The most recent hard fork of Cardano is the most important update to the blockchain since the functionality of smart contracts was added in September of last year.
Bringing “major performance and capabilities” changes to the blockchain, the Cardano Vasil update and hard fork has finally gone live as of Thursday at 9:44 p.m. UTC, after being delayed for a number of months due to technical issues.
On Thursday, the blockchain business Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) made the announcement on Twitter that the Cardano mainnet hard fork was successful. Others also saw the hard fork tick over in a live Twitter Spaces with Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson.
IOHK has noted in the past that one of the main advancements brought about by the fork is the ability for blocks to be transmitted without full validation. This makes it possible to create blocks more quickly. Upgrades to its Plutus smart contracts, which were designed to boost the platform’s overall efficiency, also make it possible for decentralized apps to be deployed and operated at reduced costs.
On September 27, after one epoch, which typically lasts roughly five days, new capabilities brought about by Plutus script upgrades will become available for use by developers on the mainnet. These capabilities were previously unavailable.
In a tweet, the founder of the cryptocurrency trading platform Abra, Bill Barhydt, referred to the upgrade as “one of the most complex and consequential updates to the Cardano network ever done.” He called the upgrade a “big win for developers” with the decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Genius Yield.
IOHK made the announcement on the date of the upgrade in the beginning of September. The “critical mass indicators” that were required to initiate the hard fork were reached in the twenty-four hours leading up to the event.
It comes after months of delays and reschedules, with the launch day initially scheduled for June. It was twice postponed due to troubles on the testnet caused by faults in an earlier node version producing compatibility concerns. This comes after the launch day was originally scheduled for June.
After the completion of the Vasil upgrade, Cardano is moving forward with the development of its layer-2 scaling solution, the Hydra head protocol. This protocol processes transactions outside of the Cardano blockchain while continuing to rely on the blockchain for its security and settlement functions.
The most recent update on Hydra, which was published on September 16th, revealed how the team fixed a known problem with the Hydra nodes. The launch date of the protocol has not yet been determined, although it is planned to occur sometime between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023.
According to data provided by CoinGecko, the announcement of the successful launch caused a roughly 4% increase in the price of Cardano (ADA) during the previous 24 hours, bringing it to $0.46. Despite this increase, the price is still down over 4.5% on the week.
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