So, the kinds of things getting Cardano done, the kinds of things that are related to that roadmap of Shelley, Basho, Voltaire, and Goguen, and then continuity is just kind of the daily affairs, better, faster, cheaper, less memory consumption, improvements, API enhancements, all these types of things that form a backlog.
But do file a help desk report and once everybody's on that foundation and we're on to 1.5, we're on the road to Shelley and a lot of things are going to happen pretty quickly all.
I just wanted to go and make a video before Christmas about a few things related to Shelley and new features we anticipate seeing during Q1 2019. Things that are priorities, things that are going to be changing for the new year and anyway I figured why not...
OK, moving into Q1 2019, let's talk about new features coming to Cardano and let's talk about the Shelley. So basically, what is the Shelley release? Well, there are three dimensions to the Shelley release. There is a testing dimension. There is a deployment dimension and then there's a social dimension...
Then there's the actual rollover of what we have today - the Byron system - to where we'd like to go, Shelley. Now, this means that we're going to have to issue series of updates to the Cardano Client. At least two updates will be required. One is that the current implementation of Ouroboros, this Ouroboros classic is a very old implementation. It's based on the ideas we had back in 2017, but...
So once BFT is out, that will be 1.5. The very next thing to do is to then begin a series of upgrades to get us to basically to Shelley. So, there's going to be some changes to the Ledger rules. There's going to be some changes to the API's and there's going to be some changes to the network stack. All of these things are required for us for, basically Shelley logic, and you'll see that post 1.5 going through.
So we actually had to write 2 formal specs, one for the old system and one for the upcoming new system. The old system basically is required because we still need to validate legacy transactions as we move to Shelley. So that's all been done.
Furthermore, we now have a lingua franca for our about, basically design. We say here's the set theory, here's the math. You can read a spec. It has some verbosity to it. There's some words associated with the math, and this is what Shelley is...
It won't require restoration. It won't require new data layer. It won't require you to do much. It should be like a normal upgrade, so it won't be as painful as 1.4 is, but that'll get done. And then after that we will have a decoupled wallet backend. We'll have Icarus style addresses. And then we're just going to gradually move our way to the V2 API and gradually move our way to all of the things that are required for Shelley. And then there will likely be one more major update, and then we'll put in all the infrastructure and then Shelley will just slide in.
Now some threshold conditions for Shelley are it's not just good enough to have all the code written, and it's not just good enough to have all of the protocols ready to go and fully tested. It is a social component as well. We do need a certain critical threshold of people who are actually deploying stake pools, running stake pools and understand what that means so...
So, in summary, Shelley has three components of social component. Testing component and an upgrade component upgrade taking the existing system and gradually morphing it into the Shelley system. Testing, meaning that we have to verify. That our version of reality i correct and we think...
How all these delegation mechanics are going to work and basically just set a date once all these things are done, we've hit certain thresholds and then once we flip the switch, there'll be gradual reduction of BFT nodes that control the system and Epoch by Epoch down to a basically a complete decentralization, so it won't be instantaneous. It will be gradual, Epoch by Epoch, and then we'll just wake up maybe 10 Epoch later and suddenly the entire system is totally decentralized, so that's a little bit about Shelley.
It's incredibly important to understand that when Shelley comes out, Cardano is basically on same footing with every other major cryptocurrency in the space, and that it is fully decentralized to be 50 to 100 times more decentralized than Ethereum, Bitcoin and EOS....
What's really nice is we've actually managed to take the ledgers back which defines all the rules for validating what is legitimate Ledger and what is not legitimate leisure and create almost like a DSL to describe different Ledger rules and so it's very easy for us to describe the old ledger, which is the Byron Ledger and what the new Shelley Ledger is going to look like...
What's really exciting though, is that because the Ledger spec now lives as it does, and the network spec now lives as it does, and other parts of the system now lives as they do. Overall, the Cardano code base I'd say is considerably higher quality once Shelley is released then it's ever been in its history and it's going to probably be the highest quality code base, I would argue of any cryptocurrency ever made.
The other factor, it's kind of a silent 4th factor was it was never clear until the second-half of our year exactly how we would handle cold staking with a hardware wallet device. There were many different ways we could do this, but we need some sort of basically offline or cold key management system built into Daedalus. And this was always anticipated to be something that we handled once we had released Shelley and we had a very clear crystallized UI/UX planned out for the delegation center. I've been getting GUI scamps and mock ups for the delegation center, e registration process, and the litany of other things that are Shelley related on a pretty regular basis and we're converging to a final user experience for that.
We actually have a Rust team and a Haskell team, and both of them are building independent full clients for Shelley, and they're in a sudden death of whichever 1 finishes first. Our hope is that one of them can get to a testnet quickly so that we can start building up the stake pool population.
A big component of the Shelley release isn't just having the technology ready and the science ready. We're converging to that. It's also having the community ready. A big impediment throughout this entire year was the Cardano Foundation not making meaningful investments in community management.
So, we ran a pilot just to see what was interest, back earlier this year around April and the registration did get far more than 1000 people who expressed interest in running a staking pool, so our hope is to reconstitute that soon within the next 60 days. And to then try to convert that list as soon as we can. When a Shelley testnet is operational to get as many people as we can to play around with that Shelley testnet and to learn how staking works and to get ready for the decentralization of the entire system.
We've seen a lot of FUD this year, some of it was just because of common misunderstandings or applying things that other cryptocurrencies are dealing with us. And in some cases, they were just baseless lies and attempts to just make people really worried about things they ought not to be thing. For example, with this concept of, well, because Shelley is delayed, whatever this means that everything else is delayed. The reality is that the smart contract work was following a different path than the consensus work...
The delegation work and the rewriting of the entire code base. The smart contract stuff was done by a scholar team and done by a language designing team. The language designing team was led by Philip Wadler and Wilshire Vardy ?????, and they're based at University of Edinburgh, and they had their own group, their own resources and they were following a two-year track and that Plutus track and Marlowe track have now come to a research end, and we've been moving into actual implementation. So none of the Shelley delays from the Ouroboros side and the delegation side cascaded into the language side...
Furthermore, the work with Yella was done with a fork of the Mantis client and we ran two testnets and they've been operational since the summer. And we've learned a huge amount about that model. Runtime verifications learned a lot about from that model, and in short order we should be able to productize that. So, we're on target and on schedule for smart contracts and what's going to end up happening is that the Shelley release is going to come out a little later than anticipated. So originally, we wanted to come out this year, now we'd like it to come out as close to Q1 as possible. Unless there's some major event where it makes sense to slide it...
Hopefully we should have end of November or early December release for 1.4, so it's the most significant update we've ever made to the Cardano ecosystem and then after that every update is going to be Shelley related.
So the rewrites come along well, just a little caveat, if you're following the main repository, you might want to look into the IOHK GitHub repo, because there's several repos like Cardano chain and so forth which are separate from the main Cardano SL repo. And we're making all of the contributions there for the core rewrite that's coming for Shelley.
In addition to that, we're also looking into writing a Cardano improvement proposal process. Every cryptocurrency that's legitimate needs one. We're no different. So, as we get closer to Shelley, all future updates post Shelley hopefully will be constrained by CIP process so...
We'll take everything we want to do put it into a CIP and just list it in GitHub and so major releases will be basically in that format. Takes a lot of work to do, that slows things down quite a bit. So that's why we decided to skip that process for Shelley.
Because the peak driver here is getting Shelley to market as quickly as we can, but moving beyond Shelley, that's going to be a big goal. Now. The advantage we have also is we can put a voting system to CIP's and a funding system to CIP.
We've had some discussions about after Shelley. What do we do? The great part about Shelley is we're going to have all this wonderful infrastructure. Great network protocol. It will be quite easy for us to layer more functionality on top of that. We'll also have this notion of stake pools.
We also are kind of keen to understand what a quantum adversary looks like. So what does an adversary who has a quantum computer? What are all the things that that person can do? It goes beyond just breaking signatures, and that's a really deep and interesting topic, and it's an under study topic. So it's something we'll definitely. Do after we have our feet wet with just picking a signature scheme for Shelley and then moving beyond that, we'll examine Ouroboros in that perspective.
But that would be that that would be super cool to do post Cardano. You know, once we're past Shelley.
Ouroboros is just streaming along. We have many prototypes we've created. We have new variants of the protocol coming out almost monthly It seems. From privacy preserving ones, the BFT ones, we see great acceleration and progress with the Rust Cardano code base and the Cardano rewrite is progressing with great speed, so Shelley is coming and it looks really interesting.
We have to begin having real discussions about how we're going to roll out the treasury system, and we also have to have some real discussions about how we're going to introduce some democratic processes into acceptance of Cardano improvement proposals as we move post Shelley and post Gougen.
So that's something we'll be exploring post Shelley and it's actually quite easy for us to roll that in because what we can do is just basically take best available technology and it would be something that could be done in a matter of months with the engineers we have the architecture, we have.
Shelley out the door, but there is going to be a group of people who worry about specific type of thing it's kind of this same group of people who worry about all mechanism, design and market style things so the people who write our incentives research like Elias. At Oxford, and we'll write some nice paper on it and it will be a good compromise paper and I think it will be reasonable.
And we discovered within that paper that we think our system could sustain a total of over 1000 stake pools, assuming that most people would be rational just to simply delegate. But some people perhaps want to just run their own pool or run their own staking operation, so so I encourage people to read that paper. The final parameterization we set as we had a little bit closer to the launch of Shelley, but it's it's probably going to be around 5% inflation per annum. But there are a lot of factors that fit into. That the amount of transactions we have, fit in the profit. There's also the concept of the Treasury system and what the Treasury system comes out. Percentage of rewards will be allocated to the Treasury and these things are discussed in the paper and have been discussed in literature that we have, in particular works Lars Brunjes has been working on.
This is truly cutting across all economic zones and lines, so the succinct short answer is yes. I would love to be on the Joe Rogan podcast. It'd be a heck of a lot of fun to meet him, talk to him, spend some time with him, be fun to talk to Tim Ferris. It'd be fun to talk to Sam Harris, I think we do a lot of good there now in terms of the greatest bang for our buck I think would be probably more productive for me to be on that show once we have smart contracts and Shelley out the door because in addition to going on and being aspirational and telling the world about all the cool things we could do in the future, I'd be able to say download the software.
So 1 aspect of the post 1.4 work will be Ouroboros BFT as a halfway house transition for us to get to Shelley. Another dimension of that work will be decoupling the wallet backend which is currently connected to the Cardano client to pull it off as an independent standalone product.
Building manual transactions and offline transactions and extending that API for other parameters like delegation and so forth. We can do that without being on the normal release cycle for for Cardano. So those are going to be near term goals. That we're working towards me and meantime we have three parallel teams working full time on all of the Shelley related stuff, some on delegation, some on Ouroboros Genesis. Other dimensions of that stuff and some on the new Ledger rules You know some on how we're going to extend the UTXO set to include Plutus and Marlowe. It's a humongous amount of work.
Duncan Coutts is going to be preparing some content, some videos and our product marketers are going to be been kind of parsing down all of this stuff and trying to put it into an Understandable road map for people So people can get a pretty good sense of the scope and scale of Shelley. Shelley, we thought was going to be this year so larger and that's why it's taking so much more time for us to very carefully think about it. It's larger. And that the interdependencies and the the way that The software works. You have to think super carefully about it.
The next versions will be on Ouroboros BFT and decoupling of components in preparation for Shelley. And then Shelley testnet next. And then after that, it's basically Shelley. Decentralization. Then very short leader after tackle on the side chains, extended UTXO and yeah, Plutus, Marlowe and then K-EVM and IELE. So lot of stuff is coming soon and long long overdo.
Will Tom, still say Cardano is a scam. after Shelley, the answer is yes. But but Tom been telling me that to my face for a long time. I guess he's no longer asking me to go to jail, he just says I should be banned from coding and from running a company.
We still fully anticipate Shelley to ship as we've stated early next year.
So after we get all these wallet improvements out the door and we're pretty much done with Shelley and decentralization, the next major priority is to kind of really start talking about, well, what is the Treasury system going to look like?
So that's Shelley.
One work units of Shelley.
The Shelley test Nets will also come out and you get a lot of people who registered for the state pools and opportunity to come and play around and see how staking works and so forth.
And we'll work really closely with the community to try to build up a lot of knowledge and competency and then come, Shelley, there'll be.
So look for those as well and as soon as we can find a responsible way to pull that into the stack either pre, Shelley, Shelley or Post Shelley, we'll find a A kind of a route that's when we'll be able to link up a CDL and actually run smart contracts in the system.
Successful we have to have halfway House solutions and we do have them and we are building them and implementing them for Shelley Gogan and other steps in the network that will definitely provide us exactly what we need to be able to scale to large settings.
Where are we going? There's January and February and many months coming. And then there's the Shelley release. So, the immediate priority is that there is some technical debt in our architecture and our code from the Byron release. And we've been working towards reducing that debt in parallel to finishing the specifications for Shelley and starting new code work for Shelley.
This will not interfere with the shipping of Shelley we hope, and we're going to bring a new company on board specifically to accelerate things so that we can leave key core personnel in, in the Shelley work streams and continue our March towards launching Shelley.
So as a user in the coming weeks, expect to see a patch issued to the edge nodes, probably early February as our hope. In addition, we are beginning preparations for the first Shelley testnest. Our hope is to launch that Shelly test net sometime in early February to mid-February.
Once the great cleanup is done, then the next step is to gradually roll out Shelley features. So, there are many work streams for Shelley from delegation and stake pools to enhancements to the network.
The highest priority is to begin the process of getting people who want to run stake pools into some sort of slack channel or formum that we can have a direct communication with them so we can get a better understanding of what their technical competency is. What operational costs are going to be and required hardware is going to be for staking. These types of things, our hope is to get between 25 to 100 stake pools by the launch of Shelley.
And Rackspace and other servers for people who are running stake pools and eventually for people to deploy their stake pools in the Shelley testnet for the next iteration of testnet, The one that is likely coming in February, but probably the one that's coming in March.
The end result of this output. will be the first formally verified and specified consensus algorithm in the cryptocurrency space actually used in a cryptocurrency, so that's pretty exciting and we probably will end up writing a paper concurrently with releasing the protocol because it's a novel from an academic viewpoint, but that's coming along quite nicely and we're going to try to accelerate it so we can get it out in the first half of this year potentially, but it might bleed into the second-half of the year, although it's not required for Shelley.