Last year the kickoff of the Shelley era set the path to decentralization for Cardano. After the Byron era this was the second big phase on the Cardano roadmap and the network was to gradually transform from an federated to a fully decentralized network.
Initially Cardano began as a federated network during the Byron era. During this period users were allowed to exchange the ADA crypto using the groundbreaking Ouroboros protocol. This was also the period in which IOHK launched it’s official desktop wallet Daedalus. It was all about laying down the foundation for the future and building an active community around the project, which to me is essential for the success of the project.
Last July the second exciting phase on the Cardano roadmap got implemented. A hard fork initiated the start of the Shelley era and this introduced Proof of stake (or POS), a type of consensus where the creator of the next block is chosen via combinations of random selection and stake. With POS users are allowed to stake their ADA tokens with a Cardano stakepool (like the ADA house) and when the stakepool produces a block the stakeholders all receive a reward that matches the amount of stake they have put in. (the staked tokens never leave the wallet of the stakeholders) Shelley gradually moves Cardano from being federated to being decentralized. As more stakepools are build, more ADA is being staked and the network is becoming more decentralized.
Today the word got out that already 69 percent of the total circulating supply of ADA was staked, making Cardano the most decentralized network in the world. More than 21.75 billion ADA has been staked on the Cardano network so far and these numbers are only increasing. Estimates show that full decentralization is to be expected in March. I can’t be more excited about all of this. Up until now every new phase just got implemented so smooth. And everything that was promised got delivered. Cardano is now ready for the Goguen era which brings so many exciting new features! I think we are all ready for the next big bull run 🙂