On 8 May 2023, blockchain expert Sebastien Guillemot shared crucial insights about Cardano’s current load capacity.
Sebastien Guillemot, Co-Founder and CTO at blockchain company dcSpark, expressed on Twitter that Cardano is running at 94% load, leaving a narrow margin of 6% before reaching its maximum capacity. He reminded his followers that no Cardano node implements transaction prioritization, meaning transactions are processed in a first-come-first-serve manner. Therefore, should Cardano hit 100% load, transactions will enter a queue alongside everyone else’s.
As for the implications of hitting 100% load, Guillemot listed three main scenarios. First, there could be a considerable delay before a transaction appears on-chain, and this wait time will increase as the load goes above 100%. Second, certain transactions may never reach the blockchain, typically if light wallet mempools reach their capacity. Guillemot noted that most light wallets, like Flint Wallet, allow users to specify a separate node for transactions. He recommended users run their own node. Third, stake pools may start selling priority access, which could impact the choice of the best DEX to use at any given time.
Guillemot confirmed that all three scenarios have previously occurred during the peak bull market of 2021. However, he also reassured followers that Cardano is in a better position now than in 2021, thanks to the implementation of much of the scalability roadmap.
Looking to the future, Guillemot suggested various strategies to scale Cardano further. These include increasing block sizes, encouraging more dApps to migrate to Plutus V2, introducing tiered fees, moving traffic off the L1 through the use of sidechains & L2s (citing Milkomeda, Paima Engine, Hydra as examples), developing a DA layer to move more data off the L1 for more room for blocks, continuing with the implementation of Input Endorsers, and fostering the adoption of Aiken and other Plutus alternatives.
He also touched upon more innovative ways to improve scalability on Cardano, such as implementing better UTXO selection algorithms in dApps & wallets. Guillemot concluded his Twitter thread with a warning to brace for hitting 100% load in the short term while also expressing optimism for the scalability improvements that are on the horizon.