In September 12th, a new era of Cardano began with Epoch 290, ushering in the era of Smart Contracts. However, to enable this functionality,
the network had to undergo a series of HFC (Hard Fork Combinator) events, including:
Although each upgrade was necessary, it was the Alonzo HFC that marked the transition of the network from Shelley to the Goguen era, a significant milestone for the entire Cardano community, worth celebrating.
So what exactly is an HFC?
Essentially, it is a way for the Cardano blockchain to upgrade seamlessly without causing any system interruptions. With each HFC event, the community is reminded of how smooth and easy the process appears, without any disruptions to the network's performance or stability.
To visualize this process, the following artwork showcases a document-shaped system module with a logic board inside, symbolizing the Smart Contract's functionality. The module is ready to deploy, with the process being as simple as plugging in a new computer module on your PC. This easy-to-use module contains a series of components that expand the functionality of the Cardano blockchain, including terms commonly found within the Cardano community.
In conclusion, the recent HFC events, including Alonzo, have marked a significant milestone in the evolution of the Cardano blockchain. With the introduction of Smart Contracts, the network has expanded its functionality, allowing for greater innovation and new use cases.
Plutus Core is a programming language that is used to write smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain. It is a purely functional programming language that is designed to be highly secure and verifiable. Plutus Core is based on the lambda calculus, which is a mathematical system for expressing computation in a concise and abstract way.
One of the key features of Plutus Core is its ability to be formally verified. This means that the code can be mathematically proven to be correct, which is critical for ensuring the security and reliability of smart contracts. This is especially important in the context of financial applications, where even small errors can have significant consequences.
Marlowe is a domain-specific language (DSL) for writing financial smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain. It is designed to be accessible to a wide range of users, including those without extensive programming experience, and is based on a visual contract modeling tool.
One of the key features of Marlowe is its simplicity. The language is designed to be easy to understand and use, even for people who do not have a background in programming. This makes it accessible to a wider range of users, including business analysts, lawyers, and other professionals who may need to write or interact with smart contracts.
eUTxO stands for "extended unspent transaction output" and refers to a model for transaction processing used in the Cardano blockchain. The eUTxO model extends the standard UTXO model used in other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, by allowing for more complex transactions and smart contract functionality.
The eUTxO model builds on this by allowing for more complex outputs that can include smart contract functionality. This allows for more sophisticated transactions, including those that involve multiple parties or require specific conditions to be met before they can be executed.
Goguen is the third major phase of the Cardano blockchain's development roadmap, following the Byron and Shelley phases. It is focused on adding smart contract functionality to the Cardano platform, which will enable developers to build and deploy decentralized applications (dApps) on the blockchain.
The Goguen phase is named after American mathematician and philosopher Joseph Goguen, and is aimed at expanding the functionality and versatility of the Cardano blockchain. The primary focus of the Goguen phase is the integration of smart contracts into the Cardano platform, which will allow developers to create complex financial applications, decentralized exchanges, and other types of dApps.