IOTA Enters a New Era with the Launch of ShimmerEVM Public Smart Contract Chain

The IOTA network has ushered in a new era with the launch of the ShimmerEVM Public Smart Contract Chain. This milestone marks the culmination of years of dedication and innovation, as the IOTA team embarked on a mission to support smart contracts and deliver a groundbreaking permissionless multichain solution anchored to either Shimmer or IOTA.

The journey to this historic moment began several years ago when IOTA initiated the IOTA Smart Contracts (ISC) project. Initially comprising just two developers, the team’s vision was to leverage the Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) as a foundational layer for cross-chain communication. This ambitious endeavor aimed to address the limitations of existing smart contract platforms while facilitating the seamless functionality of IOTA-based assets across different chains.

Over time, the ISC project grew, expanding its team to over ten members, evolving into a mature and domain-expert-driven group. Collaboration with dApp developers and the broader community played a crucial role in shaping this project. Now, this collective effort has led to the launch of the ShimmerEVM, the first public ISC chain integrated into a network with an actual token.

ShimmerEVM: Testing Ground for Innovation

Running on Shimmer, the staging network for the IOTA ecosystem, ShimmerEVM serves as a vital platform for validating the functionality of the ISC project. ShimmerEVM also plays a key role in bringing utility to the Shimmer network. The collaboration with other projects launching on ShimmerEVM ensures compatibility with various Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) technologies while retaining the unique qualities that set this project apart.

Shimmer holds a pivotal role as the foundational layer for the IOTA ecosystem, serving as a testing ground for core protocol improvements and feature upgrades before they are integrated into the IOTA network. This staged approach ensures that dApps are developed and refined on Shimmer before they are deployed on IOTA.

It’s important to note that ShimmerEVM, as the inaugural ISC chain, represents the debut of smart contract software on a platform other than a testnet. While extensive testing has been conducted, the software is not fully battle-hardened. Users are advised to adjust their expectations and exposure to risk accordingly when participating in the network.

Features of ShimmerEVM

ShimmerEVM incorporates the latest version of ISC, inheriting a wide range of features that enhance its functionality. Some of the key features include:

  1. EVM Compatibility: The ability to run contracts from other chains with minimal adjustments.
  2. Extended EVM Functionality: The inclusion of ‘magic contracts’ enabling interaction with native assets, NFTs from Layer 1, native randomness utilization, and communication with other chains anchored to Shimmer.
  3. MEV Protection: A leaderless consensus that randomizes transaction order to protect against sandwich attacks and other MEV techniques.
  4. L1 Native Asset Support: Easy transfer of SMR tokens (and in the future, NFTs and custom Native Assets) to ShimmerEVM through Firefly without the need for a special bridge.
  5. Node Support: In addition to validator nodes, ShimmerEVM supports access nodes and archive nodes, allowing qualified node operators to run their own nodes to meet project-specific requirements.

These features, along with a custom API, metadata functionality, a CLI, core contracts (including account and governance functionality), and more, make ShimmerEVM a versatile platform for developers and users alike.

Chain Details and Governance

Initially launched as a public chain by the IOTA Foundation to ensure the highest quality of service, availability, and reliability, ShimmerEVM’s governance will gradually transition to the community over time. This decentralization effort will involve handing over a supermajority of validators to the community.

Chain governance, currently managed by the IOTA Foundation, will eventually evolve towards a validator committee-based consensus or be controlled by a yet-to-be-developed DAO smart contract.

What’s Next for ShimmerEVM

With ShimmerEVM and the first major release of ISC now realized, the team is set to focus on several key areas:

  1. Monitoring and Improvement: The launch of ShimmerEVM will provide valuable data to further enhance the ISC software, with a keen eye on network performance and user feedback.
  2. Developer Experience: The team aims to improve the developer experience, making magic contracts more accessible and user-friendly.
  3. Evaluation: A comprehensive evaluation will help determine what went right, what needs improvement, and how the project aligns with the evolving space of blockchain and smart contracts.
  4. Decentralization: The ongoing effort to decentralize ShimmerEVM will require collaboration and development work from future validators.

For builders and developers interested in participating in ShimmerEVM, joining the Touchpoint Builders Program is highly recommended, offering support and collaboration opportunities with other projects in the ecosystem.

As the IOTA network ventures into this new era with ShimmerEVM, the possibilities for smart contracts and decentralized applications are set to expand, paving the way for exciting developments in the blockchain space.

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