Cardano 1.5 Released on Mainnet, Introducing Ouroboros BFT and Daedalus 0.13.0

The launch of Cardano 1.5 on mainnet marks the last major milestone of the Byron development phase, and the move towards the Shelley phase.

After a brief run on the testnet earlier this month, Cardano officially released Cardano 1.5 on the mainnet on March 20, introducing a new consensus protocol and an upgraded wallet.

The development was announced on Cardano’s official website:

“Today we release Cardano 1.5 on the Cardano mainnet. The Cardano 1.5 release is a milestone because it is the last major Cardano release of the Byron development phase, which we have been in since the launch of mainnet.”

“Cardano 1.5 is important in preparation for moving to the Shelley development phase,” the post added.

The development phases can be tracked via the official Cardano roadmap.

The key feature of this new update is Ouroboros BFT, a new consensus protocol which marks a move from Ouroboros Classic (the network’s current consensus protocol) to Ouroboros Genesis (the protocol for the Shelley phase), which is the “first proof-of-stake protocol that matches the security guarantees of proof-of-work protocols such as Bitcoin”.

The 1.5 release will not lead to an immediate activation of the Ouroboros BFT – rather, it will be activated through a later update, which will essentially function as a hard fork to deactivate the Classic consensus protocol and activate the Ouroboros BFT. However, this later upgrade/hard fork will be seamless and automatic, as all parties have already agreed to the change.

Cardano is the underlying blockchain for the ADA cryptocurrency, and the new update also includes a new version of the digital currency’s native wallet, Daedalus 0.13.0. The official announcement urges both Daedalus users and cryptocurrency exchanges to upgrade to Cardano 1.5 to make the hard fork – the former can do so by installing Daedalus 0.13.0 via prompts (from official sources only), while the latter need to switch from using the v0 wallet API to v1 before upgrading to Cardano 1.5

According to the post, additional improvements include, among others:

“… performance improvements when rendering lists with a large number of transactions and wallet addresses, the addition of features for detecting insufficient disk space, and a new screen that visualizes the block storage consolidation process.”

The launch of Cardano 1.5 on mainnet triggered a rise of about 7% in ADA’s trading price, which went from $0.05 to almost $0.054. This comes as a welcome change from the $0.04 price ADA was trading at in early March; however, whether the rise will be sustainable remains to be seen.

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