If you have recently felt inundated with Soroban-related programs, you’re probably not alone. Since the $100M Soroban Adoption Fund announcement in October 2022, there’s been a steady stream of opportunities to get involved with and learn about Soroban. If you’re a developer looking to participate but don’t know where to start, this guide will give you a quick overview of our current programs, who they’re for, and what they offer.
Let’s start with a reminder about the Soroban Adoption Fund itself.
SDF has dedicated $100M in the form of the Soroban Adoption Fund to encourage and support developers as they learn, experiment, build, and eventually scale projects on Soroban. The Fund is an umbrella for many programs to support all levels of Soroban adoption, some of which have launched, some of which have yet to launch. Past programs include Sorobananthon: First Light, Stellar Quest Live Series 5, and the external Hacka-Soroban-athon.
We currently have three programs live and running: Stellar Quest Live Series 6, Sorobanathon: Equinox, and the Stellar Community Fund. These programs have various audiences and goals, so let’s break them down.
Compete against other devs in a series of gamified coding challenges
Who's it for: Learners and those who want to test their abilities!
Award size: Between 5-10,000 USDC depending on placement and challenge
Stellar Quest Live is a series of live events where developers compete in real-time to complete challenges on Soroban. Series 6, dubbed Fast, Cheap & Out of Control, started on February 15th and will have new arcade-game-like challenges released every month or so for an undisclosed number of months. Get the full rundown of this series in our recent blog post.
Stellar Quest Live is educational and a great entry point to Soroban. However, players don’t necessarily need to know or care about blockchain or crypto to play, as the quests for this series are more focused on unique coding and arithmetic challenges. If you’re a developer looking to earn some awards and learn about Soroban and Rust along the way in a fun, challenging competition, Stellar Quest Live is the place for you.
Experiment with Soroban and create content to share your experience
Who's it for: Tinkerers
Award size: 25-10,000 XLM per qualified submission
Sorobanathon: Equinox is our second Sorobanathon program that is a low-lift way to tinker with Soroban, create content describing your experience, and earn XLM for your effort. We’re looking for all kinds of submissions: sample contracts, code examples, tutorials, video walkthroughs, GitHub issues, and more — feel free to get creative and have fun with it. Check out the Sorobanathon: Equinox announcement blog for full details on the program.
Sorobanathon: Equinox is vital in helping shape the development of Soroban based on user feedback. Having developers experiment with the platform is immensely beneficial as it will help highlight any potential issues. If you’ve played Stellar Quest Live and familiarized yourself a bit with Soroban, submitting some content to Sorobanathon is a great next step and will help kickstart the Soroban ecosystem as we continue to design and develop the platform.
Sorobanathon: Equinox runs until April 1st and distributes 25-10,000 XLM for each qualified submission.
Build a full-fledged product or service using Soroban and/or Stellar
Who's it for: Builders
Award size: Up to $150k worth of XLM per approved submission
The Stellar Community Fund is a community-driven program for more long-term, fully-formed, and high-quality projects such as tools, protocols, and dApps. SCF accepts submissions from individuals, teams, businesses, and startups for products and services that benefit both the Stellar and Soroban ecosystems. Submissions for awards should have well-researched and tested concepts, an MVP, and high-level architecture models. This program has recently undergone some changes to make it run more frequently and distribute more XLM awards — read all about these updates and other SCF details in our recent announcement blog.
Although you can still submit Stellar-based projects, the increased frequency and award distribution was implemented to bootstrap the Soroban ecosystem specifically.
The submission deadline for the current round of SCF ends on March 12th, and each selected project can receive between $10,000-150,000 worth of XLM. Subsequent rounds will run every four weeks.
For those interested in building on Soroban or Stellar that need some help defining a problem, storyboarding a solution, and developing a prototype, there’s also the five-day SCF Startup Camp that you can get involved in that has a much lighter application process than the SCF itself.
These three Soroban Adoption Fund programs are just the beginning. They're designed to last for a while, and we plan to revise and optimize them along the way to make sure they're doing all they can to support the growth and development of the Soroban ecosystem. Stellar Quest Live events will continue to run, and SCF rounds happen every four weeks, and it is likely that Sorobanathon: Equinox will not be the last Sorobanathon.
But you should expect to see even more programs and opportunities in the future. $100M is a lot to distribute, too much for a one-size-fits-all approach, and we want to make sure we're doing it through a variety of effective programs that stack together well so we can do the most with the support we have to offer. We'll keep thinking, we'll keep iterating, we'll keep trying things out, and we'd love to hear from you as we do. The best way to keep up with updates is to join the Stellar Developer Discord and keep your eyes on the SDF Blog for upcoming announcements!