Decentralisation: d=0 what now?

What is d=0?

Since 31 Mar 2021, 21:44 GMT, block production on Cardano became full decentralised, with the Stake Pool Operators (SPOs) produce 100% of the blocks every epoch. As of writing, 3 days have passed. So what now? 

Besides being a Proof-of-Stake blockchain platform and founded on peer-reviewed research, Cardano’s vision has always been about decentralising and redistributing power to the fringes. Empowering individuals who otherwise are unable to have a digital identity, this enabling force seeks to bring about changes and progress. With d=0, the first milestone has been reached, while Cardano continues to work towards full decentralisation: improve its P2P network and Governance/ decision making frameworks. 

All in all, there are namely 3 pillars of decentralisation which work synergistically with each other towards creating a unified outcome; block production, networking and governance. 

If you are interested to know more, please refer to this 7min- IOHK blog post on d=0 

Pillar one: block production

The growth of every blockchain relies on the production and adding of new blocks to the chain. During the Byron Era, blocks production were mainly undertaken by the core nodes namely, IOHK, Emurgo and the Cardano Foundation. Then came the Shelley Era, which proved that everyday SPOs can efficiently and reliably manage and sustain the block production process. As of today, there are about 2300 registered pools (and Huatpool is one of them :] ). Be it single SPO or SPO managed by crypto exchanges, they help to grow the community through the introduction of new ADA holders into the Cardano Ecosystem and continuation of decentralisation.

Pillar two: networking

As the stake pools are distributed globally, the Shelley Era implemented Peer- to-Peer (P2P) networking, which links all stake pools towards providing a safer, robust and secure platform.

While SPOs took over all block production since d=0, the core nodes are still maintaining relays during this transition phase. Using a set of mini-protocols and cold/warm/hot peers, each node will be able to make the best decisions when selection connections in future.

Pillar three: governance

Cardano is all about governance. With the Goguen era rollout, transaction metadata and native tokens have been introduced to Cardano. As a result, Cardona’s reach and potential to developers / public institutions worldwide continues to improve.

Arising from the wider reach, an engaged community of about 17,000 developers/ builders/ creators and entrepreneurs have been working tirelessly in the Project Catalyst to ensure that the best ideas/ proposals to properly funded to improve the Ecosystem. With the upcoming fund 5, an estimated $2m fund will be allocated towards the highest-voted proposals. 

As such, this provides for a solid layer of governance ( by its own community of stakeholders), where decisions made on the chain’s protocols and evolution are practical. With the upcoming Voltaire era, a third and final layer of decentralisation will be achieved through the integration of governance and on-chain decision making/voting

Conclusion & Huat thoughts

Since inception, the Cardano founders have been working towards their vision and philosophy, on banking the unbanked, bringing digital identity to those who are otherwise unable to have one, and to empower them towards change and progress.

With d= 0, the P2P network rolling out from April and governance upcoming with the Voltaire era, we are looking at a blockchain network that is truly unique and decentralised, yet robust and resilient. The ecosystem is geared and adaptable towards future growth and the platform is one that serves its users while empowering them to continue to make improvements back to the ecosystem. 

This might just be the advent of a new global financial system, and no matter how small we are, Huatpool is thankful to be part of it.