Input Output (IOHK), the parent organization behind decentralized blockchain platform Cardano (ADA), has outlined changes users can expect on the network after the highly anticipated Vasil hard fork scheduled for September 22 goes live.
Ahead of the upgrade, the company pointed out that core engineering teams involved have carried out intensive testing and integration efforts to guarantee a positive outcome, IOHK said in a blog post published on September 16.
In the post, IOHK stressed the importance of the Vasil hard fork emerging as planned.
“There are multiple ecosystem stakeholders to be considered. Ensuring that any upgrade is safe and secure, and that players across the Cardano ecosystem are fully ready has always been paramount,” IOHK said.
Improved smart contract functionality
In particular, the upgrade is expected to enhance Cardano’s smart contract through Plutus v2. The update is set to improve the efficiency of the smart contract platform. Notably, since the inception of the smart contract feature, Cardano has registered increased activity.
As reported by Finbold on August 19, at some point, Cardano was onboarding five new Plutus scripts daily. Overall, the number of smart contracts on the platform surpassed the 3,000 mark for the first time at the start of August.
With Vasil, the upgrade is also expected to unlock several functionalities, like reference inputs, that enable data sharing on-chain. The feature will facilitate access to information stored on the blockchain without spending and re-creating UTXOs (unspent transaction output).
Elsewhere, Vasil will unlock the reference script functionality projected to reduce transaction size, improve throughput, and lower script execution costs. The upgrade enables developers to reference a script without incorporating it in each transaction.
Additionally, the Vasil fork will also introduce diffusion pipelining, enhancing a consensus layer on information sharing. The layer facilitates faster block propagation in return, streamlining the sharing of information about newly created blocks.
Furthermore, IOHK pointed out that Vasil will tackle the issue of validation on the blockchain. In this case, the upgrade optimizes Ouroboros’ Verifiable Random Function (VRF) process, which triggers faster block validation and network syncing times. The benefits occur with affecting the security on the user’s side.
What’s next after the Vasil upgrade?
After the September 22 upgrade, IOHK also noted that there would be a PreProduction environment set for September 24. During the event, new Plutus features and cost models will be available in the PreProduction environment before transitioning to the mainnet on September 27.
It is worth noting that the Vasil hard fork has faced several delays, with Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson blasting individuals who questioned the slowed progress. However, Hoskinson maintained that there was a need to conduct further tests to ensure the upgrade ran smoothly.