One of the first decisions made when building Soroban, the Stellar network's smart contract platform, was choosing a platform for it to run on.
We decided to build on WebAssembly (Wasm) in April of 2022. In case you want to read that blog, here it is. But if you're looking for the TL;DR, Wasm offers a robust execution environment for smart contracts and a thriving ecosystem. It also contributes to building a safe, scalable system that promotes equitable access. Choosing Wasm, or any platform really, is a foundational decision because it informs just about every decision that comes next. Which is why it was a no-brainer for the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) to join the Bytecode Alliance. As only the second blockchain in the Alliance, SDF can now help shape the future and development of WebAssembly to include blockchain’s point of view.
What is the Bytecode Alliance? The Alliance is a non-profit organization comprising industry leaders, academics, and developers focused on advancing WebAssembly technologies. Their mission is to provide a secure and adaptable runtime environment for various applications, including those in the blockchain space. SDF's position on the Alliance will support the WebAssembly (Wasm) ecosystem, influence its development, and foster collaboration within the community. All great things for the Stellar network, Soroban, and developers building on each.
So what does being part of the Alliance look like? As an official member, we will participate in discussions, collaborations, and decision-making processes. Our primary goal in joining is not to represent only the Stellar network but to advocate for all of blockchain and its developers. Through the Alliance, we gain a platform to directly influence Wasm standards and contribute to the evolution of this versatile technology and its tools. This influence ensures that the Alliance considers the unique needs of blockchain and non-web use cases, moving the Wasm ecosystem towards accommodating and supporting a broader range of applications, like Soroban and other smart contract platforms.
Here's the bottom line: by participating in the Alliance, we are part of the conversation. We can contribute to a growing voice advocating for blockchain developers and the tools and standards that will benefit them.
SDF's decision to join the Bytecode Alliance doesn't just make sense; it also marks a step in the right direction for the evolution of blockchain applications. Our hope is this is only the beginning. As our participation kicks off, we look forward to sharing the work with our community. Check out the Stellar Developers Discord channel where we will share updates and more.