Stellar Aligns with Bytecode Alliance, Highlighting Wasm’s Role in Smart Contracts

Key Insights:

  • Stellar shifts focus from payments to Wasm’s smart contract potential.
  • Wasm challenges EVM’s dominance in blockchain computation.
  • Bytecode Alliance’s role is pivotal in Wasm’s blockchain integration.

The Stellar Development Foundation, once primarily a payment network, has made a measured move. On August 21, they disclosed their association with the Bytecode Alliance. This group, recognized in the industry, actively supports the growth of WebAssembly (Wasm). Notably, Wasm is gradually positioning itself as an alternative to the prevalent Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

The Rationale Behind Choosing Wasm Over EVM

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EVM has long been the standard for executing smart contracts. Key blockchain networks such as Ethereum, BNB Smart Chain, and Avalanche depend on it. However, Stellar and select networks like Polkadot and MultiversX have preferred Wasm. EVM, despite its widespread use, presents certain operational challenges. Specifically, its storage and execution models come with a cost. Additionally, these models need help in parallelization. Consequently, these issues can impede scalability and increase transaction expenses.

In 2022, Stellar’s choice to integrate smart contracts marked a pivotal moment. By April, they had settled on Wasm as their computation engine. The team’s assessment indicated that Wasm, originally crafted for browser applications, was apt for environments as demanding as blockchains. Hence, their inclination towards Wasm over EVM.

Moreover, a significant portion of Wasm’s progress is attributed to the Bytecode Alliance. This nonprofit entity includes giants like Amazon, Cisco, Intel, and Microsoft. Yet, before Stellar’s involvement, Dfinity’s Internet Computer was the lone blockchain voice in the alliance.

In their recent disclosure, Stellar shed light on their decision. Associating with the Bytecode Alliance was a logical step. Besides offering them a platform, it provides an opportunity to contribute to Wasm’s evolving standards and tools. Importantly, Stellar’s intent isn’t solely self-representative. They aim to voice the concerns of the wider blockchain community. They contend their participation will guide the alliance to address blockchain and non-web requirements. They anticipate this will enable Wasm to cater to a more diverse range of applications, including smart contract platforms.

Wasm’s Subtle Emergence in the Web3 Sphere

The Wasm community is discreetly establishing its presence in the EVM-centric Web3 space. On April 3, the Astar network shared an update. They intend to allow the simultaneous deployment of EVM and Wasm contracts on their platform. This initiative grants developers a choice in selecting their desired virtual machine. Astar aptly termed this move as the “Wasm launch day.”

Additionally, on August 22, Binance shared news of its commitment to support a platform named “zkWASMHub.” This platform aims to delve into zero-knowledge-proof applications, utilizing Wasm.

In summary, Stellar’s collaboration with Bytecode underscores Wasm’s evolving role in the blockchain sector. As diverse networks acknowledge their capabilities, the landscape of smart contracts appears set for nuanced shifts.

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