Input Output Hong Kong, one of the companies behind the Cardano blockchain, today announced the launch of the first testnet for Cardano’s Alonzo upgrade.

Fast Facts:

  • Alonzo is part of a series of upgrades to the Cardano blockchain that will bring smart-contract functionality to the blockchain and enable the deployment of a wide range of decentralized finance applications for the first time.
  • Alonzo’s rollout will take 90 days and involve three phases — blue, white and purple — on its path to mainnet deployment. Each phase will expand to include more users and additional functionality and features. A smart-contract enabled Cardano is expected to be up and running by the end of August.
  • Alonzo marks the last phase in the network’s “Goguen” era, which brings smart contracts to Cardano. Cardano’s development has been organized into five eras, dubbed Byron, Shelley, Goguen, Basho and Voltaire.
  • ADA — the native cryptocurrency of the Cardano blockchain — is currently ranked as the fifth-largest cryptocurrency in the world, with a market value of about US$50 billion. ADA started the year at US$0.18 but was trading at US$1.56 as of press time.