Early this morning (September 23), the Cardano blockchain conducted the Vasil hard fork and had initially succeeded with the Vasil mainnet. This process is expected to continue for 5 days.
What to expect from Vasil?
Vasil, named after the late Bulgarian mathematician and Cardano ardent supporter, Vasil St.Dabov, aims to solve many of the network's backlog problems. The upgrade aims to improve throughput speed, efficiency, and block latency.
For example, it is integrating a new technical method called diffusion pipeline. This "improves block generation and propagation times by not requiring full validation, leading to higher throughput".
It will also upgrade Plutus - Cardano's smart contract code language - to bring more functions. Expected to be completed on September 27th, then developers can build Cardano smart contracts with less code and will significantly reduce transaction costs as a block can now contain more data.
This is an important development for DeFi projects on Cardano such as Indigo, which allows users to trade synthetic versions of assets, like TSLA shares, without owning them. Instead, they can buy and sell iTSLA representing TSLA shares through Indigo. Indigo has been rolling out on Vasil Testnet since July and has had positive feedback.
"The Cardano fee costs incurred by Indigo users have been significantly reduced by reducing the amount of script overhead for reading data from the blockchain," the company wrote in a blog post.
Vasil was originally set to release in June, before it was delayed to July. The deadline was pushed back again as the developers wanted to ensure a smooth upgrade after discovering a bug in a previous node version of Cardano, creating compatibility issues.
Cardano is one of the largest blockchain networks in the market with a market cap of $15 billion, according to CoinGecko. However, the ecosystem only owns $79.1 million in total locked value – far less than other competitors like Ethereum ($30.9 billion), BNB Chain ($5.24 billion), Avalanche ($1.62 billion) and Solana ($1.28 billion). This shows that Cardano seems to be lagging behind despite being in the first generation Layer1. At the time of writing, the price of $ADA is up about 11% in the last 24 hours representing normal FOMO in the news and is currently trading at $0.47.
Given the smoothness of Vasil's first phase, it is likely that this upgrade will succeed and bring new benefits to the Cardano ecosystem. However, despite being built in 2017, Cardano has not shown any breakthrough growth and in the near future the market will receive more Layer 1 rookies like Aptos or Sui, so this will be a concern for Cardano if not making some difference.