We’re back with more exciting news about our fabulous abacus! As announced at Meridian 2022, Soroban is now live on Futurenet, and with it, we introduced the first of many programs to roll out under SDF’s $100M Soroban Adoption Fund — Sorobanathon: First Light.
Soroban is Stellar’s smart contracts platform, currently in preview release. What’s the difference between Soroban and classic Stellar? Well, I’m by no means a motorhead, but let’s look at this in vehicle terms.
Classic Stellar is your Toyota that you take to and from work every day. It gets good gas mileage, has extremely low maintenance costs, and is just straight-up the most reliable car on the road. It’s not flashy, but it’s safe, dependable, and gets the job done.
Soroban, on the other hand, is still a car. But you can get a little crazy with it. A lift kit to get you up that treacherous mountain slope? Sure! A snorkel to forge a canyon river? Go for it. Spinners on your wheels for a little extra pizzazz? Maybe even some hydraulics for some bounce? Yes, and yes! Oh, the places you can go!
And we want you to experiment like this with Soroban — whether you’re adding tinted windows or racing pedals… wait, let’s stop talking about cars now. Whether you’re creating code examples or fun dApp tutorials, we encourage you to play around with Soroban on Futurenet (Soroban’s first shared test network). And you can even earn rewards for doing so, which brings us to the first program as part of our $100M Soroban Adoption Fund.
Sorobanathon: First Light is the first program aiming to encourage Soroban adoption and grow the Soroban ecosystem. It gives developers a structure to begin testing out Soroban and to provide valuable feedback that will help shape Soroban’s future development.
This first Adoption Fund program is meant to be a fun, low-lift way to tinker with Soroban. We’re looking for any kind of content, big or small, from video walkthroughs to practical tutorials to GitHub issues to anything in between. And each qualified submission can earn a reward of 250-3,000 XLM. The content generated during this stage of Soroban will help us kickstart the ecosystem, make onboarding easier, and identify any bugs, issues, or blockers.
Have an idea brewing for Sorobanathon: First Light? Check out other submissions for inspiration, or submit your own!
Inquisitiveness and curiosity are invaluable during this early stage of development. Tinkerers generate excitement and interest and often lay the groundwork for long-lasting projects. In fact, many developers who start tinkering go on to build the meaningful products and services that define an ecosystem. This doesn’t mean that every submission to Sorobanathon: First Light has to turn into something significant — Soroban is far from being finished, and we want people experimenting with it, testing it, finding bugs, and reporting on what needs to be improved — so just build some cool stuff, and who knows, it could open the door for greater possibilities. Tinkerer communities provide the fertile ground for the growth of revolutionary technology.
Why would you want to tinker with Soroban? It's new, it's fun to play with, and it's being designed in the open with tons of input from devs like you and with the benefit of hindsight. Right now, Soroban has a batteries-included developer experience: a local sandbox for quick setup, plug-and-play SDKs for simple and complex authorization, and flexibility to reuse common functionality between contracts. It's being built for scale: the transaction footprint allows for scaling to multiple cores, contracts don’t have deserialization or serialization loops, and there is a calibrated fee model that represents compute and maximizes throughput while reducing cost. And it leverages the Stellar network’s speed, reliability, and unparalleled on- and off-ramps to connect to real-world users all over the world. It's the first-mover, ground-floor, greenfield, CBGBs-in-the-1970s era for Soroban, a rare opportunity to be first on the scene, and, quite frankly, you'd be remiss not to participate in the fun.
Interested? It takes just a few minutes to get set up and start hacking. For more, check out the Soroban docs, which include setup and quickstart instructions, tutorials, and examples, and are updated consistently as the platform develops.
Sorobanathon: First Light is accepting submissions until December 15, 2022. Early adopters, tinkerers, and tool builders alike are welcome to experiment and test their ideas by submitting a discussion in the Sorobanathon repo. Fair warning, any code written today will likely break at some point in the future as much will change before production.
As always, you can get involved, ask questions, and provide feedback in our Stellar Developer Discord, particularly the #soroban and #soroban-dev channels.