Cardano’s most recent hard fork is the most important change to the blockchain since the addition of smart contract capability in September of last year.
The Cardano Vasil upgrade and hard fork have finally gone live as of Thursday at 9:44 pm UTC, bringing “significant performance and capability” improvements to the blockchain.
The “critical mass indicators” required to start the hard fork were reached in the 24 hours preceding the event, and the upgrade date was published by IOHK in early September.
It comes after months of delays and reschedules, with the launch day originally slated for June, it was twice delayed due to issues on the testnet caused by bugs in a prior node version creating compatibility issues.
This scaling enhancement will speed up the process of disseminating information about freshly formed blocks among network users by ensuring that blocks can spread over the network well within five seconds of being created.
After one epoch, which currently lasts about five days, the Plutus script upgrades’ new features will be accessible to developers on the mainnet on September 27. Decentralized apps can be launched and maintained at cheaper costs thanks to the improvements made to Plutus smart contracts for improved efficiency.
After the Vasil upgrade, Cardano has continued its work on the Hydra head protocol, a layer-2 scaling solution that handles transactions outside of the Cardano blockchain while still utilising it as the security and settlement layer.
Other enhancements post-Vasil will include “diffusion pipelining,” a technique for boosting Cardano’s performance and scaling potential by compressing part of the idle time by propagating blocks ahead of their full validation while still validating headers (although no hard fork is necessary for this).
The price of Cardano’s token, ADA, increased by a modest 1% over the last 24 hours amid market downturn following the announcement of the successful launch according to data from CoinGecko.