Smart-Contract Platform Soroban Receives $100M to Build on Stellar Network

Native smart-contract platform Soroban has launched on the Stellar network with the support of a $100 million fund, according to a Tuesday press release.

The Soroban Adoption Fund allocates $100 million from the Stellar Development Foundation to developers building tools and products for the Soroban ecosystem through incentive programs like Sorobanathon: First Light, which rewards developers for testing Soroban and sharing feedback, code examples and tutorials. The incentive program hopes to help the platform make strides toward offering more cost-efficient smart contracts with lower-than-average, consistently priced gas fees.

Tomer Weller, vice-president of tech strategy at the Stellar Development Foundation, says the platform plans to offer smart contract fees that are lower than those of their competitors by simplifying transactions and utilizing comparatively lower levels of computing power to process them.

“We've really optimized the contracts to a point where you don't need to constantly serialize and deserialize information, which is something a lot of [computing power] is wasted on,” Weller told CoinDesk.

The platform’s inventors have also created a fee model designed to offer consistent fee pricing based on the amount of computing power that's used to process a transaction.

“We built a fee model that you can calibrate, because [in] other ecosystems the fees don't necessarily reflect the amount of computing power a lot of times,” said Weller. “So sometimes you have two contracts that cost the same. but one of them is actually much more expensive to compute.”

Soroban, which is now live on Futurenet, has put out a call for developers to tinker with its smart contract service, which is written in Rust. Although the platform will go through several test nets before launching in early 2023, it has already been designed with ease of use and simplicity in mind, Weller says.

“Our development environment is really batteries included, which means you have this local sandbox that's easy to set up on your computer, '' said Weller. “We have these basically built-in contracts and built-in host functionality so that you don't need to reinvent the wheel.”

The Stellar Network, which was founded in 2014, has processed 2 billion operations since its inception. In its early years, the platform focused on cross-border payment initiatives.

The Stellar Network counts around 7.2 million users among its active user base and roughly $3.4 billion worth of its native Stellar (XLM) tokens are in circulation.

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