City A.M.: Five years in the making: the hard fork to end all hard forks
(Written by James Bowater, City A.M’s Crypto Insider)
Ever since entering the blockchain space, with a view to building my own project Vaureum, I have been searching out best of breed partners to work with. It was in November 2017 when an associate with a number of patents under his belt said to me ‘if you are looking to do anything in the blockchain space – check out a project called Cardano.’ With that I tracked down the engineering company behind the project IOHK led by the incredibly talented mathematician Charles Hoskinson. Whilst Vaureum was in research and development mode, I created Crypto AM with the wonderful City AM newspaper here in London. Since then I have had the privilege to meet pretty much the whole team involved with Cardano and IOHK. With their employment of Formal Methods and the desire to achieve interoperability, scalability and sustainability I have never made any secret about how impressed I am with the ethos that drives this complex project. Learn more below in City AM’s Crypto Insider.
Today is a special day for the blockchain industry. Following five years of intensive research and development, almost 80 research papers – most of them having been peer reviewed at the world’s leading academic conferences – multiple testnet iterations, and a series of independent, third-party code audits, verifying the robust nature of Cardano’s underlying codebase, the ‘Shelley’ upgrade to the system, which will see Cardano reborn as a fully decentralised system, is taking place.
The new version of the Cardano blockchain will become 50-100 times more decentralized than other leading blockchain networks, and hand the keys to its future to its community of ada holders, who will decide where it will go next and how the system will evolve. Any individuals who hold the Cardano blockchain’s associated token, ada will now also be able to delegate their ada to a stake pool to earn rewards, financially incentivising them to be a part of the network, helping to keep it running smoothly and accurately.
The Shelley upgrade is the first of many planned improvements to the network in the coming months, which are set to create what many believe will be the most advanced, feature-rich blockchain platform the industry has yet seen. We can expect the delivery of the Voltaire and Goguen upgrades to Cardano, which will see robust governance arrangements and smart contracts functionality added, will be delivered before the end of the year. The ‘smart contract’ functionality will allow Cardano to play the role of an ‘operating system’, where developers can build apps which provide a potentially infinite range of services from banking to loans and digital identity services.
Speaking exclusively to CryptoAM.io, Tamara Haasen, Council Member of the Cardano Foundation, said: “Today’s hard fork not only represents a monumental achievement for the Cardano team following years of incredibly hard work, but also the potential dawn of a new technological era. We spent five years working to solve the problems faced by blockchain technology across the board – scalability to meet global demand, sustainability, durability and interoperability. Solving these problems represents a real coming of age for blockchain, as the tech finally becomes mature enough to live up to all of its promises.
“From today, the idea of a totally new global financial operating system, which will provide economic identity to the 2 billion who currently do not have access to financial services, finally allowing them to become economically active on a global scale, starts to become a reality. An idea which could be implemented not in decades, but a matter of years.”
It is very timely therefore that World Mobile, another project that inspires me so much, and one that is also aligned in ambition with IOHK to make a true difference to the unbanked and unconnected, has come out of planning mode. I am also very proud to announce that I have been involved directly with World Mobile since meeting its CEO and Founder Micky Watkins in late 2018 and am delighted to be dedicating time to the project as the World Mobile Global Ambassador.
Yesterday I spoke with Micky before he went public with his statement of purpose (see it in full here) and thought you would be interested to hear his key points “Much of the world has moved online. We talk to our friends and families through instant messaging. We move our money with a couple of swipes. We can access most information in a matter of seconds. All enabled by near-constant mobile connectivity. But for 4 billion people around the world, this sort of access and opportunity just does not exist.”
“Current telecoms infrastructure and business models simply do not allow half of the people on this planet to get connected. And that is not because it is impossible. It is because it is not as profitable. To grant everyone access would require that current operators change their tack. They would need to put inclusivity before profitability, pursue different ways to connect remote communities, and find more cost-effective solutions to inner city connectivity.
“At World Mobile, we know that things can be done better. That is why we have made it our mission to connect the unconnected, and create a mobile internet that works for everyone, everywhere. Why? Because we think it is much better if all people have access to the same information, services and opportunities as each other. We care about mass inclusion. We care about creating a world in which everyone is able to participate in economic empowerment without the restraints of location or origin. And we believe that the first step to achieving this, is to create a fairer point of access.”
Original source: here.