Charles Hoskinson Cardano Update - 24/02/2020
(Written by @Eric_Czuleger)
On Monday February 24th Charles Hoskinson sat down for another update on the recent progress with Cardano. There he discussed key upcoming milestones on the road to the launch of Shelley mainnet.
-The launch of the OBFT hard fork went off without a hitch but we remind all users to protect their private keys.
-The Byron reboot will be released next month.
-The Shelley launch will be announced depending on the progress of each sprint, but more clarity will develop towards the end of March.
-At the beginning of March the PWC workshop will bring together EMURGO, The Cardano Foundation, and IOHK.
-IOHK expressed being unhappy with the results of the brand refresh, and will be redoubling their marketing efforts going forward.
The developers at IOHK are continually working through the scheduled sprints. This means that we recently launched the OBFT hard fork. We’re pleased that everything went off without a hitch. Some users sadly fell victim to scammers who asked them for their key words. As a reminder, no one at IOHK will ever ask for a user’s key words. We remind everyone to guard their private keys.
The OBFT hard fork was a great moment for IOHK. Now we are working our way through the last minute QA for the Byron reboot release which contains the wallet backend. This is the second major milestone on the road to the launch of Shelley because it contains the new code upon which all of Shelley is being built. Once it reaches the consumer then everything will come from a single source of truth and one code base. This includes Adrestia, the explorer, the node, and the command line tools. After that it is only a matter of iterating.
In March the Byron reboot will launch. We hope to get the Shelley testnet up and running in March or April depending on how each sprint works. We are very close to getting a band for the release of the Shelley mainnet. That band gives us a two month time frame for the release of the Shelley mainnet. We will have greater clarity by the end of March as to a two to four week window when the Shelley launch will occur.
When we know we will announce the Shelley launch party. It is tentatively scheduled to happen in Japan. However, the Corona virus outbreak could place an obstacle in our path due to travel restrictions. At the moment it is difficult to get reliable information on how the illness will progress. We should know more within the next two to four weeks.
We will let everyone know in March where the event will take place. Symbolically, it makes sense to have it in Japan given that the country is the origin of Cardano. We see this as a thank you to the people of Japan for all of their support.
The Byron reboot release is quite significant. We are still sizing up everything that will be in it. We are finishing up the sprint for this month and the next sprint will be the polishing and finishing sprint for the Byron reboot. We should expect to see this mid-March. There are outstanding audit remediation and QA issues which need to be fixed before the release.
This represents the most significant milestone for the retail side. The OBFT hard fork was IOHK’s update. That represented the Cardano node without the wallet backend, while including OBFT mode turned on.
The wallet backend is for the retail release. There we have exposed a command line and introduced fast sync. This means that users will be able to sync the blockchain quickly. Benchmarks show that it is possible under an hour. This will also include some new GUI elements and possibly ledger support.
There will now be more structure behind how IOHK communicates. This will begin with the product management team’s first monthly update, likely beginning this Friday. Aparna Jue, the senior product manager over Cardano will give a broad general overview. She will then pass it off to each individual product manager who will give a 5 to 10 minute update about their own particular development velocity. It would also be exciting to give an interactive demo of how sprints are done and how we estimate timelines.
This will be the first time that we are communicating in this way. As always we would like feedback from the community. The most important part of this is that we communicate regularly. Dimitris Poulopoulos currently gives weekly updates on the Incentivized Testnet, and we are looking forward to this kind of consistency with updates from our project managers.
We will also be doing a special event communication on March 6th or 7th. This is when we will have the PWC workshop. This will include the CEO of EMURGO, the Chairman of the Cardano Foundation, and Charles Hoskinson alongside a large group of mutual employees who will work alongside PWC in order to align commercial strategy during a workshop. This will ensure that prior to the launch of Shelley and Goguen, everyone is unified along a central vision towards the deployment and sale of Cardano.
This includes a Fortune 500 alignment. Given that PWC has an important portfolio of clients in that range, it gives IOHK a direct line of access to important firms. From there we will pitch each Cardano. We are currently developing content in line with these aims. Given the fact that everyone will be together, it will be an opportunity to create a good deal of videos and content. Filmmaker Dominic Hicks will be in attendance along with the Marketing team to ensure that video content is pushed out to supporters.
On the back of the PWC workshop Charles Hoskinson will be traveling to Africa. Specifically, South Africa, Rwanda, and Uganda. He may also go to Tanzania where a telecom deal is currently underway. He will also go to Ethiopia. There he will be meeting with various political leaders, but he will also attempt to do a meetup with supporters in the area.
IOHK will be working closely with ICE Addis for the community roll out. The Cardano Foundation will also be in attendance. We believe that the Cardano Foundation will be earmarking a significant amount of funds to allocate to African regional evangelization. We will also be meeting with the Agricultural Transformation Agency as well as other programs and departments in Ethiopia. We anticipate that discussions will be had about track and trade as well as other applications of Cardano. There will be at least one media event for each African nation we visit. This will include speeches from Charles Hoskinson and a representative for the Cardano Foundation.
Zero knowledge proofs
We are also looking forward to the ZK-proof standardization conference which will be April 4th to 6th in London. Charles Hoskionson and other key stakeholders in the zero-knowledge team at IOHK will be in attendance. At this point we will have finished the implementation of Sonic. This is a user-updateable zero-knowledge proof system. This is a big advancement over prior systems. This team has been working on the implementation for over a year. It will be good to have a discussion about how this will become a standard library for others to use. Having a user updateable CRS allows users to launch privacy coins without a launch ceremony.
Stabilizing and servicing the ITN
We are still on a weekly release cadence with Jormungandr. The release 8.11 will likely come out on wednesday. Every week there is a new release. We are now in the rhythm of updating Daedalus and the wallet backend every Monday along with some Daedalus specific updates for the ITN.
We are currently getting to the end of network stability and enhancements. This means that within the next two to four weeks, we should see the vast majority of those stability issues totally resolved. The ITN team is having internal discussions as to when to end the support life cycle of the ITN. We might have it continue to the end of March, or we could have it extend to April. It is likely that support will end towards the conclusion of March.
At that point the ITN team will be moved to something else. We currently have two additional products in mind which will add a good deal of value to Cardano. We will announce the end of the ITN towards the back end of March. We will also announce where the ITN team will move.
Just because support is done with the ITN that does not mean that the ITN is shut down. That will happen with a balance check and a migration to the Haskell Shelley testnet. Ideally, this will be a well-timed switch, but there might be some latency. This all depends on the stability and user experience of the ITN. We also want to make sure that we have gathered all that we can possibly learn from the ITN stakepool experience. After beginning an incredible conversation about stake pools we believe that the experience with the ITN will end in a mission accomplished.
Verifying the code
Now, as we enter into the back end of March, it is crucial that we verify that the Shelley Haskell code is working properly. We have also recently begun in depth conversations with exchange partners, specifically about the libraries, tools, and APIs that would make it easier to list ada. We would also like to allow them to be staking-as-service providers. We have also begun discussions about co-locating developers with exchanges in order to build certain infrastructure which will be mutually useful. Nick Nayfack is leading this charge. In his monthly update, he will likely mention this.
The end goal of this is that when a user downloads the Cardano Node, it will come ready for wallet manufacturers and exchanges due to the Adestria integration. This will make listing much easier and generate standardization among all IOHK products. We have also begun negotiations with three different vendors to update the ledger firmware for Shelley. One of these vendors will be chosen to work with us. It is beneficial to have multiple vendors competing for this work to help with cost control.
We would like to see Cardano on Ledger live so that there are more options than just the Yoroi interface. We will make an announcement when the deal with the vendor is sealed. We are still trying to work out if we can roll out bec-32 support with the Byron reboot launch in March. There will be additional meetings about this during the week. When we do the format will change from the Daedalus legacy style to a new style. We hope this occurs soon because bec-32 is a significantly better address format.
Building velocity and partnerships
Our sprints are looking good and our velocity is continuing in spite of having to expand the scope of Cardano based on partnerships and lessons from the ITN. Teams are also working in parallel, Goguen development and Voltarie development are both looking good. We are currently having a lot of discussions about infrastructure on top of Goguen. This includes metadata, multi asset standards and identity. At the launch of Shelley we will invite the product managers to present their work.
At the launch of Goguen we will have a group of partnerships to announce. We recently signed a collaboration with Beefchain in Wyoming, and we’re excited to launch Goguen with more partners. There isn’t a large delta between Shelley and Goguen. There isn’t much between Goguen and Basho, and we are now looking forward to bringing it to the world.
Building without compromise
We are proud that our work was performed with our compromise. This included Haskell programming and formal methods. We didn’t do everything perfectly and there were a great deal of unknowns. However, we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel now and we are excited about the future.
Furthermore, we have developed two different programming languages. These are now being used in the world. Our conversations are now less theoretical and more about interoperability and tooling as well as execution model units. This is a crucial pivot in the conversation because we are seeing tools applied. As always we thank our supporters for their patience, love, and support.
This year is like an iceberg and we believe that the community will be able to see the whole thing. This is what we have been working on for a long time. The next couple months will be a roller coaster ride of news from IOHK and all of our key stakeholders.
Working through challenges
However, not everything is ideal at this moment. We also want our product marketing team to be more proactive in messaging. We solved proof-of-stake as a problem, but IOHK is not mentioned in the POS wikipedia article. This means that we need to put more fundamental attention into product marketing. We don’t believe that it is fair to our scientists and engineers to invest years of their lives for that to be met with substandard marketing.
We believe that we should dominate in marketing as well as science. We will be very aggressive about our USPs. Ouroboros, UTXO, and Plutus are all best in class pieces of software. We didn’t copy anything from anybody. We brought completely new ideas to market. We paid the price to do this. It is important that people understand that these things are real and that we have built them. In short months, users will have them on their personal computers. This will all go into building the world’s new economy. This is why it is necessary that we market aggressively.
We are also working on the documentation so that the launch of Shelley will include ned documentation. We believe that the documentation should be as pristine as the code and the science. We will continue working hard until Shelley is released and commercialized. As always we are proud of where we have come and where we are going. Thank you to our supporters and we are looking forward to the future.