Cardano launches Hydra scalability protocol

The off-chain scalability solution claims that it can scale more than the payment network of Visa.


Cardano blockchain announced the launch of its long-awaited scalability protocol Ouroboros Hydra, after 5 years of development project, funded by the European Union.

The solution aims to improve the scalability of the Cardano network. This means, that the Cardano blockchain can be scaled significantly with low latency and also use less storage on the blockchain nodes.

The new scalability solution allows Cardano numerous applications like micropayments, voting or insurance contracts. Most other uses that require low fees or instant transactions can be managed on Cardano blockchain as well.


The IOHK, the company behind the Cardano, said that in theory, Hydra could be able to scale one million transactions per second. Such numbers of throughput are much higher and faster than those of the leading global payment systems. For instance, Visa reportedly has a throughput of 24,000 transactions per second.
Each user of the Hydra protocol will generate 10 heads which will work like throughput lanes for both data and transactions. For this reason, the network works quicker while it scales and the transactions also become faster.

Faster than Visa

Simulations conducted at the University of Edinburgh proved that the solution can handle around 1,000 transactions per second. The process, however, can also be scaled further. According to the announcement:

With 1000 heads the network could theoretically scale to a million transactions per second – comfortably in excess of current global payment systems such as VISA.

Furthermore, the announcement noted, that it is the network connection between the participants, not the protocol, that becomes the bottleneck in the situation. This means that Hydra has the potential to reach the theoretical maximum number of transactions given the geographical distance, number of participants and network speed limitations.

The director of Edinburg University’s Blockchain Laboratory Aggelos Kiayias commented on Hydra protocol and said the scalability question is the holy grail for the whole blockchain space. According to him, now is the time to apply principled and evidence-based approaches in designing and engineering blockchain scalability solutions. He also agreed that Hydra’s project is a “decisive step” in achieving scalability.


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Milko Trajcevski

Milko Trajcevski is a DailyCoin news reporter, mainly focused on Ethereum (ETH), Cardano (ADA), and their founders (Vitalik Buterin and Charles Hoskinson). Milko is an avid follower of crypto and blockchain technology and has written thousands of articles on the subjects. He finds joy in transforming complex issues into written content that anyone can understand. Milko has used and analyzed numerous exchanges, such as Coinbase, FTX, and Binance. He also closely follows all of the latest news around the largest decentralized exchanges (DEXs). Location: Skopje, Macedonia