"Everything goes according to plan": Charles Hoskinson on Cardano Smart Contracts

When will Cardano finally get smart contracts? Charles Hoskinson is optimistic that September at the latest will be that time.

Cardano has set out to oust Ethereum from the throne of smart contract networks. But until then, the project is still missing a crucial building block: smart contracts. These are supposed to find their way into the Cardano mainnet with the hard fork Alonzo, which is eagerly awaited by the ADA community. Currently, Alonzo and the smart contract platform Plutus are still in test mode. As with any upgrade, Cardano is taking an incremental approach to Alonzo: innovations will be introduced gradually and only after extensive testing.

With “Alonzo Blue”, Cardano launched an alpha version in the test network at the end of May. The group of participants was limited to selected Staking Pool Operators (SPO) and participants in the “Pioneer Program” for Plutus. A month and a half later, on July 14, Cardano’s Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) announced the next hard fork for the Alonzo testnet, Alonzo White. Alonzo White is expected to grow the number of participants by adding more partners and testing more features of Plutus.

Now we’re in the white era and right now we’re in the process of getting people involved en masse and releasing the new Node version 1.2.8, which is coming soon. […]. The number of people on the network will go from dozens to hundreds very soon. We’ve also started making some of the development partners integration test partners,

Hoskinson said.

In addition, Charles Hoskinson announced the successful implementation of Plutus (specifically, the Plutus Application Backend, PAB) in JavaScript, the most common programming language on the WWW. This should make Cardano-dApps usable in the web browser and smartphones.

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Getting Cardano into the browser and making sure that’s a great experience, and bringing Cardano and the dApp ecosystem to mobile, that’s a high priority,?

Hoskinson said. The IOHK chief highlights two technologies in particular. One is the algorithm-backed stablecoin Djed, as well as Mithril, a protocol for Cardano Light Nodes.

When Smart Contracts?

Hoskinson makes no bones about the fact that there is still work to be done before the Alonzo hard fork. The next steps include linking the wallet backend with the application backend PAB. Hoskinson expects this to happen by the end of July. The Alonzo hard fork should happen 4-6 weeks later.

Optimistically, August looks pretty good. Pessimistically, September looks pretty good. The pace hasn’t changed and we haven’t had any significant delays,

according to Hoskinson. The Cardano founder does then keep one loophole open, albeit a small one.

August/September looks pretty solid. Something could come up. For example, morerer members of the Plutus core team are on a plane and it could crash and they could get lost in the Amazon. Or unforeseen catastrophic design failure. But that’s very unlikely,

Hoskinson is confident.