Starknet Unveils Appchains: Empowering Developers to Create Custom Blockchains

Ethereum Layer 2 Starknet has introduced “appchains,” a framework that enables developers to create application-specific blockchains within its ecosystem. This move aligns with the growing trend of modular networks in the Layer 2 space, where projects like Optimism, Polygon, zkSync, and Arbitrum have already paved the way.

Developers can utilize the Starknet Stack, the native developer tooling of the ecosystem, to build their appchains. These blockchains will benefit from enhanced security through the use of STARK proofs. At the heart of the stack is Cairo, a programming language developed by the StarkWare team, which shares similarities with Rust.

The Starknet Stack has been rapidly evolving and is already the most performant Layer 2 solution in terms of throughput. With a thriving developer community and decentralized rollup stack, including essential infrastructure built by independent teams, Starknet is making significant strides.

Appchains have long been recognized as a necessity, and StarkWare’s SaaS offering, StarkEx, has already powered successful L2 appchains like dYdX and Sorare. These appchains offer tailored environments for applications to achieve better control over specifications, lower costs, greater scalability, and opt-in privacy. The Starknet Stack aims to enable any application to deploy its own Starknet Appchain in a permissionless manner.

The building blocks of the Starknet Stack, which include STARK proofs, the Cairo programming language, and native Account Abstraction, cater to a wide range of applications and use cases. By upgrading to v0.12.0 on the Mainnet, Starknet has become the most performant Layer 2 solution in terms of transactions per second (TPS). Its performance advantage is expected to increase over time as it operates independently of legacy constraints imposed by the EVM.

To meet the specific needs of applications, the Starknet Stack allows for fine-tuning of platforms. The ecosystem focuses on demonstrating progress through development efforts orchestrated by the Starknet Foundation and its partnerships.

Launching bespoke Starknet Appchains using the Starknet Stack offers several benefits. These appchains provide protection from congestion on the public Starknet, leading to improved throughput and user experience. Additionally, they can implement features not supported on the public chain, serving as valuable experiments that can benefit other appchains or the public network as a whole. Furthermore, Starknet Appchains offer scalability by configuring various parameters, including consensus, blockchain characteristics, and data availability.

The Starknet Stack is quickly becoming the most decentralized Layer 2 stack, aiming to achieve network security, resilience, transparency, scalability, and innovation. The Starknet Foundation and various teams within the ecosystem collaborate to produce optimized versions of core components and introduce entirely new components, enhancing the overall decentralization.

Notable examples of community-driven development efforts include the Madara Sequencer, based on Substrate, which utilizes decentralized consensus mechanisms, and LambdaClass, which is building critical components such as provers, sequencers, execution engines, and network explorers.

The Starknet Stack harnesses the power of Cairo, a general-purpose smart contract language that has generated tremendous excitement within the developer community. Cairo offers a familiar and ergonomic experience, making smart contract development efficient. Its ability to produce provable computations and facilitate code reuse positions it as a preferred environment for writing smart contracts on Starknet.

While the Starknet Stack is a work in progress, Starknet Appchains can already be run as hosted services provided by StarkWare. Future developments will likely see additional teams and service providers offering Appchain hosting services, allowing each application to make optimal choices regarding component selection and integration.

Looking ahead, it is anticipated that Starknet Appchains will migrate to Layer 3 (L3) for improved scalability and reduced gas fees while running on the Layer 2 public Starknet.

In conclusion, the Starknet Stack is experiencing remarkable growth and is poised to dominate the Appchain space. With its superior performance, enhanced security, and expressive capabilities, it attracts a thriving developer community dedicated to its rapid evolution. As more applications join the ecosystem, the Starknet Stack will continue to evolve and cater to the diverse needs of developers, ultimately driving the broader advancement of Layer 2 solutions on Ethereum.

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