Cardano and IOG (Input Output Global) are working together to elevate Plutus’ status. The smart contract programming language is set to receive a huge upgrade with the next Cardano update.
Set for February, the update will allow Plutus to support Schnorr and ECDSA (Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm) signatures. As two of the most popular signature schemes, Schnorr and ECDSA are used in many blockchains.
Ethereum and Bitcoin also use ECDSA, while Schnorr has been proven a viable ECDSA alternative. Seeing how the language is used in Polkadot, the upcoming update is expected to immensely boost Plutus’ use cases.
Cardano has been using EdDSA (the Edwards-curve Digital Signature Algorithm) with Ed25519. It enables small signature sizes and quick signature verification, improving the security and performance of the network.
In addition, Ed25519 has been integrated with more resilience to cryptographic attacks, which makes it a safer choice. The fact that Ripple, Monero, and several other blockchains use it shows the same.
Till now, Plutus has only supported Ed25519 for in-built functions. While the language is quite handy, the prevalent use of Schnorr and ECDSA makes Plutus undesirable to several developers. Unless Plutus has innate support for these languages, using them could be time-consuming and costly.
This is what IOG and Cardano are proposing now. Plutus will get in-built functions that support the signatures, allowing developers to access new threshold or multi-signature designs on Cardano.
The platforms have been undergoing intensive testing since November 2022, and now the technology is about to be deployed. Cardano has already notified exchanges regarding the update, giving them ample time to make adjustments. Currently, the scheduled time for the mainnet upgrade is February 14, 21:44 UTC. Similarly, IOG is trying to release the pre-production test environment on February 11, 00:00 UTC.
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