Cardano's First Smart Contracts Testnet and Update 1.2.0 Released

Cardano’s First Smart Contracts Testnet and Update 1.2.0 Released

It’s been a whirl of activity in the Cardano ecosystem as of late. In the latest progress, the minds behind the smart contracts platform have just released KEVM, the project’s first smart contracts testnet, as well as the platform’s 1.2.0 software update. 

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KEVM Testnet Now Live

Cardano’s inaugural smart contracts testnet, KEVM, is finally live. The development marks a significant technical step forward for the project, which is aiming to be the vanguard third-generation blockchain smart contracts platform.

The blockchain underpinning ADA pushes ahead.

The correct-by-construction testnet, so-called KEVM because it’s a unique framework based on K formal executable semantics, is designed to facilitate and verify Ethereum Virtual Machine, or EVM, smart contracts.

To that end, the Cardano team noted the significance of the milestone in the project’s main forum:

“This technology, produced by Runtime Verification with the support of IOHK, is the first time that a complete formal semantics of the EVM have been produced. This is an important first in cryptocurrency that is a necessary step towards the promise of third-generation blockchains.

Developers will be able to take any application that runs on the EVM and execute it on the KEVM, which can also be used to rigorously prove that smart contracts work correctly.”

Ironing Out Smart Contract Wrinkles

Grigore Rosu, CEO of the aforementioned Runtime Verification, last year hailed the need for a complete executable formal semantics of the EVM.

“The pressing need to address repeated security vulnerabilities and high-profile failures in Ethereum smart contracts hasn’t been adequately addressed by existing formal verification and program analysis tools,” Rosu said. “No fully-formal, rigorous, comprehensive, and executable semantics of EVM [has existed hitherto], leaving a lack of rigor on which to base such tools.”

Accordingly, Rosu also then noted the promise of KEVM, saying it clearly pointed the way to better building in the ecosystem:

“This work serves as a foundation for the development of new smart contract analysis tools; more importantly, it gives us invaluable insight on how to design better programming languages for smart contracts.”

The testnet’s already set to be robust, having been stress-tested more than 40,000 times before being deployed “in the wild,” as it were.


KEVM may be Cardano’s first live smart contract testnet, but it won’t be the only one for long. Next up on the slate is the project’s IELE testnet, which is set to launch at some point in Q2 2018.

In other words, in just a matter of days.

IELE will be a new virtual machine to “serve as a uniform, lower-level platform for translating and executing smart contracts from higher-level languages,” per Runtime’s Rosu.

Cardano 1.2.0 Update Also Released

The Cardano 1.2.0 software update has also been released, with its most familiar addition being the actualizing of paper wallet functionality in the ADA ecosystem.

Thus continues Cardano’s march to “pound for pound” match and then best competitors like Bitcoin and Ethereum. It still has a lot of catching up to do,  but the project’s unquestionably set itself near the very front of the general crypto pack.

What’s your take? Do you think Cardano has a shot to become a serious Ethereum competitor? Let us know what you think in the comments below. 

Images via Modex, Motley Fool

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