Cardano releases ‘Node 9.0,’ paving way for upcoming Chang hard fork

Cardano releases 'Node 9.0,' paving way for upcoming Chang hard fork

The Cardano development team released “Node 9.0,” the newest version of the Cardano validator node software, on July 8. According to a YouTube video released by Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson on July 7, the new software is the final development step needed to allow the upcoming Chang hard fork to occur.

The software was released at approximately 7 pm UTC. According to its notes, it “is the first node that can support crossing the 9.0 hard fork (Chang) boundary on mainnet and long-running testnets, such as PreProd).”

Cardano Node 9.0 notes. Source: Cardano, GitHub

The previous day, Hoskinson announced in a YouTube video that the software’s release was imminent, stating that it would be available “next week.” He also claimed that “probably Monday or Tuesday, the signal for mass upgrades will come.” For a hard fork to occur, 70% of nodes will need to vote to upgrade to the new software, Hoskinson stated.

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The Chang hard fork is intended to be the first step in giving Cardano fully decentralized governance. It begins the “Age of Voltaire” on Cardano’s roadmap, a period characterized by massive changes to the network’s political system.

The developers have outlined these changes in Cardano Improvement Proposal 1694 (CIP 1694). According to this proposal, Chang will eventually allow for the introduction of Delegate Representatives (DReps), who will be elected by Cardano (ADA) tokenholders.

These representatives will draft a Cardano Constitution, which will become the supreme governing law of the network. After a Constitution is drafted and approved, DReps will continue to propose changes to the network in accordance with this constitution.

CIP 1694 infographic. Source: Essential Cardano

The Node 9.0 notes state that it will not yet “enable DRep voting and all governance actions,” as the full voting protocol will only be provided in version 10.0. Even so, it “supports entering the bootstrap phase of CIP-1694 in production environments.”

At the time of publication, block explorer Cardanoscan shows that exchanges and stake pools have not yet prepared for the hard fork.

Chang hard fork readiness. Source: Cardanoscan

In the YouTube video, Hoskinson stated that he expects the hard fork to begin on “Monday or Tuesday,” indicating that the process will start on July 8-9.

Hoskinson had previously stated that he expected the fork to occur in June, but that deadline passed approximately one week ago. Cardano implemented another node upgrade on June 26 after an attacker attempted to crash the network through a distributed denial-of-service attack.

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