Cardano, the world’s 5th-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $15 billion, successfully deployed a highly-anticipated upgrade – ‘Vasil’ – on Sept. 23, aiming to improve network throughput and smart contract performance for DeFi Apps.
The performance improvements are expected to benefit decentralized finance applications (dApps) built on Cardano, and some of them are set to launch in the coming weeks.
The upgrade was named after Vasil St. Dabov, a prominent Cardano community member who died in 2021.
According to Frederik Gregaard, the CEO of the Cardano Foundation, a nonprofit supporting the Cardano blockchain, Vasil will “reduce script execution costs and transaction size” of smart contracts and improve network speeds.
Tim Harrison, vice president of community at Input Output, a company that contributes to research and development for Cardano, called the upgrade “a step-change in the blockchain’s capabilities” in a blog post, adding:
“Yet the regular ADA holder using Cardano for transactions and DApps doesn’t need to do anything, as it all happens mostly behind the scenes.”
During the testing of Vasil, Cardano’s NFT project Artano found that using the upgrade reduced the cost of buying and bidding on NFTs by more than 75%.
Following the Vasil upgrade, Cardano continues developing its layer-2 scaling solution, the Hydra head protocol, which processes transactions off the Cardano blockchain while still using it as the security and settlement layer.
The latest update on Hydra from Sept. 16 detailed the team addressed a known issue with the Hydra nodes. The protocol has no set launch date, but it’s intended for some time in late 2022 or the first quarter of 2023.
According to CoinGecko, the announcement of the successful launch sent the price of Cardano (ADA) upward by nearly 4% over the last 24 hours to $0.46, although it is still down over 4.5% on the week.