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Stellar (XLM) Readies for Game-Changing Upgrade: Details

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Wed, 8/05/2024 – 14:52

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The Stellar network is on the verge of a game-changing upgrade that might redefine its ecosystem: the Protocol 21 upgrade.

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The upgrade comes after the successful mainnet launch of Soroban, Stellar’s smart contract platform, following a successful validator vote on Feb. 20, 2024.

Now, almost three months later, Stellar network readies for another protocol vote. On June 18, 2024, Stellar public network validators will vote on whether to upgrade the network to Protocol 21 which, if approved, will enable five new Core Advancement Proposals (CAPs) on Stellar’s Mainnet.

These five CAPs provide several exciting new features, including passkey signing support and an upgrade to state archives as well as cost savings for smart contract transactions.

These include CAP-0051, smart contract host functionality or secp256r1 verification, which enables secp256r1 verification of Stellar’s smart contracts via the exported host interface.

The acceptance of this CAP will enable secp256r1 verification, allowing developers to create contracts that include passkeys to sign smart contract transactions instead of utilizing passphrases or signing keys.

CAP-0053 allows for the extension of the time to live (TTL) for contract instances and contract code through independent Soroban smart contract host functions.

The other three CAPs use different ways to keep Soroban transactions affordable. 

They include CAP-0054: The Soroban refined VM instantiation cost model refines the cost model for virtual machine (VM) instantiation.

CAP-0055: Soroban streamlined linking reduces overall costs by linking to fewer host functions during virtual machine (VM) instantiation.

CAP-0056: Soroban intra-transaction module caching reduces overall costs by caching parsed Wasm modules within Soroban transactions.

The Testnet upgrade to Protocol 21 is scheduled for May 14, 2024, with the Mainnet vote taking place on June 18, 2024.

As the countdown to the upgrade continues, anticipation continues to mount within the Stellar community and beyond. With its potential to usher in a new era of innovation and growth, the upcoming upgrade represents a watershed moment in Stellar’s journey and could set the stage for even greater achievements in the months and years to come.

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