On Friday (January 14), Tim Harrison, Marketing and Communications Director at Input Output Global (IOG), the blockchain technology firm developing the Cardano protocol, talked about his firm’s focus on performance optimization and scaling for the popular L1 blockchain.

In an IOG blog post published on January 14, Harrison started by by saying that as Cardano enters the Basho era, IOG is “investing further energy into optimization and scaling.

He went on to say that “parameter adjustments, improvements, enhancements and other innovations will all play their part in steadily increasing Cardano’s capacity & throughput during 2022.”

First, Harrison looked at various on-chain optimization and scaling solutions:

  • Block size increase
  • Pipelining
  • Input Endorsers
  • Memory /CPU parameters for Plutus
  • Plutus script enhancements
  • Node enhancements
  • On-disk storage

Second, IOG’s Marketing and Communications Director highlighted several potential off-chain optimization and scaling solutions:

  • Sidechains
  • Hydra
  • Off-chain computing
  • Mithril

It is worth noting that the IOG’s blog post was published just one day before SundaeSwap labs announced that the highly popular Cardano-powered decentralized exchange (DEX) would have its beta version launch on the Cardano mainnet on January 20:

Later that day, Patrick Tobler (@Padierfind on Twitter), the computer scientist from Stuttgart, Germany, who is the operator behind Cardano stake pool “Pool of Babel“, as well as the co-creator of a super easy tool for creating your own non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Cardano, shared his thought about SundaeSwap’s upcoming mainnet launch.

Tobler went on to say:

  • In the last 24h, we’ve had a consistent 82% load on the chain. Without SundaeSwap. We’ve seen time & time again that simple NFT launches can lead to a lot of congestion on the chain, slowing down transaction times and leading to really bad user experience.
  • And that’s without SundaeSwap. So my personal hypothesis is that on Thursday instead of celebrating the success of SundaeSwap, a lot of News Outlets and Outsiders will focus on the scalability of Cardano and how it can’t hold up yet. This will lead to one of the biggest controversies we’ve ever seen in the space…
  • They’re trying to prepare us for what’s coming and honestly: We’re still not prepared. It’s going to be an absolute shitstorm and we’ll see more FUD than ever, more hate than ever, receive criticism & be ridiculed. In short: It’ll be a hard time for the Community.
  • So what do we do? EDUCATE. Show people the IOHK article mentioned above. Tell them about Hydra, about Milkomeda & about all the things that are coming. Make clear that this is only temporary. Be prepared, don’t let the hate get to you.
  • When it comes to NFTs: Push projects to STOP using Pay-In Addresses. They need to start acting responsibly and use systems like the @BuffyBotPub Website Pop-Up or the @nftmakerio Payment Gateway. Why? Because large NFT launches using Pay-In Addresses, lead to a LOT more congestion on the chain. The reason for that being that the buyers have no clear indication of when the drop is sold out so they just keep sending ADA to the address, hoping to receive an NFT. This leads to massive amounts of unnecessary transactions that have to be processed twice: Once for the sending, then for the refund. And the users don’t even receive an NFT – so it’s literally just a waste of space on the Blockchain. Why do projects still prefer to use this kind of system? Well, it’s all about money.
  • The risk of the buyers having a worse minting experience because of a failing website or API is often scary for the creators because this ultimately leads to a loss of integrity & money. So they stick to the processes that work even though these processes offer average UX at most and congest the chain a lot. In summary: We need to encourage experimentation & new minting mechanisms. Things might burn & crash, it’s insanely hard to build a scalable “reservation” system for example but it’s absolutely necessary if we want to take the next step as CNFT community. Don’t be afraid. Celebrate the launch of SundaeSwap on Thursday and let’s look towards a bright future for Cardano. Oh and if you think this is FUD… well then so be it.


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.


Featured Image Courtesy of Cardano Foundation.