Cardano Updates

Scaling with Mithril

There are a few new scaling technologies on the roadmap that will help Cardano to operate faster and accommodate more users and dApps. The main ones planned are:

  • Input Endorsers will enable the nodes processing the blockchain to significantly increase transaction throughput without reducing security guarantees. Some way in the future still, and which we have touched on before and will revisit shortly building on this blog post.
  • Hydra which provides a Layer 2 solution for Cardano, enabling a subset of users to transact rapidly within a hydra head and settle back periodically to the Layer 1 chain.
  • Mithril which permits clients to synchronise with the blockchain significantly faster and increases security and trust.

In the recent paper by Pyrros Chaidos, and Prof Aggelos Kiayias they explore a new stake-based primitive, stake-based threshold multisignatures (STM, or “Mithril” signatures), which allows the aggregation of individual signatures into a compact multisignature provided the stake that supports a given message exceeds a stake threshold. This is achieved by having for each message a pseudorandomly sampled subset of participants eligible to issue an individual signature; this ensures the scalability of signing, aggregation and verification.

They showcase that STMs are eminently useful in the cryptocurrency setting by providing two applications: (i) stakeholder decision-making for Proof of Work (PoW) blockchains, specifically, Bitcoin, and (ii) fast bootstrapping for Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchains.

It is this second application of fast bootstrapping that will soon speed up Cardano as the capability is rolled out, enabling nodes joining the network like Daedalus (a full node wallet) and light clients to rapidly synchronise even when they have been offline for significant periods.

We have been testing Mithril in our PreProd environment and will be promoting a Mithril Signer to our Production nodes in the coming weeks once it moves from the beta phase. We will provide a further update once the clients (wallets) are able to take advantage.