Offchain Labs Introduces Arbitrum Stylus

Offchain Labs Introduces Arbitrum Stylus

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Blockchain developer Offchain Labs has introduced a new technical implementation called Arbitrum Stylus. The new tool will support smart contract development in multiple languages. 

Both the code and the testnet for the Arbitrum Stylus are publicly available, and the firm has submitted them for Arbitrum community voting. 

Introducing Arbitrum Stylus 

Arbitrum Stylus will enable smart contract development in multiple programming languages. These include Rust, C, and C++ on Arbitrum’s Layer-2 network. Support for these languages will be added to the already adopted Solidity programming language. The new tool distinguishes itself from others by enabling developers to write smart contracts in Solidity and languages that can be converted to WebAssembly (WASM). WebAssembly is a way to run code from programming languages such as Rust and C++ on the web. With the introduction of Arbitrum Stylus, code from these languages can also be run on the blockchain. 

Rachel Bousfield, the tech lead at Blockworks, commented, 

“If someone out there is working in Rust, or C or C++, instead of having to learn a new programming language like Solidity or Vyper, they can just use technologies they are already familiar with and write their applications and make their products in those.”

The functionality of running code on the blockchain makes it extremely easy for developers to start building smart contracts. Offchain Labs has also made the code and the testnet for the Arbitrum Stylus publicly available. The idea behind this is to broaden access to Ethereum-compatible smart contract development. 

Simplifying Smart Contract Development 

Offchain Labs has stated that Stylus has been designed to simplify smart contract creation on Arbitrum for developers who are experienced in programming languages such as C, C++, and Rust. According to the firm’s estimations, introducing Stylus could help bring over 3 million Rust and C developers into the Ethereum smart contract ecosystem. So far, the Ethereum smart contract ecosystem has been dominated by Solidity developers. Offchain Labs also plans to extend Stylus support to other programming languages that can be converted into WASM in the near future. 

CEO and co-founder of Offchain Labs, Steven Goldfeder, stated, 

“Growing and building the most inclusive developer community is incredibly important to us. We want to open access for as many people as possible to create new applications, and there is uncapped potential for innovation on the chain and technology stack.”

The company has also hinted that broader language support and improved efficiency of Stylus could benefit projects in niche areas such as social media and even gaming. Stylus can help to significantly speed up computations thanks to its compatibility with EASM languages. 

Fees Slashed Significantly 

Apart from lowering the barrier to entry, Stylus will also help to reduce fees. This is because Stylus will have two virtual machines rather than just one. One virtual machine will be the unmodified Ethereum Virtual Machine for developers using Solidity, while the other will be a separate WASM virtual machine. 

“For the same amount of cost it takes to do an ADD instruction in Solidity, you can execute 150 ADD instructions in Stylus. For compute-intensive work, Stylus probably cuts costs somewhere between 10, 50, or 100x; it just depends very greatly on what you’re doing.”

Arbitrum Community To Vote 

As mentioned earlier, Offchain Labs has made the code and testnet for Arbitrum Stylus publicly available. The firm has also submitted both for Arbitrum community voting. Should the Arbitrum DAO choose to adopt Stylus, the tool will be made available to developers on Arbitrum One, Arbitrum Nova, and Arbitrum Orbit. However, a date for the vote is yet to be announced. Offchain Labs plans to get testnet feedback. 

Currently, audits for the Arbitrum Stylus are underway, while the team is also looking to add more programming languages to Stylus and find out a way to reduce fees further.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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