A long time ago, when it was first conceived, its developers came up with a long-term development plan that is still ongoing.
While the plan is meant to be carried out after years and years of development, Cardano’s developers have been doing a pretty good job at respecting their deadlines. Still, with the complexity of development, many continue to wonder if they can meet their goals on time, especially since every next milestone seems to be infinitely more difficult to reach than the last time.
Naturally, things can change at any time, and Cardano might even be forced to change the plans it laid down back in the day. However, for the time being, the project has been doing quite well at meeting expectations and deadlines alike.
Cardano Roadmap: The Road so Far
Cardano’s roadmap is long, but ultimately split into 5 different segments, or eras. Those include:
- Byron Era
- Shelley Era
- Goguen Era
- Basho Era
- Voltaire Era
The first of the five Eras on Cardano is Byron, named after an English poet, known as Lord Byron. Cardano (ADA) chose his name to represent its first Era due to him being the father of Ada Lovelace, and so the Byron Era comes as the first Cardano (ADA) Era — the one that gave birth to it all the way back in 2015.
When it was launched, Cardano was envisioned as a project that would address the issues seen in other major chains at the time, specifically Bitcoin and Ethereum. Since the two were struggling with things like scalability, interoperability, sustainability, and other issues, Cardano’s goal was to address these problems and try to come up with a solution to them.
Its protocols were built based on research, peer-review, and community feedback, and the Byron Era brought the possibility to buy and sell ADA tokens, but one could not do much else with them at the time.
Enter Shelley Era — the second step in Cardano development, and the bringer of decentralization to its network. This Era was named after another English novelist, Mary Shelley, who is best known for being the author of “Frankenstein.”
Following the launch of Cardano, the network was still centralized because it had to be, that was the only way for it to start back in the day. It started with only a few datacenters controlled by a handful of organizations, but over the course of the next few years, it reached decentralization by growing its community, and having the community members taking the control of its nodes.
As more and more community members were staking ADA, more of them started controlling the nodes and the network reached full decentralization. This only happened recently, in Q1 2021, which is when the Shelley Era was finally achieved in full, and Cardano officially became 50-100x more decentralized than most other large blockchain networks.
Next up is the Goguen Era, named after an American computer scientist Joseph Goguen. This is the Era in which Cardano finds itself right now, and it was named this way due to Goguen’s research which inspired people to develop something known as the K framework, which can be used to automatically check smart contracts for flaws.
Since smart contracts are believed to be the next frontier of blockchain utility — following cryptocurrencies as the first one — it only makes sense for the project to create the most advanced smart contract technology next. We have already seen the use of smart contracts for dApps, DeFi, NFTs, and other trends that have been emerging as of late, and so it seems that Cardano is definitely on the right track now, halfway through its development.
Cardano’s Future Eras
The two remaining Eras include Basho and Voltaire, with Basho being the next one, scheduled to come after Goguen. It was named after a Japanese poet Matsuo Basho who was recognized as the master of haiku — a rather elegant poetic form that uses few words to communicate great meaning.
In this Era, Cardano intends to expand its function, as well as size, but to do so while keeping a small carbon footprint and its fundamental elegance that it became known for. This era will reduce the use of its network by up to 90% under the right conditions, which will make it possible for businesses to run millions of transactions on Cardano per second.
Last, but not least is the Voltaire era, maned after Francois-Marie Arouet, or Voltaire — a French philosopher who advocated for individual liberties, and who was known for being quite the revolutionary This era will bring the possibility for organizations and different municipalities to run parts of their own governance on Cardano, including their own voting systems. This should bring full, direct democracy for all members and citizens of such regions, and it will be Cardano’s final achievement according to the roadmap as it is right now.
So, can Cardano meet the deadlines and goals that it set out for itself all those years ago? So far, the project did not give us a reason to doubt it, although it is quite ambitious and there is a lot left to be done. By the time it reaches the end of its final Era, Cardano will be capable of revolutionizing the world, which is exciting, to say the least, and it will be very interesting to see how the world changes alongside it, but also, how it might get changed by it.