Layer-2 Protocol Hydra Head Goes Live on the Cardano Mainnet

Hydra Head, a layer-2 protocol designed to bolster Cardano’s scalability and adaptability, has gone live on the mainnet. The tool is the first in a suite of protocols intended to help the smart contract platform speed up transactions on the blockchain.

Scaling Solution for the Cardano Blockchain Goes Live

Cardano developer Sebastian Nagel announced Thursday that Hydra Node, which runs on the host machine, is now live on the mainnet. “After demonstrating Hydra heads on the Cardano mainnet in recent monthly review sessions, we have released the first mainnet compatible version of hydra-node today,” he said.

The developer added that besides mainnet compatibility, the team updated the API to accommodate a first round of user requests. He also shared GitHub release notes for Hydra Node, which disclosed that there are currently several known issues with the tool. It read:

“First release of hydra-node and hydra-plutus scripts which can be used on mainnet. Includes the technical changes required and must-have issues we want to see fixed before using a Hydra Head with real ADA, as well as documentation how to run hydra on mainnet.”

The recently-launched Hydra Head is an off-chain “secure isomorphic state channel” that connects participants and allows instant settlement of transactions within a Head.

“Hydra is a family of layer 2 protocols designed to make Cardano more scalable and adaptable for various use cases that require fast and cheap transactions,” Input Output, the firm behind the Cardano blockchain, said in a recent tweet.

Like the Lightning Network of Bitcoin, Hydra employs a channel-based architecture, wherein users must deposit funds before utilizing the Head. Researchers speculate that these Heads could be interconnected, eventually forming a network.

Cardano’s documentation reveals that the introduction of Hydra Head is the first of a series of protocols aimed at improving the smart contracting platform to handle more transactions. This is crucial in light of Cardano’s plans to gradually improve its mainnet to accommodate enterprise-grade decentralized applications that require higher throughput.

Many industry experts consider the release of the first layer-2 Hydra Head a major milestone in Cardano’s current Basho State, which focuses on scaling and network enhancement.

Cardano Launches More DeFi-Focused Upgrades

Aside from Hydra, Cardano has also launched several DeFi-related upgrades this year. Back in January, the platform released its overcollateralized stablecoin, Djed. Crypto tokens back the stablecoin and require between 400% and 800% in collateral value to be posted before it is issued.

The djed tokens, alongside annualized yield rewards offered by Cardano-based decentralized exchanges (DEX), are expected to attract liquidity and interest from investors, which could benefit the platform’s $141 million decentralized finance (DeFi) market.

In April, Cardano blockchain-focused development lab IOG released Lace, its first native wallet for the Cardano network. Lace is a browser-based wallet similar to the popular MetaMask product, allowing users to access the Cardano network directly and use Cardano-based decentralized applications.

Meanwhile, ADA, the native token of the Cardano blockchain, is currently trading at $0.365980, up by 1.3% over the past day. The token, with a market cap of over $7 billion, is the seventh-largest cryptocurrency in the world.

This article originally appeared on The Tokenist

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