On 21st February, Cardano, IOHK, claimed their OBFT hardfork to be completed successfully. The hardfork is a step towards Shelley – the era of growth and development for the network.
Unlike the Byron [previously] era, which began at a single point in time when the mainnet was launched, the transition to Shelley is designed to “achieve a smooth, low-risk transition without service interruptions”. That said, no complaints of the upgrade have been recorded yet. Even the largest crypto exchange Binance has provided support for Cardano as they’ve updated their system accordingly.
Cardano used a Proof of Stake [PoS] algorithm called Ouroboros, which determined how individual nodes reach consensus about the network. Being more energy-efficient than PoW [Proof-of-Work], PoS still has some drawbacks which can result in a catastrophic system failure while running complex systems on the PoS blockchain. To fight this, IOHK built a better solution in phases.
In the Shelley phase, they are transitioning to OBFT [current consensus mechanism] from Ouroborous Classic and will finally convert to Ouroborous Genesis; this will be the very first implementation of the most secure stake-based blockchain protocol to ever be engineered.
Things to note about the hardfork:-
From a PoS consensus mechanism, the network will now switch to use a BFT-based mechanism.
The hardfork was a system upgrade and no effect of it will split the main chain.
The ADA tokens of Cardano are unaffected and stay the same.
Exchanges have to update the system and provide support for the OBFT hardfork.
The hardfork is a step towards making Cardano fully decentralized.
The team at Cardano has also strongly urged and recommended upgrading to Cardano 1.6.0 13 for no issues and disruption. As well as Daedalus [Cardano’s official wallet] users need to use the latest version 0.15.1 to ensure their wallet supports the OBFT hard fork.
For users who have their ADA stacked on exchanges just make sure your exchange supports the upgrade.
The Shelley era includes the basic early strides in Cardano’s excursion to streamline decentralization – and like any initial steps, these will be continuous yet significant. In the previous era Byron, the network was federated. As the nodes incorporate the Shelley era, a multitude of nodes will be shifting to the community-driven segment of the process. When the majority of nodes are run by the network participants, Cardano will become more decentralized than it has ever been; opening doors for higher security and robustness.
Cardano expects the project to be “50-100 times more decentralized” than any other blockchain network. The incentive structure is designed to reach an “equilibrium of 1,000 stake pools” while the current prominent blockchains are controlled by 10 or less mining pools.
As the hardfork was recorded to be completed, Charles Hoskinson – CEO at IOHK tweeted,
Hardfork successful. The OBFT era has begun
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) February 20, 2020
To this, the community responded with positivity:
Without a hitch! EOS world could learn a thing or two. Xcuse us Ethereum. You've had your fun. Now go home, kid! 😁😁😁😁
— DaCryptoLion (@DaCryptoLion1) February 20, 2020
Hey Charles its so nice to see you guys doing so much progress in the last few months!
— Fabian von Bergen (@Fabian_vBergen) February 20, 2020