Everything is eagerly awaiting the integration of smart contracts on Cardano. The date for the hard fork Alonzo has been delayed again and again. Now the testnet has been launched, which creates the basis for the long-awaited upgrade. But it still takes a little patience.
Gradually the veil is lifting, the Cardano roadmap on the way to smart contract compatibility is becoming more and more concrete. IOHK, the software company behind the blockchain project, has given the go-ahead for the first Alpha-Testnet. There the hard fork Alonzo will be put through its paces before it will probably reach the mainnet in September.
Cardano is heading for a hard fork
The testnet is called Alonzo Blue and, according to IOHK, is currently being hijacked by a group of developers who are subjecting the Proto environment to an extensive audit. In the coming months, the program is to be expanded, new functions to be integrated and more and more users to be included. The team wants to give a water level report every two weeks about the development status of the Alonzo rollout.
Alonzo is the missing piece of the puzzle from Cardano’s decisive “Goguen era”. Goguen marks the third of a total of five development phases and is probably the biggest chunk of them all. While the basic framework for processing the ADA cryptocurrency was laid during the first “Byron” phase, and the network became more decentralized with the introduction of the Proof-of-Stake procedure in the “Shelley” section, it matures into a multi-asset during the Goguen rollout Environment.
With the integration of smart contracts, Alonzo finally opens the doors to decentralized finance for the network. Then it will show whether Cardano lives up to its self-claims and displaces its big competitor, Ethereum, from the DeFi market. A few more months, however, will have to be patient for the test of strength. Cardano should be ready for smart contracts in August at the earliest, but more likely in September.
Marlow: Something for everyone
At the same time, IOHK is working on a kit for DeFi applications. “Marlowe” is a set of tools that enables a number of different smart contract functions and is tailored for different needs: developers, consumers and businesses.
Marlowe Build and Play are reserved for developers. You can write smart contracts on Build and then have them verified and tested in a simulation on Play. After the moose test, they can add the smart contracts to the Marlowe Library.
Consumers have access to Marlowe Run, which provides a variety of “Financial Instrument Templates from the Marlowe Library”. The user interface should be structured in an understandable manner and the products should also be usable without prior technical knowledge. Every step is “explained in non-technical language and every action is only carried out with the express permission of the user”. These include escrows, bonds and swaps. Marlowe for enterprise, on the other hand, is aimed at companies and includes DeFi products for commercial applications.
With Marlowe, we want to democratize finance by enabling peer-to-peer agreements that run on a blockchain. We want to empower people to create their own financial instruments and make arrangements with anyone they want to interact with.
Blog post from IOHK
Marlowe, which is an essential part of the Goguen rollout, will initially be launched as a prototype and after a few months of test operation could be activated at the same time as the Alonzo Hard Fork.