Cardano Mainnet Parameter Change
Several exciting projects are debuting in the Cardano World like Sundae Swap, Meld, Liqwid Finance, various NFT projects, etc. and these will bring more and more transactions to the network. IOG recently made a parameter change to mainnet that took effect in the current epoch (Epoch 319) at the time of this writing. This is one of several performance optimizations and ledger enhancements that IOG plans to make throughout the year to make the growing transaction load on the Cardano mainnet go more smoothly and timely. One parameter change was to increase the block size from 72 KB to 80 KB. This means each individual block can hold more transactions. Also, the Plutus script memory units per transaction was increased from 12.5 million to 14 million. Essentially, more complex smart contracts have a greater runtime cost in CPU and RAM. By increasing this script memory parameter, more computing resources in the mainnet can be devoted to contract execution.
IOG is being very deliberate and cautious in these upgrades to the mainnet parameters and will observe the performance of the network for at least one epoch (5 days) before further parameter tweaks are proposed. The last thing anyone wants to happen is for the mainnet to become unstable. For example, if the block size becomes too big, it might not traverse the network to all stakepools within the allotted specification of five seconds. If this happens then another block producing node may create the next block before receiving the correct parent block. This would lead to a proliferation of forks, or so-called block height battles, burdening the network that would need to be resolved. This would further mean that a number of stakepools would lose their block-producing rewards as the blocks they produced were cut from the chain. As you can see, this could quickly lead to chaos and confusion.
If you use the Daedalus wallet, version 4.8.0 was recently released. This release incorporates some memory optimizations that can be enabled if you run the wallet on a computer with less than 16 GB(!) of RAM.
- Work continues on automated P2P implementation in Cardano-node. Currently, stakepools must implement either a static list of peers to communicate blocks or use one of a few community solutions for finding and updating network peers.
- Progress continues on further development of the Plutus Application Backend (PAB) with a new experimental command line interface tool that implements time-saving templates that can be loaded directly from the terminal. Finally, Adrestia is also adding support for staking transactions in their transaction construction workflow.