What Cardano’s Vasil hard fork means for the blockchain

After several delays and some setbacks, Cardano’s long-awaited Vasil update finally went live on September 22nd. From the outside looking in, the hard fork is designed to help improve ecosystem scalability and overall transaction capacity, as well as advance Cardano’s decentralized applications. development capability (DApps).

A commemorate event, blockchain company Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) made an announcement, which is currently overseeing the design, construction and maintenance of the Cardano platform, just minutes after development.

To get a more holistic view of what the update represents and its potential impact on Cardano (as well as the broader crypto ecosystem), Cointelegraph reached out to Shahaf Bar-Geffen, CEO of COTI, a protocol for creating networks of decentralized payment and stable coins. . In your opinion:

“The Vasil update heralds the dawn of a new era for the Cardano ecosystem and the decentralized finance space in general. The update aims to improve network scalability and improve contract capabilities Cardano smart”.

Bar-Geffen further noted that the hard fork will significantly improve the efficiency of Djed, an algorithmic stablecoin jointly developed by IOHK and the COTI Group, increasing the number of transactions carried out on the Djed platform and thereby helping to position Cardano as a prime candidate for stablecoin transactions.

A closer look at what Vasil has to offer

Before looking at the functional and operational advantages that the Vasil hard fork offers, it would be best to understand what exactly a hard fork is. In its most basic sense, a hard fork is a network upgrade that is set in motion when those governing a blockchain platform decide to add or fix certain features to the ecosystem.

In other words, when a hard fork occurs, the network splits into two versions that run separately, where one version follows the existing features and rules while the other continues as an updated version of the network.

Giving his take on the technical aspects of the update, Charmyn Ho, head of crypto information for cryptocurrency exchange Bybit, told Cointelegraph that at the application layer, Vasil de Cardano’s hard fork aims to strengthen the network’s current smart contracts to create a better experience for both. users and developers alike, adding:

“This will simultaneously lead to a more efficient construction process in terms of chain applications. On the infrastructure level, the many upgrades included in Vasil’s hard fork will allow Cardano to increase block size and TPS while maintaining its POS mechanism.

He further emphasized that Vasil’s hard fork not only aims to improve the chain’s scalability and optimize its existing functions, but also to strengthen the network’s stability and connectivity. “This is a big and outstanding step forward for Cardano, as the upgrade is expected to lower the transaction costs of the network while increasing the transaction speed,” he added.

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Finally, it is worth noting that Vasil is not the first major update to the Cardano network because a year or so ago, the project witnessed the release of another hard fork called Alonzo, which was designed to allow users design DApps using smart contracts. The Alonzo update, along with many other developments, was Cardano’s way of providing users with an attractive alternative to Ethereum, another platform that enables the seamless development of new applications through smart contracts.

Why is Vasil so important?

The name of a prominent member of the Cardano community who died in 2021, Vasil St. Dabov, the update will improve ecosystem transaction performance, efficiency and block latency speeds. Additionally, the hard fork will see the implementation of a technique called broadcast pipelining, which seeks to improve block propagation times while increasing the network’s transaction processing capabilities.

Vasil’s hard fork will introduce three key Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs), namely CIP-31, CIP-32 and CIP-33. In this regard, CIP-31 will stimulate the introduction of a new reference input mechanism that will allow DApps to access transactional output data without having to recreate it as before, making the whole process extremely streamlined and cost-saving time At the same time, CIP-32 is designed to improve Cardano’s native levels of decentralization by introducing an on-chain data storage feature for network participants.

CIP-33 will facilitate transactions by making changes to the system’s native programming script, allowing for faster processing and reduced fees. Finally, another upgrade called CIP-40 will be introduced as part of Vasil. It will introduce a new outgoing transaction mechanism to help improve block transmission without full validation.

Other updates include an improvement to Cardano’s native smart contract programming language, Plutus, which will now be more functionally advanced than its previous iteration. Not only that, Vasil will also improve the security of the platform by making it easier to interface with Cardano’s UTXO model (which has been created to resemble Bitcoin’s) while keeping its transaction load off-chain.

Potential effects on the ADA

While the first round of the hard fork started on September 22nd, the remaining updates will take effect on September 27th. To that point, the second phase of the hard fork will seek to redefine Plutus’ cost model, which has a direct effect. effect on the processing power and memory fees required to govern Cardano’s native smart contracts.

In addition to Vasil’s update, the Cardano team revealed that it has been working tirelessly on the development of its layer 2 scaling solution, the Hydra head protocol, which is capable of processing transactions from the chain of Cardano blocks while still using it as its core security and settlement layer.

To that point, a recent update from the Cardano team revealed that it had successfully resolved a known issue with the Hydra node framework. As things stand, the protocol does not have a fixed release date. However, the IOHK team has hinted that the offering could hit the market sometime in late 2022 or the first quarter of 2023.

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Vasil was originally scheduled to launch earlier this year, but faced numerous setbacks. While the update is rolling out now, the ecosystem continues to reel from the impact of these delays. For example, since the beginning of 2020, Cardano’s native cryptocurrency ADA has continued to witness a decline in its transaction volume. Not only that, but from a purely price-performance standpoint, the update failed to do much in terms of boosting ADA’s value, with the currency down less than 1% on the week.

While ADA’s price action continues to be quite disheartening, the fact that the Cardano ecosystem has made such huge strides over the past year shows that the project seems poised for big things in the short to medium term .