Cardano Firm On New Sept. 22 Upgrade Target

The delayed Cardano
upgrade, pushed back from an initial June target, is on track for a Sept. 22 launch, a company executive told Forbes.

The upgrade, dubbed Vasil, has been rescheduled due to multiple bugs, according to the blockchain’s developer Input Output Global (IOG). In August, Cardano developer Adam Dean sounded an alarm over the test network’s failures and “rushing,” The news sent Cardano’s ADA token plunging 13% to 46 cents from 54. It is trading at about 47 cents today.

Addressing the Cardano criticisms, Tim Harrison, vice president of community and ecosystem at IOG, says “I think we’ve always made it very, very clear not only to our community but also to the wider public that we are focused on delivering a high-quality, secure product. Timelines for any kind of complex development can bring their own challenges.”

The company announced the new Vasil target on Sept. 2, calling it the most significant Cardano upgrade to date.

“The upgrade date that’s been set for Sept. 22. has been fully agreed upon by the community. We actually polled stake pool operators, dapp [decentralized application] developers, and we said ‘if you’re not ready, we’re not going to go,’ and they said ‘we’re ready.’ We’re confident in the code. We’ve fully tested,” Harrison stated. Charles Hoskinson, the Cardano founder, previously announced the code in question had been removed.

According to a Sept.12 update from Input Output, 95% of new blocks are being added to the chain with updated software and half of the top cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, have signaled they are integration-ready. Now the developers are awaiting the rest of the exchanges and Cardano’s 10 largest decentralized applications to confirm their preparedness.

Vasil is a big test for Cardano, which underpins more than 1,000 decentralized projects and ADA, a cryptocurrency with a $17.3 billion market valuation. If successful, it will increase the network’s capacity and lower users’ transaction costs.

Harrison says testing collaborators saw a 90% decrease in the size of scripts (programs used to validate on-chain transactions). “What that translates to in their testing is a 75% decrease in costs,” Harrison states. “Of course, each decentralized application is going to be different. Each developer is going to integrate the code in a different way. But the new capability which will become available to developers after the Vasil upgrade will allow them to code much more efficient applications.”

The upgrade is named after the late Bulgarian mathematician and prominent Cardano supporter Vasil St. Dabov.

The boost is timely. Though Cardano’s ADA is one of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies, the blockchain is well behind rivals by total value locked (TVL), the key metric for gauging the state of the decentralized finance market, which represents the sum of assets deposited in DeFi protocols supported by the chain. According to data aggregator DeFi Llama, Ethereum boasts $34.6 billion in TVL, Tron and BSC trail with just over $5.5 billion, while Cardano has a mere $89.3 million.

“While we recognize that we’re in a space where there’s a huge amount of coin speculation and with it, ups and downs in the market, we’ve never really allowed them to distract us,” says Harrison. “Our community is quite unusual because they understand we’re operating here on a much longer-term horizon. We’re trying to build a platform that ultimately can become a global operating system.”

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