Cardano set for hard fork that will soon hand control of $13bn blockchain to ADA holders

Cardano set for hard fork that will soon hand control of $13bn blockchain to ADA holders
Cardano's imminent hard fork will usher in the blockchain's so-called Voltaire era. Credit: Darren Joseph
  • Cardano hard fork could happen next week.
  • The blockchain must reach 70% node density for the hard fork.
  • Cardano will move to decentralised ownership after the hard fork.

Cardano is set for a hard fork that will change the ownership structure of the $13 billion project.

And that could happen as early as mid-July.

Cardano founder Charles Hoskin on a Sunday livestream said the network’s upgraded node, tagged node 9.0, which is necessary for the hard fork, was ready for release and will be rolled out next week, barring any last-minute problems.

The Chang hard fork, named after early Cardano enthusiast Phil Chang who passed away two years ago, will happen once the blockchain reaches a node density of 70% ― when at least 70% of Cardano’s validators upgrade to the new node version.

Hard forks are major changes to a blockchain’s software that result in a new version that is not backward compatible with the previous ones.

Other major blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, have undergone hard forks that significantly altered their operations. Ethereum’s latest hard fork occurred two years ago and it altered the network’s consensus model from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake.

In Cardano’s case, the Chang hard fork will alter the blockchain’s ownership structure.

Cardano’s development since its inception in 2017 has been under the purview of the Cardano Foundation, EMURGO, and Input Output Global. EMURGO is Cardano’s official commercial arm and Input Output Global is Hoskinson’s blockchain development company.

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The hard fork is designed to take ownership of the project from those three entities and entrust it to the community, an ownership structure similar to a decentralised autonomous organisation, or DAO, that’s often used to administer DeFi protocols.

As such, ADA, Cardano’s native token will become a governance token and holders will have the power to vote on changes to the blockchain.

Hoskinson reflected on the significance of the change in ownership structure, saying that it was a testament to how much Cardano had matured over the years.

“It’s been almost 10 years and we’ve gone from a static and federated system to a dynamic and decentralised system with best-in-class staking to a really strong smart contract platform,” Hoskinson said. “It’s the best in class for governance and the best strategy and plan overall.”

ADA price

The Chang hard fork will be the fifth generation of its blockchain called the Voltaire era. It comes after Basho, the current era, and Goguen, the previous one. Goguen and Basho introduced features such as scalability and smart contract capabilities.

As part of Voltaire’s pivot to decentralised ownership, the ADA token holders will also be able to delegate voting power and manage the project’s treasury ― governance functions that are also common among DAOs.

Osato Avan-Nomayo is our Nigeria-based DeFi correspondent. He covers DeFi and tech. To share tips or information about stories, please contact him at

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