On the 20th of February 2020, IOHK will make an important update as part of the journey to launching Shelley era functionality on the Cardano mainnet. After full testing on our testnet, we are now preparing to switch the mainnet from the original consensus protocol Ouroboros Classic (Byron Era) to an updated version, Ouroboros BFT.
Why are we doing this?
The primary purpose of the Ouroboros BFT update is to provide a simpler migration pathway from Ouroboros Classic to Ouroboros Praos. This is an important step towards the beginning of the Shelley era on mainnet. While technically this update can be referred to as a ‘hard fork’, it is a planned and managed protocol upgrade that will act as a bridge from Ouroboros Classic to Ouroboros Praos, which will power the Shelley era.
What is Ouroboros BFT?
Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) is a class of simple consensus algorithms, and Ouroboros BFT is a BFT algorithm that belongs to the Ouroboros family. The Ouroboros family also contains Ouroboros Classic, the protocol which is currently running on the Cardano mainnet. When we fully migrate to the decentralized Shelley era later this year, we shall implement Ouroboros Praos.
When will the OBFT update take place?
On Thursday the 20th of February 21:44:51 (pm) UTC, Epoch 176, we will switch the mainnet from the original consensus protocol Ouroboros Classic (Byron Era) to Ouroboros BFT via a protocol update in the first of the two planned hard forks.
What you need to do
To ensure any customers holding ada experience no issues or interruption of service, we strongly urge and recommend upgrading to Cardano 1.6.0.
Daedalus users should check they are using the latest version 0.15.1 to ensure their wallet supports the OBFT hard fork and for continued optimal performance. You can always check which edition you are using by checking the top of the application window
What comes after OBFT?
OBFT will be maintained until we are ready to deploy Ouroboros Praos, which will support Shelley’s features on the main net. At that point, the second fork will take place.