I have heard about the Alonzo update, but I was not able to understand exactly what this will change for cardano. It is said it is a step toward Goguen, but that is not very explicit. How many steps do remain to get there? What will it achieve?

2 Answers 2


Cardano's Gougen era, which is the era that will enable what is generally understood as smart contract capabilities comparable to Ethereum's, consists of three major Hard Fork Combinator (HFC) events:

  1. Allegra – Transaction metadata capabilities
  2. Mary – Native assets (the Cardano pendant to ERC tokens on Ethereum)
  3. Alonzo – Smart contract capabilities

The original Cardano roadmap defines 5 main Eras: Byron, Shelley, Goguen, Basho and Voltaire. Each of these include several milestones, usually in the form of a hard-fork that changes some of the underlying ledger rules in order to enable some new features and functionalities.

We are currently in the Goguen era. The transition from the Shelley era to the Mary era was enabled by the Mary hard-fork. But the main hard-fork that will bring smart-contract functionality to Cardano is Alonzo. There are a few other steps to get there, like a multi-stage testnet roll out, but essentially there should be only one single hard-fork involved.

  • Yes but what will Alonzo achieve exactly?
    – Distic
    Jun 3, 2021 at 10:05
  • Alonzo will give programmable blockchain, by the way of smart contract functionality. It will provide Plutus language support to write smart contract.
    – raghu
    Jun 3, 2021 at 10:30
  • @raghu and so what remains to do to get to goguen era? I thought Goguen era was just that.
    – Distic
    Jun 3, 2021 at 10:54
  • 2
    The Goguen era is complete, only if smart contract (Alonzo) is in place. Smart Contract is still not in mainnet. We can only say that we are in full Goguen era.
    – raghu
    Jun 3, 2021 at 13:23
  • @raghu So you mean that Alonzo is the final step of Goguen era?
    – Distic
    Jun 3, 2021 at 18:42

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