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Midnight, Voltaire, Partner Chains – Cardano Founder on the Latest Developments

  • Charles Hoskinson emphasised Cardano’s multi-layered design for interoperability, allowing it to adapt and integrate various blockchain capabilities and trade-offs.
  • “Midnight” as a service layer on Cardano, will enhance its applications with new privacy and financial features without replacing existing functionalities.
  • Hoskinson highlighted Cardano’s strategy to encourage whole blockchain networks to migrate to Cardano, offering them flexibility and autonomy while maintaining their existing ecosystem connections.
  • The approval of CIP-1694 in Cardano’s Voltaire phase will establish a constitutional committee, enhancing community feedback and decision-making efficiency, marking a significant step towards full decentralisation.

Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson spoke to DappCentral, a popular YouTube channel which talks everything Cardano, about MidNight, partner chains and the benefits of the blockchain.

Interoperability is King

Hoskinson explained that blockchain protocols involve numerous design decisions and trade-offs, impacting everything from consensus models to transaction models and data storage. He emphasised that each blockchain architecture represents a set of trade-offs suitable for specific use cases. Meaning these choices also lead to missing out on other features.

To address this, Cardano was designed with a multi-layered model, allowing integration with other systems offering different trade-offs. This approach enables Cardano to adapt and incorporate diverse capabilities necessary for various applications, especially those requiring high confidentiality or regulatory compliance.

There’s thousands of trade-offs within each of those categories, and no matter what you’ve done as an architect, you’ve picked a snapshot of trade-offs that you think are appropriate for a collection of use cases

Charles Hoskinson

Midnight and Cardano

Hoskinson mentioned the concept of a settlement layer and a control layer in Cardano, where the former hosts assets and the latter, termed as the service layer, can host additional functionalities. He cited the example of “midnight” as a service layer component that brings new privacy and financial features, enhancing Cardano’s applications.

And what it does is it gives you a whole bunch of new design trade-offs and capabilities, a whole bunch of new privacy features and confidentiality features, new ways of building things that don’t replace the way that you build things but enhance the way that you build things for a cardano application.

Charles Hoskinson

Freedom to Choose

Hoskinson also discussed the evolution and strategy of Cardano in terms of chain migration and integration, reflecting on the initial challenges faced by the ERC20 converter, which aimed to transition ERC20 tokens to Cardano. However, the focus has shifted beyond just dApp migration; now the aim is to encourage entire blockchain networks to migrate to Cardano.

The introduction of a “partner chain” concept, aided by Minotaur, allows for a dual possibility: connecting a blockchain to multiple systems or enabling it to become a standalone layer one network. This flexibility offers significant freedom, positioning Cardano as an attractive option for other blockchain networks like ChainLink, promising them enhanced autonomy without losing their existing ecosystem connections.

And so, if you have that freedom, then we can go and make the case to the ChainLinks of the world or others, hey, why don’t you guys come to us? Because you maximise your overall freedom as an ecosystem. You don’t lose any of your connection and touch points to your other ecosystems.

Charles Hoskinson

Moreover, Hoskinson explains that the relationship between Cardano and its partner chains is dynamic and market-driven. If a partner chain does not bring value or is not favourably received by the Cardano community, it should not be indefinitely supported. This concept works both ways, assessing both the benefits the partner chain brings to Cardano and the value Cardano offers to the partner chain. This approach ensures that both networks mutually benefit from the partnership.

Cardano’s Move to Full Decentralisation

Voltaire, the final phase of Cardano’s development, will initiate a voting session for Cardano Improvement Proposal CIP-1694. This proposal is a formal document that outlines organisational notes about the project’s activities on the blockchain.

If approved, CIP-1694 will establish a constitutional committee for Cardano. This committee will have key responsibilities, including facilitating the participation of ADA holders in governance, monitoring delegate activities, and preventing the spamming of tokens on the network.

Hoskinson highlighted two main benefits of CIP-1694 for the Cardano ecosystem. Firstly, it would enable the foundation to gather more effective feedback from the community. Secondly, the proposal aims to introduce a faster mechanism for polling within the ecosystem, enhancing responsiveness and efficiency in decision-making processes.

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