Cardano hard fork to transit from a federated network to a Proof-of-Stake consensus

The Cardano hard fork update on February 20 will be an enhanced consensus mechanism, Ouroboros BFT. An intermediate step between the current Byron era and Shelley, the network upgrade enables the staking feature on Cardano mainnet. Binance has announced support for the update and noted that no new tokens would be created during this time.

Cardano fork today as it prepares to introduce staking

In particular, deposits and withdrawals of ADA will be suspended starting from February 20, 2020, at 4:00 pm (UTC).

IOHK, via a blog post, stated that it was a planned and managed protocol upgrade and will be done on Thursday at 9.44 pm UTC, or 4:44 pm EST. It will be the first of the two hard disks intended.

The article is built on the reason to improve the original Ouroboros Classic:

“The main purpose of the Ouroboros BFT update is to provide a simpler migration path from Ouroboros Classic to Ouroboros Praos. This is an important step to start the Shelley era on the mainnet.”

The update, called hardfork, will act as a bridge from Ouroboros Classic to Ouroboros Praos to power the Shelley era. As a team, OBFT will be maintained until they are ready to deploy Ouroboros Praos, which will enable Shelley’s feature on the mainnet.


Source: IOHK

Previously, the Shelley era was supposed to launch in late 2019; however, due to unforeseen circumstances, the release had to be pushed forward.

Why is this Cardano hard fork important?

That’s a positive sign for ADA holders because Shelley will introduce new use cases, namely betting, for non-speculative tokens and payments. With Shelley now, Cardano is entering the crowded race of the forthcoming Grade 1 PoS networks to attract attention from potential manufacturers.

Despite a step forward in project maturity, Shelley will not include smart contract functionality. Cardano will not support smart contracts until the next stage, known as the Goguen era, which Cardano’s roadmap says could launch in 2020.

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