Crypto

Cardano on Track for Voltaire Upgrade This Month, ADA Down 1.6%, Hoskinson Says

Cardano to Enter Voltaire Era This Month with Hard Fork, Awaiting 70% SPO Upgrade

By Bill Bullington

6/11, 09:56 EDT
Bitcoin / U.S. dollar
Bitcoin / US Dollar
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Key Takeaway

  • Cardano is set to enter its final Voltaire phase this month, transitioning to a fully decentralized blockchain ecosystem.
  • The upgrade requires 70% of stake pool operators to install the new node software, enabling a hard fork.
  • ADA tokens are down 1.6%, outperforming the CoinDesk 20 index's 2.2% loss over the past 24 hours.

Cardano's Decentralization Milestone

Cardano is on the brink of a significant transformation as it prepares to enter the final phase of its multiyear decentralization program. Co-founder Charles Hoskinson announced in an X post that the network will soon transition into the Voltaire era, marking a pivotal shift from its current Basho phase. This transition will involve a hard fork, making the blockchain backward-incompatible and fully community-managed, a milestone seven years in the making.

The first step in this process requires the validating node software operated by the system's stake pool operators (SPOs) to be upgraded to the latest version. Hoskinson stated, "It looks like June will be the month that Cardano Node will reach 9.0. This means that Cardano is Chang fork ready and waiting for 70 percent of the SPOs to install the new node. Then, a hard fork can occur pushing Cardano into the Age of Voltaire." This upgrade will enable the implementation of CIP 1694, allowing ADA token holders to vote on governance topics and features that benefit the Cardano ecosystem.

Market Reaction and ADA Performance

Despite the significant technological advancements, ADA tokens have seen a slight decline. According to CoinGecko data, ADA is down 1.6% in the past 24 hours, outperforming the broader market losses of 2.2% in major tokens tracked by the CoinDesk 20 (CD20) index. This performance suggests that while the market recognizes the importance of Cardano's transition, broader market conditions are exerting downward pressure on prices.

Hoskinson emphasized the importance of community governance in the new era, stating, "We'll have the most advanced blockchain governance system, annual budgets, a treasury, and the wisdom of our entire community to guide us." The Voltaire era will also introduce features like proxy participation and treasury withdrawals, enabling users to propose and fund projects within the Cardano ecosystem.

Mercer's Acquisition of Cardano

In a separate but equally significant development, consulting group Mercer has agreed to acquire pension manager Cardano, which oversees more than £50 billion in assets. This acquisition aims to expand Mercer's business in Britain and capitalize on the growing demand for workplace pensions. Mercer, part of US professional services company Marsh McLennan, is set to announce the acquisition as early as this afternoon, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The deal will bolster Mercer's footprint in the UK workplace pension market, particularly in the area of liability-driven investment (LDI) strategies. Cardano, which operates in the UK and the Netherlands, owns Now: Pensions, a provider of workplace pension schemes. Benoit Hudon, Mercer's UK president and CEO, stated that the deal would "position Mercer as the pension provider of choice in the UK and the Netherlands." Michaël De Lathauwer, CEO of Cardano, noted that the two companies "share an aligned culture," and that Cardano would benefit from Mercer's scale and resources.

Galaxy Digital's Strong Position

Galaxy Digital is well-positioned to benefit from the increasing mainstream adoption of digital assets, according to a research report by Canaccord Genuity. The broker raised its price target for Galaxy to C$23 from C$17, maintaining a buy rating on the stock. The shares closed at C$16.25 on Friday. Analysts led by Joseph Vafi cited several factors for the increased price target, including digital assets hovering near all-time highs, regulatory advancements, and strong business execution by Galaxy.

The report highlighted Galaxy's strong institutional exposure and its partnerships with leading players like Inveco, DWS, and Itau. Additionally, Galaxy acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Bitstamp in its recent acquisition by Robinhood, showcasing its investment banking capabilities. Galaxy also owns the Helios mining facility in west Texas, which could see appreciation if energy-hungry artificial intelligence companies continue to seek deals with bitcoin miners.

Management Quotes

  • Charles Hoskinson, Co-founder of Cardano:

    "It looks like June will be the month that Cardano Node will reach 9.0. This means that Cardano is Chang fork ready and waiting for 70 percent of the SPOs to install the new node. Then, a hard fork can occur pushing Cardano into the Age of Voltaire."
    "We'll have the most advanced blockchain governance system, annual budgets, a treasury, and the wisdom of our entire community to guide us."