On Friday (September 16), Tim Harison, VP of Community & Ecosystem at Input Output Global (“IOG”), the blockchain technology company behind Cardano’s R&D, talked about the eagerly anticipated Vasil upgrade (or Vasil HFC).
On 10 December 2021, IOG Co-Founder and CEO Charles Hoskinson explained that he was going to honour his Bulgarian friend and Cardano ambassador Vasil Stoyanov Davov — who sadly passed away in his apartment in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on 3 December 2021 after a lengthy battle with pulmonary embolism” — by naming the next hard fork after him. Vasil was an artist, entrepreneur, blockchain consultant, Haskell practioneer, and ginkgologist. Furthermore, it would not be an exaggeration to say that he was a highly beloved and respected member of the Cardano community.
Then, on 6 June 2022, IOG paid further tribute to Vasil by releasing a beautiful short video in which Harrison talked about Vasil’s legacy.
On Friday (September 16), Harrison published a blog post in which he talked about what we should expect from Cardano’s Vasil upgrade.
Harrison started by saying that the Vasil upgrade, which will be deployed to the Cardano mainnet on September 22, will “significantly improves and enhances Cardano’s capabilities,” with “new Plutus v2 features and enhancements” allowing “DApp developers to create novel and exciting experiences” and diffusion pipelining enabling “greater throughput and network capacity.”
He then noted that “the new capabilities (including node and CLI support for reference inputs, inline datums, reference scripts, and collateral outputs), along with a new Plutus cost model” would become available on the mainnet one epoch (i.e. five days) after the Vasil HFC event; in other words, on September 27.
According to Harrison, these are the main enhancements to Plutus:
- Reference inputs (CIP-31). “This upgrade enables data sharing on-chain.”
- Inline datums (CIP-32). “Transaction datums were previously attached to outputs as hashes… This simplifies how datums are used – a user can see the actual datum rather than supply it to match the given hash.“
- Reference scripts (CIP-33). “This significantly reduces transaction size, improves throughput, and reduces script execution costs (since the script only needs to be paid for once).
- Datums and redeemers. This allows developers to “see redeemers for all inputs rather than just the one being passed to the currently executing script.“
- Data Serialisation primitive. This “reduces the overall memory and CPU costs allowing for more optimized and generic ways of data serialization.“
As for diffusion pipelining, Harrison says that this will “improve scalability by enabling further performance improvements,” and that we can expect “a ‘spike’ in activity immediately following the upgrade – as the community test drives the capabilities.”
Finally, as for what lies ahead for Cardano in the next week or so, he presented the following deployment timeline:
It is worth mentioning that “Vasil arrives in the month of Cardano’s fifth anniversary” and that September 22, which is when the Vasil HFC gets triggered on the Cardano mainnet happens to be “the anniversary of the 1908 declaration of independence of the Bulgarian state (one of the oldest in Europe) from the Ottoman empire.”