Soroban is a smart contracts platform designed to be sensible, built-to-scale, batteries-included, and developer-friendly.
On Tuesday, February 20, 2024 the validators of the Stellar network voted to upgrade Mainnet to Protocol version 20, marking the dawn of a new era for the Stellar network. The Soroban platform is now running and the phased rollout has begun!
While it works well with Stellar, a blockchain that shares its values of scale and sensibility, it doesn't depend on or require Stellar at all, and can be used by any transaction processor, including other blockchains, L2s, and permissioned ledgers.
Soroban was introduced to the Stellar Mainnet as a part of protocol version 20. The Soroban platform includes the smart contracts environment, a Rust SDK, A CLI, and an RPC server. Developers can write and test contracts on their local machine, or deploy them to Testnet, or deploy them to Mainnet (keep in mind the resource constraints of the phased rollout).
What this means for the future
We've been releasing very early versions of Soroban since the earliest days of its existence. We have moved on from having "preview releases" and "release candidates" and a "stable relase" and the platform is now live on Mainnet! New development efforts are now targeted to a future protocol version, and the current release has been "frozen."
We still believe it's important to share the development process, and we want Stellar ecosystem developers and smart contract developers from other ecosystems to continue experimenting and we continue listening for feedback. Please keep testing it out, see what you can do, and let us know what you think.
How to leave feedback
Please feel free to file issues in the Soroban repos, or, if you prefer, to raise them in the
soroban channels in the Stellar Developer Discord.
Why it's called Soroban
The Japanese soroban is the smallest and simplest abacus. Its design is intentionally compact and minimalist, focused on doing the essentials — and doing them well. It set the global standard for abacuses and is still in practical use today. The name aligns with the goals of this platform because we, too, want to build something that focuses on doing the essentials well, that sets a global standard, and that proves useful far into the future.