The IOHK backed cryptocurrency, Cardano (ADA), has moved from the Cardano Byron era to Shelley era, courtesy of the Cardano 1.5 upgrade. However, the team behind the development of the blockchain technology has stated that instead of a single hard fork, the Shelley transition was accompanied by two distinct hardforks.
Unlike most hard forks, the developers clarified that the latest upgrade will not be disruptive to the ecosystem of Cardano (ADA) blockchain network.
Reasons for a Double Hard Fork in Cardano (ADA) Transition
The reason for a double hard fork seems to be a topic of discuss in the crypto space, thus giving the team a cause to elucidate.
In the Byron era, Ouroboros Classic is being used, whereas the Shelley era leverages Ouroboros Genesis. While both Ouroboros are complex protocol, the implementation of rules before and after the hard fork becomes a necessity for a single implementation of a full node required to manage a hard fork smoothly.
The single implementation needed for understanding Ouroboros Classic, Ouroboros Genesis, and all other validity rules in migration from Byron to Shelley era is a very complicated prospect indeed. Thus, one hard fork is required for entering the transitional era and another for beginning the Shelley era appropriately.
Also, the added complexities attached to the Byron version of Ouroboros Classic calls for replication of a new implementation to preserve perfect consensus, nevertheless, a simple variant of Ouroboros is used for the transitional era instead of Ouroboros BFT.
This helps cut down some level of complexity as neither of the two code base need to understand both Ouroboros Classic and Ouroboros Genesis. Understanding of the Ouroboros BFT and Ouroboros Genesis is only required for the Shelley code base while Byron code base only needs to comprehend Ouroboros Classic and Ouroboros BFT.
As such, the new Shelley code base does not need replication for every detail of the Byron implementation of Ouroboros Classic. Overtime, it has been affirmed that complexity waylaid software development.
Transition From Cardano Byron Era To Shelley Era
The Cardano (ADA) development team will first run a testnet for delegation and staking which uses a subset Shelley rules, and its will be updated completely when the full Shelley rules are implemented and any other issues uncovered by the testnet are resolved.
Then, an update of the new code base will be deployed on mainnet once satisfied with the implementation of the full Shelley rules.
The Cardano 1.5 release brings in a number of great transformations for the blockchain network by initiating the end of Cardano Byron and the beginning of Cardano Shelley.