Cardano is laying the groundwork for full decentralization as it plans to enter the Voltaire era later this year. The Voltaire era aims to develop a self-sustaining system by introducing voting and treasury systems, allowing network participants to use their stake and voting rights to influence the network’s future development.

The Cardano network currently relies on distributed infrastructure introduced during the Shelley era. However, to achieve true decentralization, the platform requires a capacity for maintenance and improvement in a decentralized manner. Once implemented, the Voltaire era will enable network participants to present Cardano improvement proposals that stakeholders can vote on, leveraging the existing staking and delegation process.

To fund future development, the Voltaire era will introduce a treasury system, pooling a fraction of all transaction fees to support development activities following the voting process. With both the voting and treasury systems in place, Cardano will no longer be under IOG’s management. Instead, the community will control Cardano’s future with the necessary tools to grow and evolve the platform from a secure, decentralized foundation established by IOG.

Last Friday (March 24), IOG, the company responsible for Cardano’s research and development, provided an update on Cardano’s Age of Voltaire. The update highlighted CIP-1694, a Cardano Improvement Proposal named after the birth year of the French enlightenment thinker Voltaire, as a key component of Cardano’s next-generation governance. The proposal is currently being designed and co-created with the community to deliver on-chain mechanisms that enhance democratic decision-making across the ecosystem.

Around four weeks ago, IOG, the Cardano Foundation, and EMURGO co-hosted the CIP-1694 Workshop (named after the year of Voltaire’s birth) in Colorado to gather input and leverage the Cardano community’s collective intelligence.

IOG says that this event marked the beginning of a series of community events in 2023 aimed at advancing the CIP toward community validation and implementation. IOG is looking forward to further workshops and discussions in the coming months as the platform prepares to enter the Voltaire era and usher in a new age of governance.