undefinedLast week saw the IOHK succeeded to apply a change to the Cardano protocol, which is due to bring token locking to the platform. On Dec. 16, there will have another upgrade - Allegra, a major step for IOHK to enable Cardano to boost Goguen's smart contract functionality as well as Voltaire's governance.

According to an announcement form IOHK - the firm behind Cardano, they successfully executed Allegra, which is a protocol update that will bring token locking to the blockchain. From the beginning of December, Allegra is a development change that was due to integrate metadata on the network.

As a small technical change to the consensus protocol overall, token locking will exert a tremendous impact on how Cardano works and, thus, required a hard fork to be implemented. 

The protocol upgrade went smoothly without any interruptions, breaks or restarts to the blockchain due to the blockchain's unique hard fork combinator (HFC). There is a need for those who hold ADA to be running the latest version of their preferred wallet, while stake pool operators are required to update their nodes to the latest version. On the other hand, exchanges need to update their software stacks, but the firm noted that dedicated team from IOHK as well as the Cardano Foundation will help them to transit smoothly.

Allegra will officially take place on Dec. 16, at the boundary of epoch 236, just before 10 PM UTC. The firm officially announced that Allegra will make preparations for Cardano for smart contracts and create assets that run on the platform. An essential piece of governance functionality that will come with Voltaire will be provided. 

Token locking will allow Cardano to record that a specific token issued on the network is being used for a certain purpose. If more tokens are issued on the network besides ADA, a particular number of tokens will be enabled to be reserved for a specific period of time. In this way, they can benefit from it, covering voting or running complicated smart contracts. 

The firm claimed that "This update is another key milestone in the incredible Cardano journey we've been making since Shelley this summer. We're delighted to deliver it – as we promised – during 2020. See you on the other side as we continue accelerating into Goguen, and all the new utility it will bring in 2021."

This is not the first of forks for the Cardano network and neither will it be the last. Since its founding in 2015, the network has experienced various hard forks as envisioned in its development. There will still have 2 more development phases prior to its ultimate goal following the Goguen upgrade.