With the Alonzo testnet, software developers can finally place their own decentralized applications on the Cardano blockchain.
Alonzo test net
The Alonzo testnet could go live in April. This makes it possible to release smart contracts on the Cardano (ADA) blockchain, Charles Hoskinson revealed yesterday at the Cardano360 conference. Hoskinson claimed the testnet would launch in late April or early May.
According to the plan, the Alonzo upgrade will come in the form of a hard fork this spring. Initially, smart contracts are only available for testing purposes. The full mainnet launch is scheduled for August.
Finally a real competitor to Ethereum
The addition of smart contracts is an important milestone for Cardano. This is because through this action the blockchain will finally become a real competitor to Ethereum. Since last summer, Ethereum’s DeFi ecosystem has grown enormously. It is built on a wide variety of decentralized applications (dapps), all of which are based on smart contracts.
So now the same functionality is coming to the Cardano network. As an example, the developers of the blockchain have presented a Cardano-native dapp that allows users to exchange (swap) various tokens. This works the same as Ethereum “dapps” such as Uniswap.
According to DeFi Pulse, the total value of DeFi tokens is close to $ 40 billion. Major platforms such as MakerDAO, Compound, Aave and many others have all been based on Ethereum’s smart contracts so far. With the launch of Alonzo, Cardano can also compete in this multi-billion market.
In early March, Cardano’s previous upgrade, called Mary, similarly brought the blockchain much closer to Ethereum by allowing users to create custom tokens. This turned Cardano into a multi-asset network that could potentially support many types of different cryptocurrencies.
However, unlike Ethereum, Cardano does not rely on smart contracts for token transactions. This means that transfer costs, which continue to rise on Ethereum, can be much lower on Cardano.
For example, the average transaction costs on Ethereum have recently risen to a new record. On Feb. 23, she hit about $ 43, Blockchair data shows.
It is therefore not surprising that people wonder whether Ethereum will not be too expensive to use. Especially when rivals such as Cardano promise much lower transaction costs.