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Cardano Hard Fork – What will the Mary upgrade do

- 5 minute read

Ted Maas
Digital Marketeer
Ted Maas

Today Cardano (ADA) will roll out the ‘Mary’ update on its mainnet, an important step for the current number three on CoinMarketCap. This is the second hard fork between Cardano’s phase 2 (Shelley) and phase 3 (Goguen). Let’s take a look at what the implications are and how this upgrade will effect the Cardano network.


cardano update


Multi-token blockchain

The Mary upgrade will transition the Cardano ledger from a single asset blockchain (ADA) to a multi asset blockchain. Users of the Cardano blockchain will be able to create and transfer their own custom tokens, comparable with the ERC-20 token system. For those who don’t know, the Ethereum network has the possibility to run other tokens called ERC-20 tokens. Examples are OMG Network (OMG) or even stablecoins like Tether (USDT). Due to the Mary upgrade, Cardano will create its own multi asset network, heralding an important transition for Charles Hoskinson’s project.

What can I do and how do I do it?

With a multi-asset ledger, the Cardano network opens up to a world of possibilities. Besides the possibilities of new native tokens, utility tokens and governance tokens, the new multi-asset network could also be used for protocols as NFT's or DeFi. The increasing buzz around DeFi, combined with stablecoins and wrapped assets make the Cardano DeFi network a strong competitor. Once the hard fork is implemented, users will be able to create their own user-defined native token and use it on the network.

So how and when are people able to do this? On the 1st of March, node operators and Daedalus users (Cardano’s wallet) need to upgrade either their node or their wallet. Just download the latest client and your set. Charles Hoskinson had this to say about the transition:

“So, it’s very easy for you guys. Just download the new client. You don’t have to do anything else – move your tokens, upgrade your tokens, there’s none of those stuff. You just download the new client. That’s the magic of the Hard-Fork-Combinator.”
Charles Hoskinson
Founder of Cardano

Two out of three

This upgrade is the second Hard-Fork-Combinator between Cardano’s phase 2 (Shelley) and phase 3 (Goguen). A Hard-Fork-Combinator is when two protocols are combined to form a new one. Cardano has set up its network in way that these merges are done seamlessly. The ADA user doesn’t have to do a thing besides download the latest version of Daedalus. The third Hard-Fork-Combinator will transition Cardano to the Goguen Phase, where smart-contracts are enabled. Interestingly, the new multi-token ledger of Cardano does not require smart contracts and can be enabled separately. We can, however, conclude that with multi token assets and smart contracts on the way, the future of Cardano is looking bright.

Want to know everything about Cardano?

Read all you need to know on our Cardano Overview Page.