Dubbed “Goguen,” the third phase will be focused on the protocol’s integration of smart contracts after building Cardano’s foundation and decentralizing its system in the first two phases.
According to coindesk, the hard fork will introduce the token-locking mechanism, one of its most important new functions, to the mainnet. It will enable the network’s smart contracts to support particular conditions like making users hold tokens for a fixed period of time in order to complete a contract.
Kevin Hammond, the company’s software engineer, said in a statement:
“While only having a slight impact on the actual ledger, the token-locking function will prepare the platform for smart contracts and the creation of assets that run on Cardano.”
Additionally, the upgrade will bring custom tokens into the network besides its native ADA token, Hammond noted.
Founded in 2015, Cardano has experienced numerous hard forks to evolve through its five development phases, according to its roadmap. After the Goguen era, the protocol will go through the last two phases, Basho and Voltaire, to improve its scaling and governance functions.