Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano (ADA – 3.39%), has announced that the Cardano blockchain would be releasing a whole series of upgrades that will go live by the end of this month. Known as the Vasil hard fork, the upgrades enhance network capacity, thereby enhancing transaction speeds and lowering fees. It will also develop new intelligent contract capabilities and other general upgrades to support the further development of decentralized finance (Defi) applications.
Since the blockchain introduced intelligent contracts onto the Cardano blockchain in September, it has seen explosive growth. The release of smart contracts will enable developers to develop the latest Defi applications like decentralized exchanges (DEXes), non-fungible token (NFT) platforms, and even a metaverse space.
Latest Scaling Solution
The cutting-edge technology of the Vasil hard fork is called Diffusion pipelining. Diffusion pipelining is a kind of scaling solution that will streamline the process known as block propagation. For transactions to be authenticated on a blockchain, nodes must agree. A series of defined steps must occur as a block goes through the Cardano blockchain. The process is rigid and takes additional time. And in the space of blockchains, time is money.
Diffusion pipelining will allow some of these steps to be joined and coincide. Before Diffusion pipelining, nodes would have to wait on each other to complete each specified task. Soon, nodes will be able complete some of the work before the block arrives. As blocks move faster, fees go down.
Cardano’s smart contracts will also obtain a facelift. As a part of the Vasil hard fork, a series of development proposals will be implemented, revamping data storage, simplifying scripts that automate processes, and reducing the size of scripts, so that smart contracts are more efficient.
Other Layer 1 intelligent contract blockchains, like Ethereum, currently rely on Layer 2 scaling solutions, like Polygon, to maintain low fees and fast speed. The Vasil hard fork eliminates this requirement for a Layer 2.
Right on time
Cardano has seen exponential growth since contracts were included into the blockchain. Since early 2022, the number of smart contracts on Cardano’s blockchain has increased by nearly 300%.
As a result of all the new enhancement and traffic on the network, the total value locked (TVL), a metric utilized to calculate how much money is in a blockchain ecosystem, hit an all-time high in late March of around $325 million. At the beginning of the year, the TVL of Cardano wasn’t even above $1 million.