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Daily Briefing: Cardano Fork Confirmed

Ethereum is not the only blockchain undergoing a major upgrade this month—Cardano's Vasil hardfork is also on the horizon.

Daily Briefing: Cardano Fork Confirmed
Shutterstock covers by solvertv and Sergii Gnatiuk (edited by Mariia Kozyr)

Key Takeaways

  • September will be a big month for blockchain upgrades, with Ethereum and Cardano both undergoing their most significant upgrades to date.
  • The Vasil hardfork is hotly anticipated among the Cardano faithful, but historically the Layer 1 has lagged behind its competitors.
  • Vasil may be the bullish catalyst Cardano needs, but will it be enough to make Hoskinson's darling a real contender?

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Enthusiasm for Ethereum’s Merge is at a fever pitch, but it’s not the only significant upgrade happening in September.

Vasil In Sight

Over the past few weeks, one story has dominated the headlines—Ethereum’s Merge to Proof-of-Stake. The upgrade implements two huge bullish catalysts—a 90% reduction in token issuance and a 99% cut in energy usage—so it’s no wonder that Merge mania is approaching a fever pitch with only a week until the upgrade ships.

But Ethereum isn’t the only blockchain preparing for a big September. Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), the company behind the Cardano blockchain, recently confirmed that the network would undergo its highly-anticipated Vasil hardfork on September 22.

In the same vein as the Ethereum Merge, IOHK has touted Vasil as the “most significant” Cardano upgrade to date. Vasil will greatly improve the blockchain’s functionality by increasing network capacity, lowering transaction costs, and enhancing Cardano’s native smart contract language Plutus. These upgrades should help boost performance for end-users while also enabling developers to create more powerful and efficient applications.

It should come as no surprise that major improvements like these are seen as a bullish tailwind. 2022 has been unforgiving, with the Fed’s rate raises and general macroeconomic turmoil weighing heavily on crypto. If Vasil is a success, it could give Cardano a much-needed boost to see it through crypto winter.

However, it’s also worth considering that Vasil may not be the silver bullet Cardano fans are hoping for. Last year, the blockchain’s previous hardfork, Alonzo, introduced smart contract functionality, finally putting Cardano on par with other Layer 1 networks like Ethereum and Solana. While Cardano’s ADA rallied hard ahead of the update, technical difficulties surrounding unspent transaction outputs became a major roadblock for app developers, and enthusiasm slowly faded.

Still, Cardano is renowned for its dedicated community and charismatic leader Charles Hoskinson. Despite its lagging development, Cardano’s faithful have continued to stick around time and time again, and there’s no reason to believe the blockchain’s supporters will jump ship anytime soon. However, the clock is ticking for older projects like Cardano. The Layer 1 space is becoming increasingly saturated, and newer chains like Aptos and Sui that use more intuitive programming languages will likely provide stiff competition going forward.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH, BTC, and several other cryptocurrencies. The information contained in this piece is for educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice.

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