Cardano Unveils Node 9.0, Key Milestone Ahead of Chang Hard Fork

By Jody McDonald July 09, 2024 In Cardano, Onchain
  • Cardano Node 9.0 has been released today, marking an important milestone in the network’s progress toward implementing the Chang hard fork.
  • Before the hard fork can take place though, at least 70% of stake pool operators (SPOs) will need to adopt the updated software.
  • The update introduces decentralised governance to the Cardano network, with the end goal being fully decentralised on-chain governance.

Cardano hit an important milestone earlier today with the release of Cardano Node 9.0, the latest version of the network’s validator node software. Node 9.0 will allow for the Chang hard fork to be implemented on the network which promises to eventually bring fully decentralised governance along with a raft of other updates and improvements.

In a YouTube video coinciding with the release of Node 9.0 Cardano founder, Charles Hoskinson, described the path towards fully decentralised governance:

  • Firstly, it requires that at least 70% of Cardano’s stake pool operators (SPOs) vote to adopt the new node software;
  • Then a hard fork date will be set and decentralised governance will gradually roll out after that.

Related: Cardano Foundation Unveils MiCA-Compliant Sustainability Indicators to Satisfy EU Crypto Regulations

Hoskinson: Update Involved “Thousands and Thousands and Thousands” Of Hours Of Work

Summarising the practical impact of the release of Cardano Node 9.0, Hoskinson said it basically means the network is now hard fork-ready:


What that translates to in non-technical speak is that it’s the Age of Voltaire in a box, that’s Chang hard fork — we are fork ready.

Charles Hoskinson, Cardano founder

The GitHub release notes for the update describe it as being “the first node that can support crossing the 9.0 hard fork (Chang) boundary on mainnet and long-running testnets, such as PreProd.”

But the hard fork can’t go ahead just yet. First, a minimum of 70% of the network’s SPOs need to adopt the new node software, then a date to implement the hard fork can be confirmed:

Once we hit the threshold of 70% or greater SPOs a hard fork date will be set, we will hard fork into Chang.

Charles Hoskinson, Cardano founder

After the hard fork, decentralised governance will gradually be added in a pre-planned process, beginning with the release of version 10.0 of Cardano’s protocol software and the election of the network’s decentralised representatives (DReps). These representatives will then work on drafting the network’s constitution, with that work culminating in a constitutional convention in Argentina scheduled for December.

Discussing the significance of the release of Node 9.0 for Cardano, Hoskinson said:

This is a major milestone. This release took two years, from the initial plans to where we’re at today. Thousands and thousands and thousands of hours of meetings, of conversations, of hard work of so many people all around the entire ecosystem.

Charles Hoskinson, Cardano founder

What’s The Vision For The Chang Hard Fork?

The Chang hard fork will usher in the Age of Voltaire, the final ‘era’ on Cardano’s development roadmap — this ‘era’ is all about decentralised governance.

Related: Cardano Nears Decentralisation Goal With Node Upgrade, Enters Age of Voltaire 

According to Hoskinson, after it’s fully implemented the Chang hard fork will allow for full on-chain decentralised governance, creating what he says will be a “decentralized civilization spanning the entire world with millions of residents,” adding that it will have “the most advanced blockchain governance system, annual budgets, a treasury, and the wisdom of our entire community to guide us.”

Jody McDonald

Jody McDonald

Jody is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who specialises in writing about business, technology, and the future of work.

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