Stellar launches smart contracts following bug fix delays

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The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has announced the deployment of smart contracts on the Stellar network, something it claims will help kick off “a new era” for its tech stack.

In a Feb. 20 statement, the SDF shared that Stellar network validators successfully introduced the “Protocol 20” upgrade, enabling new smart contracts capabilities and initiating the phased rollout of its smart contract platform dubbed Soroban.

Stellar smart contracts will aim to provide a more user-friendly developer experience for those using the Rust and WASM (WebAssembly) languages. 

Soroban, the smart contract platform that was first deployed to the Stellar testnet in October 2022, employs features for scalability such as predictable fees and independent resource pricing.

Stellar wrote that its smart contracts ecosystem would enable the development of new decentralized applications (DApps), allowing builders to construct novel protocols and other apps on the network. 

The long-awaited smart contract mainnet upgrade was initially delayed by the SDF in January after its team found a bug in Stellar Core. At the time, the firm said the bug posed “little risk” but could have potentially impacted applications once the smart contract platform was rolled out.

The SDF launched a $100 million funding initiative to encourage developers to build on the Soroban smart contract platform in October 2022.

Related: ChatGPT can write smart contracts; just don’t use it as a security auditor

The SDF — the nonprofit organization responsible for the development of the Stellar network — wrote that had been developing smart contract functionality over the past two years, alongside the Stellar community.

The network’s native token XLM failed to gain steam from the announcement and has fallen 1% over the past 24 hours, currently changing hands for $0.116, according to Cointelegraph Markets data.

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The price of XLM has failed to gain traction from the upgrade. Source: Cointelegraph

XLM has seemingly been left behind in the 2024 crypto market rally and remains down 87% from its January 2018 all-time high of $0.875.

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