Blockchain platform Cardano has just successfully completed the first stage in its most significant update since introducing smart contracts two years ago.
The ‘Vasil’ upgrade – now implemented on the Cardano testnet for final integration testing prior to full deployment later this summer – is part of the ‘Basho’ phase of the Cardano roadmap, which is focused on optimising and scaling Cardano to better support DeFi applications and facilitate Cardano’s growth and adoption.
It delivers increased network capacity, richer applications, improved interoperability and faster transactions.
The Vasil upgrade will also bring important scalability improvements, allowing the network to be optimised as it grows. This is a significant upgrade given the rapid growth of Cardano, which currently has more than five million native tokens created on the platform, with over 1,000 projects building on it. A key scalability-focused element of the upgrade will be the introduction of ‘diffusion pipelining’, which will allow for continued network tuning and optimisation, including an increase in block size.
Vasil will also implement upgrades to Plutus – Cardano’s core smart contract programming language – which will enable developers to create more powerful, more efficient blockchain-based applications (dApps). These improvements will reduce costs, simplify scripts and provide new cryptographical and other primitives. The upgrade will also add initial core support for SECP256k1 cryptographic verification, thus improving interoperability options with Ethereum and Bitcoin.
The Vasil upgrade, developers say, will take place with almost no disruption to daily Cardano users due to Input Output Global Inc. (IOG), the research and software development company behind Cardano, creating a ‘hard fork combinator’, which means that the chain continues through the upgrade without a break in service.
Tim Harrison, Vice President of Community & Ecosystem at Input Output Global, hailed the Vasil upgrade as a testament to the hard work of both the development team and the Cardano community.
“The growth of the network has been significant over the past two years, and we’ve seen an explosion of growth in the ecosystem over the past nine months,” he said.
“The Vasil upgrade will allow the network to continue to scale and grow, plus open up new options for developers, ensuring we meet the needs of the community as we go forward. So it seemed only right to name it in honour of Vasil Dabov – a Cardano ambassador who recently passed away, leaving a remarkable legacy with over 10,000 trees planted in his lifetime.”