The cardano network is on the eve of a major upgrade. On July 3, the test network went into operation and four weeks later it will be the turn of the mainnet. According to developer Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), this will be the “biggest and best hard fork yet.” What exactly can we expect from the new version of the Cardano test network?
Speed, efficiency and lower cost
According to IOHK, the new update provides higher throughput, improved execution of scripts for developers and lower costs. One of the most significant updates is the implementation of “diffusion pipelining” which increases scalability for decentralized applications.
The update allows for faster creation of blocks that can then be sent through the network without full validation. Thus, the test network will transition on July 3 and the cardano community has indicated that it will need four weeks to test everything and update applications.
IOHK indicates that the hard fork will take place when “everyone is comfortable with that and ready for the upgrade.” Originally, the mainnet was supposed to be updated as early as June 29, but on June 22 that plan was delayed by one month. At the time, IOHK called the project the “most complex work we have ever taken on.”
Last update Cardano dates back to September 2021
The last significant update for the cardano blockchain dates back to September 2021. At that time, the Alonzo hard fork took place, introducing the long-awaited possibility of smart contracts into the cardano network.
Since the update, those smart contracts can be built with Plutus scripts, a programming language developed specifically for cardano.So far, that has mostly ended in disappointment for the cardano community.
Indeed, at the time of writing, cardano has only 11 decentralized applications left are running on the network. Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson predicted that by 2021, the Cardano ecosystem would already be home to thousands of decentralized applications.
According to Hoskinson, however, most developers are waiting for the new Vasil hard fork. The Vasil hard fork is named after Vasil Stoyanov Davod, an artist and member of the cardano community who passed away in December 2021.
Cardano and Proof-of-Stake
Cardano is one of the larger projects within the industry that is already running on proof-of-stake at the moment. For years, the project has been labeled as a so-called “ethereum killer.”
However, up to this point it has failed to deliver on that promise. With only 11 decentralized applications and a market cap that is much, much lower than that of Ethereum, cardano still has a long way to go.
So the only thing cardano has going for it over ethereum is that it is already running on proof-of-stake. The consensus mechanism that ethereum also plans to switch to later this year.
In terms of price, cardano has been better. At the time of writing, the token is trading at 0.4249 euros and the project has a market cap of approximately 14.5 billion euros. This means that cardano is currently trading at around 85 percent of last year’s all-time high.