Cardano (ADA) launches smart contracts after successful Alonzo hard fork

Mon 13 Sep 2021 ▪ 9h59 ▪ 4 min read — by James Taylor

The latest update ushers in the era of smart contract compatibility for Cardano (ADA). The Cardano network upgrade, Alonzo, is finally out. Smart contracts – programmes that self-execute when predetermined conditions are met – can finally be created and deployed on the network.

Cardano is an open-source public blockchain developed by Input Output and founded by Charles Hoskinson, an Ethereum co-founder. In September 2017, Cardano was introduced as a challenge to Ethereum’s decentralised finance dominance, while still maintaining interoperability with ETH and other blockchains.

What the Cardano network looks like after the hard fork

After several months of being available on the Alonzo testnet, today’s hard fork on the Cardano mainnet allows all users to write smart contracts using Plutus scripts, “a purpose-built smart contract development language and execution platform using the functional programming language Haskell.”

Developers, however, are in no hurry to announce the upgrade’s success. A blog post published by Input Output reminds the ADA community that the update is still in its infancy: “Let us be clear. There will be bumps in the road. Early user experiences might not be perfect. Some early DApps will have issues. We’ll see some great development teams and some poor ones. This is a permissionless, decentralised blockchain, so this is inevitable.”

“There are high expectations resting on this upgrade. Some unreasonably so. Cardano watchers may be expecting a sophisticated ecosystem of consumer-ready DApps available immediately after the upgrade. Expectations need to be managed here,” Cardano’s team adds.

In any case, those following the Cardano hard fork will already see a number of simple smart contracts today, with other projects appearing on the network within a few months.

The team’s agenda

“As for Cardano itself, the team will continue to focus on various improvements including synchronisation efforts and compression of transaction script sizes to optimise throughput on the network,” Neil Davies, a systems performance analyst at Input Output stated. “This is the first epoch in which the network exceeded half a million transactions,” he said during the Alonzo HFC event watch party.

Cardano’s native cryptocurrency, ADA, has declined from today’s high of $2.79 to $2.43 as of this writing. According to CoinDesk, ADA reached its ATH of $3.09 on 2nd September 2021.

The ADA team is willing to preserve all the positive aspects of the previous generations (the first being Bitcoin and the second – Ethereum) as well as rectify the shortcomings – scalability and energy intensity problems. The Alonzo hard fork is therefore a logical step. It remains to be seen how quickly it will resolve the issues plaguing earlier generations. Stay tuned to find out!

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James Taylor avatar
James Taylor

Trends are temporary. The blockchain isn’t a trend; it’s the future. I want to help as many people as possible understand it in a simple, clear and interesting way.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.

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