- Cardano’s Shelley mainnet went live on July 29 at 21:44 UTC
- This upgrade introduces staking, which allows users to invest their ADA cryptocurrency and earn interest
- With staking complete, Cardano must now introduce governance features, custom tokens, and applications
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Cardano launched its Shelley mainnet today, introducing staking rewards for all users who own its ADA cryptocurrency.
The launch took place on July 29, 2020, at 21:45 UTC. More technically, this event marks the “hard fork” that introduced the relevant changes to Cardano’s blockchain code.
We have reached Orbit. Shelley Hard Fork is Successful. When Shelley? Now!!!!!!!!!! Shelley has fully launched https://t.co/ckuiVJfqnZ pic.twitter.com/jPYG7f5FOq
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) July 29, 2020
Cardano Staking Is Live
Cardano offers two types of staking. Advanced users can run their own staking pools, which requires technical management and reliable uptime. Meanwhile, typical users can delegate their ADA tokens to those pools and earn rewards with minimal effort.
Cardano’s website estimates that users will earn 4.63% interest per year, but this rate may change depending on participation. Users who stake between July 29 and August 3 will receive the first payouts on August 18. Rewards are calculated cyclically, as shown below.
The Long Road to Staking
Cardano’s staking features have been under development since 2018. After months of work, the project invited early participants to stake real value in December 2019. The hype has seemingly paid off: in early July, Cardano attracted 14,000 new addresses every day.
However, the hype is arguably sustainable. Some suggest that social media engagement and market trends are not as positive as they appear, which could impact ADA prices negatively.
Right now, Cardano has few applications beyond staking, but the project’s roadmap indicates that it will change. The “Voltaire” stage will introduce a governance system to guide development, and “Goguen” will add smart contracts, apps, and custom tokens.
IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson recently predicted that these upgrades would attract thousands of developers to the Cardano platform:
This time next year I predict there will be hundreds of assets running on Cardano, thousands of DApps, tons of interesting projects and lots of unique use and utility. 2021 is going to be so much fun watching Cardano grow and evolve. The community is definitely ready to innovate
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) July 26, 2020
Cardano will undoubtedly need to approach that goal to compete with Ethereum, which has over 3000 dApps, more than 200,000 custom tokens, and its own upcoming staking features.