The platform that underpins ADA, known as Cardano, is actually the ninth largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and it opens its doors to third-party developers through a new client, which is written in systems programming language Rust.
The CEO at IOHK, named Charles Hoskinson, which is actually a blockchain development company behind Cardano, said in an interview that as the project matures and grows, they will need to satisfy the demands of different clients.
Cardano’s blocks produced by IOHK
IOHK made this announcement on the 1st of October of this year, exactly one year after it has launched Byron, which is the first version of the settlement layer of Cardano, which has been built in the functional programming language Haskell. While this programming language works well for the mission-critical code, the one which they used now, known as Rust, shines in areas such as mobile, where performance matters. Rust has been created by Mozilla for Firefox as a replacement of the programming language C++.
Another thing worth noting is that Cardano, which is a proof-of-stake blockchain, is now centralized with all of its blocks being produced by IOHK. However, the project also hopes to change that in Q1 of 2019 when its Shelley release opens up staking pools to users.
At its core, the Rust project of Cardano is actually a software development kit for the Cardano blockchain. It has a few ingredients which are needed to interact with the blockchain, which includes data types such as blocks, transactions, as well as addresses and so on. The Github repository described this project as a toolbox of the functions of Cardano intended for use by third parties. Also, it stated that a future Rust implementation of Cardano node is in progress.
Ethereum also offers some choices for clients
A CLI or command line interface wallet is actually the first project which will come out of the Rust project of Cardano. The wallet, which is still in alpha phase, acts as a toolbox for third-party developers. Here, some developers can pick and choose from a library of wallet and node functions. Also, it permits developers to manage a few wallets, which include the Daedalus and Icarus wallets. The library is also open source, and the plan is for the community to take over the project eventually.
A variation of clients is also good software engineering, as well as a common practice in open source software, as it makes it less likely the protocol to be tightly bound to one implementation.
For instance, Ethereum, which is a project in which Hoskinson participated as a co-founder and CEO four years ago, in 2014, also offers a choice of clients – its main ones being Go-Ethereum, which is written in the Go programming language of Google, and Parity, which is written in Rust. IOHK has the intention for Cardano-Haskell to serve as a reference code for some new clients, showcasing how the Cardano protocol should work.
Two smart contract test nets already run on Cardano
Interestingly, IOHK sees Cardano as going head-to-head with some projects like EOS and Ethereum. However, that is not going to happen until a third major release called Goguen introduces a smart contract layer to the platform. Hoskinson stated that two smart contract test nets are already up and running, adding that IOHK will probably use its Rust client to test smart contracts.