Stellar, a blockchain platform known for its fast and low-cost cross-border transactions, is set to release the testnet upgrade of Protocol 20 on September 20. This upgrade is a significant step towards the eventual mainnet activation of the Soroban smart contracts platform.
According to a document released on September 18, the testnet upgrade aims to release candidate versions of Stellar Core and Horizon. Stellar Core acts as the backbone of the entire network, ensuring transaction validation and network security. Horizon, on the other hand, simplifies interaction between applications and developers with the mainnet through APIs, making it easier to deploy applications on the blockchain.
Once the stable version is released, Validators will vote on integrating the tested upgrades into the mainnet. The Protocol 20 upgrade will introduce new settings that require discussion and adjustments through voting. The Stellar Network will provide a timeline for implementing these changes before rolling them out on the mainnet.
Soroban, described as a smart contracts platform designed for “scale and sensibility,” integrates with the existing Stellar blockchain. It is currently being tested in Stellar’s testnet, Futurenet. Stellar claims that Soroban’s core features, such as multi-core scaling and an optimized fee model, make its smart contracts superior. Unlike Ethereum layer-2 platforms, Soroban fully integrates with Stellar and remains open source.
To incentivize Soroban adoption, the Stellar Development Foundation has rolled out a $100 million Adoption Fund. This fund supports various programs that aim to accelerate Soroban adoption. The program includes initiatives that have already launched and others that are yet to be launched.
In terms of price performance, XLM, the native currency of Stellar, has been one of the top-performing assets in the past three months. It surged from $0.08 in June to $0.18 in late July, but has since retraced by around 40%. The upcoming upgrade may have an impact on XLM’s price, but its exact effect remains to be seen.
Overall, Stellar’s testnet upgrade of Protocol 20 and the development of the Soroban smart contracts platform signify significant advancements for the blockchain platform. These upgrades aim to enhance transaction speed, security, and scalability, while also incentivizing adoption through the $100 million fund.
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