Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano and the co-founder of Ethereum, has announced that the Alonzo testnet, which will bring smart contracts to the Cardano (ADA) blockchain, could go live as early as next month.
He claimed that the testnet would launch toward the end of April or in early May and would make Cardano more of a competitor to Ethereum.
“For the first time ever, publicly, people will be able to write smart contracts and deploy them on Cardano,” Hoskinson said on Friday.
Since the summer of 2020, Ethereum’s decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem has benefitted from the countless decentralized applications (dapps) which are based on smart contracts and have been added onto the platform.
Earlier this month, Cardano’s most recent upgrade, dubbed “Mary”, moved its blockchain network closer to Ethereum by adding the ability for users to create custom tokens, making Cardano a multi-asset network that could potentially support several different kinds of cryptocurrencies.
However, Cardano doesn’t rely on smart contracts for token transactions – and this is a key different between it and Ethereum. Crucially, it means that transfer fees, which are continuing to rise on Ethereum, could be considerably lower on Cardano.
What Are Smart Contracts?
Simply put, smart contracts are self-executing, business automation applications that run on a decentralized network.
Once certain pre-defined conditions are met, a pre-determined outcome can take place, such as the flow of money (crypto or fiat). As with other blockchain-based transactions, the information and key data of smart contracts are stored on a secure blockchain ledger.
There are countless different potential uses for smart contracts, from being used to simplify the process of purchasing a car on finance, to handling advanced functions in the aviation or healthcare sectors.
Aside from Ethereum and Cardano (in the near future), ZAP is a good marketplace and ecosystem which can be used to create Dapps and smart contacts.