Cardano’s Long-Awaited Vasil Upgrade Goes Live

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At 9:44 P.M. Coordinated Universal Time (5:44 P.M. EDT), the Cardano blockchain deployed its Vasil hard fork, an upgrade that is supposed to increase the network’s capacity and trim transaction costs.

Due to its complexity, the blockchain’s developer company Input Output Global (IOG) has called the upgrade, named after the late Bulgarian mathematician and prominent Cardano supporter Vasil St. Dabov, the most ambitious Cardano upgrade to date.

Cardano underpins more than 1,000 decentralized projects and ADA, a cryptocurrency with a $15.4 billion market valuation. At press time ADA is trading at 46 cents, up 5.4% over the past 24 hours.

The high-stakes upgrade has faced multiple delays from an initial June target. In August, Cardano developer Adam Dean sounded an alarm over the test network’s failures and “rushing”. The news sent Cardano’s ADA token plunging 13% to 46 cents from 54. Addressing the criticisms earlier this month, Tim Harrison, vice president of community and ecosystem at IOG, told Forbes the Sept. 22 date “has been fully agreed upon by the community” and that the developer team was “confident in the code.”

Though ADA is one of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies, Cardano is well behind rivals by total value locked (TVL), the key metric for gauging the state of the decentralized finance market supported by blockchains. According to data aggregator DeFi Llama, Ethereum boasts $30.4 billion in TVL, Tron and BSC trail with just over $5.2 billion, while Cardano has a mere $80 million.

However, in a Sept. 21 interview, Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano, expressed hope that Vasil will bring a TVL boost. “I think there’ll be kind of a big spike within three to six months post-Vasil because there’s a lot of people building who are waiting to deploy [new applications].”

Indeed, Vasil is also expected to deliver the second version of Plutus, Cardano’s smart-contract language, which will help developers create faster and more complex decentralized applications on the chain. The team behind Artano, a Cardano-based NFT project which has been testing Plutus v2, said they saw a 93% decrease in transaction size and a corresponding cost reduction of over 75%.

According to Input Output, the new Plutus model will become widely available on Sept. 27.





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