Cardano Launches Hydra Scaling Protocol on Mainnet

Last Updated: 4 May 2023

Cardano, a Layer 1 blockchain protocol, has made significant strides in launching new functionalities, and recently, Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) announced the launch of the first Hydra head on the mainnet. This move sets a new standard for scalability on the proof-of-stake (PoS) network and enhances Cardano’s position in the smart contract and decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.

The Role of Hydra in Cardano’s Scalability

Sebastian Nagel, a developer working on the Cardano Hydra protocol, explains that the primary goal of Hydra is to scale transactions and make the parent blockchain more usable. Hydra is a family of Layer 2 protocols that will support Cardano’s adoption in areas where cheap and fast transactions are required. The development of Hydra is considered one of the most crucial in the Cardano ecosystem this year, and the launch of the first Hydra head on the mainnet has excited the community.

No Hard Fork Required

Nagel clarifies that the Hydra head is not an upgrade and, as such, is not subject to any hard fork. The protocol is the first of many that will help Cardano achieve the ultimate scalability it desires. With the launch of Hydra, Cardano aims to position itself as a formidable smart contract hub in terms of scaling and transaction costs.

Competing Layer 1 Protocols

While Cardano is exploring avenues to make its network more scalable through Hydra, other competing Layer 1 protocols are also working tirelessly to achieve scalability. The Ethereum network, for instance, is welcoming a series of Layer 2 solutions, including Polygon zkEVM, Optimism (OP), and Arbitrum (ARB), among others, to increase usability. The race to dominate the smart contract and DeFi ecosystem is challenging, and the Sui Network has recently joined the race with a very high throughput of 300,000 transactions per second (TPS).


The launch of the Hydra scaling protocol on the mainnet is a significant milestone for Cardano, as it enhances the network’s scalability and usability. The community eagerly awaits the implementation of other Hydra protocols to achieve Cardano’s ultimate scalability goal. Meanwhile, competing Layer 1 protocols continue to explore solutions to achieve scalability and increase usability, signaling the importance of these features in the smart contract and DeFi ecosystem.

Investors looking to capitalize on the potential of Cardano’s Hydra scaling protocol can consider investing in ADA, the cryptocurrency powering the Cardano network, through platforms like Bitcoin Sunrise or Bitcoin Pro. As Cardano positions itself as a formidable smart contract hub, the demand for ADA may increase, presenting a potential investment opportunity for those seeking exposure to the cryptocurrency market.

  • Steven Gray

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