At yesterday’s Cardano 360 event, IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson gave an update on the long-awaited Alonzo upgrade. Due to stress testing and exchange integration, Hoskinson expects a rollout in mid-August.
IOHK had previously penciled in a date of the end of March 2021 for this to happen. A five-month delay hasn’t gone down well with some sections of the community.
Cardano Smart Contracts Won’t Be Ready This Month
The Goguen phase is the great equalizer in terms of bringing smart contracts to Cardano. It was split into three development stages.
First was Allegra, which enabled token locking; this laid the foundation for smart contracts by bringing metadata functionality to record the specific purpose of tokens. Then there was Mary, which introduced the ability to create user-defined tokens. The final piece is Alonzo, which integrates the extended UTXO model with the Plutus smart contract language.
During Cardano 360, Hoskinson gave a timeline for Alonzo’s completion. He said this process requires integration into the ledger and node code, which is happening now through to April. At the same time, “alpha partners” will be running acceptance criteria and tests.
“What’s occurring right now, all throughout March and all throughout April is that integration into the node to get a CLI. As that integration is happening, partners are being brought in, and these are alpha partners, so they’re very close and deep in court of company.”
Once done, by the end of April or early May, IOHK will be ready to launch the Alonzo testnet. Hoskinson mentioned that large cohorts of programming professionals and Plutus pioneers are ready to stress test the network.
As Plutus was built by an independent team, in parallel with Shelley, Hoskinson warned there could be some “rough edges” in that integration. Hence QA and user acceptance testing are needed to circumvent any problems in that respect.
Expected August Rollout Leads to Backlash
All of the above is scheduled to finish by the end of June. At this point, the final stage involves bringing all of the stakeholders up to speed. Hoskinson gives this a four to six-week time frame, taking us into mid-August for the Alonzo hard fork.
“If that occurs, what we will do is wait four weeks minimum for our partners, the Coinbases, the Binances, Yoroi, all these other people, who have infrastructure that needs to upgrade that needs to upgrade, test, and modernize for Alonzo before we do the Alonzo hard fork.”
The feedback from the Cardano community has been mixed. On the one hand, some have expressed positivity over the thoroughness of work going into Alonzo. But others have slammed the delay.
On that, Hoskinson noted a surge in toxicity and trolling. But he puts this down to a realization that Cardano is on track.
I’ve noticed a massive surge in toxicity, FUD, trolling, and outright slander lately. It must mean Cardano is finally perceived as a threat to the status quo and we are on the right track. Stay focused everyone, the next six months are going to be a rough but rewarding ride
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) March 26, 2021
Despite the delay to Alonzo, the market did not react badly. Today, ADA is up 8% to $1.17.