The Cardano project has always been characterised by careful planning and deliberate scheduling.
Not only were formal methods applied and was progress continuously submitted to peer review, IOHK had opted from the beginning to verify the quality of their products with the use of test net.
One such test net was the so called Incentivized Test Net, or amicably known as the ITN.
Why incentivized? Because the test net distributed rewards to both holders of tes tnet ADA and stakepool operators for participating in simulating staking on the Cardano blockchain.
As we know the ITN was started up in December of 2019 and was designed to simply end when the supply of (real) ADA that had been allocated to provide rewards, would have run out.
This date arrived today, June 20th, 2020.
The experience of running the ITN turned out to be so successful however, and tremendously instructive, that the team in charge of it inside IOHK soon realised that there could be enormous value in keeping the ITN alive and redesign the test net to other, still to be determined tasks and purposes. As an end result this would likely help and speed up bringing new products to market.
But since the whole purpose of the ITN had been to simulate how the Cardano network would work if decentralised, the decisional power on weather to keep it running or to let it reach its natural end, was no longer solely with IOHK, but with the community.
In this case the community of stakepool operators, who had been the ones to indirectly finance the ITN by paying for their servers to run the nodes and operate the stakepools.
So…a vote was needed. What the outcome of the vote was is not even as important here (stakepool operators voted to keep the ITN running for now) as the fact that for the first time, and sooner than expected, the Cardano community was asked to step up to the plate and express their opinion about where to take (a piece of) the project.
The discussion was held on an episode of The Cardano Effect, as well as on Twitter, in the shape of conversations and polls, and although people disagreed, nobody was ever disagreeable.
The power of deciding the direction of the project had been successfully handed over and carefully managed by the Cardano community!!
More votes on a wide array of topics will now soon follow and we vividly hope that every ADA holder will participate on a regular basis.
Because in the end any blockchain project only really fulfils its true promise when the community gets involved.
If first impressions are important, then Cardano is off to a great start !