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Stellar’s Smart Contract Upgrade Faces Possible Delay Due to Bug

The Stellar blockchain, a platform for cross-border payments and tokenization, may have to postpone its planned upgrade to introduce Ethereum-like smart contracts, after a bug was discovered in the new software.

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), the non-profit organization that supports the development and growth of the Stellar network, announced on Jan. 25 that it had found a bug in the Stellar Core v20.1.0 software, which is required for the upgrade to “Protocol 20”.

Protocol 20 is a major update that will enable the Stellar network to support “Soroban” smart contracts, a new type of transactions that can execute complex logic and functions on the blockchain, similar to those on Ethereum.

The bug, according to the SDF, could potentially affect the applications and services that use Soroban smart contracts, causing them to behave differently than expected or intended.

The SDF initially decided that the bug posed little risk, given that the upgrade would be rolled out gradually and that the Soroban smart contracts would not be widely used at first. However, after receiving “robust feedback” from the Stellar developer community, the SDF changed its stance and decided to “disarm” its own validators, meaning that they would not vote to activate Protocol 20 on Jan. 30, the original target date.

The SDF said that it would work on fixing the bug and releasing a new version of the software as soon as possible, and that it would communicate the new timeline for the upgrade once it was ready.

The SDF also clarified that the bug did not affect the security or stability of the current Stellar network, and that the existing applications and services would continue to operate normally.

The SDF added that it respected the autonomy of the other validators on the Stellar network, and that they could still choose to vote for Protocol 20 on Jan. 30, if they were confident that the bug would not impact them or their users. However, the SDF advised them to wait for the new software release and the revised upgrade plan, to ensure a smooth and successful transition to Protocol 20.

The Stellar network is a decentralized and open-source blockchain that connects banks, payment systems, and people, enabling fast, low-cost, and secure transactions across borders and currencies. The network also allows users to create and trade various types of digital assets, such as stablecoins, tokens, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The introduction of Soroban smart contracts is expected to enhance the functionality and versatility of the Stellar network, enabling developers to create more advanced and innovative applications and services on the blockchain, such as decentralized exchanges, lending platforms, gaming platforms, and more.

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