The hard fork Mary on Cardano will run at the end of February.
It will enable the development of custom tokens on the Cardano blockchain. From a single-asset ledger, Ada, Mary will enable a multi-asset ledger on Cardano.
With the Hard Fork Combinator system the transition will be seamless, and will not require technical actions from the community.
In the previous hard fork, Allegra, some components needed to create native tokens in Cardano were added to the network, such as token burning and redeeming, writing monetary scripts, among others.
Cardano will support user-defined tokens natively without the need for code in the framework of their original native token.
Native tokens remove the unnecessary layer of costly complexity and inherent inefficiency, such as in Ethereum, which requires custom code to make user-defined tokens compatible with the blockchain. This is an inherent weakness of the Ethereum blockchain, because it leaves room for human error.
Native tokenisation will allow custom assets to be represented on the blockchain without the need for smart contracts, and also for those assets to behave similarly to the main ADA currency, but with the difference that native tokens can be created and destroyed, with Ada being the only currency that can be used to pay network fees, rewards and deposits.
The use of metadata in Cardano makes another substantial difference.
Metadata is a description of native assets that is stored using identifiers that are not human-readable. The readable version of this information is stored outside the blockchain, in public token registries. Empowering the community to own and configure these records gives full trust in the datasets, as the users themselves own the data.
Tokens are a central part of blockchains, with utility tokens, fungible tokens (FT, fungible tokens) such as cryptocurrencies, governance tokens and non-fungible tokens (NFT, non fungible tokens).
The ADA cryptocurrency is a fungible token, its value is homogeneous for all units without distinguishing the identity of each of them.
NFTs are unique and have their own value, which can represent assets in the physical world, such as real estate, vehicles or machinery, registering their identity and their owner in the network.
For example, a livestock producer will register his livestock individually for each animal for sale, or an industrialist his manufacturing batches. In this way, traceability in trade will not only make it possible to know the origin and authenticity of products, but also to reduce costs, since tokenisation will make it possible to avoid intermediaries and dispense with trust between the parties.
NFTs will be widely accepted in the community because of their usefulness for industry and commerce.
Mary opens the door at Cardano to an unlimited list of usability.