Just three days ago, a hard fork was initiated on the Cardano network. Despite being one of the largest and most popular networks, the latest update has kept a low profile. As revealed by IOHK, in less than 12 hours, the new Goguen token locking update will deploy, which will bring more essential building blocks for smart contract functionality.
The main aim of the hard fork was to introduce the token locking mechanism to the Cardano blockchain, the complete transition of which was slated to occur on the 16th of December at the epoch boundary.
This update is heralded as a significant one of the Cardano network primarily because it will prepare the platform for smart contracts and the creation of assets. To top that, the latest network updates would also offer a crucial piece of Voltaire governance functionality, supporting a voting mechanism.
Once token locking is running on the mainnet Cardano ledger, subsequent hard forks will introduce multi-asset and other smart contract capabilities.
As the completion time neared, several cryptocurrency exchanges have announced support for the network upgrade. Binance US, for instance, notified users about the hard fork and revealed the suspension of deposits and withdrawals of ADA starting from 7:00 am PST to 10:00 am EST on the same day.
Shortly after which, Bithumb also released an official notice which stated that the deposit and withdrawal services will be resumed after the Cardano network becomes stable.
Cardano’s Update: A quick primer
Unlike traditional hard forks, Cardano aims to enable a smooth transition and seeks to preserve the history of previous blocks. This essentially allows the protocol to be upgraded without “radical interference to the chain”. As explained by IOHK, the previous state does not disappear, instead, it is stretched to include new capabilities.
Additionally, splitting of two different chains does not take place, rather Cardano merges the original blocks that conform with the current block production rules with new blocks that comply with the new block production rules.
The ‘hard fork combinator’ was the mechanism that was said to be conducting this event. This is not the first time that the Cardano network will be utilizing this. It was first used when the protocol transitioned from Byron to Shelley phase. As it prepares to deploy the Token locking feature to deploy on the mainnet, it is important to note that this represented a relatively small technical change to the consensus protocol, with a minor impact on the actual ledger.
IOHK had previously revealed that being in the final stages of the quality testing following which, the platform revealed to initiate the testnet deployment process this month.