The Alonzo testnet, which will bring smart contracts to the blockchain(ADA), it could go live in April, revealed Charles Hoskinson, CEO of network developer IOHK, during the Cardano360 virtual conference yesterday.
Hoskinson claimed that the testnet would launch in late April or early May. "For the first time in history, publicly, people will be able to write smart contracts and implement them in Cardano," he said.
CARDANO SMART CONTRACTS: On tonight’s # Cardano360 we shared the rollout plan for #smartcontracts on #Cardano. Here’s more on the #Alonzo roadmap from @IOHK_Charles. We’ll bring you more clips from the show throughout the week ahead, so stay tuned @Cardano 👍 pic.twitter.com/q2bWK1TZQx
– Input Output (@InputOutputHK) March 25, 2021
According to the disclosed implementation plan, the Alonzo update It will come in the form of a hard fork this spring. Smart contracts will initially be available for testing purposes only, with the full mainnet launch scheduled for August.
Looking for a slice of the DeFi pie
The adition of marks an important milestone for Cardano as it will finally make blockchain a viable competitor for . Since last summer, the decentralized finance ecosystem () of Ethereum has boom, relying on a wide range of decentralized applications (), all of which are based on smart contracts.
Now, the same functionality is coming to Cardano. As an example, blockchain developers have come up with a native Cardano dapp that allows users to trade different tokens, much like Ethereum's "killer dapps" like .
According DeFi Pulse, the total value locked in DeFi currently stands at nearly $ 40 billion. Meanwhile, major platforms like MakerDAO, Compound, Aave, and many others are based on Ethereum smart contracts. And with the launch of Alonzo, Cardano will also be able to expand into this multi-billion dollar market.
In early March, the previous Cardano update, named Mary, approached from similarly the blockchain to Ethereum by introducing the ability for users to create custom tokens. This made Cardano a multi-asset network that can potentially support many different types of cryptocurrencies.
However, unlike Ethereum, Cardano does not rely on smart contracts for token transactions. This means that transfer fees, which continue to skyrocket on Ethereum, could be much lower on Cardano.
For example, the transaction fee average on Ethereum has recently risen to a new all-time high, hitting roughly $ 43 on February 23, according to show the data of Blockchair. It has rekindled ongoing debates about whether Ethereum is becoming too expensive to use, and with rivals like Cardano promising smart contracts and lower transaction fees, that debate will only intensify.