Cardano laid the foundation for decentralizing its network with the long-anticipated Shelley hard fork that took place on 29th July 2020.
The implementation made it possible for all holders of the digital token ADA to delegate their holdings to the stake pools controlled by the community and earn staking rewards.
During the centralized Byron era, federated nodes of IOHK was in full control of the block production. But the first block was minted by a stake pool after Shelley mainnet transitioned to epoch 3.
The level of centralization of Cardano network keeps decreasing with each new epoch. The majority of all blocks are expected to be minted by the community before the end of this week.
Announcing the major attainment, IOHK tweeted, “A moment to reflect, as we reach an important milestone in Cardano’s decentralization journey. Exactly 50% of blocks are now being minted by community stake pools. Halfway there. PS Better still, come Friday (when d =0.48) the Cardano community will be minting the majority.”
A moment to reflect, as we reach an important milestone in #Cardano's decentralization journey. Exactly 50% of blocks are now being minted by community stake pools. Halfway there.
— Input Output (@InputOutputHK) November 2, 2020
In a blog post published by Kevin Hammond, IOHK’s technology manager stated that the main target is to make stake pools produce all blocks, which will make governance on the network fully decentralized.
The blog post reads in part as follows:
“IOG will continue to run its own stake pools that will produce blocks in line with the stake they attract, just like any other pools. But these will no longer have any special role in maintaining the Cardano network. It will also, of course, delegate a substantial amount of its stake to community pools. Simultaneously, the voting mechanism will be enabled, and it will no longer be possible to increase and ‘re-centralize’ Cardano.”
The number of stake pools on the Cardano network currently stands at 1,208. This level of development has often prompted Charles Hoskinson to claim that Cardano would eventually become 100 times more decentralized than Bitcoin, the first and largest digital currency.