are betting on their ADA stack, not only to use it for future profit, but also to have a say in the eventual governance that will come to Voltaire. Even with the current state of smart contracts, there are already NFTs that can be done. shopping and games to play. But once the DApp takes over in smart contracts, you’re going to see the number of bets drop significantly. “

Regarding the possible launch of DApps in Cardano after the implementation of smart contracts, Cardano also tries to propose a real utility through its network. In early April, IOHK partnered with the Ethiopian government in an attempt to modernize the country’s education system by leveraging Cardano’s Blockchain technology.

In July, Grayscale added the ADA token to its Digital Large Cap (GDLC), making it the third largest component of the fund’s basket after Bitcoin (BTC) y Ethereum (ETH). Grayscale is considered a benchmark for institutional interest in cryptocurrency markets. Duc Luu, executive president of Spores Network, a decentralized finance and NFT market based on Cardano, told Cointelegraph:

“Cardano promises the possibility of a greener blockchain footprint, lower gas rates, and higher throughput, which we think makes it a prominent place for NFTs, as well as mainstream adoption of DeFi, which are the two areas in which institutional investors are very interested. “

Discussing when the real-time utility will hit the network, Luu further mentioned that he believes it will happen soon, adding: “Cool features like the ERC-20 converter would allow projects to quickly deploy from ETH to ADA. There are many projects like us eagerly awaiting the launch of the Cardano smart contract.” He also anticipates that in six months from the launch of smart contracts on the network, the Cardano ecosystem will see a drastic change.

But nevertheless, It is important that the Alonzo network update occurs on time on the main network as it is highly anticipated in the community. Other blockchain networks, such as Binance Smart Chain (BSC), are growing at a rapid rate, which could lead to some of the protocols to be based on it.

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Waiting for Alonzo: Cardano smart contracts approaching full launch

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