The Stellar Development Foundation’s smart contract platform, Soroban, is nearing its official mainnet launch after over a year in public preview releases. This milestone could prove significant for Stellar’s native XLM token by expanding its utility and use cases.
Soroban offers Turing-complete smart contract functionality on the Stellar blockchain. After 10 preview releases, it now has all its core features implemented and is considered “feature complete” according to the SDF.
While auditing and documentation work remains, Soroban already has a burgeoning ecosystem of over 70 projects building decentralized applications on the platform. These include oracles, developer tools, DeFi protocols, DAOs, and more.
This demonstrates Soroban’s potential to enable a whole new realm of applications on Stellar beyond simple payments and tokenization. The ability to implement more complex smart contract logic could make Stellar competitive with other smart contract blockchains like Ethereum.
By unlocking new utility for XLM as gas for running these smart contracts, as well as enabling innovative DeFi and DAO projects, Soroban could significantly expand the Stellar ecosystem. More activity and use cases for XLM would likely have positive effects on its price and market capitalization.
Some analysts think the timing is favorable for Stellar to gain traction. “With high Ethereum gas fees and network congestion still a problem, there is room for a cheaper smart contract alternative like Stellar to succeed,” said industry commentator David Hanson.
However, Soroban is still unproven at scale and will need to attract developer interest post-launch. But its path to mainnet has been transparent, with all code and discussions public. This open process resulted in valuable feedback to improve the developer experience.
With Soroban on the horizon, Stellar seems poised to compete in smart contracts and offer new utility for XLM. If executed successfully, the launch could be a boon for Stellar’s ambition to be a multifaceted blockchain platform.
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