The much anticipated Cardano hard fork may soon happen after all the delays, with an official release scheduled for September 22nd. Initially, the Cardano team mooted the release date towards the later days of July, but it did not happen. Interestingly, the new launch date is exactly a week after the equally anticipated Ethereum merger on September 17th. The consequences of the two major crypto milestones remain a subject of speculation with the real outcomes projected by experts. However, the following are some points of note:
Vasil Hard Fork Launch
The 22nd September launch of the Vasil 1.35.3 version, Basho, presents an interesting milestone for the Cardano network. The upgraded network is a product of efforts by the community-driven Cardano improvement proposals (CIP) outcomes where participants dictate the improvements to pursue.
Currently, the new platform has a 75% scale of total blocks created with 25 upgraded exchanges representing around 80% liquidity of the network. It is an upgrade on the proof of stake (PoS) platform, which introduces new functionalities discussed herein.
Introduction of Plutus
The hard fork implements a new programming language for developers who use the network to improve the status of the existing mainnet. Plutus is a language upgrade that will advance the efficiency of the platform in two ways:
First, it is a better smart contract in developing the ADA blockchain transaction execution algorithms. It presents a chance for developers to develop enhanced contracts that instantly execute investor trades upon satisfied terms. Secondly, the language is handy in creating superior decentralized apps (DApps) that run efficiently on the blockchain.
Reduced Block Production Latency
Cardano experiences glaring delays in block production and sharing after participants of the validation process provide consensus for new blocks. However, the upgrade will eliminate such latency by ensuring that blocks are sharable within five seconds of joining the blockchain.
The Basho phase introduces diffusion pipelining protocols, which improve the network’s consensus layer performance. Consequently, block propagation will be at an optimal level, thus overcoming the low throughput state of the current network through timely block transfer.
Additionally, diffusion pipelining ensures concurrent block propagation at a time that handles the scalability needs to be necessitated by an increasing investor presence. Finally, network optimization is occasioned by the notification of block transfer to peers before validation for a seamless authentication process.
Ethereum 1.0 is a proof-of-work (PoW) execution layer whose fork, the Beacon chain, is a PoS control layer on an independent blockchain. However, the merger will bring the functionalities of the Beacon chain onto the mainnet rendering it a fully operational PoS network.
The mainnet layer will continue acting as the smart contract execution layer while the fork handles all transaction data management on the merged network. The following outcomes will be forthcoming after the merger:
Reduced Energy Consumption
Eliminating the energy-intensive PoW and adopting the PoS validation algorithms will slash the energy reliance during block production by about 99%. Nodes in the current mining process depend on high hash power from mining pools to achieve computational superiority. However, the new block production process requires high staking efforts where the coins and time staked by participants drive block creation.
High Network Efficiency and Speed
The merged network allows collaboration between nodes through sharding, where groups of users receive blocks for validation. The concurrent validation of several blocks by staking ensures block creation and transfer are at an optimal level. The network will move from the current speed of 15 transactions per transaction (TPS) to 100 thousand TPS.
Lower Transaction Costs
Sharding also ensures efficiency where the transactions such as lending and borrowing initiated by investors undergo timely validation, thus reducing costs incurred.
The network will experience better security outcomes since the Beacon fork exists after many trials involving code audits to discover points of weakness. Eliminating such loopholes during trials leading to the merger makes it a secure platform with fewer bugs that can jeopardize investor security.
Additionally, the chain contains strict regulations where malicious validators suffer consequences such as penalties and bans from the network for authenticating wrong transactions.
Despite the delays in actualizing both the Ethereum merger and Cardano hard fork, it is evident that many investors are anxiously waiting. The speculations herein reflect the feeling of the eager users to experience the milestones and enjoy or adapt to any outcomes.
However, many speculate that the 22nd September launch of Basho (Vasil 1.35.3) is a hedge against possible adverse market movements experienced after Ethereum’s merger. Despite everything, it is notable that both milestones carry positive outcomes of better throughput, network optimization, and security features which will increase their market cap.