Cardano Unveils Its Delegated Proof-of-Stake Shelley Mainnet Via A Hard Fork

On Wednesday, July 29, at 21:45 UTC, the Cardano platform announced the launch of its Shelley mainnet via a hard fork in the Cardano blockchain network.

The launch of Shelley mainnet helps the Cardano network move from the existing Byron mainnet to a fully delegated Proof-of-Stake mainnet. Shelley introduces new capabilities to the Cardano platform with respect to staking rewards and delegations and will issue staking rewards to all users with the Cardano (ADA) cryptocurrency.

The staking rewards are issued against the users’ participation in the validation of the network. To estimate the staking rewards, Cardano’s parent company IOHK has also provided a staking calculator on their website. 

The Cardano website estimates that users can earn around 5% interest against the staked ADA cryptocurrency. The Cardano platform currently offers two types of staking capabilities. Advanced users on the Cardano platform can run their own staking pools, meaning it allows you to stake other users’ ADA coins on their behalf. However, to run these staking pools, users need to have a reliable uptime and technical management.

The second type of staking is for average users who can delegate their ADA tokens to these pools and in return, continue to earn rewards with minimal efforts. Upon the launch of the Shelley mainnet, there were around 444 staking pools operation on the Cardano network. IOHK expects this number to reach to 1000 staking pools soon.

Users can now register for the on-chain staking pools and also make them visible to the delegators. Those users who stake currently between July 29 and August 3 will start receiving the first staking reward payout by August 18.

With the launch of the Shelley mainnet, Aparna Jue, IOHKs product director, said: It’s a monumental achievement, but this doesn’t mean we’ll be standing still, and we’re looking forward to the delivery of the Voltaire and Goguen phases of the Cardano roadmap, which will see robust governance arrangements and smart contracts functionality put in place this year”.

The Shelley mainnet has brought significant updates to the Cardano platform in terms of network capabilities and its architecture. It will also expand the network capabilities beyond staking including a new governance system to guide further development, DApps, smart contracts, and custom tokens.

Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK, said: “This time next year I predict there will be hundreds of assets running on Cardano, thousands of DApps, tons of interesting projects and lots of unique use and utility. 2021 is going to be so much fun watching Cardano grow and evolve. The community is definitely ready to innovate”.

With the Shelley launch, users are currently allowed to cold stake Cardano (ADA) directly from their Ledger hardware wallet. Cardano has said that it will add support for the Trezor wallets in the coming weeks.