Cardano: Hoskinson announces new DSL for smart contracts & focus on DeFi

  • Charles Hoskinson has revealed that Cardano will develop a DSL (Domain Specific Language) for smart contract specifications to enable certified contracts.
  • IOHK’s CEO has also revealed the increased efforts in DeFi for Cardano, with concrete announcements to follow at the end of the month at the earliest.

In a new surprise AMA, IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson unveiled new plans for the Cardano ecosystem and talked about the progress of the last few days. As the inventor of Cardano explained, Cardano is on its way to becoming a fully decentralized network. With the current era, the stake pools are already taking over 24% of the block production, while 76% is validated by the federated nodes of IOHK.

Furthermore, IOHK will roll out peer-to-peer governance for Cardano in September. This will further improve performance and further decentralize the network, as Hoskinson stated:

That will considerably improve performance in certain respects. […] and also it is a fully decentralized network when you no longer are using relays from stake pool operators or from us.

Furthermore, delegation portfolios and staking guilds are already under discussion during the Shelley era. The top priority, however, according to Hoskinson, is currently “one-to-many” delegation, with implementation “as soon as possible”. In parallel, the Goguen teams are working on a 3-phase rollout, consisting of the native assets, the Plutus foundations and, in the final phase, the Plutus Application Framework. Regarding the last two phases of the rollout, Hoskinson explained:

Plutus foundations are kind of like the JVM vs. Java, it’s the base foundations, the core of a language, so you can write an assembly and the higher level representations of it. You will be able to write smart contracts, but this will be not very user friendly. But you have to have the JVM to have Java. […] So it makes sense to roll that out first and then to put on top the beautiful development experience.

Hoskinson also announced that IOHK will develop a DSL (Domain Specific Language) for smart contract specification. This will allow developers to have the option of certified smart contract as they will be able to match the design and implementation and thus be able to prove that the implementation is correct compared to the design. According to Hoskinson, this has already been done several times, for example through certified ERC20 tokens. However, there are currently some challenges:

It is generally very hard because the tools are not so good, they require a lot domain expertise and they are very heavy. So there’s a lot of discussion how we build a light weight specification DSL that can sit in tandem with your contract and then you can verify properties about it. For model check and quick check […] to verify that your contract is right.

As Hoskinson also explained, this will take place independently of Marlowe, the language for smart contracts already developed by IOHK.

Cardano’s focus on decentralized finance

Hoskinson also admitted that he has invested a lot of time recently in the topic of decentralized finance (DeFi). In addition to planning, the IOHK CEO referred to the partnership with Emurgo, which aims to develop a stablecoin for the Cardano ecosystem. This is to be tested first on the Ergo blockchain and then migrated to the Cardano ecosystem. Hoskinson also added:

This will be an algorithmic stablecoin. We think it will be significantly better than MakerDAO. That’s just one of many DeFi things that are going on right now. But we not gonna announce anything of that until a bit later. […]

Reality is that first mover advantage is actually a disadvantage in DeFi. Those network effects are often covered with mistakes and scars and explosion. You actually want to be the imitator, in the second mover category for DeFi and […] there’s gonna be a mass exodus because those first mover architectures and designs are just too inflexible and Cardano is much better suited as a platform.

About Author

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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