What does the Cardano valentine upgrade mean?
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This new implementation will take the Cardano mainnet to version 8. Hence, SPOs and Cardano node users will need to upgrade their nodes to version 1.35.5, the latest version. The notice issued to the Cardano community clarified that versions below 1.35.4 will be incompatible with the upcoming mainnet v8. Hence, they will not work on the mainnet after the network completes the upgrade.
According to a publication by IOG, the SECP upgrade will add new functions to the Plutus cryptographic primitive on the Cardano network. This addition will further support the existing ECDSA and Schnorr signatures, making it easier for developers to build cross-chain applications on Cardano.
The publication also states that currently, Cardano uses the Edwards-curve Digital Signature Algorithm (EdDSA) with the elliptic curve Curve25519 as its base curve (Ed25519). This combination enables the network to achieve fast signature verification processes and small signature sizes.
It further explained that, though efficient, the current system exposes Cardano to security risks and potential loss of resources whenever developers want to work with other blockchains. The new built-in structure with the Valentine upgrade will allow developers to use a wider range of multi-signature or threshold signature designs native to Cardano. IOG believes this will provide the highest level of security for the network.