Cardano to Undergo Network Upgrade in Preparation for Shelley

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The Cardano network will perform a scheduled upgrade on Feb. 20 to introduce Ouroboros BFT, an improved consensus mechanism.

Announced by IOHK on Feb. 19, the upgrade will be executed on Thursday at 9:44 PM UTC, or 4:44 PM EST. The network will undergo a hard fork, though the team emphasizes that "It is a planned and managed protocol upgrade."

What is Ouroboros BFT? The new protocol is a development over the original Ouroboros "Classic," which is currently active on Cardano's mainnet.

While Ouroboros is a provably secure proof-of-stake consensus protocol, the original version made several compromises in decentralization.

Cardano's Shelley era focuses entirely on removing the "Training wheels" and letting the community decide on block validators through staking.

In between the two major eras, the Cardano team decided to split the transition into two hard forks.

The Cardano team suffered strong setbacks in its Shelley plans.

In the meantime, Cardano is also working on every subsequent phase, such as smart contracts.

Following a commitment to improve timeline estimates, Cardano delivered the hard fork on time.

In January, IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson promised a mid-February date for the upgrade.