HomeNewsStellar's Protocol 20 Upgrade: A Giant Leap Towards Soroban Smart Contracts

Stellar’s Protocol 20 Upgrade: A Giant Leap Towards Soroban Smart Contracts

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  • Protocol 20 will bring smart contract capabilities to the Stellar network with the implementation of 12 new Core Advancement Proposals (CAPs) enabling Soroban smart contracts.
  • The Stellar Development Foundation’s move towards Protocol 20 reflects a significant step in expanding the network’s capabilities, with over 100 projects ready to launch post-upgrade.

The Stellar network is on the cusp of a transformative upgrade with Protocol 20, poised to enable smart contract functionalities through the integration of Soroban on its Mainnet. This upcoming shift represents a pivotal moment in the network’s evolution, geared towards enhancing flexibility and innovation capabilities.

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Embracing Smart Contracts: Protocol 20’s Role

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), in collaboration with its ecosystem, has been diligently working towards this goal. After two years of rigorous development and community input, Protocol 20 is now ready for a network vote. This protocol introduces 12 new Core Advancement Proposals (CAPs) essential for the activation of Soroban smart contracts on Stellar’s Mainnet.

Key among these proposals are:

  • CAP-0046-02: Defining the lifecycle of smart contracts on Stellar and the process for their creation.
  • CAP-46-03: Detailing new functions provided by the smart contract host.
  • CAP-46-05: Focusing on the ledger entries for storing contract data.
  • CAP-46-07: Addressing changes to the Stellar network’s fee system to accommodate smart contracts.
  • CAP-0046-11: Introducing a new authorization framework to support account abstraction.
  • CAP-0046-12: Launching the State Archival interface, crucial for network scalability and sustainability.

The Impact on Stellar

The integration of Soroban with smart contracts propels the Stellar network into a new realm of possibilities. It alleviates the limitations of a fixed transaction set, offering developers unprecedented opportunities for innovation and adaptability. This shift does not overshadow Stellar’s existing strengths but rather complements them, merging Soroban’s capabilities with Stellar’s established on-chain assets.

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Soroban’s Development Journey

Soroban’s development journey has been unique, marked by transparency and community involvement. From the onset, the process was open to community feedback, with design docs and discussions accessible publicly. This approach allowed for a collaborative development environment, resulting in a platform shaped significantly by its users.

During its development, Soroban underwent eleven preview releases, each introducing various functionalities. The community actively engaged with these releases, experimenting and building on the platform, supported by a $100 million Soroban adoption fund. This engagement has led to over 100 projects being ready to launch post-Mainnet upgrade, including a range of developer tools and DeFi primitives.

Moreover, the decision to use Wasm and Rust was a strategic technical choice, leveraging their robust execution environments and active communities. These choices underpin Soroban’s commitment to safe, secure, and efficient computation, addressing critical issues like network scalability and state bloat.

In conclusion, the Stellar network’s move towards Protocol 20 and the integration of Soroban smart contracts signify a major leap forward. This upgrade not only enhances the network’s technological prowess but also opens up a spectrum of new opportunities for developers and users alike, marking a new chapter in Stellar’s journey as a leading blockchain platform.

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