Cardano (ADA) Launches Staking Testnet: First Step on Road to Coinbase?

The team behind Cardano (ADA) today released the first testnet which allows users to toy with the staking mechanisms promised in the upcoming Shelley update.

This marks a big step for Cardano in the long ramp up towards the long awaited Shelley update. The consequences of said update could be huge for Cardano. It would mark the first true release of a working product, and finalize Coinbase’s flirtation with ADA that has been ongoing since last year.

Cardano Launches Staking Testnet

As stated on a newly built website for the testnet launch, this release will initially be for experimentation:

“The Cardano Shelley testnet provides a way for ada users and developers in our community to experiment with staking and help build up a collection of stake pools on Cardano.”

The ADA community will have the opportunity to set up staking pools, and much of the infrastructure which will eventually go live when Shelley, and staking, is officially implemented. With no specific date set, the roadmap proposes a release at some point in 2019.

The team describe a multi-phase process which will ultimately lead to more than sufficient decentralization via delegated staking. Some bold predictions are made about the scale of that decentralization. From the release:

“Once a certain threshold of stake pools is reached, and as more nodes are being run by the Cardano community, staking will be smoothly rolled out to the mainnet. At this point, we expect Cardano to be 50-100 times more decentralized than other large blockchain networks.”

When Coinbase Comes Calling…

Regardless of how accurate those expectations turn out, the launch of Shelley could be the final hurdle Cardano has to cross before it can make it to Coinbase.

Keep in mind that Coinbase announced it would be ‘exploring support’ for five altcoins, including Cardano, back in July 2018. Now, almost a year later, the other four coins: Stellar (XLM), 0x (ZRX), Zcash (ZEC) and Basic Attention Token (BAT) have all been listed.

Cardano has even been overtaken by the likes of EOS (EOS), Augur (REP) and Dai (DAI) – all of which were announced and subsequently listed in the meantime.

There’s a strong possibility that Coinbase has taken the same cautiously skeptical approach to Cardano that much of the crypto community has. In short, maybe Coinbase is waiting to see the fruits of this ‘scientific approach’ before it takes the risk of listing ADA.

That is, of course, speculation. And bear in mind that Coinbase must have seen something in ADA back in July 2018 for it to even bother announcing their interest.

Cardano Price – ADA/USD

After a week in which it lost 10%, the value of ADA rebounded to the tune of 6.49% on Friday. That saw the coin price rise from $0.085559 up to $0.091113.

The surge coincided with a rise in the broader market that saw Bitcoin top $10,000 on certain exchanges. The global crypto market crossed the $303 billion mark – the highest in almost 1 year.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via CoinMarketCap.

Greg Thomson is a freelance writer who contributes to leading cryptocurrency and blockchain publications like CCN, Hacked, and others.