Cardano's Shelley public testnet will open up for stake pool operators today according to an announcement by IOHK Marketing and Communication Director, Tim Harrison. This means that anyone can now join the network's testnet as an operator in preparation for staking and delegation later in the year.
This milestone comes after a successful Incentivized TestNet (ITN) which kicked off in April marking the first genesis block of the Shelley upgrade. Cardano now moves from the federated system which comprised of ‘friends and family' towards full decentralization. Notably, this Shelley upgrade has been in works for quite some time and will be rolled out in phases according to its current roadmap.
Giving the update, Harrison noted that the move to a decentralized ecosystem marks the next era for Cardano. He goes on to highlight it will be characterized by stake pools, delegation, and ADA rewards with probable staking of the mainnet in August. Notably, the ‘family and friends' testnet success is set to contribute towards onboarding new operators,
“We've been operating what we call the ‘family and friends' testnet, it's a handpicked group of experienced stake pool operators who are helping us set things up, refine the documentation, and ultimately in time, mentor new stake pools onboard,” said Harrison.
Cardano's Stake Operator Setup
Following the update, stakeholders who would like to set themselves up as the pool can find the documentation on testnets.cardano.org. In addition, stake pool operators who were initially in the ITN have also been invited to participate in the new Cardano phase. Harrison, however, notes that they should expect some bugs and bumps along the road given it is still a testnet. As for ADA holders, no action will be required at this stage.
Looking back, Cardano has come a long way in its Shelley upgrade despite the systemic and unsystematic challenges. Updates by IOHK CEO, Charles Hoskinson, this year have pushed the project's prospects a notch higher. Furthermore, the much-awaited Shelley launch seems to be consolidating with Cardano's fundamental proposition as it joins the smart contracts market. Concluding his remarks, Harrison echoed that the coming weeks will be very busy for Cardano noting that they will keep stakeholders posted on Shelley's deployment.