Cardano has a planned hard fork today at epoch 176 to help it transition from a federated network to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus model. Cardano’s current mainnet has operated with limited functionality since its launch in 2017. Today’s hard fork, dubbed OBFT (Ouroboros BFT), bridges this old network to the new mainnet version, setting the stage for Cardano to launch Shelley mainnet possibly within the next few months. Once merged, Shelley will allow users to stake their ADA and contribute to the network’s security in exchange for inflation rewards.
Why it matters:
It’s a positive sign for ADA holders as Shelley will introduce new use cases, namely staking, for the token beyond speculation and payments. With Shelley now around the corner, Cardano enters the crowded race of soon-to-launch layer-1 PoS networks vying for attention from prospective stakers.
Despite a step forward in project maturation, Shelley will not include smart contract functionality. Cardano won’t support smart contracts until its next stage, called the Goguen era, which Cardano’s roadmap says could launch sometime in 2020.