Cardano, the first blockchain to be built based on peer-reviewed academic research, has been like the slow and steady tortoise in the race for blockchain success. It is taking the team a long time to develop their blockchain project—however, they have been consistently putting out updates and inching towards their goal to be the most advanced blockchain out there.
Throughout the year, the team has continued turning their ambitious theories into reality. Recently they released a video update explaining what the team has been working on all June: the Shelley project.
What is the Shelley Project?
The team behind Cardano wrote:
Shelley is focused on ensuring that key elements are in place so that the technology grows into a fully decentralised and autonomous system.
Shelley is a phase in a line of milestones that Cardano is working on. Before Shelley, there was the Byron phase, which was the bootstrap era. Shelley is essentially the next phase in the Cardano process that will prove beyond all doubt that Cardano will become fully decentralized and autonomous—the way all good blockchains should be (though many, unfortunately, aren’t). Once Shelley is complete, the team will move onto the Goguen phase, which will bring unprecedented security and dependability to blockchain systems.
In the June 2018 update video, IOHK project manager Liz Bancroft-Turner described the Shelley project as “a path to full decentralization of Cardano.”
Shelley consists of 3 main functions:
- Incentives: Provides stakeholders with monetary incentives to ensure that the system runs smoothly
- Delegation: Allows stakeholders to delegate their right and obligation to sign blocks to a third party
- Networking: Provides network infrastructure to support decentralization
In the June video update, Bancroft-Turner explained that the team has been diligently working on several research papers and documents related to the Shelley project.
The team has established exactly how delegation will be performed on Cardano, and they will be releasing a research paper dedicated to this subject. They also have been working on a design document that explores how the delegation process can be implemented in Cardano, as well as how they can ensure the design of the delegation is compatible with the envisioned incentives mechanism.
As for incentives, the Cardano team is also working on a research paper dedicated to this function as well. In this research paper, the team has proved using mathematical formulas for utility that there are no bad equilibria, which means that “hopefully in practice we will indeed end up with K pools of equal size,” stated Bancroft-Turner.
Within the incentives design document, the team has been fine-tuning, refining, and verifying the general shape of the incentives mechanism. Specifically, they made a small simplification to a formula, and after many experiments, the team is confident that their mathematical analysis is correct.
Moreover, during June, the team has also identified numerous real-world use cases for the networking design. They will be investigating these use cases during the implementation and testing phases.
What’s in the Near Future?
The team’s project manager announced that the delegation and incentives design documents will be completed within the next week. After that, they will begin working on the detailed technical implementation plan, where they will break the design down into user stories and tasks for the developers to implement.
The team is continuing to define the objectives, deliverables, and work plan for the Shelley testnet launch. They are spending such a long time in this initiation phase to ensure users’ needs are addressed and to promote the very best outcomes and experiences on Cardano.
It may take longer to complete than their fans like, but you have to hand it to the Cardano team for being so excruciatingly perfectionist. Hopefully once the Shelley testnet goes live, Cardano will greatly impress their community and all their hard work will pay off.