Cardano (ADA) blockchain developer Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) has submitted an update proposal to hard fork the Cardano testnet, kicking off the countdown for the network’s Vasil mainnet upgrade.
The Vasil upgrade is slated to bring “significant performance and capability upgrades” to the blockchain, with IOHK describing the fork as the “biggest and best upgrade to date” providing a higher throughput, improved script performance for developers and lower costs.
One of the most significant updates pointed out by the team is the implementation of diffusion pipelining aimed at improving the blockchains’ scalability for decentralized applications (DApps).
The update will allow faster block creation as they can be transmitted without full validation.
If everything goes smoothly, the upgrade to the testnet will take place July 3, with the mainnet upgrade scheduled for roughly around the end of July. The Cardano community requested four weeks minimum to allow time to test and upgrade applications on the testnet, and IOHK says the hard fork for the mainnet will take place “once everyone is comfortable and ready.”
The Cardano mainnet upgrade was previously supposed to take place on June 29 but was delayed by a month on June 22 citing several outstanding bugs. IOHK has called the project the “most complex program of work we’ve undertaken”.
IOHK’s “prime concern” is ensuring the upgrade is managed in a “safe and secure” manner. It reports the Vasil node is creating over 75% of the testnet network’s blocks and believes there is “good chain density to proceed safely.”
The last significant upgrade to the blockchain was in September 2021 with the Alonzo hard fork which brought in long-awaited smart contract functionality for the first time using Plutus scripts, a smart contract development language purpose built for Cardano.
The upgrade was widely considered to be a disappointment as Cardano still only has 11 DApps according to DeFi Llama. The co-founder of Cardano, Charles Hoskinson previously predicted there would be “thousands of DApps” on Cardano by 2021 and believes developers are waiting for the Vasil upgrade to launch their projects.
The Vasil node is named in honor of Vasil Stoyanov Dabov, an artist and Cardano community member and ambassador who passed away in December 2021 after a diagnosis of pulmonary embolism.
Cardano is a proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain and touted as a so-called “Ethereum Killer” which aims to beat Ethereum (ETH) by providing better scalability, transactions per second and lower fees.
Currently, its native coin ADA sits in eighth position with a $15.7 billion market capitalization at a price of around $0.45, down 85% from its all-time-high of over $3 in September 2021 according to data from CoinGecko.