Cardano’s much-anticipated Alonzo Purple upgrade has begun onboarding users to its testnet, according to a 12-part Twitter thread by developer Input Output Hong Kong.

Fast facts

  • Alonzo Purple is the third and final stage of the Alonzo upgrade, following Blue and White, and when complete will be the first fully public Cardano testnet to support smart contracts. Alonzo White, which launched in mid-July, had supported smart contracts, but only for a closed group of 500 users. It had also allowed the minting of NFTs, such as during the recent “Liveminting” event held between Input Output Hong Kong and Wolfram Blockchain Labs late last month.
  • Full support for smart contracts on the network is expected by the end of August or early September. Once the upgrade is complete, the network is even expected to support an ERC20 converter, allowing Ether tokens to be able to run on it. Cardano’s development has been divided into five sets of updates, with Alonzo marking the completion of the “Goguen” era. In order of deployment, the eras are: Byron Shelley, Gogun, Basho and Voltaire.
  • CEO and founder of IOHK Charles Hoskinson said of the update via a video on Twitter: “[Alonzo’s] a lot smoother than Byron and Shelley, a lot more is being upgraded, but the process of upgrading has been so refined it’s amazing we can flip a switch as an ecosystem and it just works on the other side.”
  • ADA — the native currency of the Cardano network — saw a moderate price improvement following the announcement, continuing an upward trend since late July, when it sunk to a two-month low of US$1.0251. Over the weekend it hovered around a high of US$1.47 before dropping again coming into the working week. It was trading at US$1.41 at press time.