In brief

  • Cardano (ADA) is almost ready for its much-anticipated "Shelley" upgrade, said founder Charles Hoskinson.
  • The upgrade aims to make the blockchain fully decentralized.
  • After the final tests, "Shelley" could be implemented as soon as July 29.

Cardano (ADA) founder Charles Hoskinson has kicked off the “final countdown” to the launch of the highly anticipated “Shelley” upgrade that aims to make the Cardano blockchain fully decentralized.

“We did a pre-launch checklist, and now we are going back to the second one,” Hoskinson said in a YouTube video of Sunday. “Should nothing come up, the update will be endorsed, and the fork will occur without delay or disruption on the 29th.”

What is Cardano’s Shelley hard fork?

The developers of Cardano are trying to create an analog to Ethereum; they believe that Ethereum is limited by its design, and that it wasn’t built to handle the numbers that are currently using it.

In the past, Hoskinson himself was one of Ethereum’s co-founders, and later took charge of Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK)—the company behind Cardano.

At the end of 2019, Cardano launched its “incentivized testnet”, allowing ADA holders to validate the Cardano ledger by pooling their resources, earning rewards in the process. On June 9, the Shelley Testnet was publicly launched, followed by the “Daedalus” Test Wallet.

In his video, Hoskinson also called Shelley a “profound” upgrade unlike any other in the history of the blockchain.

“It’s a giant leap forward because unlike every other update in the history of the project, we are now moving from a static and federated system to a dynamic and decentralized system,” he said.

Hoskinson even went as far as saying that from now on, “Cardano is the best cryptocurrency on market when we think about it compared to Bitcoin,” adding that when the blockchain will get its native assets and smart contracts, ADA will be “the best cryptocurrency bar none.”

Cardano’s price slips ahead of upgrade

Despite Cardano’s imminent upgrade, it seems like the crypto market is not holding its breath just yet. While Bitcoin and Ethereum have surged in recent days, with Bitcoin topping $10,000, ADA is one of the few cryptocurrencies from the top 10 by market cap that’s in negative territory, at the time of writing.

Currently, ADA is down roughly 2% on the day, trading at around $0.14, according to CoinMarketCap.