The long-awaited Alonzo Testnet is here! Cardano’s testnet smart contract platform has launched. Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), made the announcement yesterday.
Senior Product Manager, Dor Garbash mentioned that the testnet currently has 314 developers, 132 entrepreneurs and 6 DApps (Decentralized Applications) on the network. This is huge for the network considering that it is still a testnet under development.
Cardano also announced that the launch of the mainnet will take place in multiple phases, with each phase being identified by a colour. The current phase, Alonzo blue, will be succeeded by Alonzo White and then finally, Alonzo Purple. IOHK also said that it had already begun onboarding “a small, select group of SPOs & #Plutus Pioneers to help lay the foundations.”
Alonzo is a hard fork that will introduce new features to the Cardano network. It will do so through an integration of Plutus scripts, which means smart contracts can be enabled on the Cardano network. This will eventually lead to the development of new decentralized applications (DApps) including decentralized finance (DeFi). This will take a few more months to fully materialize, with a plan to bring more users in once more testnet functionalities and features are integrated. IOHK mentioned that more details on the progress will be reviewed in the near future.
Cardano has been doing well this year, with many new investors flocking to it. Its native coin, ADA, is currently trading $1.52 which is currently up 2,316% from its 52-week low. As an alternative to Ethereum, some analysts expect that its new features will make it a popular platform for DeFi, with significantly lower gas fees than the Ethereum network.
IOHK CEO, Charles Hoskinson has mentioned how Cardano can overcome many of the shortcomings faced by cryptocurrency projects. Cardano itself is in the middle of a long roadmap of development, with past successful releases boosting ADA prices significantly.
Charles Hoskinson also said that Cardano would not be threatened by Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake, which is intended to help the network’s scalability in the form of an ETH 2.0 upgrade. He argued that Cardano and Ethereum have different user bases, as well as having a more sustainable PoS mechanism.
Besides its technical improvements, Cardano is also targeting developing countries. The project announced a partnership with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education, with the goal of implementing distributed ledger technology (DLT) for education.