All You Need To Know About Cardano’s Chang Hard Fork

Cardano Spot
3 min readJan 24, 2024


New content on Cardano Spot: Cardano’s next hardfork propels us into the Voltaire era, take a looking inside to find out what it involves, and when.

Cardano Chang Hard Fork

Cardano is now in the age of Voltaire, the final stage of the Cardano roadmap. The Voltaire era is when Cardano will become a fully decentralized network, through the introduction of community governance, where all the network’s stakeholders, i.e. everyone holding ADA (you), can have their say in the future development of the network.

Chang is the first hard fork of the Voltaire era, and here we’ll discuss just what it brings to the network and its users, starting with what a hard fork is (and why they’re better on Cardano).

What is a Hard Fork?

A hard fork is a radical change in a blockchain protocol that affects the validity of blocks and transactions on the decentralized network. It requires all (or a large majority) of the nodes and validators to upgrade to a new version of the software.

If they don’t, two blockchains are created, with one running the new software and one running the old. Examples of this happening are Ethereum’s DAO hard fork (2016) and the Bitcoin Cash hard fork (2017).

All blockchain networks have hard forks, as this is how these decentralized networks are upgraded. However, Cardano does them differently.

Cardano’s Hard Fork Combinator

Cardano uses a hard fork combinator to ensure that, instead of the traditional restart associated with hard fork events on other blockchains, there is a smooth transition between protocol versions. It allows, both the new and old versions of the ledger to run simultaneously for a period of time before the transition to the new version is complete.

This ensures that the whole of Cardano’s history appears as a single ledger. It also means that not all validator nodes have to update immediately — however, those running the old version of the software cannot process transactions that subscribe to the ledger’s new rules. Learn more on the Cardano Docs hard fork page.

What is Cardano’s Chang Hard Fork Bringing to the Network?

The Chang hard fork is scheduled for Q1, 2024 through Q2, 2024 and will introduce the concept of minimum-viable community-run governance to the Cardano blockchain by instituting the capabilities for on-chain community consensus, governed by a constitution.

This means that all Cardano stakeholders (ADA holders) will be able to participate in shaping the direction of the network.

The Chang hard fork is the event that kicks it all off, allowing for the bootstrapping of Cardano governance throughout 2024. There will be three main stages to this process:

  • Introduction of Delegate Representatives (DReps): An important feature of the future of community governance on Cardano. DReps act like elected representatives, except users delegate their ADA instead of voting at a ballot box. Those interested in becoming DReps should be able to begin registering in Q2 of 2024.
  • Cardano Constitution Convention: An event that will gather all the governance representatives — selected from the different workshops held all over the world through 2024 — in Buenos Aires to draft the first version of the Cardano Constitution. This will form the basis of Cardano community-led governance.
  • The Vote: To close out 2024 the Cardano community will vote on whether or not to ratify the first draft of the Cardano Constitution. If ratified, the Cardano Constitution will form the basis of the decentralized community governance processes and mechanisms through which the future direction of the Cardano blockchain is decided.

Chang: Arguably Cardano’s Biggest Hard Fork

This is the crescendo that the whole of Cardano has been building toward for many years now — through all the hard forks, FUD, bear markets, FUD, and bull markets.

If you haven’t participated in the CIP-1694 discussion or partook in any governance workshops there is still time, as a Constitution Global Workshop Series will be held throughout 2024. Check out the Intersect community-led governance-focused organization to learn more about how you can participate.

Credit: @welshiewelshie



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