Big milestone: Stellar Lumens smart contracts platform Soroban is now live on Futurenet

  • The Stellar Development Foundation made the announcement during Stellar’s Meridian Conference.
  • Soroban will make Turing-complete smart contracts available on the Stellar network.

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) announced that the Stellar network’s native smart contracts platform, Soroban, is now live on Futurenet. The Futurenet is an incentivized test system for early-stage developers. The foundation made the revelation at Stellar’s 2022 Meridian Event and added that it would support developers building on the smart contracts platform with $100 million in funding.

Soroban is built with Rust and on WASM, making Turing-complete smart contracts possible on the Stellar network. WASM is an abbreviation for web assembly, a binary instruction sequence for a stack-based virtual machine. Furthermore, the performance-built platform will drive use cases toward expanding access to better financial services.

Thus, bringing a new dimension to smart contracts’ execution. Soroban’s lead developer, Tomer Weller, said Soroban became a reality because there was no smart contracts platform with similar features on the market. Weller, also the Vice President of tech strategy at the SDF, added that Soroban also serves as a solution to the friction they saw on other networks.

The purpose-designed platform offers an inclusive developer experience for dependable access to financial rails and scale using the Stellar network. According to the announcement, Soroban being live on Futurenet means developers can start writing and deploying smart contracts in a test system and earn rewards for their efforts.

Support for developers

The Soroban adoption fund pledged to support developer projects on the Soroban network with $100 million. Already, the Soroban ecosystem has its first rewards program (the Sorobanathon: First Light). It will reward eligible developers that test Soroban and share feedback using developer-generated Soroban content. Such content includes code examples and GitHub tutorials.

The fund hopes its rewards program can help attract more developers to the blockchain space. Multiple data show that the total number of software engineers worldwide isn’t enough to fulfill the rising demand for Web3 developers.

The foundation’s Vice President of Ecosystem, Justin Rice, commented that he hopes the Soroban adoption fund and other reward programs can attract the best developers to innovate with them. The Soroban adoption fund is one of SDF’s general objectives in supporting the growth and development of the Stellar network.

SDF’s chief architect and co-founder, Jed McCaleb, said, “early adopters can use this initial Futurenet release to offer real-time feedback to help shape innovation on Stellar and set new standards for smart contracts.” McCaleb added that the ultimate goal is for Soroban to become a platform where developers won’t have to sacrifice expressivity for performance or vice-versa.

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Soroban has been in the works since March 2022, when SDF announced its goal of bringing Turing complete smart contracts on the Stellar network. The SDF believes that Soroban is one of the critical pieces of a technical schedule for creating a friendly environment for developers’ innovativeness on the Stellar network.

Per the announcement, this Futurenet release will have regular updates, and the next upgrade should happen by early Q1 2023. According to the foundation’s timeline, the Soroban mainnet launch should happen by June 2023.

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