IOHK, the blockchain development team behind Cardano, announced on July 15 that the project’s Alonzo test net had officially transitioned from Blue to White, bringing with it the ecosystem’s long anticipated expansion to functional smart contracts.
HARD FORK SUCCESSFUL: Delighted to report around 19.44 UTC today we successfully forked the #Alonzo testnet to the new #AlonzoWhite node. The new network is happily making blocks already. 1/5
— Input Output (@InputOutputHK) July 14, 2021
While the previous testnet, known as Alonzo Blue, did offer some smart contract features, these were only available to a limited number of insiders. Yesterday’s upgrade will allow about 500 validators, stake pool operators, and developers to test these features going forward.
Alonzo White is set to run for two to four weeks before upgrading to the final testnet for its current development phase, known as Alonzo Purple.
Despite some recent backlash from others in the blockchain community, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson recently said in a YouTube video that everything is still on track according to the project's development roadmap, noting that more than $10 million in NFTs have been sold throughout the Cardano network along with “tens of thousands of assets”. Once Alonzo White is released to the mainnet, developers will be able to launch dApps, NFTs and more.
On the heels of the Alonzo White announcement, an NFT and DeFi Marketplace called the Spores Network announced a successful $2.3 million fundraise on July 16. The company stated that it hopes to leverage Cardano's lower transaction costs, lower carbon footprints, and higher transaction throughput to bring NFTs to mainstream users.
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With more companies and artists joining the growing NFT market, such as Dolce and Gabbana and a fantasy soccer platform, bringing more NFTs to the network could lead to big gains for Cardano and its users.