Cardano’s Highly-Anticipated Hydra Upgrade Edges Closer to Launch — Here’s What You Should Expect

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  • The Hydra team has opened the protocol on the public tesnet.
  • The protocol is expected to improve security as well as scalability.
  • Hoskinson reveals DApps are waiting for the Vasil hard fork.

The Hydra team has reached a new milestone, bringing the launch of the highly anticipated protocol closer. Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson took to Twitter to congratulate the team on the achievement.

First Hydra Heads Launched On Cardano Testnet

The Hydra team revealed that they have opened the first Hydra Heads on the Cardano public testnet. It means that features of the layer 2 scaling solution can now be tested out, an indication that the launch of the protocol is drawing nearer. Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson took to microblogging platform Twitter to applaud the team.

Hoskinson said, “I’m extremely proud of the Hydra team for making this milestone. It’s one of the fastest and best pieces of applied research in the Cardano Ecosystem.” The development of the protocol was first conceived in 2020 and has since developed into a Proof-of-Concept. A member of the team, Sebastian Nagel, revealed on the team’s Slack platform that the launch of the Hydra Heads on the testnet comes a year after they “read the Hydra paper for the first time.”

Since the launch of the Alonzo hard fork, which allowed for smart contracts, the Hydra Heads has been the most anticipated protocol on the Cardano network. As a scalability solution, Hydra is expected to increase the TPS on the network to 1 million transactions per second. In November, when asked about the progress in the development of the protocol, Hoskinson said that the foundation was putting in more resources, noting that it would make handling of transaction volumes expected from DApps easier.

“We are going to keep adding resources to Hydra, and we’ve been trying to identify some teams so we can parallelize the workstream because it’s such a high commercial priority. And it’s going to be very important that we’ll be able to offload a large number of the transaction traffic that’s going to come from all of the apps that are coming.”


The consensus algorithm on the Hydra protocol would not carry out a transaction unless both parties involved agree. The feature is expected to be a security boost, with a report in February by the software engineering lead Matthias Benkort saying as “a participant, I cannot lose money I haven’t explicitly agreed to lose. Why? Because any valid transaction requires my explicit approval.” Hydra will bring Cardano closer to the Basho phase in its roadmap.

DApps Are Waiting On Vasil Hard Fork

Hoskinson had envisioned a lot of decentralized applications (DApps) in 2021; however, it didn’t go as planned. As ZyCrypto reported last week, Hoskinson explained that several DApps were waiting for the Vasil hard fork in June to benefit from pipelining.

“What most also don’t understand is that many Cardano DApps are waiting for the Vasil hardfork in June to launch to benefit from pipelining. So it seems we ain’t seen nothing yet on TVL.”

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