Cardano, the seventh-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has been making steady progress towards achieving scalability, and the upcoming Hydra upgrade is poised to take it to the next level.
Hydra is a scalability layer-2 solution allowing developers to add specialized smart contracts on top of Cardano. The protocol is expected to boost transaction speed through low latency, high throughput and minimized transaction costs. It will also address the network’s security and scalability capabilities.
Hydra comprises a family of protocols and is one of the key components of Cardano’s layer 2 scaling journey in the Basho phase. The Hydra Head is the first in this suite of protocols and provides the foundation on which to build out further scalability.
Last week, Cardano developers held their monthly meeting, where they outlined the current progress of the Hydra Head and showcased its demo, which is already running on the mainnet. In the session, they also showcased the protocol’s upgrade to version 0.9, which, they said, has received some changes, including decreased costs and improved UX features for its “Hydra for Payments” tool.
Hydra for Payments is a new tool expected to unlock micropayments’ power in the Cardano ecosystem once Hydra goes live. Lead Hydra developer Sebastian Nagel noted that their goal was to make this payment feature as fast as possible, elevating its speeds above those of the Lightning Network and other payment protocols.
“We want to extend the tooling that’s general purpose and a reference app that will be mainnet and production ready as soon as possible. And so for us, it’s going to be payment channels like a lightning wallet style, send and receive but rapidly,” Nagel said during the March 22 meetup.
“A business can take this sort of thing and entertain the idea of no fees right within reason. They can also cover some of the L1 fees associated with Hydra as a loss leader so we’re exploring all of that,” he added.
Previously, Cardano’s founder, Charles Hoskinson, stated Hydra could facilitate other things like fast finishing, microtransactions, and micro gorging.
That said, although its mainnet launch date remains unclear, the development progress of the Hydra protocol has been met with high expectations, as its success is crucial to Cardano’s continued growth and adoption. Furthermore, with its scalability solutions, including those brought by the Vasil Upgrade, ADA, the native coin for the Cardano network is well-positioned to surge as more users and projects onboard the network.
At press time, ADA was trading at $0.3772 after a 3.77% increase in the past seven days. Notably, the cryptocurrency has recovered over 55% year-to-date since tapping a low of $0.25 in December.