Cardano Ecosystem





Aiken to Help Scale Cardano DeFi

Earlier this week the $JPG token launched on Minswap, leading to a queue of hundreds of transactions and causing network congestion on Cardano.

Aiken to Help Scale Cardano DeFi

Earlier this week the $JPG token launched on Minswap, leading to a queue of hundreds of transactions and causing network congestion on Cardano. This article explores how adopting Aiken for smart contract development can enhance efficiency and scalability in Cardano’s DeFi ecosystem and could have potentially prevented this.

A Solution to Congestion

On September 25th, 2023, the highly anticipated $JPG token launched on Cardano. Users who had transacted on Jpg.store during the marketplace’s Season 1 event were able to convert their earned XP into $JPG tokens. Thousands of users rushed to claim their $JPG allocation as soon as claiming became available. Ultimately, over 10,000 users claimed more than 14 million $JPG tokens, and many opted to sell them on the Minswap Decentralized Exchange.

However, during the $JPG token launch on Cardano, users encountered significant delays when attempting to transact on the Minswap Decentralized Exchange. The congestion resulted in hours-long waiting times and transactions being canceled due to price fluctuations, even with higher slippage settings in place. A community member’s experience mirrored this frustration. Despite setting higher slippage levels, they had to cancel their transaction multiple times, and it took around two hours to successfully sell their $JPG token. Similar issues were reported by other users on social media platforms.

The congestion and user frustration experienced during this event could have been prevented with Aiken-based smart contracts. Aiken offers faster transaction processing and a smoother user experience during high-demand events like token launches. Embracing Aiken could be the key to solving Cardano’s congestion woes and ensuring a seamless experience for all participants in the network.

Aiken vs. Plutus: The Efficiency Benchmark

To appreciate the magnitude of Aiken’s efficiency, consider the recent demonstration by Sundaeswap. In a video comparison, SundaeSwap smart contracts written in Aiken outperformed their Plutus V1 counterpart by a significant margin. While the Plutus version filled a mere 164 orders, Aiken-powered SundaeSwap filled a remarkable 2258 orders. The key difference lies in the leaner code and resource usage optimization of Aiken.

Plutus: Plutus offers a less user friendly experience, and is a more difficult to learn programming language. The on-chain code consumes more CPU resources, resulting in 2–4 orders per batch.

Aiken: Aiken offers a more user friendly experience, while requiring less developer experience due to the language being easy to learn, as well as quick and friendly feedback with error diagnostics. Aiken’s on-chain code is leaner, allowing for significantly lower CPU utilization. This allows for approximately 25 orders per batch under optimal conditions.

In optimal conditions, a DEX utilizing Aiken for smart contracts can process around 100 orders in just four batches, while a DEX built with Plutus can only handle 8–16 orders within the same timeframe. Aiken’s efficiency per batch translates to nearly a 5x improvement, reducing transaction processing times and alleviating chain congestion.

Cardano’s Path to Scalability: Aiken’s Role

The adoption of Aiken by a growing number of projects, including LenFi, MinSwap, Encoins, Jpg.store, and Indigo, signifies a significant leap forward for Cardano’s DeFi ecosystem. While Aiken isn’t the exclusive solution to Cardano’s scalability challenges, it marks a promising beginning. In the coming months, the ecosystem is poised for exciting growth and scalability as more protocols embrace efficient smart contract languages and tooling.

Looking ahead, the integration of Aiken is just the tip of the iceberg. Future enhancements, such as input endorsers and potential adjustments to network parameters, will further bolster Cardano’s scalability. These developments lay the foundation for Cardano to become a prominent player in the decentralized finance landscape.


The congestion issues witnessed during the $JPG token launch could have been mitigated had major Dapps already adopted Aiken, a transition that is thankfully underway. These events underscore the pressing need for not only more efficient smart contracts, like Aiken, but also the urgency of addressing scalability concerns on the Cardano blockchain.

As the Cardano ecosystem continues to evolve, embracing Aiken and tackling scalability challenges will be pivotal in delivering a seamless and efficient DeFi experience for all participants. It’s an exciting journey, and Cardano is well-positioned to make substantial strides in the world of decentralized finance.


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