Cardano’s Shelley public testnet is now live. From today, anyone interested in becoming a crypto stake pool operator can apply to do so.The Cardano team has, in the past, been heavily criticized by the crypto community over delayed releases. However, recent developments have answered those objections, much to the delight of Cardano supporters.Shelley Public Testnet is Now Open on the Cardano NetworkThe Shelley phase of the Cardano roadmap is aimed at making the network fully decentralized. The basis for this lies in establishing a network of independent pool operators to run an incentivized Proof-of-Stake system.“Shelley will also see the introduction of a delegation and incentives scheme, a reward system to drive stake pools and community adoption. As a proof-of-stake network, users stake their ada to participate in the network.”Cardano roadmap showing the five stages of development. (Source: roadmap.cardano.org)Since November 2019, an incentivized testnet (ITN) has in operation. ADA holders participated by staking their ADA tokens to earn real ADA in exchange.But this will be shortly wound down in favor of implementing the actual Shelley mainnet, which is scheduled for release on July 29th.The purpose of today’s announcement is to bridge the gap between the ITN and the Shelley mainnet by way of further developing the pool of operators to run on the Shelley mainnet.IOHK Communications Director, Tim Harrison explained further by saying, since May, a network of around 50 experienced stake pool operators have been ironing out the bugs within Shelley testnet.But today marks the start of a new phase in which any interested parties can join the testnet as a stake pool operator.“… the Shelley testnet will open up to any operator that wants to set up a Cardano stake pool, ready for staking and delegation on the mainnet later this summer.”It’s expected that ITN stake pool operators, who have some experience in the process, will port over, along with anyone else interested in joining the network. However, Harrison was keen to stress that the Shelley testnet still has a “learning curve.”To help with set up, mentorship is available from the experienced stake pool operators who have been running since May.Reaction From the Crypto CommunityDelays in achieving Cardano’s roadmap goals have led to criticisms from the crypto community, with Cardano CEO, Charles Hoskinson often bearing the brunt of the flak.However, recent developments have shown that Cardano is starting to make headway, which has injected a sense of optimism for long-standing ADA holders.Happy days pic.twitter.com/1kV9zxUJ58— Jager London (@jagsin21) June 8, 2020On that front, Hoskinson has remained humble, instead preferring to crack jokes and let the progress speak for itself.Yo dawg, I heard you want some open testnets? https://t.co/HVH2Q5rdqd— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) June 8, 2020Crypto Markets go Crazy For ADAWith surging interest, the price of ADA has spiked in recent weeks. While many cryptos, Bitcoin included, have struggled to beat their pre-pandemic price, ADA, last week, soared to a new year-to-date high.Cardano daily chart with volume. (Source: tradingview.com)Progress since the start of the year has been impressive. Back then, it was trading for $0.03352, but the coming together of developments has seen a 153% gain in price. Currently, it’s trading down on the day, at $0.08479.