The purpose of this article is to discuss the progress of smart contracts on the Cardano network and the upcoming Alonzo - Plutus hard fork event.
The main objective of Alonzo is to combine the benefits of Ethereum with the simplicity of Bitcoin's UTXO model and create a more expressive and rigorous way of writing smart contracts.
UTXO extended model
The UTXO extended model is the product of 4 years of research by Cardano domain experts and computer scientists. The UTXO extended model helps combine the benefits of both ecosystems and is a much easier model to shard and formalize.It gives developers the ability to write better, more robust smart contracts that can easily scale and enables great experiences like hydra.
To help utilize the power of the extended UTXO model and smart contracts capabilities IOHK has developed the Plutus framework. Plutus is a scripting language primarily designed to help developers utilize smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain. There has been a huge amount of work done and achieved in the development of the Plutus project.
Plutus outreach program
As part of the ongoing rollout of the Plutus and Goguen framework. IOHK has been reaching out to the community as part of an outreach program to onboard new developers and partners to help testing Plutus and smart contracts. If you are interested in participating in this program please feel free to reach out via the usual channel
IOHK is very happy to announce that development teams are systematically integrating the UTXO extended model and Plutus framework into Cardano.
As planned Goguen is a series of HFC events, the first one was Allegra and then Mary which introduced metadata and native assets.
The next planned HFC is Alonzo and we are working to a timeline on how this event will work.
At the moment cardano-node development team are working to create a CLI that can support the UTXO extended model and Plutus Framework and as this development and integration is ongoing new partners will be onboarded to test integration.
Alonzo integration components
We expect to have the first Alonzo cardano-node release quite soon. Once released IOHK will build a private testnet and invite partners to test their smart contracts while working with Plutus team to ensure everything has improved
Next IOHK will create a similar type testnet called the pioneers testnet. This testnet will allow partners to test a number of smart contracts in a production style environment while liaising with Plutus and IOHK teams on any issues found.
The expectation is that while this QA process is ongoing there will be a number of iterations of Plutus framework. Once the entire process is complete we will give Exchanges and integration partners about 4 weeks to upgrade their components prior to the Alonzo HFC date.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this please feel free to reach to support via the usual channels