We are fast approaching full decentralisation of the Cardano network with all blocks produced by Stake Pool Operators (SPOs) with the transition set to occur on March 31st, at the boundary of epoch 257.
As Colin Edwards, Quantitative Strategist at IOHK, notes in this blog post:
At the end of March, we’ll reach another significant milestone for Cardano when we’ll see d, the parameter that governs what percentage of transactions are processed by the genesis nodes, get to zero. At this point, responsibility for block generation will be fully decentralized. In other words, Cardano’s network of 1800+ community pools will be solely responsible for producing blocks.https://iohk.io/en/blog/posts/2021/03/04/not-long-till-d-0-day/
D=0 Day will be a landmark moment in Cardano’s continuing journey. When we deployed the Shelley update back in July 2020, d was set to an initial 1.0, meaning that every block was produced by IOHK’s network of federated nodes.
On March 31, at the boundary of epoch 257, d will reach zero. ‘D=0 Day’ will be special because while that number may be small, its significance is huge. In this context, that zero heralds the most important outward indicator of decentralization, a parameterized symbol supporting a core tenet of our philosophy. D=0 pushes power to the edges.
Another important change announced is delaying the k parameter increase to Q3 2021. This parameter controls the total number of stake pools in the ecosystem and was due to increase from 500 to 1000 from the end of March. Colin continues:
While it has been a matter of considerable internal discussion, we have also concluded that any change in k should come after changing the formula for a0 to deliver the desired results (especially encouraging stake to flow to smaller single pools rather than split pools). Since this is a full formula modification, and no longer a simple epoch boundary change, it needs to be released as part of a hard fork. Given our product pipelines and the team’s current focus on continuing the Goguen rollout and available dates, we look at making this change again in a Q3 time frame.
This is a positive development for the ecosystem and we support it.