The Cardano blockchain platform has now successfully completed the first stage in its most significant update since it introduced smart contracts two years ago, bringing increased network capacity, richer applications, improved interoperability, and faster transactions.
Coined as ‘Vasil’ – this upgrade has been implemented on the Cardano testnet for final integration tests prior to full deployment later this summer – and is part of the ‘Basho’ phase of the Cardano roadmap, which is focused on optimizing and scaling Cardano to better support DeFi apps.
This upgrade will bring important scalability improvements to Cardano, allowing the network to be optimized as it grows. This is significant given the growth of Cardano, which currently has over 5 million native tokens created on the platform, with over 1,000 projects building on it. A key scalability-focused element of the upgrade will be the introduction of ‘diffusion pipelining’, which will allow for continued network tuning and optimization, including an increase in block size.
Vasil will also implement upgrades to Plutus – Cardano’s core smart contract programming language – which will enable developers to create more powerful, more efficient blockchain-based applications (DApps). These improvements will reduce costs, simplify scripts and provide new cryptography and other primitives. The upgrade will also add initial core support for SECP256k1 cryptographic verification, improving interoperability options with Ethereum and Bitcoin.
Unlike other blockchain platforms which can experience outages during upgrades, the Vasil upgrade will take place with almost no disruption to daily Cardano users. This is because Input Output Global Inc. (IOG), the research and software development company behind Cardano, has created a unique solution for network upgrades called the ‘hard fork combinator’, which means that the chain continues through the upgrade without a “break”, meaning there is no need to stop block production.
“It’s been an incredible year for Cardano, and the Vasil upgrade is a testament to the hard work of not just the development team, but the Cardano community as a whole – many of the improvements stem from community-led Cardano Improvement Proposals. The growth of the network has been significant over the past two years, and we’ve seen an explosion of growth in the ecosystem over the past nine months. The Vasil upgrade will allow the network to continue to scale and grow, plus open up new options for developers, ensuring we meet the needs of the community as we go forward. So it seemed only right to name it in honor of Vasil Dabov, a Cardano ambassador who recently passed away, leaving a remarkable legacy with over 10,000 trees planted in his lifetime.”
– Tim Harrison, VP of Community & Ecosystem at Input Output Global