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Stellar Network Embarks on a New Era with Smart Contracts Launch

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has successfully introduced smart contracts to its network through the Protocol 20 upgrade, marking a significant step forward in enhancing the blockchain's capabilities and developer experience.

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has recently made headlines with the successful implementation of smart contracts on the Stellar network, signaling a pivotal shift in its technological framework. This advancement, brought about by the “Protocol 20” upgrade, marks the beginning of a new chapter for Stellar, promising to enrich the blockchain’s ecosystem with innovative decentralized applications (DApps) and protocols.

At the heart of this transformation is Soroban, Stellar’s smart contract platform, which first made its appearance on the testnet in October 2022. Soroban is designed to offer a seamless developer experience, especially for those proficient in Rust and WASM (WebAssembly) languages. It boasts features aimed at scalability, such as predictable fees and independent resource pricing, ensuring a stable and efficient environment for building DApps.

The introduction of smart contracts on Stellar is expected to significantly enhance the developer experience. This move towards a more user-friendly environment for developers is pivotal, as it not only simplifies the development process but also opens up new avenues for creativity and innovation on the network.

Despite the enthusiasm surrounding the launch, Stellar’s native token, XLM, has faced a 4.46% decrease in the last 24 hours, dropping to $0.115. This subdued market response comes amidst a broader crypto market rally in 2024, with XLM still trailing 87% below its all-time high of $0.9381 recorded in January 2018.

The journey to this significant upgrade was not without its hurdles. The SDF encountered a bug in Stellar Core in January, leading to a temporary delay in the smart contract mainnet upgrade. Although the bug was deemed to pose “little risk,” the decision to postpone the rollout was made to ensure the utmost stability and security for applications developed on the platform.

In a bold move to foster innovation and development on Soroban, the SDF announced a $100 million funding initiative in October 2022. This initiative underscores the foundation’s commitment to supporting developers and encouraging the creation of cutting-edge applications on the Stellar network.

The development of smart contract functionality on Stellar has been a collaborative effort, involving the SDF and the Stellar community over the past two years. This partnership has been instrumental in steering the network towards this significant milestone.

Stellar, one of the oldest and most established blockchain projects, was founded in 2014 by Jed McCaleb, a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency space known for founding Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox and co-creating Ripple. The introduction of smart contracts on Stellar not only enhances its tech stack but also reaffirms its position as a leading platform for financial innovation and development in the blockchain sector.

As Stellar embarks on this new era, the integration of smart contracts through Soroban is set to unlock unprecedented possibilities for developers and users alike, promising a future filled with innovative and scalable decentralized solutions.


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