Cardano Roadmap Explained

Wondering what lies ahead on the Cardano roadmap?

You’ve come to the right place.

Learn the past, present, and future of Cardano in our in-depth look at the project’s roadmap.

Cardano Roadmap

In the past decade, blockchain network technology has improved greatly as the number of real-world applications for it continues to rise.

Considered the leader in innovation technology of the new century, blockchain is working to disrupt today’s centralized systems by overcoming their weaknesses.

Bitcoin is universally regarded as the original early mover of the blockchain frenzy.

cardano roadmap price

As the world’s first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was originally developed for processing transactions. Today it operates on the blockchain through the proof-of-work consensus algorithm.

Fast forward a few years and Ethereum enters the scene, leading the charge for the ever-growing decentralized finance (DeFi) industry. Blockchains reached new levels thanks to the development of smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps), which allowed developers to discover even more real-world applications for the technology.

Ethereum reigns supreme when it comes to smart contract platforms, but roadblocks like exorbitant transaction fees and trouble scaling have stunted its growth recently.

This is why 3rd generation blockchain networks like Cardano are making waves.

What is Cardano?

Cardano is an extremely popular project in the cryptocurrency industry. This open source blockchain is developed by a team focused on diligent research that is frequently made publicly available through peer-reviewed academic research. Their goal is to build a sustainable, secure decentralized network at scale through systematic research and development.

Named after Gerolamo Cardano, a 16th century polymath, the Cardano platform has experienced continued growth over the last few years. A clear sign of this is its local ADA token being ranked as the fifth-largest digital asset globally.

It’s built to support the economy of the future through large-scale, essential DApps.

cardano roadmap logo

Cardano’s ethos is openness and transparency, founded in academic research. All research and tech specifications that serve as the foundation of Cardano are publicly available, along with any and all development activity on Cardano.

Developed in tandem with IOHK and partners, Cardano’s team is made up of experts from around the globe who lead a variety of different fields including programming languages, game theory, and distributed systems.

IOHK is responsible for technology development, the Cardano Foundation oversees development and increases awareness about Cardano, while Emurgo promotes commercial use.

All partners involved in development act only as stewards of Cardano. Once it is completely decentralized, the community will fully control Cardano and its future by means of advanced governance features.

Cardano Blockchain Explained

Since its inception, Cardano has experienced several evolutions. What sets its architecture apart from other blockchain platforms is its dual-layer system. The Cardano settlement layer (CSL) enables anyone holding ADA tokens to instantly receive or send transactions with low fees.

The computational layer (CCL) supports all other Cardano functionality. This layer, built upon numerous protocols, operates apart from the CSL, allowing it to be flexible while serving multiple functions that include supporting smart contracts and keeping the network secure while maintaining a high level of performance.

Haskell is a secure, globally recognized programming language by which the Cardano blockchain network was written. It takes a unique approach to the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. Cardano strives to offer superior security compared to PoW blockchains at a far lower energy cost by utilizing a permissioned version of proof-of-stake consensus protocols from the Ouroboros family (Ouroboros-BFT).

Time is separated into divisible epochs (about 5 days) on the Cardano blockchain. These epochs are divided even further into slots. Consensus is achieved when the network elects nodes at random to validate new blocks for every slot. The nodes selected are referred to as slot leaders.

A higher stake increases a slot leader’s chance of being selected. Once selected, their specific slot or epoch can be mined. A new slot leader is selected if the original does not fulfill the creation and confirmation of blocks.

Every epoch holds up to 432,000 slots, allowing the Cardano network to process a formidable number of transactions. All of this is achieved while minimizing congestion, fees, and keeping consensus.

What is the Cardano Roadmap?

The Cardano roadmap summarizes Cardano development into 5 distinct eras: Byron, Shelley, Goguen, Basho, and Voltaire.

Each of the 5 eras is focused on a specific set of Cardano functionalities that will be released over time.

cardano roadmap coin

There is a set order to when each era of Cardano will be released, but the research and development of each era occurs in parallel.

Every era comes with its own set of goals, functional components, and academic research that represents years of ongoing efforts.

Cardano Byron Era

The first era is named after Lord Byron, father of Ada Lovelace. The primary architecture of the Cardano network was developed in the Byron era. Its core technology and seamless network operation were also implemented during this era through the network’s core functionality.

One of the most significant milestones of this era was the integration of IOHK’s Deadalus wallet into Cardano’s ecosystem.

Yoroi, a light wallet developed by Emurgo, was integrated as well and offered efficient transactions on a daily basis.

cardano roadmap lord byron

Every era comes with its own set of goals, functional components, and academic research that represents years of ongoing efforts.

Cardano Shelley Era

Cardano took a significant step closer to true decentralization during the Shelley era.

Led by the release of Cardano’s mainnet, the network’s ecosystem relied more on community nodes thanks to developments made during the Shelley era.

Incentivization schemes and delegation were also introduced during this era.

Cardano Goguen Era

Smart contracts were introduced in the subsequent Goguen era. This allowed developers to create DApps on the Cardano network by utilizing Plutus, the native development language for smart contracts in the ecosystem.

A multi-currency ledger was also implemented by Cardano during this era, allowing new, natively supported tokens to be created.

Cardano Basho Era

Basho, the fourth Cardano era, is focused on scaling the network while improving performance and stability.

Interoperable sidechains will be released, enabling Cardano to handle increased throughput levels and parallel accounting styles.

These implementations will lead to increased interoperability for the Cardano network and its applications.

Cardano Voltaire Era

The fifth and final era of Cardano is the Voltaire era.

With this era comes full decentralization and autonomy by shifting control of Cardano’s future to its community.

cardano roadmap ada coin

Where the Cardano Foundation took sole responsibility for development and maintenance, this responsibility will instead fall on the community.

With direction from Cardano’s treasury, voting, and delegation systems, the community will uphold the network and lead Cardano towards its goal of becoming a truly decentralized protocol.

The community can also support the Cardano network through proposals for improvements, which stakeholders can vote on. Transaction fees are then distributed to help fund these developments suggested by the proposals.

Final Thoughts

Despite numerous roadblocks and shortcomings, Cardano remains a revolutionary project that’s evolved from an underdog to one of the most viable alternatives to Ethereum.

Much work is still left to be done, but the team and community supporting Cardano are more than capable of overcoming the challenges ahead. Frequent development updates are shared by Cardano’s founder, Charles Hoskinson, who takes pride in keeping the public informed about Cardano’s present and future.

As the industry shifts away from its “get-rich-quick” moniker, the communities around projects like Cardano continue to develop solutions for a decentralized ecosystem that offer real-world application and use.

Cardano is among the most popular blockchains today thanks to its calculated development and commitment to building a fully decentralized, community-driven network.

If you’re a .NET developer interested in Cardano projects, check out CardanoSHARP. CardanoSharp.Wallet is a Cardano Cryptographic and Serialization library for .NET applications.