What is Mithril Mainnet Upgrade: How Will Cardano Network Benefit From It?

5 min readAug 29, 2023


One of the issues the Cardano network faces is the time it takes for node bootstrapping. So, the developing arm of the Cardano network, Input Output Global (IOG), started making plans on how to solve this problem.

This was how the Mithril idea was conceived after which, Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of Cardano, promised to use the Mithril upgrade to provide a seamless Cardano network similar to Solana.

Basically, the Mithril upgrade helps the Cardano network by reducing the node syncing time and, at the same time, improving security. Besides this, this upgrade also intends to increase the use cases of the Cardano network by improving its overall effectiveness.

This is a simple guide that will help you learn everything you need to know about the Mithril Mainnet Upgrade and its benefits.

What is Mithril Mainnet Upgrade?

The idea of the Mithril Mainnet Upgrade was conceived in August 2022 before the team developing the project officially presented it. The Mithril upgrade has a road map as it goes through a systematic integration on the Cardano blockchain.

The first step to the Mithril upgrade was the launch of the Mithril beta. However, that phase has passed. The current phase of the Mithril upgrade is the one launched this year (2023). The original name is the Mithril MVP. The official and last part of the road map is the main launch of Mithril, which will happen in 2024.

The current Mithril Mainnet Upgrade on the Cardano network is a stake-based signature scheme created to improve many things on the Cardano network. The primary aspect of the upgrade is that it will help to increase the effectiveness, speed, and efficiency of the node syncing times. Apparently, when the upgrade improves the node syncing time on the network, it will also enhance the security settings. Not only that, this upgrade will also empower the Cardano blockchain to become more decentralised in decision-making.

Cardano described the upgrade in their community forum, saying:

“It’s a groundbreaking stake-based signature scheme and protocol designed to supercharge the speed and efficiency of nodes’ syncing times. With Mithril in action, node syncing will be faster and more efficient than ever, bringing a new level of security and decentralized decision-making to the community.

Furthermore, an underrated aspect of the Mithril upgrade is how it makes the Cardano network more efficient. Being efficient also translates to having a wide range of use cases.

What Will Be The Function of the Mithril Upgrade on the Cardano Network?


To understand how the Mithril upgrade will work on the Cardano network, an outlook of the Cardano network will give you a better idea.

Other crypto projects can participate in the Cardano blockchain in two major ways. Either they run a full node, or they run a lightweight client. For the full node, the developers of the crypto project have to download and validate a full copy of the blockchain (~100GB today). Then to run the lightweight client, they need to access trusted third-party APIs. Each of these has its major disadvantages, which makes many project developers constantly unsatisfied with the Cardano network. This is where the Mithril Mainnet Upgrade comes in.

With Mithril in Cardano, developers can now launch full nodes without the fear of inefficiency and ineffectiveness. This is because the Mithril Mainnet Upgrade retrieves a snapshot of the current blockchain state, thereby reducing the syncing time needed to see a full node running. This way, the bootstrapping of full nodes becomes very fast while at the same time improving security.

Then for the lightweight clients, Mithril will bring solutions to issues by streamlining sidechain operations to make mobile applications easier to run.

Note that full nodes are the carbon copy of a blockchain, including all the data and transaction details in real-time. In other words, a full node is a blockchain program that validates blocks and transactions in real-time. On the other hand, lightweight clients are blockchain programs that interact with the blockchain without storing any network data. Also, it does not validate transactions or blocks.

Benefits Of The Mithril Mainnet Upgrade For Cardano

Below are some of the benefits the Cardano network is set to get from the Mithril Mainnet Upgrade:

  • Improved Speed In Node Syncing

The most prominent benefit of the Mithril Mainnet Upgrade is that it will help improve the speed of node syncing on the Cardano blockchain. Before the upgrade, it was quite time-wasting to bootstrap full nodes on the Cardano network. But the introduction of Mithril will save time on node syncing.

  • Improved Security

One of the major keywords in the definition of Mithril Mainnet Upgrade is that it is a stake-based signature scheme. The implication of being a stake-based signature scheme is that it improves the level of security on the Cardano network.

  • Decentralised Decision Making

The Mithril upgrade employs some strategies to uphold decentralized decision-making on the Cardano network. First, it deploys stake-based voting applications and governance solutions, which help to make decisions faster, no matter how complex a protocol is. Secondly, the Mithril upgrade ensures they are verifiable outcomes through Mithril signatures.

  • Effectiveness

When the time wasted on node syncing reduces, it helps to make the Cardano network and the attached nodes more effective than they had been. The improvements in the decision-making process will also be substantial in making Cardano and connected nodes more effective.

Wrapping Up

The second stage of the Mithril upgrade, named Mithril MVP, was launched on July 24th 2023, and it is set to do wonders for the Cardano network. It is a stake-based signature that wants to make the Cardano blockchain faster and more efficient. The major highlight of the upgrade is that it will reduce node syncing time on the network, thereby making node bootstrapping faster. The next benefit is that it helps improve the security settings of the Cardano blockchain. Finally, the Mithril Mainnet Upgrade will enhance decision-making on the platform by deploying stake-based voting applications.

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