All eyes are on Cardano. A recent price swing saw the maturing cryptocurrency rise from $2.45 a week ago to an all-time high of $2.97. The positive sentiment flows from the anticipation of smart contracts, which will soon be released on the platform.
The August Cardano360 update covered the bits and bobs that remain as the Plutus team concludes the Alonzo era of development. Overall, community members and developers are cautiously optimistic that test-net preparations will commence without issue. Barring unforeseen difficulties, the hard fork will occur on September 12th, marking a major milestone years in the undertaking.
The Finish Line
On August 7th, IOHK opened Alonzo Purple, a public testnet for smart contracts, to over 400 developers. Community involvement with the precursory system will help identify any issues that may remain before the mainnet release.
That said, progress appears steady. Delivery Lead Dimitris Poulopoulos recapped the recent technical achievements:
- New wallet backend integration to the latest node
- Purple network respun with the Mainnet Candidate Node RC2
- Updates to Explorer, GraphQL, and Rosetta for exchanges
- Daedalus integration with the latest WBE
- QA and Integration activities of the updated Metadata Registry
Moreover, the Cardano Node is also undergoing some final tuning. According to Software Engineer Kevin Hammon, updates to the Cardano platform will likely benefit price predictability. He spoke about his recent work benchmarking transaction gas fees against other networks:
“I have to say, it’s been quite hard work because our competitors are not making it easy. Every time I try to look up the price of a contract on some of our competitors, the price of gas seems to have changed. Trying to get consistent numbers out of these blockchains is quite hard. Of course, with Cardano, one of the great advantages is that the costs are deterministic, and there’ll be plenty of warning about price changes.”
All things considered, the September 1st hard fork of the Cardano testnet also remains on schedule. While everything appears on track, the maneuver will not be simple.
For instance, Head of Technical Integrations at the Cardano Foundation Mel McCann noted that coordinating with businesses in the ecosystem is non-trivial. McCann’s team must work closely with over 140 exchanges and over 100 other third parties. Hard forks represent particular challenges to ensuring all players work in concert and services are not disrupted.
However, Ada holders can rest assured that funds held on exchanges will not be at risk. McCann’s team has worked through three hard forks already. Furthermore, withdrawals and deposits may be disrupted in the worst possible scenario, but funds would remain safe.
Bug Bounty Program
Cardano seems poised to spread access to financial technology. However, with so much on the line, the integrity of the underlying technology is critical.
Along these lines, The Cardano Foundation announced a bug bounty program it will lead alongside the cybersecurity crowdsourcing company HackerOne. The program will analyze Cardano’s software providing a risk assessment score and reward for any vulnerabilities discovered.
The initiative hopes to further code transparency and code reliability while strengthening the integrity of the system. Naturally, the node and wallet are necessary starting points. These structures are critical infrastructure and integral to blockchain security.
Overall, The Cardano Foundation appears to be in good company. According to HackerOne Account Manager Tor Abrams, HackerOne is the world’s largest and most trusted hacker-led security platform. The company has worked with The U.S. Department of Defense, Dropbox, General Motors, and other prominent names.
Project Catalyst and Community Updates
Project Catalyst, the world’s largest decentralized innovation fund, continues to drive growth in the Cardano ecosystem. The fund is well-resourced, with a treasury system holding over a billion dollars.
Product Manager Dor Gabash explained how the fund continues its exponential growth rate as it celebrates its first anniversary. The project recently funded 70 proposals in its Fund5 round. It currently is assessing over 800 proposals competing in Fund6 for $4 million in Ada. This milestone occurs as Project Catalyst experiences progressive decentralization.
On the onboarding side, community outreach channels continue to strengthen. Head of Community Insights and Engagement Ben O’Hanlon and his team explained how they are helping builders and creators get involved. The team has developed a Net Promoter scoring system to identify portions of the ecosystem that need focus.
Moreover, members continue to develop online resources. The Cardano Stack Exchange has high levels of engagement, with 94 percent of questions answered. Essential Cardano is also shaping into a comprehensive repo for all things in the ecosystem.
Finally, developers should keep an eye on their inboxes. Community Moderator Matthew Capps announced an Atala PRISM pioneer course coming Q4 of 2021.
In a similar manner, IOG’s professional partnerships continue to mature. adapulse.io recently covered the cFund and the projects it supports. Among them, Occam.fi has gathered significant attention. Head of Communications Elliot Hill shared the project’s progress.
Moreover, the partnership with AI ecosystem provider SingularityNET continues to bear fruit. The company has helped empower progress on the ERC20 converter bridge from Ethereum to Cardano. Briefly, the bi-directional bridge allows for an easy crossover of digital assets from Ethereum to Cardano, where they are represented as native tokens. The bridge will be available on the testnet the first week of September.
Singularity DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization, started by SingulariytNET, looks to bring AI to the DeFi space. In so doing, the initiative looks to introduce machine learning to increase liquidity and unlock value for early-stage cryptocurrencies. The DAO as created an ETF ecosystem leveraging AI to accomplish this.