The Cardano (ADA) testnet is officially in the multi-asset era, announced Cardano development firm IOHK.
On February 3, at 20:20 UTC, "we successfully forked & applied the Goguen 'Mary' native token upgrade. Next stop mainnet, by the end of the month," tweeted IOHK after the event.
The time of the hard fork was announced the same day, stating that the application of the Goguen native token upgrade, aka Mary, to the Cardano testnet, transforms it into a multi-asset network.
While IOHK stated that the mainnet is targeted for the end of February, its CEO Charles Hoskinson said last year that it's scheduled "tentatively, tentatively, tentatively for February 20." Also, according to crypto researcher Messari, this may happen on February 24.
Messari stated that Cardano has released almost all of the Mary-compatible versions of Cardano's software components, to which service providers and node operators need to upgrade before Mary comes to the mainnet.
IOHK also plans to release a new, Mary-compatible version of the Cardano wallet within the next week.
The Cardano network has started its transition from the Shelly Era to the Goguen Era, which is happening through three upgrades, starting with two hard forks: Allegra activated in December 2020, Mary, then Plutus.
"Goguen introduces a mechanism whereby tokenization is handled natively," said an IOHK post, meaning that "the logic is based on the Cardano ledger, rather than smart contracts."
This they claim will bring forth a tokenization strategy "superior" to those supported on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, stating that native tokens on Cardano have advantages over ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens in terms of security and affordability. This means that there would be no need to use expensive smart contracts or custom code, as is the case with Ethereum.
The strategy enables the representation of custom assets on the blockchain without the need for smart contracts, while also enabling those assets to behave in a similar way to the principal currency, ADA. However, unlike ADA, native tokens can be created and destroyed, and only ADA can be used to service fees, rewards, and deposits, said the firm.
The final hard fork combinator (HFC) event will add Plutus support, Hoskinson said. Plutus will become a platform for building apps (decentralized apps) for supply chains, track and trace, medical records, identity voting, property registration, peer-to-peer payments, and financial systems, said another post. It'll be deployed on the Cardano mainnet later this year, and in the meantime, the firm released the refreshed version of Plutus Playground in January as an environment for writing and testing smart contracts before they are released on the Cardano blockchain.
Meanwhile, major digital asset firm Grayscale filed a Grayscale Cardano Trust, and several others, though this does not suggest or guarantee their launch. It's quite common for a company to "proactively" register a name, said Hoskinson recently, adding: "manage your expectations accordingly. Until I see an approved application from the Securities and Exchange Commission, I'm not gonna hold my breath."
The 6th coin by market capitalization, ADA, is up 2% in a day and 38% in a week, to the price of USD 0.431 at 14:00 UTC. Overall, it appreciated 97% in a month and 659% in a year. Learn more: Crypto Tech In 2021: Focus on Scalability, Privacy and Usability ADA Rallies After Founder Says He Is 'Very Obsessed with DeFi' Cardano Surges as Commercialization is Ramped Up, Team Returns from Davos