The cardano Incentivized Testnet (ITN) was launched sometimes back in mid December 2019, an event that gave the cardano community the ability to run stake pools and others to delegate their stake in order to gain staking rewards. In order to participate in the testnet, ADA holders were required to hold their ADA in either Deadalus or Yoroi wallet by 29th November 2019, a time at which a snapshot was taken and about a month later the ITN went live and the eligible cardano community members were able to stake their ADA for actual rewards.
Now roughly six months on, participants who have delegated their stake report a gain of 3 - 4% of their staked ADA, cummulative for the six months, which in theory corresponds to 6 - 8% gains PA. At the time of writting this article, there are 13.1 billion ADA staked on the ITN which is about 42% of all a total supply of 31 billion ADA. There are also more than 1000 active stake pool operators, with a total of about 574 million ADA distributed as rewards for staking in the ITN.
Cardano founder and CEO, Charles Hoskinson recently hosted a video on youtube talking about the ITN on 6th June 2020. In the video he explains that the ITN could as well be considered as a "standalone cryptocurrency", he also talks about the possibility of repurposing the ITN for something beneficial to the cardano ecosystem. In addition he also urged the ITN stakepool operators to "hold on" to the ITN as they may be able to do something with it. Finally Charles Hoskinson praises the ITN as being "the most decentralized blockchain". The ITN is schedulled to be turned off sometimes before the balance check, schedulled for up to end June 2020.
So, what are my thoughts for the way foward?
Well I would like to see the ITN repurposed for the benefit of the cardano ecosystem just as Charles says. I also think the ITN should proceed to become something useful to not only stake pool operators but also for the ADA holders to be able to benefit. Bear in mind that not all native ADA adresses participated in the ITN, only those who had thier ADA in respective deadalus and yoroi by the time of the snapshot, as such ITN participants are somewhat a community that closely follow and are dedicated to the development of the cardano project.
As we expect to be live on Shelley by August 2020, the next step in the cardano roadmap is the Guogen era, in which we expect to see the mounting of smart contracts on the cardano network. The community and possibly IOHK could try and find a way of engineering the ITN to function as one of the first dapps for the cardano blockchain, as the ADA in the ITN could automaticaly serve as a token of the smart contract. This will certainly be an interesting thing to see.
As for the moment, the price of ADA is at $ 0.077 having dropped from a high of $0.088 on June 4th.