Cardano’s Roadmap in 2022 from a Christmas Broadcast
Charles Hoskinson shared his 2022 vision of Cardano in the latest YouTube broadcast on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Eve, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson published a live broadcast, reaching up to 30,000 viewers on YouTube.
In the broadcast, Hoskinson shared his 2022 vision of Cardano. His main objectives are to expand Cardano’s collaborative circle, working closely with institutions so that they can utilise the network to achieve their goals.
On the technical side, the goals include optimising the Cardano smart contract platform Plutus, releasing a new software update called Mithril for developing lightweight nodes, and testing Hydra, a scaling solution for Cardano.
Charles Hoskinson shares Cardano Roadmap for 2022
With his audience, Hoskinson shared his admiration of the entire crypto industry in the past 12 months. He remarked that the growth of DeFi has “gone crazy” from an industry of 10 billion dollars in market cap to 100 billion dollars. He also mentioned that scams and bad software designs are still prevalent, warning viewers that the unregulated crypto space has its own risks.
Hoskinson spoke about Cardano’s achievements, stating that he wrongly predicted the growth of his brainchild blockchain. “Not two thousand, but two million assets have been issued”, he said, with a mention that the majority of the digital assets are NFTs.
He also added that 127 projects and potentially more are “actively writing code” to build decentralised applications (Dapps) on the network. The number may seem tiny compared with the number of projects on other networks because “it took a little longer to get Goguen [Update] out”.
Goguen is the codename for Cardano’s update that expanded the network’s functionality, which enables programmable transactions through smart contracts. Goguen was released in late October 2021.
Anticipated technical improvements for Cardano
Hoskinson highlighted the 2022 agenda for Cardano’s technical side, each for Plutus, Mithril, and Hydra.
Hoskinson mentioned that Plutus will be “more enhanced”. Plutus is the smart contract platform of the Cardano blockchain. You can think of it as the environment where smart contract programmes will be executed.
After the launch of smart contracts, major improvements on Plutus is a logical step to ensure that developers can avoid writing unsecure code. Writing such code could have severe consequences where all parties can suffer.
We can reflect on Ethereum’s DAO attack in 2016. A badly written Ethereum smart contract allowed an attacker to drain funds from investors. Ethereum’s founders had no choice but to step in. They used centralised power to manipulate the blockchain so that it was as if the attack never happened.
Cardano still lacks a secure but lightweight client software. When a user downloads a Cardano client, they will help keep the network secure as they have a copy the blockchain. However, the lack of lightweight clients means that users have to expend so much space to download the entire blockchain.
Mithril is a way to provide guarantee that users who download only a portion of the blockchain will have access to the true version of the blockchain. This helps not only new users who want to participate with a Cardano client. Nodes or otherwise previously inactive users can also join the effort without needing to download the entire blockchain.
Mithril is a data structure that is built into the blockchain. It works by providing checkpoints along the history of the blockchain. A lightweight client user can simply download as far back as the latest checkpoint.
The third improvement on Cardano is the optimisation of Hydra technology. Hydra is a Layer-2 scaling solution of Cardano. It’s what will make microtransactions much cheaper and efficient on the blockchain.
At the current model, Cardano validators may choose which transactions to include on the next block, based on the transaction fees. The higher the transaction fee, the more desirable the transaction. A higher transaction fee speeds up the transaction.
However, microtransactions which values less than the typical transaction fee may never be picked up by validators. Why would anyone pay a fee that is more than the value of the transaction?
The solution is to off-load these microtransactions to a parallel-running chain. The chain then occasionally transmits small proofs to the main Cardano chain. This gives microtransactions the finality and confidence of the main chain.
Hydra is not limited to microtransactions. In theory, Cardano’s embedded Layer-2 solution may turn the blockchain into one of Ethereum 2.0’s competitor in terms of speed — once Ethereum 2.0 works with sharding, of course.
Cardano’s ecosystem expansion and network collaboration
Collaboration between blockchain companies and organisations are often viewed as a positive development. In the world of software development, monopoly and siloing often leads to a hampered growth in technology and innovation.
Hoskinson said that in 2022, there will be a launch of a kind of formal open-source project structure. “…[Kind] of like Hyperledger to Linux. We’re going to see many institutions wired in, and all the people that are currently working on it will be novated over, including me,” he said in the livestream.
The collaborations are ultimately aimed to create a cohesive system that enables end-to-end microfinance services, powered by Cardano. This means a person can gain access to microloans, secure savings account, asset management, and many more features that may be off-limits to them in the conventional system.
Cardano occupies the top 10 position of cryptocurrencies with the largest market cap. However, its development is slower than that of its peers, but this is done on purpose. The roadmap that stretches years, in theory, will ensure that the final version will be the most reliable blockchain the world has ever seen.