Cardano Releases Plutus Smart Contract Language in Preparation for Alonzo Hard Fork
Cardano is steps away from adding smart contract functionality once the next major upgrade, Alonzo, is complete. The smart contract functionality will be coded using the native Plutus language.
Input-Output Hong Kong (IOHK) has released a detailed blog post on Plutus, the native smart contract programming language for Cardano, which will advance smart contracts' development once the next major blockchain upgrade Alonzo, launches.
An announcement was made during the Cardano360 event; the Alonzo hard fork will “establish the infrastructure and add tools for functional smart contract development” on Cardano.
The Plutus smart contract language
Developers will need to be aware of three critical concepts before starting to build decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contracts on Cardano, the post reads. First, the extended unspent transaction (EUXTO) model, the Plutus Core (the ‘on-chain’ part of Plutus), and the Plutus Application Framework, or PAF in short.
Similar to Bitcoin, Cardano uses the unspent transactions accounting model, where the inputs are unspent outputs from other transactions. However, Alonzo introduces an enhanced version, the EUTXO model, which brings about the ability to record on-chain and off-chain transactions.
This is made possible using the PAF, which allows developers to create applications and services that automatically provide an HTTP and WebSocket interface, which enables the application to connect with off-chain data such as web browsers – providing unlimited capabilities to smart contract users.
Finally, the Plutus Core defines the platform's functionalities, script, and data to allow EUTXOs to be recorded on the blockchain.
IOHK recently announced Cardano is moving towards full decentralization with Alonzo hard fork's launch through an event called the “Public Assertion of Randomness.” This follows the launch of native tokens on Cardano following the Mary hard fork, allowing anyone to create their custom token, transfer and receive without a need for an external wallet.