IOHK has been working on the token locking functionalities before the Hard Fork Combinator [HFC] event which has been scheduled for the first week of December. The team has been continuing with its Goguen rollout, which has been an important milestone after Shelley.
In a recent update, Dimitris Poulopoulos, Goguen Project Manager, and Volodymyr Hulchenko, Cardano Project Manager, informed that token locking functionalities will begin to lay groundwork for full integration of Goguen into the mainnet. Given the importance of these protocol changes, IOHK’s Kevin Hammond provided more details pertaining to the implementation and effort that goes behind this.
Unlike other hard forks, Cardano handles the hard fork automatically, without stopping block production. This offered a smooth up-gradation, allowing new features to be introduced easily and evolve the platform’s capabilities.
“Our goal has always been to make these changes as seamless as possible. To enable a smooth transition, Cardano automatically preserves the history of previous blocks. This allows the protocol to be upgraded without radical interference to the chain. The previous state does not vanish.”
The previous state is rather extended to include new capabilities in Cardano; thus, there is no chain split taking place. Instead, it combined original blocks, that comply with the ongoing block production rules, with new blocks, complying with new block production rules. This is what the team called hard-fork combinator, which was used in the transition from Byron to Shelley.
As Cardano and Ouroboros develop, HFC approach will ensure that the Goguen, Basho, and Voltaire blocks will all be held in a single chain. The blog added:
“Features will be added at each stage in successive hard forks. Some new features may not even need a hard fork (where the consensus protocol does not change).”
The token locking feature being added to the next protocol change will prepare the platform for smart contracts and creation of assets along with ADA that runs on Cardano.