IOHK recently announced its official roadmap for the Cardano Goguen-update. The implementation of most of the features is scheduled for March 2021.
Goguen brings smart contracts, dApps and native tokens to the Cardano blockchain. There will be several available Smart Contract languages. With an ERC-20 converter Ethereum tokens could be ported to Cardano.
By changing the k-value, the size of the Cardano staking pools is effectively limited, which creates more decentralisation. Also the falling d-value indicates more and more control by the community.
After long expectation Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), the developer-company of Cardano, has published its roadmap for the ‚Goguen‘ update. Many see this as the most important step for Cardano to become a competitor for Ethereum. At the end of October, the company announced concrete dates when the innovations will be realized. Most of the components are to be implemented between the end of February and the beginning of March 2021.
Goguen update brings new advantages over ERC-20 standard
Goguen can be used to create Smart Contracts, decentralised apps (dApps) and native tokens on the Cardano-blockchain. This is done using a proprietary Smart Contract language called Plutus. According to IOHK, this enables direct work on the ledger:
„Plutus … allows one code base to support both on and off-chain components, improving the coherency and usability of the development experience compared with existing smart contract implementations.“
This is a major difference to Ethereum’s ERC-20 token standard. However, Plutus will not be the only available smart contract language, but there will be a wide choice.
A major focus at Goguen is the ERC-20 Token Converter. This should enable Ethereum tokens and projects to be ported to the Cardano-blockchain. The converter is to be tested internally for the first time in mid-December in a „pre-production environment“.
Additionally, every asset issued on Cardano will be treated equally. In contrast to the Ethereum blockchain, ADA will not be given preferential treatment. Also, the tokens are not based in a copyable smart contract, but on the ledger itself. This means that there are no additional transaction fees for sending Cardano-based tokens.
Cardano becomes even more decentralised
The decentralisation of Cardano is progressing more and more. Tim Harrison, Director of Marketing and Communications at IOHK recently presented the change of another factor that will reward ADA-HODLers.
According to Harrison, the k-parameter of the staking system should be increased. This value effectively limits the size of the staking pools. If the k-value is changed, this will require the active participation of users. If you are staking in a pool that has exceeded the maximum size, you have to switch to a smaller pool to get the full return.
With this change IOHK wants to ensure that smaller staking pools also contribute to the growth of the network. Harrison describes the process as follows:
„This mechanism limits the delegation that can be rationally made to any pool and spreads delegated stake more evenly across a larger number of pools.“
However, no one will lose out in a crowded staking pool. According to Harrison, only the return on the investment is reduced:
„And to be clear, no one delegating to an over-saturated pool will lose any of their stake. It is simply that the return on their stake/ROI will be reduced if they remain delegated. We always encourage the community to keep an eye on their delegation choices, and this will be especially important around this time.“
The d-value, which measures the decentralisation of block production, also fell below 0.5 on 6 November. If d would equal zero Cardano would be fully decentralised and block production would be purely community-driven. Thus, the decrease in the d-value represents a strong move towards decentralisation.
Both the planned features, which could make Cardano an interesting Ethereum alternative in many respects, and the growing decentralisation of the network could make Cardano much more attractive in the future.