Cardano becomes fully decentralized after completing the much-anticipated Shelley hard fork

Cardano has officially completed the Shelley hard fork, starting a new era for a $ 3.6 billion blockchain project. The fork took place at 21:44:51 UTC without involving a chain split or token swap, meaning that the ADA cryptocurrency will remain the same.

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Shelley, a fork of Cardano, has finally launched

The network implemented its latest hard fork, Shelley, today. This upgrades the network from its prior iteration, Byron. Shelley’s introduces stake pools and delegations. Staking on Shelley involves holding large amounts of its native currency, ADA. The benefit of doing so is that there’s a greater chance you could earn yet more ADA in rewards for validating the network. All of this is powered by its Ouroboros protocol, which chooses who gets to add the next block to the Cardano blockchain.

The first block for Shelley was validated on a testnet version of the new chain on April 27. A testnet is like a beta version of a blockchain. Usually, testnet blockchains don’t involve real money. But IOHK ran an incentivized testnet for Shelley, meaning that its users were playing for keeps.

Cardano has launched an incentive testnet to reward users for staking ADA. In early July, a complete Shelley node was deployed on Cardano mainnet after the public testnet was released on June 9. From now on, all ADA holders can lock their money in Daedalus or Yoroi wallets to receive distributed rewards.

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There are currently 480 staking pools. Cardano is expected to reach about 1,000 of them in the future, which will make it 100 times decentralized compared to competing blockchain networks.

During his recent YouTube livestream, IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson promoted the upgrade as a “giant leap” for the project.

He stated:

“With the rollout of Goguen, the next era that will introduce smart contracts, Cardano will become better than Bitcoin. From here on out. Cardano is the best cryptocurrency on the market when we think about it compared to Bitcoin, and as soon as we get native assets and smart contracts, we’re the best cryptocurrency bar none.”

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