After a long three year wait, the Cardano development team finally launched the Shelley network following a successful hard fork from the Byron mainnet. The upgrade includes several new features, including new staking pools and a new user=delegation platform, starting Cardano’s journey to full network decentralization.
Launched on Wednesday, the Shelley upgrade currently has over 500 staking pools taking part in the blockchain, making it one of the most decentralized platforms. These Shelley enabled staking pools to allow ADA holders to vote for their delegates and offer rewards for participation in block production and consensus governance of the platform.
An equilibrium of 1000 staking pools is required to ensure the stability and proper functioning of the Shelley upgrade.
The hard fork also includes smart contract compatibility and decentralized apps hosting on the platform to challenge Ethereum’s reign at the top. In a live stream of the event, Cardano Founder and CEO of IOG, Charles Hoskinson, thanked the tireless efforts of Cardano’s developers saying in the coming year, Shelley will be running “hundreds of assets and decentralized applications on Cardano.”
The platform will utilize the Ouroboros consensus algorithm, derived from proof-of-stake (PoS), to effectively govern activities on the platform.
Are you switching to the Shelley network?
Shelley will enable different sectors of the economy to build and deploy next-generation dApps on Cardano for the first time. According to the Shelley launch statement from the Cardano Foundation, the lead development team of the blockchain, the platform is targeting an influx of decentralized finance applications, at the start, with more sectors including pharmaceutical,
Current developers, pool operators, and ADA holders using the Daedalus wallet will need to upgrade to the Shelley mainnet network to enjoy the full features of the upgrade. Users holding coins in centralized exchanges are urged to check on the prospective plans by the exchange on switching ADA to the Shelley upgraded network.
A non-stop building process
After a landmark launch, development teams on the blockchains are focusing on the future of Cardano already. In a tweet sent out following the launch of Shelley, Hoskinson wrote,
“Next year, I cannot wait to resurrect the Qeditas project on Cardano http://qeditas.org. It's time to rebuild mathematics upon new foundations.”
Similar tones of development are ringing in the IOHK’s offices as the product director at the Hong Kong-based development lab, Aparna Jue, stated they would be moving on to delivering the planned Voltaire and Goguen releases.
A bright future for ADA?
Despite the successful hard fork, ADA saw a 7% collapse in price from intraday highs of $0.1473 on Wednesday to trade at $0.138, as at the time of writing. However, since the Shelley testnet was first launched in April, the token has outperformed the market, gaining an impressive 500% on its value, sending the coin back into the top 10 coins, currently placed 6th on Coingecko.