Cardano’s Alonzo hard fork has been a hit but true utility might take some time

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Cardano (ADA) hit a milestone in its roadmap on September 13 as its blockchain successfully launched Plutus-powered smart contracts as part of Alonzo’s hard fork.

Alonzo’s hard fork was highly anticipated in the Cardano community as well as in the cryptocurrency sphere in general.

The smart contract feature is intended to enable Cardano to become a platform on which developers can build decentralized applications (DApps) and even create non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This milestone was hailed as the point in the development of the network where the “mission really begins”.

However, news of the successful execution of this milestone hasn’t stopped the network’s native token, Cardano (ADA), from falling into the larger slump that has hit the crypto market since Bitcoin (BTC) s. ‘crashed below $ 43,000 on September 7th. In the aftermath of Alonzo’s hard fork on September 10, ADA fell 10% to an intraday low of $ 2.3, while BTC and Ether (ETH) fell only 4% and 6, 97%, respectively.

Marie Tatibouet, director of marketing for crypto exchange Gate.io, told TBEN:

“It changes everything for Cardano! For a very long time, Cardano was known as the smart contract platform without smart contracts, but now critics will have to change that narrative. With the advent of real contracts, the usefulness and usability of Cardano is exploding. “

Among the highest in Cardano developer activity

According to an Outlier Ventures report titled “Blockchain Development Trends Q2 2020/21”, Cardano is one of the most actively developed blockchains, with the highest average monthly commits per month on Github code repositories at 701 commits per month. months (CPM).

The average CPM for all protocols considered in the report is 107 CPM. These “commits” essentially represent any addition or modification made to the source code of the network on Github.

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In terms of those commits, Ethereum comes in second with 447 CPM, IOTA is third with 394 CPM with Filecoin and Flow rounding off the top five with 368 CPM and 306 CPM, respectively. This shows that Cardano is 555% more active than Ethereum and 317% than the average of all connected blockchain networks.

In terms of the total number of developers building a particular blockchain network, Ethereum is still ranked at the top with 168 Monthly Active Developers (MAD). Cardano follows closely in second place with 165 MAD, posting a higher year-over-year increase of 31.8%. The network already has the functionality that allows the creation of NFTs. According to data provided by Cardano to TBEN, 780,436 NFTs were hit on the network.

Such an active developer community is a testament to how quickly the network is growing and adapting to the changing needs of the ecosystem. Cardano has a high number of developers with the highest development activity among similar blockchain protocols, improving network security and transparency. Alonzo’s hard fork bringing smart contract functionality will only push these trends to greater heights.

Cardano DApps are still on the horizon

Even though Alonzo’s upgrade, which is part of the Goguen phase of Cardano’s roadmap, allows developers to deploy Plutus-powered smart contracts on the grid, the grid has yet to reach that stage. .

Despite the market belief that more than 2,000 smart contracts have been deployed on the network, according to data from the Vercel app, a third-party data provider that uses data from adapools.org, there is only one 26 Plutus-powered smart contracts that have been rolled out at the time of writing.

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There is also a market-wide perception that these smart contracts are on time. But, a Cardano spokesperson told TBEN that the network has had timelock scripts since the Allegra era of the project’s roadmap. These time-locked scripts are used for activities such as NFT typing assistance by causing NFTs to perform unique instance and multisig patterns. Smart contracts are very different from these scripts and cannot be timelocked.

Hunain Nasser, senior analyst at OKEx Insights – the research team of the OKEx cryptocurrency exchange – told TBEN:

“Time locks are used to protect users from changes made to contracts after they are created. The approximately 2,300 scripts seen on the Cardano network are not all real applications, most of them are keystroke policies for tokens and NFTs on the Cardano network, and they are time locked to prevent tampering. modifications.

However, timelocks can be used once DApps are created and widely used. They can also be used to provide alerts to users once changes to a smart contract are triggered. This feature prevents these changes from being implemented instantly, giving users time to review them and take action if necessary before they are implemented.

It remains to be seen how quickly real utility could come to the Cardano network in terms of DApps and other decentralized financial features. But it can also be about managing expectations. Johnny Lyu, CEO of crypto exchange KuCoin, told TBEN that while Alonzo’s upgrade is a milestone for Cardano, one shouldn’t expect lightning-fast achievements in a short time. time lapse.

“Users have to be patient and developers have to go ahead and do a lot of work to avoid mistakes that can lead to hacks and loss of funds on smart contracts.”

An example of smart contracts accelerated in a network can be seen in the case of Binance Smart Chain, the most recent being the pNetwork’s $ 12.7 million BTC hack.

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“At the same time, I think after launch, it will take more than two years for DApps to be deployed and run at scale on Cardano, as was the case with the Ethereum network,” Lyu said, adding “I think everyone is ready to jump right now and bring new products and applications to users, but there is a need to make sure they are safe.

Given that Cardano is a blockchain project that has always focused on fundamentals, one would assume that they will allow funds to flow through smart contracts only once they are deemed safe and secure. Five Binaries founder Marek Mahut, who led the first smart contract on Cardano, said “Security and scalability are key features for any developer. Cardano’s accounting technology, eUTXO, offers a new approach, which makes it easier to write secure smart contracts. “

The Cardano Foundation is being held at the Cardano Summit 2021 on September 25-26. IOHK, the blockchain research and development company that supports Cardano’s infrastructure, discussed planned upgrades and enhancements to smart contract functionality at the summit. It remains to be seen when the deployment of real DApps can be done over the network, but it is not an instant process.