12 Sep 2021 10:17 PM +00:00

Cardano Smart Contracts Release Date: Alonzo Hard Fork Goes Live, Bringing in Era Of ADA Smart Contracts

The Cardano smart contract upgrade was one of the most anticipated events in the crypto calendar, but when is the release date?

As part of the wider Cardano Goguen update, ADA will go through some significant changes over the coming months. It is not the only cryptocurrency to receive updates either, with the Ethereum 2.0 release and Bitcoin Taproot upgrade also coming soon.

Here’s when to expect the Cardano smart contracts to launch.

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Cardano Smart Contract Release Date

The smart contract update took place in the Cardano Alonzo hard fork, which IOHK confirmed would happen on September 12 at 21:44:51 UTC.

IOHK has now confirmed the success of the hard fork at Epoch 290, officially marking the start of the Goguen era for Cardano.

Nigel Hemsley, Cardano's Head of Delivery, announced this Alonzo mainnet hard fork date during the Goguen Alonzo Development Update on August 13.

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Binance also announced that in preparation of the hard fork, it would suspend ADA withdrawals and deposits from 21:14 UTC until the upgrade goes live and is stable.

The testnet hard fork first commenced on September 1.

IOHK expected around 80% of pools to be ready for the Cardano Alonzo update by September 12. As of September 11, over 85% of pools have upgraded.

The smart contract release took place before the Cardano Summit 2021, scheduled for September 25-26.

These smart contracts will allow for the creation of dApps on Cardano, opening up a variety of potential uses for the blockchain that will allow it to challenge the Ethereum platform, hotting up the Cardano vs Ethereum battle.

While the Cardano community celebrates a successful launch of Alonzo, and it appears smart contracts are already deploying onto the Cardano network, it will take some time for the true effects of the Alonzo upgrade to come through.

Indeed, in a blog post from September 12, IOHK's Tim Harrison said:

Let us be clear. There will be bumps in the road. Early user experiences might not be perfect. Some early DApps will have issues. We'll see some great development teams and some poor ones. This is a permissionless, decentralized blockchain, so this is inevitable.
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Cardano Smart Contract Release Delay Debunked

Following the August development update, it appeared the smart contract upgrade and Alonzo mainnet hard fork will not suffer from any further delays.

Previously, on August 27, IOHK announced it had submitted an update proposal to the Cardano testnet for the Alonzo hard fork. It used this testnet period to do the final checks ahead of September 12.

Of course, any issues that arise during the testnet phase could have seen the smart contract update pushed back, but the IOHK team remained confident over the September 12 release.

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Charles Hoskinson, Cardano’s founder, first teased this date during a Periscope stream in early August. He first mentioned a potential August 2021 release during the Cardano360 event in March.

IOHK initially set the release of Cardano Goguen – the third phase of Cardano’s roadmap that encompasses – for March 2021. As with previous Cardano updates, this date moved further back amid further delays.

Read More: Cardano Staking: How Do You Stake ADA?

[Featured Photo by Executium on Unsplash]