Fork, yes! Cardano Vasil upgrade goes live

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After several months of delay, the Cardano Vasil upgrade and hard fork finally went live as of Thursday at 9:44 pm UTC, improving the blockchain “significant performance and capabilities”.

The success of the Cardano mainnet hard fork was announced Thursday by blockchain firm Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) on Twitter, while others also noticed the hard fork ticks over in a live Twitter Spaces with Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson.

IOHK previously stated that the significant upgrades the fork brings is block transmission without full validation, allowing for faster blocks to be created. Upgrades to its Plutus smart contracts for greater efficiency also ensure that decentralized applications can be deployed and run at a lower cost.

New capabilities from the Plutus script upgrades will be available to developers on the mainnet on September 27, after a single period that currently lasts approximately five days.

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Bill Barhydt, founder of crypto trading platform Abra called the upgrade a “big win for developers” with decentralized financing platform Genius Yield tweet it was “one of the most complex and sweeping updates to the Cardano network ever.”

The date for the upgrade was announced by IOHK in early September, while the “critical mass indicators” needed to activate the hard fork were achieved in the 24 hours leading up to the event.

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It comes after months of delays and reschedules, with launch day originally scheduled for June, it was delayed twice due to issues on the testnet caused by bugs in an earlier node version that caused compatibility issues.

After the Vasil upgrade, Cardano will continue to develop its layer-2 scaling solution, the Hydra-head protocol, which processes transactions from the Cardano blockchain while still being used as the security and settlement layer.

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The latest Hydra update from September 16 indicates that the team has addressed a known issue with the Hydra nodes. The protocol doesn’t have a firm launch date, but it’s planned for sometime in late 2022 or the first quarter of 2023.

The announcement of the successful launch sent the price of Cardano’s ADA coin soaring nearly 4% in the past 24 hours to $0.46 according to CoinGecko data, though it is still down more than 4.5% on the week.