IOHK said on Monday that the long-awaited upgrade had been completed successfully at epoch 290, allowing for the first time the development and execution of smart contracts on the public blockchain.
In a blog post published the same day, Cardano emphasizes that the project is still in its “early days,” but that now is when “the mission truly begins”:
“Cardano has announced the completion of its Alonzo hard fork, ushering in its long-awaited smart contract functionality.”
“This is where the mission truly begins as we – the whole community – start delivering on the vision we have all been working towards for so long. Building a decentralized system that extends economic identity and opportunity to everyone, everywhere.”
Cardano is a public blockchain created by Charles Hoskinson, co-founder of Ethereum, and his research firm, IOHK.
This upgrade will allow smart contracts to be implemented on the blockchain, opening the door to a slew of new Decentralized Finance (DeFi) applications and programmability.
Plutus scripts, which the developers describe as “a purpose-built smart contract development language and execution platform utilizing the functional programming language Haskell,” will be used to write smart contracts on Cardano.
Cardano distinguishes itself by employing mathematical principles in its consensus mechanism and having a unique multi-layer design, and it is poised to compete with Ethereum in the development of a vast blockchain ecosystem.