Designed and developed by IOHK in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh, the University of Athens and the University of Connecticut, Cardano SL (or Cardano Settlement Layer) is a Proof of Stake cryptocurrency based on the Haskell implementation of the white paper “Ouroboros: A Provably Secure Proof of Stake Blockchain Protocol” by Aggelos Kiayias, Alexander Russell, Bernardo David and Roman Oliynykov.
Explore a timeline showing the development of the project,
and learn more about its goals and vision.
The entire Cardano team is made up of experts around the world, and the core technology team consists of Well Typed, Serokell, Runtime Verification, Predictable Network Solutions and ATIX with IOHK as the team leader. External auditors such as Grimm, RPI Cryptography Group and FP Complete ensure the quality of the product by holding IOHK accountable.
Three principles that guide the development of the roadmap are: first, the growth of the community and its needs; second, a distributed and resilient network true to the original vision of Satoshi, and third, balancing the pace of research and development so commercial advantage does not win out over the application of scientific rigour.
We are currently in Byron, the bootstrap phase, where we are making improvements. These include to the code, for example in middleware, and debugging. We will improve the design of Daedalus and make integration through APIs to third parties simpler. We will then move from Byron to Shelley, where the network becomes decentralised. Over the next 18 months work will be done that contributes to stability, interoperability and governance. Throughout the arc of development, Cardano’s protocols will increase in complexity, interdependence and use more exotic cryptographic primitives.
A cryptocurrency is only as good as the community behind it. We’ve been humbled by how amazing, patient and helpful our community has been. Our hope is that the roadmap is something we can build together over time and it becomes one of our strongest pillars.
Existing smart contract models lack rigorous foundations and IOHK’s development aims to correct that. To do so, IOHK has deployed leading minds from the field of programming language theory to the design of smart contracts.
We have increased our allocation of resources into two parallel tracks of research. One is focused on fixing the issues seen with Ethereum’s smart contracts, and will be a development area for Professor Grigore Rosu, of the University of Illinois and Runtime Verification. The other is focused on the general foundational design, or ontology, of smart contracts, as well as other computational models that achieve similar ends without necessarily involving the complexity or cost of Ethereum.
The next phase of Cardano’s development will be Shelley, a path to the full decentralization of Cardano. The milestones of this phase are listed below.
We will also introduce our Cardano Improvement Proposals, or CIPs. We have put much effort and investment into building a voting system, details of which will be released soon. These will come into force after Shelley, and although at first IOHK will make all CIPs, there will be an increasingly better mechanism for gaining consent for them.
The Cardano roadmap will be regularly updated, with a countdown clock indicating the next release. We want to hear from the community about ideas for the roadmap and are opening a channel for communication – watch for more details. The Cardano roadmap isn’t the property of IOHK, the Cardano Foundation or Emurgo. It belongs to the community. When a cryptocurrency is new it needs good shepherds to guide it, although in the future it will be fully in the hands of its users.
The launch of Cardano marks almost two years of research and over a year of development. IOHK has designed and built a cryptocurrency technology stack of completely new design with 100% new code. The technology is now in the Byron phase, also known as the bootstrap era.
Following the stabilization and refinement of Byron, IOHK will make substantial improvements to core components. The main purpose of this phase of development is to make Cardano SL completely decentralized to live in a mostly centralized world. Much of the work will deal with the networking layer and making Ouroboros more robust. In parallel, standard cryptocurrency features such as multi-signature addresses and light clients will be added. Other non-standard features will be implemented, such as quantum resistant signatures.
Since we released Cardano at the end of September, as well as working on Byron the team have been planning the requirements and making preparations for Shelley. We have now shared these in this roadmap, and are focusing our planning on Goguen. The next information release will go out on February 5, marked by a countdown clock, below.
Goguen will see the integration of smart contracts.
Basho is centered around performance improvements.
Finally, in Voltaire, IOHK will add a treasury system and governance.