Fork, yes! Cardano Vasil upgrade goes live

After several months of delays, the Cardano Vasil upgrade and hard fork finally went live as of Thursday at 9:44 p.m. UTC, bringing “significant performance and feature improvements” to the blockchain.

The success of the Cardano mainnet hard fork was announced by blockchain firm Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) on Twitter on Thursday, while others also was observed the hard fork ends in a live Twitter Spaces with Cardano co-founder Charles Hoskinson.

IOHK previously stated that the major upgrades brought by the fork are block transmission without full validation, allowing for faster block creation. Upgrades to Plutus smart contracts for increased performance also allow decentralized applications to be developed and run at a lower cost.

The new features brought by the Plutus script upgrades will be available for developers on the mainnet on September 27, after a period that currently lasts about five days.

Bill Barhydt, founder of crypto trading platform Abra, called the upgrade “a big win for developers” with decentralized finance platform Genius Yield tweeting it was “one of the most complex and consequential updates to the Cardano network ever.”

The date for the upgrade was announced in early September by IOHK, with the “critical mass indicators” required to trigger the hard fork being reached in the 24 hours before the event.

Related: Post-Merge Ethereum Hard Forks Are Here: Now What?

It comes after months of delays and rescheduling, with a launch day originally scheduled for June, delayed twice due to testnet issues caused by bugs in an earlier node version that created compatibility issues.

After Vasil’s upgrade, Cardano continues to develop its layer-2 scaling solution, the Hydra header protocol, which processes transactions outside the Cardano blockchain while still using it as a security and settlement layer.

The latest Hydra update from September 16th details that the team has encountered a known issue with Hydra nodes. The protocol has no set launch date, but is slated for sometime in late 2022 or the first quarter of 2023.

The announcement of the successful launch sent the price of Cardano’s ADA coin up nearly 4% in the past 24 hours to $0.46 according to CoinGecko data, although it is still down 4.5% on the week.