Cardano Successfully Launches ‘Mary’ Hard Fork to Introduce Multi-Asset Features on the Blockchain


  • The integration of the Mary hard fork protocol update on Cardano was completed on March 1, 2021.
  • The upgrade introduces new multi-asset features to the blockchain’s mainnet.
  • Does this make Cardano a viable “Ethereum killer”?

Input-Output Hong Kong (IOHK), the main development arm on Cardano, announced via a tweet on Monday that the blockchain had completed its “Mary hard fork” update at Epoch 251, around 21:44:51 UTC via a managed hard fork combinator event.

The upgrades are set to make Cardano a multi-asset chain, similar to Ethereum, allowing users to create and sell tokens that run natively on the blockchain. With the introduction of multi-assets, Cardano is making a serious move to replace Ethereum, which grew by the billions during the initial coin offering boom in 2017.

The new upgrades aim to enhance the development of tokens on its chain, bypassing the need to create a smart contract to govern ADA's different tokens. According to the post, Mary allows users to create general-purpose (fungible) or specialized (non-fungible) tokens and carry out transactions directly on the Cardano blockchain.

The upgrade employs an accounting infrastructure that allows the network to process multiple native tokens’ transactions. Apart from enhancing the deployment of tokens on Cardano, native multi-asset support also handles custom token creations on the platform. The upgrade removes “extra complexity and potential for manual errors” while increasing potential returns to users by reducing the gas fees on transactions, which is a big issue currently being experienced on Ethereum.

The Mary upgrade is a key milestone in Cardano’s Goguen rollout, introducing Cardano-based smart contracts. The Goguen rollout aims to allow decentralized apps (DApps) development on Cardano, making the blockchain a competitive challenger of Ethereum’s platform.

ADA challenges Ethereum

Having co-founded Ethereum, Cardano’s founder, Charles Hoskinson, believes the latter is edging ever-closer to overtaking Ethereum as the blockchain of choice to dApp developers.

In a week that saw a mini-bloodshed across the crypto market, ADA, Cardano’s native token, surged over 12% to trade at $1.24 as of writing. With a total market capitalization of $39.6 billion (placing it third on the Coingecko rakings), however, the coin still has a long way to go to catch up with Ethereum – with a total market cap of $181 billion, as of writing.

Looking at the developer stats, Cardano is closer to catching up with Ethereum with 250 developers contributing per month. Currently, Cardano has 37,327 commits to its code, compared to 42,457 for Ethereum.

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