On July 29, 2020, Cardano completed the transition from Byron to Shelley via a planned hard fork. Shelley has been a tremendous success with more than 300 stake pools taking part and more being added each week.
As we add Goguen capabilities, one of the objectives is the release of the Plutus and Marlowe programming languages. Together, Plutus and Marlowe simplify the creation of smart contracts for real-world financial and general-purpose applications. This will enable a new class of decentralized smart applications with verified functionality.
As well as adding smart contracts capability, Goguen will support a multi-asset standard that enables users to create their own tokens that will run on Cardano. Smart contracts will allow developers to create decentralized financial applications greatly expanding the Cardano ecosystem.
A blockchain is said to have multi-asset support when the ledger has the ability to track different types of assets. In Cardano, this functionality will be delivered in Goguen by a native token feature that extends the ledger model to accommodate a variety of user-defined custom token types.
Native v non-native tokens
Native tokens are assets that interact with their own inherent blockchains like ada and Cardano while non-native assets are assets built on some other blockchain via Smart contract.
Cardano’s multi-asset standard will be deployed to the ledger and have the ability to track ownership and transfer different types of assets. Developers will be able to create their own tokens using smart contracts. These tokens will come into existence via a two-tier solution built on smart contracts and can be non-native.
Managing the move to Goguen
The transition from Shelley to Goguen will be done in two phases. Each phase has been given a name, Allegra and Mary, and both phases will see a new release of all integration components used to access the Cardano network.
The first phase, Allegra, is planned to be delivered around the 16th December 2020 and will require an upgrade of all supported components, including the Cardano node and the Cardano wallet.
The core components for the Allegra hard fork are expected to be available in the first week of December. Once they are released, we will notify you of the appropriate time to upgrade.
The second phase, Mary, is set to be delivered at the end of January 2021. This will introduce breaking changes to all Cardano APIs and require code changes to adjust to the new APIs and allow the introduction of native tokens.
As with the Allegra hard fork, we will notify you when the testnet and updated components are available, along with more details on native assets. This will be the final phase of Goguen and see the delivery of the core Plutus framework, fully enabling smart contracts on the blockchain.
The delivery of Goguen will affect all exchanges and wallets listing ada. Once the components for Allegra and Mary have been released, exchanges and wallets will have a window of time to upgrade.
We strongly recommend that all exchanges listing ada upgrade to the version of Cardano that supports Goguen and smart contracts when it is released to avoid any downtime or disruption.
Meanwhile, we will keep you updated with the latest developments and provide more detailed guidance in the next few weeks.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding these improvements, please contact us via the usual channels.