After several months of delays, the VASIL upgrade and the Cardano hard fork were successfully completed last Thursday at 21:44 UTC, bringing significant performance and capability improvements to the blockchain.
The success of the hard fork of Cardano’s core network was announced by blockchain company, Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), while others chose to watch the hard fork being completed live via Twitter Spaces, along with Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson.
Faster block creation and less cost
IOHK announced that the major upgrades brought by Hard Fork are the transmission of blocks without full validation, allowing for faster block creation.
Upgrades to smart contracts, Plutus, for increased performance also allow decentralized applications to be deployed and run at lower cost.
A win for developers
The new capabilities brought by the scripting upgrades to Plutus will be available to developers on the core network from September 27, after a period that currently lasts about five days.
Bill Barhydt, founder of cryptocurrency trading platform, Abra, called the upgrade “a big win for developers”, while decentralized finance (DeFi) platform, Genius Yield, said it was “one of the most complex and consequential updates to the Cardano network ever”.
Preceded by postponements and delays
The VASIL upgrade comes after months of delays and rescheduling, with a release day originally scheduled for June, delayed twice due to testnet issues caused by bugs in a previous node version that created compatibility problems.
Hydra development continues
Following the VASIL upgrade, Cardano continues to develop its own layer-2 scaling solution, the Hydra protocol, which processes transactions outside of Cardano’s blockchain while still using it as a security and settlement layer.
The latest update on Hydra, on September 16, detailed that the team had encountered a known issue with its nodes. The protocol does not have a set release date, but is intended for some time in late 2022 or the first quarter of 2023.