Blog Article

Building Soroban’s Minimum Viable Ecosystem - Pt. 2


Anke Liu

Publishing date



Smart contracts

Back in February, the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) published a blog post that emphasized the importance of and vision for building Soroban's Minimum Viable Ecosystem (MVE). An effective MVE includes essential building blocks such as financial primitives, developer tools, and educational resources that can help attract new developers and quickly get them up to speed on the platform.

Today, we’re excited to provide an update that shares the progress that’s been made along with a revised strategy, including how both builders and community members can actively participate in shaping Soroban’s future.

Soroban’s green field: oh the possibilities!

Gathering developer feedback on Soroban’s design and documentation at the early stages has been imperative in building the ecosystem’s foundation and shaping the platform’s development. With help from the Stellar community, we conducted research by analyzing other smart contract ecosystems to determine what tools and services were essential in making them successful. From this research, we’ve identified several priority categories that contribute to a robust ecosystem.

The highest priority categories include:

Financial building blocks

  • Swap functionality enabled by token swap dApps, to facilitate efficient asset exchange, and Automated Market Makers (AMMs) supported by liquidity pools, to provide liquidity for a range of digital assets and thus facilitate swaps and exchanges across currencies and between users directly, without intermediaries like centralized exchanges or financial institutions;
  • Lending and borrowing markets that allow any user to borrow or lend digital assets via decentralized platforms governed by smart contracts that determine interest rates, amounts, repayment terms, and loan expiration dates;

Data access tools

  • Oracles that bridge smart contracts and off-chain data sources, enabling smart contract decentralized applications (dApps) to execute based on real-world conditions and infrastructure;
  • Indexers (the inverse of an oracle) to enable efficient querying and categorization of on-chain data for use in smart contracts and dApps;

User interfaces

  • Block explorers that allow users to inspect accounts, transactions, or a series of transactions in a human-readable format;
  • Soroban-enabled wallets that provide advanced features and a user-friendly experience for Soroban users;

Compatibility enabling tools:

  • Security audit firms to review code, check for vulnerabilities or other issues, and suggest improvements to protocols;
  • Open-source contract templates that conform to common standards and are widely used throughout the ecosystem to reduce a contract’s surface area for audit in the first place.

Learn more about these smart contract building blocks here.

Why is this minimum viable ecosystem important?

Well, with these building blocks in place, new developers and companies can enter the Soroban ecosystem and quickly build more sophisticated and advanced projects that leverage the power of these tools in combination. A developer could build a decentralized money market that uses a price oracle to determine a user’s borrowing or lending capacity without needing to integrate the oracle from scratch. A dev could likewise build an analytics dApp that lets a user interact with and explore the chain via a block explorer that has already been built into the digital wallet and integrated with various DeFi protocols.

And what’s better, Soroban projects will be able to leverage the Stellar network’s already-established on-chain assets and extensive anchor network, furthering equitable access to wealth-generating DeFi services like never before.

Current status and heading toward Mainnet launch

The first half of 2023 was focused primarily on just this: attracting builders and entrepreneurs to experiment with Soroban’s preview releases and provide feedback through the $100M Soroban Adoption Fund. The fund is an umbrella for several programs including Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control (FCA00C), Sorobanathon, and the Stellar Community Fund (SCF): an open-application awards program to support teams building on Stellar and Soroban with up to $150,000 worth of XLM awarded for three-month long projects. In the past 6 months, SCF alone has processed:

Soroban is expected to launch on Mainnet this fall. For the platform to thrive, the ecosystem needs to be inundated with strong foundational projects, including those listed in the MVE categories above. It’ll be important to ensure that each priority category is filled out with high-quality projects ready to flip the switch to Mainnet come launch.

Here’s where we’re at so far:

SDF is actively working to onboard established companies by encouraging them to create key projects and submit them to SCF — however, the program is open-application. Any talented builders are welcome to apply for funding by submitting their project or project idea to the program!

Help shape Soroban’s future

Soroban is a greenfield and open to innovation. Developers and entrepreneurs have the unique opportunity to contribute to a revolutionary decentralized financial system by building the projects and infrastructure needed for Soroban to succeed.

Unsure of where to start? Here are a few ways to get started building on Soroban:

  1. Build a project on Soroban through the SCF. If you’re still working out your project idea, apply for the SCF Startup Camp before August 1st!
  2. Provide valuable feedback while Soroban is still in development. Right now, if you share your thoughts about how things should work, you can actually impact how they do work. As Soroban approaches code freeze and Mainnet launch, it won’t be as easy to change the structure of the platform.
  3. Become SCF-verified to influence the foundation of the ecosystem by indicating your favorite projects. You can also write tutorials and educational content, and answer questions on Discord.

*The USD valuation in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on the day of payment as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at