The developer of the Cardano blockchain project, IOHK, announced Wednesday the release of the Ouroboros Hydra off-chain protocol. It is expected to scale the blockchain while maintaining low latency and minimal data storage requirements for nodes.
Hydra allows to implement a number of new features, including micropayments and insurance contracts. Preparations for today's release have been ongoing for five years.
Hydra is one of the key elements of the IOHK plan for creating a highly scalable blockchain. It is described as a second-level scaling solution based on the existing Cardano blockchain. Hydra provides horizontal scalability, not vertical scalability, which is achieved by improving hardware. It is assumed that this approach is the maximum possible compromise between scaling, speed, geographical distribution of participants and their number.
With the connection of each new user, Hydra receives 10 additional “goals” or channels for transferring data and transactions. Each such "head" can process about 1,000 transactions per second. In the future, it is planned to further optimize the process. In theory, this will allow you to reach a bandwidth that exceeds the performance of existing global payment systems, such as Visa.
Our Ouroboros Hydra solution is the result of a colossal international research effort, spanning five years, that aimed to solve the security and scalability problems affecting blockchain. Once implemented, it will allow the Cardano blockchain platform to scale to process more transactions than any other blockchain or traditional payment system. IOHK’s Ouroboros whitepaper is a capstone of our team’s research and has been cited more than 1000 times. It forms an essential part of Cardano’s ultimate goal of creating a blockchain based global financial and social operating system.