Key Aspects of the Cardano Vasil Hard Fork

ADA hit an ATH of just over $3 in early September, days before the launch of the Alonzo hard fork to mark the beginning of the Goguen Era ( Source: Coin Gecko).

What does the Vasil hard fork entail?
The two key purposes of this upcoming set of improvements for this network include ameliorating the blockchain’s capacity (i.e., scalability) and enhancing the utility of Cardano’s smart-programming language, Plutus. To achieve these, the upgrade will incorporate the five following Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs):
 — CIP-31 (Reference Inputs): Viewing information that is stored on the blockchain without needing to create Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXOs) every time. This will reduce network interference and avoid the inconvenience associated with this.

CIP-32 (Inline datums): Linking datums to outputs instead of hashes (the transformation of one value to another). By lowering the costs involved with these outputs as well, this is envisaged to facilitate system operations for dApp developers.
 — CIP-33 (Reference scripts): Permitting scripts to be connected to outputs, instead of depending on spending transactions for this task. In doing so, this should help lower transaction-size fee. This proposal will also 
 — CIP-40 to expand the range of outputs to include Collateral Outputs:

Diffusion pipelining: Implementing this is anticipated to accelerate block reproduction without compromising the chain, and, in tandem with Hydra, will play a pivotal role in significantly enhancing Cardano’s scalability. This pipelining will also involve changes to block sizes, Plutus memory and CPU limits to provide greater efficiency across the network.
The constant delays with various upgrades to its ecosystem over the years and drawn criticism on social media, particularly from sceptics of the overall ecosystem. However, to the defence of Cardano’s developers, Ethereum has also had a history of delaying The Merge, with initial talks of its release dating back to 2017 (it finally appears to be on its way). 
Moreover, Charles Hoskinson, a prominent spokesperson for this project over the years, and CEO of IOG, one of the three entities spearheading the project, identified the Vasil hard fork as being “the most complicated upgrade to Cardano in its history” (at least so far), due to modifications to both the programming language and consensus protocol utilised. 
Thus, one could argue that such delays are justified to ensure smooth operations on this blockchain are maintained. It is worth noting that the Cardano blockchain has been running uninterrupted for 1,760 days and counting, reinforcing its stability and security. 
What could this mean for ADA’s price in the near-term?
I anticipate ADA’s price to venture beyond $1.50 shortly after the fork, possibly by the end of this year. if Vasil were to be successfully carried out. Modest price gains from ~$0.58 per coin at present, but it is worth noting that ADA shot up to more than $3 per coin in the weeks leading up to the start of the Goguen era, marking the beginning of deploying smart contracts on Cardano’s blockchain.

ADA hit an ATH of just over $3 in early September, days before the launch of the Alonzo hard fork to mark the beginning of the Goguen Era ( Source: Coin Gecko).

I say $1.50 as it is a plausible number and am also banking on positive sentiment to return to the space, notably due to the abovementioned upgrades, the hype surrounding the Ethereum Merge, and recent news about Blackrock establishing a private Bitcoin trust for its clients. 
In spite of this excitement, the market is still down considerably from its overall all-time high (ATH) of $2.9 trillion back in November 2021; most crypto assets are down by over 60% since then, including ADA. 
Gradual progress with Cardano’s roadmap
Vasil represents a key set of improvement in the Goguen (smart contracts) Era of its roadmap, a blueprint of the important phases related to this blockchain and the key objectives of each one.

ADA hit an ATH of just over $3 in early September, days before the launch of the Alonzo hard fork to mark the beginning of the Goguen Era ( Source: Coin Gecko).

Last September marked the major transition from Shelley to Goguen via the Alonzo hard fork, earmarking the birth of smart contracts and a growing number of Dapps on Cardano’s blockchain. 
I predict that the Goguen and Basho eras will be two of the most important epochs of this protocol, especially when it involves remaining relevant with competitors such as Ethereum, BNB, Polkadot and Polygon, with varying degrees of smart contracts at present and scalability improvements in the works. If developers and the community continue the progress made thus far, then I forecast ADA to remain a top-10 crypto for years to come.

Remaining in the loop about the project
 Beyond news of hard forks and related updates, it is also worthwhile keeping an eye out for announcements of recent partnerships and general integrations of Cardano’s blockchain, major merchants announcing the use of ADA or additional trading pairs on a large exchange. Such news tends to lead to significant price spikes, which, in turn can lead to more upwards momentum, particularly when a crypto bull-market is gaining traction.

Some of the best resources to use in relation to these announcements are:

Cardano News;

– Official Twitter pages such as Cardano Community, Cardano Foundation, and Charles Hoskinson

– As per the latter, he also has a YouTube channel that is worth following if you would like to stay in the loop about Cardano news.

– Various reputable crypto news websites, such as (but not limited to): Coindesk, Cryptoslate, The Daily Hodl and Blockonomi.

None of this is financial advice and I am not a financial advisor. Please do your own research prior to investing in any crypto assets, let alone any product affiliated with this space.

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