IOHK, the studio behind the development of the Cardano blockchain, announced the launch of a suite of products that will make the network fit into the growing decentralized finance ecosystem.
The Marlowe package has been explicitly designed to facilitate peer-to-peer financial agreements, allowing the development of Cardano smart contracts once implemented on the blockchain. Marlowe started its alpha phase last year, and according to Shruti Appiah, IOHK Product Manager, the team is now ready to launch the pack alongside the Goguen upgrade.
But first, the Cardano development team must ensure the release of Alonzo. This hard fork will allow smart contracts execution for the first time in Cardano.
Cardano Ready for Alonzo
Everything is now ready for the release of Alonzo testnet, meaning it’s in early alpha, according to a recent IOHK announcement. The distribution will be carried out in stages, each with color-coded names – starting from June each month until its full release on mainnet scheduled for September 2021.
The Cardano development team is working on this upgrade even while developing the Shelley phase. Shelley was a major turning point for Cardano. It made the transition to the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm, which is more efficient and offers additional functionality to the network’s tokenomics. According to the Roadmap, the Smart Contract app will be Cardano’s most important development to date:
The Goguen era with the integration of smart contracts represents an important leap in capability for the Cardano network. Goguen, where the Shelley era decentralized the core of the system, adds Cardano’s ability to build decentralized applications (dApps) on the solid foundation of peer-reviewed research and high-security development.
What is Marlowe?
Marlowe is a suite of tools that will enable the execution of smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain. This includes DeFi’s games, NFT marketplace, identity tracking systems, transaction conditioning, etc. It will allow the execution of all kinds of new products.
As shown in the picture, Marlowe serves three different purposes: Developers, end users and businesses.
The developers will have three different products:
Marlowe Build to allow development of smart contracts; Marlowe Play, which will ensure testing in safe conditions; and the Marlowe Library will allow publication to an open library of smart contracts to facilitate the development of new applications.
End users will have Marlowe Run, which will automatically develop smart contracts with a comprehensive library of templates and non-technical explanations.
And finally, IOHK has also developed a product for corporate use that focuses on using Algorithmic Contract Types Unified Standards (Actus) for financial contracts.