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ADA · 1w

What Is Cardano’s Alonzo Rollout and What Does It Mean for Ethereum?

In brief Cardano was first set up in the same year as Ethereum. However, its development has been slower, on account of its peer-reviewed implementation structure. The latest Alonzo update brings Cardano in line with Ethereum, adding smart contract and DeFi capabilities.

Since its inception in 2015, Ethereum has been the dominant platform for crypto companies to build projects on. Its combination of smart contracts and ERC-20 tokens allows anyone to create their own tokens on top of Ethereum’s infrastructure - that led to the birth of DeFi. 

As a result, a litany of other protocols has been racing to create their own versions of Ethereum’s ecosystem. 

Some of the quickest has been Solana, Tezos and Near, who have been aggressively courting developers to build on their platforms. One of the more cautious projects trying to create an Ethereum alternative is Cardano. It also was founded in 2015, but rather than adding functionality quickly, IOHK, the project that oversees the development of Cardano, has been slowly adding features after extensive testing and peer review. 

Some six years after its inception, Cardano’s Alonzo upgrade is about to add a raft of new features that bring it more closely inline with Ethereum and other projects competing to be crypto’s builders playground. 

How Cardano goes about blockchain development

First, it’s important to understand how Cardano differs in its approach to developing the network.

While most networks use a typical software development model of introducing new features, implemented and voted upon by key members - Ethereum is one - Cardano has chosen the peer-review approach, most commonly seen in academia. Each new feature goes into peer review via IOHK, a company that works in conjunction with several universities on research and development.  

As a result, the development of the network has been broken up into distinct phases: 

Cardano was first released to the...
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