September 12th is the date set in stone where Cardano is upgrading itself to allow for smart-contract functionality. The move has prompted a surge in interest for Cardano's ADA coin, which made its way to the third place of the market capital boards at $70 billion, right after crypto mainstays Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The world of cryptocurrency goes deeper than the standard Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or Ethereum alone. There’s dozens of “alt coins” competing.
One of those is the Cardano platform and their ADA coin. It was started by the co-founder of Ethereum, and now it aims to deliver an improved version of what they offer to the blockchain market.
As outlined by CoinDesk, yesterday’s announcement by Cardano’s developers is that they’re upgrading to allow smart-contract functionality. This feature is critical to the way transactions work in the digital space.
Smart contracts as defined by IBM:
"Smart contracts are simply programs stored on a blockchain that run when predetermined conditions are met. They typically are used to automate the execution of an agreement so that all participants can be immediately certain of the outcome, without any intermediary’s involvement or time loss. They can also automate a workflow, triggering the next action when conditions are met."
Cardano’s capability to work with decentralized finance applications allows for more automated trading to take place. The Alonzo upgrade will allow smart contracts by something called a “hard fork combinator” event.
But to upgrade something of this magnitude is certainly a unique process.
Cardano's head of delivery, Nigel Hemsley, discussed at length the preparations being made ahead of next month's launch. It involves both internal components on Cardano’s side, as well as coordination with DeFi app developers to make sure they have what they need.
For now in what’s called the “purple” phase, Cardano's people brought on 300 developers whose main purpose is to conduct testing exercises. From there they scaled up that community to 500 plus, with additional smart functionality exercises being added into the rotation.
Software Engineer Kevin Hammond was also present.
“We’re doing a huge amount of testing. We’re shaking the system down. We’re running lots of performance and scalability tests, and very very importantly we’re working on additional property tests to ensure that we have the best possible node ready” for the main release, Hammond says.
Additional work has been ongoing as the Cardano Foundation Team to communicate with different cryptocurrency exchanges. Hemsley revealed 140 exchanges have started work on integrating this Alonzo update.
Their cooperation is the only tangible way Cardano’s upgrade plan could work. Cardano’s backers are confident, as of a few hours ago the ADA coin hit upwards of $2.20 in value.