Cardano (ADA) recently hit its 1-year milestone with a market cap of $2 billion. With Cardano being simultaneously one of the most promising protocols and one of the most developmentally adolescent projects in today’s cryptocurrency landscape, the community will likely be looking forward to what lies ahead for the network.
Cardano is a blockchain-based platform led by Ethereum co-founder and industry leader Charles Hoskinson. Cardano takes a methodical, scientific approach to development across the board.
They opt for a diligent developmental approach, releasing features slowly, with volumes of research and testing to back them up, rather than releasing features quickly and without adequate testing. This can be evidenced by the multitude of collegiate partnerships and peer reviews that Cardano subjects itself to.
It should also be noted, that Cardano is coded in a unique programming language called Haskell, which works on the principles of functional programming.
Now that we have a general idea of what Cardano is, let’s take a look at where it is going.
The Byron phase is the first developmental phase and is focused on developing the Settlement Layer, which provides decentralization. The Cardano Settlement Layer mainnet, the nucleus of Byron, was successfully launched earlier this year.
This phase is particularly important because it provides the foundation for the rest of the project. Cardano has been developed entirely from scratch, so this phase is crucial. Development of the Byron phase is almost finished, and development on the next phase has already begun.
Shelley aims to make Cardano wholly decentralized and autonomous. The Cardano team intended to finish Shelley by Q3 2018, but the development deadlines have been extended to Q1 2019.
Shelley aims to implement Cardano’s Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm, known as Ouroboros, allowing users to stake tokens to provide block validation and voting rights.
Other objectives include staking incentive development, delegation implementation, and network infrastructure development to support decentralization.
The key components that are already completed include network synchronization and faster wallet restoration. These measures are intended to transform Cardano into a decentralized blockchain platform.
In the Goguen phase, the focus will be on the Universal Language framework development, IELE development, and security improvements. For investors, this phase is where the token will gain more utility with the execution of complex smart contracts.
The Goguen phase primarily deals with the development of the Cardano virtual machine “IELE”. The IELE will automate the smart contract process by utilizing a uniform, cross-language execution to create a highly efficient platform.
The Cardano team also aims to introduce a universal language framework that will make blockchain development easy. In this phase, they have completed the IELE Virtual Machine V1, and smart contract testnets so far.
The Basho phase will improve scalability, security, and performance by implementing a revised network layer as well as Ouroboros Praos, the next generation protocol of Cardano’s Proof of Stake consensus algorithm.
Ouroboros Praos will bring increased security measures such as the ability to tolerate an adversarially controlled message delivery delay unknown to protocol participants, and will implement complex game theory to create scalability through the appropriate allocation of resources.
In the words of the Cardano team, Ouroboros Praos is “a provably secure proof-of-stake protocol that is the first to be secure against adaptive attackers and scalable in a truly practical sense”.
The Voltaire phase is the final phase of Cardano’s current roadmap. In Voltaire, we will see the implementation of a treasury system and a governance model.
The treasury will ensure the sustainability and self-sufficiency of the network, by using a voting process to allow for the funding of worthy Cardano-based projects.
The governance model will allow for seamless updates to the network by voting or delegating votes in accordance with one’s stake. Additionally, there should be improvements across the board in security, scalability, and speed.
Aside from all of the blockchain network development, the team has roadmap objectives focused on other components, like wallet updates, quantum resistant digital signatures, and partnerships. Daedalus, Cardano’s wallet, will continuously update, so its objectives are not confined to one phase, but it is one of the main focuses of the development team.
Cardano’s slow and steady approach could pay off in the long run, as updates are not easy to reach consensus on once the system is up and running. Instead, the Cardano team is taking every measure to make sure they get it right the first time.