Five years in the making: the hard fork to end all hard forks – City A.M.


Ever since entering the blockchain space, with a view to building my own project Vaureum, I have been searching out best of breed partners to work with.  It was in November 2017 when an associate with a number of patents under his belt said to me ‘if you are looking to do anything in the blockchain space – check out a project called Cardano.’  With that I tracked down the engineering company behind the project IOHK led by the incredibly talented mathematician Charles Hoskinson.  Whilst Vaureum was in research and development mode, I created Crypto AM with the wonderful City AM newspaper here in London.  Since then I have had the privilege to meet pretty much the whole team involved with Cardano and IOHK.  With their employment of Formal Methods and the desire to achieve interoperability, scalability and sustainability I have never made any secret about how impressed I am with the ethos that drives this complex project.  Learn more below in City AM’s Crypto Insider.

Price Watch

At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at US$11,110.20  / GB£8,600.55 ; Ethereum (ETH) is at US$322.92 / GB£249.80; Ripple (XRP) is at US$0.2412 / GB£0.1891; Binance (BNB) is at US$20.09 / GB£15.55 and Cardano (ADA) is at US$0.1421 / GB£0.1107  Overall Market Cap is up 14.5% since the last edition at US$326.20bn  / GB£251.28bn (data source: www.CryptoCompare.com – Happy Birthday to Charlie Hayter CEO of CryptoCompare!)

City AM’s Crypto Insider

Today is a special day for the blockchain industry. Following five years of intensive research and development, almost 80 research papers – most of them having been peer reviewed at the world’s leading academic conferences – multiple testnet iterations, and a series of independent, third-party code audits, verifying the robust nature of Cardano’s underlying codebase, the ‘Shelley’ upgrade to the system, which will see Cardano reborn as a fully decentralised system, is taking place.

The new version of the Cardano blockchain will become 50-100 times more decentralized than other leading blockchain networks, and hand the keys to its future to its community of ada holders, who will decide where it will go next and how the system will evolve. Any individuals who hold the Cardano blockchain’s associated token, ada will now also be able to delegate their ada to a stake pool to earn rewards, financially incentivising them to be a part of the network, helping to keep it running smoothly and accurately.

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The Shelley upgrade is the first of many planned improvements to the network in the coming months, which are set to create what many believe will be the most advanced, feature-rich blockchain platform the industry has yet seen. We can expect the delivery of the Voltaire and Goguen upgrades to Cardano,which will see robust governance arrangements and smart contracts functionality added, will be delivered before the end of the year. The ‘smart contract’ functionality will allow Cardano to play the role of an ‘operating system’, where developers can build apps which provide a potentially infinite range of services from banking to loans and digital identity services.

Speaking exclusively to CryptoAM.io, Tamara Haasen, Chief of Staff at IOHK, said: “Today’s hard fork not only represents a monumental achievement for the Cardano team following years of incredibly hard work, but also the potential dawn of a new technological era.  We spent five years working to solve the problems faced by blockchain technology across the board – scalability to meet global demand, sustainability, durability and interoperability. Solving these problems represents a real coming of age for blockchain, as the tech finally becomes mature enough to live up to all of its promises.

“From today, the idea of a totally new global financial operating system, which will provide economic identity to the 2bn who currently don’t have access to financial services, finally allowing them to become economically active on a global scale, starts to become a reality. An idea which could be implemented not in decades, but a matter of years.” 

It is very timely therefore that World Mobile, another project that inspires me so much, and one that is also aligned in ambition with IOHK to make a true difference to the unbanked and unconnected, has come out of planning mode.  I am also very proud to announce that I have been involved directly with World Mobile since meeting its CEO and Founder Micky Watkins in late 2018 and am delighted to be dedicating time to the project as the World Mobile Global Ambassador.

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Yesterday I spoke with Micky before he went public with his statement of purpose (see it in full here) and thought you’d be interested to hear his key points  “Much of the world has moved online. We talk to our friends and families through instant messaging. We move our money with a couple of swipes. We can access most information in a matter of seconds. All enabled by near-constant mobile connectivity.  But for 4 billion people around the world, this sort of access and opportunity just doesn’t exist.” 

“Current telecoms infrastructure and business models simply do not allow half of the people on this planet to get connected. And that’s not because it is impossible. It’s because it is not as profitable.  To grant everyone access would require that current operators change their tack. They would need to put inclusivity before profitability, pursue different ways to connect remote communities, and find more cost-effective solutions to inner city connectivity.

“At World Mobile, we know that things can be done better.  That’s why we’ve made it our mission to connect the unconnected, and create a mobile internet that works for everyone, everywhere. Why? Because we think it’s much better if all people have access to the same information, services and opportunities as each other.  We care about mass inclusion. We care about creating a world in which everyone is able to participate in economic empowerment without the restraints of location or origin. And we believe that the first step to achieving this, is to create a fairer point of access.”

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And Finally

As August arrives, I am going to do my best to take a break but will continue to ensure that there is plenty of engaging content for you to enjoy online. The great news is that the print version of City AM will return – assuming no second wave – to the City of London on the 7th September and Crypto AM should once again be in print on Tuesday, 8th September.

As mentioned in last week’s edition DeDays 2020 will be taking place on the 15th & 16th of September.  In keeping with the Spanish government guidelines there will only be 100 tickets available and it isn’t going to be cheap, but it is your first chance to escape the lockdown blues and head for sunnier climes.  The festival will be held at the amazing Puro Beach Resort Palma, which is simply breathtaking – watch this teaser!

The €1,950 ticket will mean that DeDayers will be picked up at the airport, or at their hotel, shuttled to the conference and not have to worry about one thing. All of the amazing food, drink and evening events with DJ Sets from prominent artists are included in the price. This event is going forward and it will happen, but should the Spanish government decide to stop the party a full refund is guaranteed.

So pack your swim trunks and your flip flops and join me for one of the first COVID-friendly learning and networking events (with a strong dose of fun!) and certainly the first in Mallorca.

To find out more please visit here and do make sure that enter the following promo code CRYPTOAM for VIP add ons!



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