The price of Cardano (ADA) has increased 60% in the week following Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson revealing the roadmap for the Shelley upgrade in a YouTube podcast with Lark Davis, aka Cryptolark. 

Shelley will see the network upgraded from a centralized network to a distributed one through the Shelley protocol upgrade by July 7, viewers were told, in conjunction with details about staking rewards and the hard fork.

This is the biggest change in protocols from any blockchain project, according to Hoskinson:

“This is like Ripple changing its consensus protocol [...] No cryptocurrency has really done this to this scale after they’ve rolled out.”

With the launch date less than a month away, the price has seen significant increases from $0.055 to $0.088 and daily trading volume increasing by more than fourfold.

A difficult build-up

In the past two years, two teams of developers from IOHK, the firm overseeing Cardano’s progress, have been developing two different versions of the staking protocol — a Byron-derived approach (currently live) and a “Haskell”-based Shelley system. Hoskinson announced that Cardano will transition to the Shelley protocol by early July. “The current protocol, Byron, has been out for about 2 years now.”

Currently, the Shelley Incentivized Testnet, or ITN, is doing the final tests before launch.The ecosystem maturity has resulted in a large number of supporters and node operators already being in loop with the project’s development, with 1,200 node operators on ITN.

The difficulty in developing and conducting this transition has been intense for the team, said Hoskinson, with unique challenges not normally faced by blockchain projects:

“I’m really proud of everybody. It’s been a long time coming and it’s been a difficult year because we’ve had to change the tires while the car is running. What we’re creating is basically the world’s next operating system.”

An intense rivalry 

Cardano and Tezos (XTZ) have gone head-to-head in the last few days to get the 10th position among the top coins by market cap, with both projects sitting a little over a $2 billion cap. On Twitter, Hoskinson likened it to the famous fight between Gandalf and the Balrog in Lord of the Rings: