According to Sebastien Guillemot, the chief technology officer (CTO) and co-founder of Paima ecosystem, Cardano is currently operating at 94% of its maximum capacity.
Transaction load rapidly growing
The transaction load in Cardano, a smart contracting platform, is growing; a general trend especially in top networks, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, where on-chain fees are now higher because of inscriptions and the pepe coin (PEPE) craze.
Load capacity, in simple terms, is the level of demand or usage that a system can handle before it slows down or overloads.
In theory, this could be a good thing because Cardano’s Ouroboros protocol is designed to efficiently handle large amounts of data and transactions of varying complexity and size, so operating at or near full capacity may be optimal.
Increased transaction load on Cardano is a positive sign for the network’s adoption and growth. It shows that more users are utilizing the platform for building, trading, staking, and other transactions.
This increased usage also generates more transaction fees, which benefits the network and its stakeholders.
However, the Cardano node does not prioritize transactions, meaning transactions are processed in a first-come-first-serve model. If the network hits 100% capacity, they will be queued regardless of their content or details.
As such, users may have to wait for an extended period for their transactions to show up on-chain, and some transactions may not make it to the blockchain at all, which is a problem. It is important to ensure the Cardano network can handle this increased load and maintain its efficiency and speed.
If the above occurs, stake pools may begin prioritizing access to users willing to pay the highest fees.
Cardano’s scalability roadmap
Despite the potential challenges, it is important to note that Cardano has made significant progress in terms of scalability since the 2021 bull market. However, there is still more work to be done to ensure the platform can handle the growing demand.
According to Sebastien, there are several ways to increase Cardano’s scalability, including increasing block sizes, more dapps migrating to Plutus V2, and introducing tiered fees to prevent pools from selling priority access.
Using sidechains and layer-2 scaling solutions such as Milkomeda, PaimaStudios, and Hydra, are other alternatives. Already, input endorsers, Aiken, and other Plutus alternatives are all on the roadmap.