Update, July 24, 0800 PST: IOHK contacted CryptoSlate indicating the information had not been leaked because the GitHub is “already and very deliberately in the public domain.” IOHK reaffirms that the project is on schedule to be delivered by 2020 and that the information does not represent a leak.
From “federated” to decentralized nodes
Cardano is a “third-generation” blockchain platform with an emphasis on research and peer review. The first development phase of Cardano was the “Byron era,” marked by the September 2017 launch of the network. Byron focused on the core needs of the network, such as wallets and the first incarnation of the blockchain’s “Ouroboros” proof-of-stake consensus.
Coinciding with Byron is the “Bootstrap era,” where a group of “trusted nodes” maintain the network. These nodes are likely orchestrated by IOHK, the technology startup founded by Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood responsible for building the first iteration of Cardano.
Following Byron is the “Shelley era” of development, marking the shift toward a more decentralized community-run network. This will transition the network from the Bootstrap to “Reward era,” enabling users to stake their Ada to earn rewards amongst the decentralized community nodes.
“Once the majority of nodes are run by network participants, Cardano will be more decentralized and enjoy greater security and robustness as a result,” claims the Cardano roadmap.