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- Hoskinson revealed parts of the roadmap for Cardano through 2025, with Ouroboros Omega being a key building block.
- In addition, the Mithral protocol, sidechains, proof of earnings and new customers will play an important role.
Cardano’s inventor, Charles, outlined the long-term roadmap for Cardano through 2025 in one of his infamous blackboard videos yesterday. With a view to the near future, the CEO of Input Output Global announced that the hard fork combiner event “Alonzo” will be announced at the end of April with the Cardano 360 show, provided the previously presented rollout plan for the Goguen era goes as planned works. After that, the implementation of peer-to-peer functions will be a major focus.
What follows the Alonzo fork and Voltaire for Cardano?
According to Voltaire, the focus will be on studying “what the year 2025 will look like”. As Hoskinson explained, some work has already been incorporated into the vision, with himself, the CTO of Input Output Global, and an as-yet-announced consultancy working on the roadmap for Cardano 2025.
However, Ouroboros’ Omega is at the heart of the work. The research paper on this will bring together all previous studies – from Ouroboros Classic in 2016, Ouroboros Praos in 2017, Ouroboros Genesis in 2018 and Ledger Redux, Ouroboros Chronos and Ledger Combiners.
In terms of deployment, the new consensus mechanism is expected to offer, among other things, a fast finality, sidechains, an elegant solution against 51% attacks and a throughput at the base layer that is higher than the previously planned 1,000 transactions per second (TPS) .
It is also expected that the mechanism will continue to evolve. Hoskinson called this “Ouroboros Omega ++”. The research paper is expected to be published this year before the announcement of “Cardano 2025” along with a prototype.
Another topic will be light customers, but “without trust”, as is required for the Yoroi wallet, for example. The wallet must be accessed via a central server. Complicated cryptographic procedures are required to circumvent this. Currently, the best-known example, according to Hoskinson, is the Mina protocol, which uses recursive zero-knowledge proofs (SNARKs).
We’ve been tracking things like that, we’ve been tracking what’s going on with ball locks, what’s some kind of SNARK, we’ve looked at what we can do with the stake pool operators, and we’ve got something we call the mithral- protocol […] We worked on it for a long time. The paper will also appear this year. I hope we have a prototype this year.
Ultimately, with the light clients and the Mithral protocol, IOG wants every wallet (Daedalus, Yoroi and others) to become a light client and not have to synchronize the entire blockchain.
In the area of sidechains, IOG is investigating the possibility that there are numerous sidechains, so-called CCLs, for calculation purposes, e.g. B. for the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), for IELE, for Project Catalyst, WASM and domain-specific calculations. In addition, sidechains enable you to switch between permitted and non-permitted blockchain versions of Cardano.
IOG will also propose a Cardano Improvement Proposal (CIP), one of the first to be voted on by the ADA community on an HFC event. Hoskinson stated:
Basically update monetary policy to include an incentive to run EVM IELE on the Catalyst sidechain as well as some very cool resource models. There are some really cool things in the industry with Cosmos, parachutes on polkadot. Lots of people have some really cool ideas, and we’re trying to take a look at what the industry has done and the different arguments.
Layer-2, proof of earnings and new customers
A third area in which there will be news this year are off-chain infrastructures and layer 2 solutions. The latter is Hydra, where there should be an update as early as April. In terms of infrastructure, Hoskinson revealed:
One is prism. There are many deal flows with Prism to be announced. This is basically embedding, and it’s worth having your own video. I will probably do that. […] This is essentially for authenticated wallets, KYC, AML scenarios, a regulated DeFi area, […] readable addresses.
Other topics include the resilience of quantum computers (in 2025) and the merging of Project Catalyst with the Voltaire era. The first steps will take place at the end of 2021 and the process planned for 2022 will be completed. As part of this, the Cardano blockchain is to receive a “DAO-as-a-Service” so that decentralized applications (dApps) do not have to create their own DAO, but can use the existing infrastructure.
In this context, IOG plans to switch Cardano from a plutocratic system to a hybrid system (“proof of earnings”), in which not only ADA holders have voting rights, but also holders of other tokens. However, the concept is “more likely for 2025,” said Hoskinson.
Last but not least, in addition to the current Haskell-based client, IOG is also thinking about implementing a Python- and Rust-based reference client.