Cardano Ouroboros BFT Hard Fork Completed As Shelley Upgrade Nears Launch


  • Cardano blockchain undergoes successful hard fork in preparation of the “Shelley network” upgrade.
  • The new upgrade, is set to launch by April to transition the federate blockchain into a completely decentralized platform.

The founder of Cardano and CEO of IOHK, Charles Hoskinson, confirmed the planned upgrade hard fork on the blockchain completed successfully on Feb. 20. This hard fork lays the first steps towards the Shelley upgrade, which will replace the current Byron system, to provide a decentralized staking system. Shelley will push the “centralized” consensus of Cardano to a more decentralized system.

According to reports from the Cardano developers, the update, dubbed Ouroboros Byzantine Fault Tolerance (OBFT), is the consensus algorithm that ushers in a decentralized proof of stake (PoS) in the Shelley upgrade. The marketing and communications director at Cardano, Tim Harrison, said,

“[OBFT provides] a bridge between Ouroboros Classic, which we're currently using on the Byron main net, to Ouroboros Genesis, which is what will power the Shelley era.”

New updates to follow

The hard fork only represents the first step to full integration of the Shelley network. Hoskinson said in an interview earlier this month that the network will undergo a series of updates before the launch of Shelley. The new upgrades are set to streamline the development and management of the blockchain with a key focus on ironing out the current bugs and loopholes.

The updates leading to the Shelley upgrade include the rollout of the Haskell Testnet. Currently the Cardano blockchain is coded in Rust language and will change to the more industrial strength code, Haskell. Furthermore, the Incentivized Test Net (ITN) will be updated to update the issues some of the users have experienced.

Hoskinson assures the users that the problems will not be transferred to the Shelley upgrade. He said,

“I don’t anticipate that the experiences you’ve had with the ITN— some of the instabilities we’ve had with the ITN—will translate over to the Haskell side. I think we should have very mature software, even for that stake pool migration test net.”

Shelley to launch in six weeks

How long will the Shelly upgrade take? Well, given the current upgrades no definite date can be offered yet. Hoskinson said the developers expect the Shelley update to launch by April but a definite date will be known towards the start of March once the stakeholder migration starts.

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