On Wednesday 1 August around UTC 20:20, the Public Testnet will hardfork into the era, adding capability. It marks the start of the countdown to full mainnet deployment & the beginning of an exciting new era for Cardano. Here’s David on what to expect: The Cardano Alonzo hard fork is coming. So what does that mean for Cardano as a whole and what will it look like in the early days after the hard fork? Well, let's start with where we are right now. Plutus is ready. The Daedalus wallet is ready. Everything is all packaged up. And as of now, it's been confirmed that we are ready to hard fork to the Cardano Testnet on Wednesday, September 1st. Once we've hard forked the test net, then we can start testing everything that was inside that package we just updated inside a live production environment. We'll be running our own tests and inviting others to test as well – with the main goal, being to test for stability, security testing that the foundational code to write smart contracts is working properly and all the other miscellaneous things that need to be done to ensure that we can confidently hard fork to the main net. This is also the time in which 140 exchanges will be switching from AlonzoPurple to a live production environment in preparations for the mainnet launch. So what is the main net hard fork? It's currently set for Sunday, September 12th. And this gives our Testnet partners roughly a week and a half to ensure that everything is running correctly and there are no fundamental bugs or issues that for security reasons could mean the date needs to get pushed back. When this hard fork event happens on the 12th September, smart contract capabilities will be ready to use on the Cardano main net with select functionality being made available at launch and with more capabilities shortly after with the PAB update. But what this really means, is that it's opening the door to things in the future, like enabling DeFi, decentralized finance. Then we have DEXs - decentralized exchanges - which would enable things like Uniswap, but on Cardano. Imagine opening up the app store on your phone, like we all do right now. This is how the future looks, except that all these apps will be decentralized. You'll be only a few clicks away from getting access to a slew of helpful tools and this doesn't even begin to cover the new functionalities that creative individuals will come up with for the almost limitless potential that smart contracts on Cardano will offer. At launch developers will be able to use the CLI interface, but as the PAB rolls out, that will improve the developer experience, making it easier to develop complex dApps. This hard fork event marks the beginning of open source smart contract development on Cardano. For everyone that's been here for the ride. You know what a ride it's been. A and for everyone else just joining us, welcome, aboard! Things are just getting started...