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Cardano: Daedalus 1.0.0 release, securing an A in FCAS rating and launching Phase 2 of Cardano Ambassador Program

Biweekly update 17th April — 1st May

Hello, dear community! Paradigm has prepared for you another biweekly update on one of the largest projects in the world of decentralized networks!

Well, the last two weeks have been productive as always. To begin with, we want to congratulate the team on the launch of the Daedalus wallet. Daedalus 1.0.0 brings significant enhancements to Daedalus, including advancements in stability, reliability, and performance. Users on all platforms should see improvements in connection, blockchain synchronization & wallet restoration speed, as well as reduced memory usage. The wallet brings new features, including background blockchain synchronization, a wallet import feature, mandatory spending passwords, Yoroi support, transaction filtering, a new update mechanism, and redesigned, faster wallet restoration.

We also note that the native ADA token was listed on Swap Space. ADA USD & USDT Perpetual Swap trading Cardano is now available on the OKEx website & API and also ADA Perpetual Swaps will Go Live on Huobi DM (Huobi Futures).Binance also didnt stand aside: Binance Savings adds ADA to Flexible Savings.

From the social encounters section, IOHK is delighted to sponsor the ZKProof Workshop Home Edition — a month-long, virtual conference promoting standardization in zero-knowledge proof cryptography. Meanwhile, Prof Aggelos Kiayias has written a piece analyzing digital banking trends for 2020 for the Global Banking and Finance Review, discussing how third-generation blockchains can revolutionise finance. Also, he outlines why quantum computing is an opportunity rather than a threat to cybersecurity. The link to the full article you can see below.

Thank you for watching and stay tuned!

Development

Github metrics:

Developer activity (from Coinlib.io):

According to the WEEKLY DEVELOPMENT REPORT( April 10 — April 24) Cardano team has been doing the following updates:

Daedalus

wallet

  • Daedalus team worked on the third Daedalus Flight candidate for the 1.0.0 release. The new version introduces a wallet import feature that allows users to import wallets from an earlier version of Daedalus, or from the Daedalus state directory, as well as mandatory spending passwords and improvements to error handling. There have also been significant improvements to blockchain synchronization and memory usage, especially on Windows platforms.
  • This week the Daedalus team has been working hard to prepare and release Daedalus 1.0.0, the first release of Daedalus to incorporate Byron reboot improvements, including a completely re-engineered Cardano node and Cardano wallet, which are the core backend components of Daedalus. This release concludes the current series of Daedalus Flight release candidates, with Daedalus Flight 1.0.0-FC5 now being superseded by Daedalus 1.0.0, which all users are encouraged to download. Daedalus 1.0.0 has a huge number of new features, including background blockchain synchronization, a wallet import feature, mandatory spending passwords, support for Yoroi wallets, a transaction filtering function, a new update mechanism, and redesigned, faster wallet restoration with support for parallel wallet restoration. In conjunction with the new backend components, Daedalus 1.0.0 should mark a significant improvement in user experience for all users of Daedalus on all platforms.

Application platform

  • There is no update from the application platform team this time, since they’ve been helping with the huge effort involved in the release of Daedalus 1.0.0.

Cardano explorer

  • There are no updates from the team this time. They’ve been helping the Daedalus team with the latest Daedalus Flight release candidate.

Wallet backend

  • This week the team worked on bug fixes and general improvements, in particular ensuring that the new Hydra implementation was passing tests for both Rust and Haskell nodes. There is also a new set of nightly integration tests, in addition to existing unit tests. Work was done to streamline the release process, removing some redundancy and automating where possible. The team also spent time scrutinizing the behavior of addresses with soft indexes, which have been causing some issues in the production version of Daedalus. The new wallet backend and node that underpin Daedalus Flight, however, have no such issues, so the problems will be resolved once the production version of Daedalus is updated. API error messages were also improved this week, in particular when attempting to generate an address for a sequential wallet. The clean shutdown mechanism for Windows was also improved, aligning the command line interface with the new Cardano node for consistency’s sake. The team also worked on creating a new Haskell library for constructing, signing, and serializing transactions. It is currently limited to simple UTXO payments but is still being worked on and will eventually result in a useful Haskell domain-specific language (DSL). Work on another Haskell DSL was also begun, to support key derivation and address manipulation on the Cardano network. At the moment, only the manipulation of mnemonic sentences is available, but more will be coming soon.
  • This week the wallet backend team has been working on fixing a couple of bugs, as well as removing redundant jobs from the Hydra continuous integration suite. There are now 123 jobs that manage cross-compilation and test the wallet backend on all platforms — and they’re all passing! The team has also been working on adding code coverage reporting to the continuous integration pipeline, as well as adding tests and increasing test coverage across multiple code repositories. They also created an end-to-end example of using the wallet backend CLIs to build, sign, and submit a transaction to the Cardano network. Finally, work has also continued to develop the new Haskell API library, adding support for address construction from public keys, hard and soft address derivations, mnemonic to master key generation, and user-facing encoding of addresses.

Networking

  • The networking team has been working on performance improvements, including identifying and fixing two significant memory leaks. The first was due to unevaluated thunks that were accumulating binary data, while the second only occurred on high-performance Windows machines. On Windows, the Haskell compiler (GHC) creates one lightweight thread per timeout. High-performance Windows machines with a good network connection were making network requests too quickly for garbage collection to keep up with collecting the unused threads. This resulted in a memory leak that significantly downgraded performance: the better the network conditions and hardware, the worse the impact was. As a result of this fix, some Windows users will see significant performance improvements, although those with limiting factors such as poor hardware or network connection may never have encountered the issue in the first place. The team also discovered and fixed an issue with how the IOManager was handling exceptions on Windows, as well as some problems with the simulator, including not handling negative timeouts correctly and issues with scheduling threads and monitoring the progression of time. Finally, the team also published some Haskell documentation in the GitHub repository.
  • The team implemented some timeouts in the networking layer this week, including one for the handshake protocol and one for sending multiplexer messages. They also worked on a new version of the local protocol that will allow wallets to query the ledger state. The team has also been working on various Shelley features within the Cardano node, its command-line interface, and configuration.

Devops

  • DevOps team has been finishing up faucet deployment for the upcoming Shelley Haskell testnet, as well as migrating DNS settings for the testnet to cardano.org. They’ve also been helping out with deploying the 1.10.1 release and assisting the Daedalus team with their Electron upgrade. Finally, the team has also been preparing to load test the Shelley Haskell code.
  • Helping the Daedalus team to prepare and release Daedalus 1.0.0. They’ve also been finalizing the faucet for the upcoming Shelley Haskell testnet, which uses the new wallet backend from the Byron reboot, as well as working hard to prepare Haskell node deployments. The team has also been working on packaging and deploying the new Byron explorer frontend.

Cardano decentralization

  • The team worked on generating canonical examples for the golden tests, as well as improving file locking on Windows. Work was also done to remove a duplicated transaction check in the mempool and to improve the concurrency of the storage layer. The background threads spawned by consensus are now also all labeled, making the output of analysis procedures more useful.
  • Working to smooth out some issues with a few of the more extensive property tests. They were previously working, with multiple certificates per transaction and large traces, but a rebase has caused previous heap exhaustion problems to recur. The team is investigating and working on a fix. The team also had a final review of the CDDL and serialization specifications, which they found very useful. Most of the suggested changes were small and have already been implemented in a pull request. Work has begun on the larger changes, which included adding stake pool relays and overhauling the address serialization format, but is still in progress and waiting on other pull requests. Finally, more progress was made on adding annotated decoders to the Shelley ledger, with blocks, block headers, and full transactions now accounted for.

Goguen

  • Plutus team added separate monetary policy scripts to the EUTXO document. They also removed an obsolete overflow error constructor from the PlutusIR parser and fixed some value equality tests that had been failing. Finally, they worked on some improvements to the Nix scripts. The Marlowe team made some design updates to elements within the Marlowe Playground, such as the icons, buttons, panel widths, text display, and help. They also made updates to the Marlowe Haskell editor to improve the color scheme. No code was affected by these changes.
  • Added provenance for inputs and outputs when transactions are balanced, so that information is collected about why the inputs and outputs are present on the transaction. They also added documentation about using materialized package sets and completed the Plutus glossary. Finally, they added Node.js to the list of shell.nix tools. The Marlowe team continued with its design refinements of the Marlowe Playground. This work included highlighting the active demo tab and improvements to the warning and error text in the Marlowe simulator. They also updated the Marlowe tutorial to match the new version of the Marlowe Playground and added some new if expressions to the Marlowe semantics to help reduce forking.

News

Announcing the release of a brand new Daedalus, mainnet wallet for Cardano.

All built on the new Haskell codebase + early feedback from the Daedalus Flight program. Daedalus 1.0.0 brings significant enhancements to Daedalus, including advancements in stability, reliability, and performance. Users on all platforms should see improvements in connection, blockchain synchronization & wallet restoration speed, as well as reduced memory usage. The wallet brings new features, including background blockchain synchronization, a wallet import feature, mandatory spending passwords, Yoroi support, transaction filtering, a new update mechanism, and redesigned, faster wallet restoration. Official site

Cardano is being developed to exacting standards of assurance & security.

They published to GitHub the positive results from the recent independent code audit, carried out by security experts, R9B. Read more & access reports here

Shelley launch

With the Byron reboot currently underway, here’s Charles Hoskinson with an essential new whiteboard video to take us through the process we’ll be following to launch
This whiteboard video covers each step as we roll out the Shelley Hardfork.

Awareness and social encounters

Cardano secured an A (attractive) FCAS rating

Fundamental Crypto Asset Score (FCAS) is a metric to assess the fundamentals of crypto projects. The score is derived from: User Activity, Developer Behavior, Market Maturity. Each project is given a score up to 1000 and a rank. Cardano scored five “Superbs” for Code Improvements, Community Involvement, Developer Behavior, Liquidity and Code Contributions. It also secured three “Attractives” for Market Maturity, Network Activity and User Activity, according to flipsidecrypto
Cardano scored 951 (superb) out of 1000 in the Developer Behavior metric. More specifically, Code Improvement — 974 (superb), Community Involvement — 953 (superb) and Code Contributions — 926 (superb), with all categories showing an upward trend. Cardano’s Market Maturity score increased by 8.32% in the last six months and secured 806 (attractive) points. Also in this metric category, Liquidity score came at 944 (superb) out of 1000. Cardano remains attractive in the User Activity category with a score of 764. Its Network Activity was also found attractive (793 out of 1000) by Flipside Crypto’s FCAS™ Ratings. Cardano’s overall FCAS™ rating, Developer Behavior and Market Maturity scores show an upward trend. For more details about Cardano’s ratings, please click here

Charles Hoskinson joined CardanoEffect and talked about his latest whiteboard video, and shared some updates including transition to mainnet Shelley, the ‘d’ parameter, and SANBA. Watch the episode here

Ambassador Stories, Journal #21: Gabor & Tuan

Precision & flexibility:IOHK’s formal methods director Philipp Kantshares IOHK’s innovative software development methodology, which blends traditional formal methods with fresh agile principles to deliver unique results

OHK’s chief scientist, Prof Aggelos Kiayias has written a piece analyzing digital banking trends for 2020 for the Global Banking and Finance Review, discussing how third-generation blockchains can revolutionise finance. Read it here

According to CITY.AM, Cardano is certainly one to watch, as this level of decentralization and transactional speed/throughput provides unique potential to eventually replace legacy, global-scale financial systems — no mean feat.

IOHK sponsored the ZKProof Workshop Home Edition — a month-long, virtual conference promoting standardization in zero-knowledge proof cryptography.

ZKProof Workshop Home Edition is a month-long, virtual conference. IOHK is delighted to sponsor the event, part of an open-industry academic initiative aiming to promote standardization in zero-knowledge proof cryptography

Professor Aggelos Kiayias, the Chief Scientist at IOHK, outlines why quantum computing is an opportunity rather than a threat to cybersecurity

Upcoming Events:

There are currently no offline meetups planned and/or supported due to the global ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Roadmap

Goguen era (dev changes see in Development part)

  • Represents a big step forwards in capability for the Cardano network. Where the Shelley era decentralizes the core of the system, Goguen adds the ability to build decentralized applications (DApps) on Cardano’s solid foundation of peer-reviewed research and high-assurance development.

Work scope

PLUTUS

Plutus is a purpose-built development and execution platform using the functional programming language Haskell. Designed to enable the creation of smart contracts on Cardano, Plutus brings the inherent benefits of functional programming — such as reduced ambiguity and easier testing — to smart contracts. During the Goguen era, Plutus will set the stage for smart contracts that are capable of modeling enterprise-level business and finance scenarios. Not only that, but Plutus and Haskell enable the use of the same codebase both on and off-chain, whereas other smart contract implementations often require developers to use two or more different languages, reducing efficiency and increasing the likelihood of costly mistakes.

All the work on Plutus is visible in the Plutus GitHub repository, and the Plutus Playground testbed is available for users to try creating their own smart contracts in Plutus.

PLUTUS CORE

While Plutus is a high-level language for developers, Plutus Core is a low-level scripting language that runs on both Cardano’s settlement layer and computation layer, controlling interactions between scripts and the blockchain itself. All on-chain functionality of smart contracts written in Plutus compiles to Plutus Core, which retains all the benefits of functional programming while remaining simple and concise. Where Plutus Core is implemented in the settlement layer, it is done so in the simplest way possible, improving security by minimizing potential attack vectors.

MARLOWE

Marlowe is a domain-specific language (DSL) for creating financial smart contracts, designed to be accessible to non-technical individuals such as business engineers, subject experts, and financial analysts. Using Marlowe, even someone without any programming experience can create executable smart contracts that interact with real-world data and deploy them on its built-in Cardano emulator, and eventually the Cardano network itself. Whilst Marlowe is necessarily a high-level language, it is built on Plutus and Haskell and continues to benefit from all the assurances that functional programming provides, without affecting ease of use.

All the work on Marlowe is visible in the Marlowe GitHub repository, and the Marlowe Playground emulator is available for users to try creating their own financial smart contracts using a simple web-based interface.

PLUTUSFEST

PlutusFest was held at the University of Edinburgh in December 2018 to announce and promote the Plutus and Marlowe programming languages. Interested members of the public and academia gathered for two days of talks and presentations by IOHK engineers, most of which were recorded and can be watched on the IOHK YouTube channel.

PLUTUS AND MARLOWE UDEMY COURSES

Two free Mooc courses have been released on Udemy covering the Plutus and Marlowe programming languages. Created and managed by IOHK’s in-house education team, the courses provide an introductory resource for anyone interested in learning how to experiment with smart contracts using Plutus and Marlowe.

MULTI-CURRENCY LEDGER

The introduction of a multi-currency ledger model into Cardano will allow the network to support additional cryptocurrencies in an ERC20-like way, but cheaply, more securely, and without the need for a complex scripting system thanks to native support in the settlement layer. Not only will users be able to create their own fungible tokens on the Cardano network, but a multi-currency ledger will also allow for tokenization with the creation of non-fungible tokens, plus easier integration with smart contracts involving multiple cryptocurrencies.

KEVM

KEVM is a high-quality, formally-verified smart contract virtual machine compatible with the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM). Formally specified in the K framework, the KEVM uses formal semantics for elements such as the configuration and transition rules of EVM, resulting in a more secure virtual machine for smart contracts. IOHK paused its collaboration in the K framework project in order to focus on other priorities, but is enthusiastic about the vision and may participate again in the future.

IELE

IELE is a virtual machine based on the research behind KEVM. As a low-level platform, IELE enables the translation and execution of smart contracts from higher-level languages with a uniform gas model across languages. As a compile target for Solidity code or integrated directly into Cardano, this can facilitate smart contract interoperability and may provide a high-assurance pathway to delivering Ethereum integration. After significant contribution to the project, IOHK has paused its collaboration on IELE to focus on other priorities for the time being , but is enthusiastic about potentially returning to the project in the future.

PLUTUS EBOOK

The IOHK education team have worked in conjunction with Plutus language architects to create an introductory Plutus ebook, available on Amazon and LeanPub. The ebook is designed to educate beginner Haskell developers on the fundamentals of the new Plutus smart contract language and uses real-world examples to illustrate the potential applications of Plutus.

Finance

Cardano Foundation launches Phase 2 (Rewards) of its Ambassador Program

The Cardano Foundation — in line with its mission to grow the global Cardano community — has launched Phase 2 (Rewards) of its flagship Ambassador Program. In a bid to further strengthen the transparency and decentralization of the Cardano ecosystem, the program is being developed to motivate and recognize ambassadors for adding value to the community and enhancing Cardano’s brand.

The Ambassador Program was established in 2018 to promote awareness and educate the wider community to drive the adoption of Cardano for better use cases. Currently, the program includes 58 ambassadors of all ages and professions from 26 countries and territories¹ across the globe, with more individuals qualifying during each review cycle. Cumulatively, existing ambassadors produce content in more than a dozen languages and are fluent in 28 languages.

ADA Listing on Swap Space

ADA USD & USDT Perpetual Swap trading Cardano is now available on the OKEx website & API.

ADA Perpetual Swaps will Go Live on Huobi DM (Huobi Futures). For more info check this page

Binance Savings Adds ADA and DASH to Flexible Savings

Partnerships and team members

Other

Social media metrics

Social media activity:

Delta all period
Delta last period

The charts above illustrate a decline in the number of Telegram followers. In general, the Cardano experiences an average level of social activity.

Coingecko.com

The graph above shows the dynamics of changes in the number of Cardano Facebook likes, Reddit subscribers and Twitter followers.

This report is not financial advice.

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