There has been a lot happening as the new year gets well underway. In this article we look at one of the major application launches on Cardano, the large increase in transaction volume, and what IOHK is doing about continuing to scale the network.
Take a look at the below screenshot. It shows the adjusted transaction volume of the Cardano network is currently 2.6 times more than Ethereum. This is pretty amazing by itself, but it is able to do this with 586 times lower total transaction fees ($40k vs $23m on Ethereum).
The major contributor of this increase in transactions is due to SundaeSwap launching in January and giving the Cardano network its first real stress test. Luckily the network has been designed to handle high congestion so things didn't break (unlike some other blockchains) and everything kept operating as expected. Some users noticed some transaction delays but at least you don't pay any transaction fees if a transaction doesn't go through.
IOHK quickly came out with a number of subsequent parameter tweaks that started the process of scaling up the network. They have a number of areas that they are looking at including block size increases, pipelining, input endorsers, memory and CPU parameter improvements for Plutus, as well as Plutus script enhancements. They also optimised the node software by releasing the 1.33.0 version in January which reduced the peak load at critical points such as the epoch boundaries.
IOHK has also been researching what off-chain solutions might be best to help scale Cardano even further. These include looking at:
- Sidechains, which are separate blockchains that connect to the main blockchain.
- Hydra, which is a family of layer 2 protocols that will provide a more efficient way to process transactions off-chain, while using the main-chain ledger as the secure settlement layer.
- Mithril, which aims to improve chain synchronisation while maintaining trust.
You can read more about this in IOHK's How we're scaling Cardano in 2022, or take a look at their infographic below.
Lastly our holiday special of 0% variable fees has come to an end. Most of our users reported they didn't even notice a difference and the fee drop didn't result in gaining new delegators. After consulting with our supporters, the feedback we got was to go with a more reasonable 3% fee. This means we can do more regular donations again, without noticeably impacting our delegators returns. The change will take a couple of epochs to go through, which gives enough time to migrate if you feel you would rather not support us.
For everyone else, thanks again for your continued support!
The WIRED Team