The nine-year-old project, one of the earliest major blockchains, is getting a facelift to incorporate "smart contracts," which theoretically could attract new applications and users – and potentially more demand for the XLM token.
Stellar, a nine-year-old payments-focused project that comes with its own developer community, is backed by a well-heeled foundation and boasts a standing relationship with the cash-transfer giant MoneyGram.
Now comes Stellar and “Soroban,” the blockchain’s project to add smart contracts.
Stellar faces long odds unseating Ethereum, whose market value of about $190 billion is about 65 times larger than its own. Stellar’s 30 full-time developers compare with 1,901 for Ethereum, according to Electric Capital’s Developer Report. Decentralized-finance protocols built on Ethereum have combined deposits or “total value locked” of $20 billion, according to DefiLlama. The equivalent figure for Stellar is $18.5 million.
According to the SDF’s website, the foundation treasury holds some 22 billion XLM tokens, worth about $2.3 billion at the current price.
According to a report in July, the SDF is prioritizing its engineering on Soroban. Last year, the foundation established a $100 million “Soroban Adoption Fund” to support developer adoption.
Another push by Stellar is to cut down on “state bloat” or “ledger bloat” – the problem of blockchains getting bigger and bigger without ever deleting data that’s no longer needed. “If you were airdropped Crypto Kitty in 2018, that’s a piece of info that’s on the ledger, and it’s quite possible that’s a piece of information that nobody cares about, and the entire world has moved on,” Weller said. “But that little bit of information is still there forever.”