Stellar Joins Bytecode Alliance to Shape WebAssembly’s Impact on Blockchain
The Stellar Development Foundation has recently announced its collaboration with the Bytecode Alliance, a prominent industry association dedicated to fostering the advancement of WebAssembly (Wasm), as disclosed in a statement on August 21. This strategic partnership marks a significant development in the blockchain realm, positioning Wasm as a potent competitor to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which is extensively utilized within the Ethereum ecosystem. It’s worth noting that Wasm’s application is not limited to blockchain, as it finds utility in diverse browser-based applications.
EVM, recognized as a virtual machine or computational engine pivotal for executing smart contracts, remains integral to a plethora of blockchain networks including Ethereum, BNB Smart Chain, Avalanche, and several others. However, certain networks have adopted Wasm as an alternative, exemplified by Polkadot, MultiversX (formerly known as Elrond), and Internet Computer.
Influential Move: Stellar’s Involvement in Bytecode Alliance to Drive WebAssembly Advancements
While Stellar initially originated as a payments network in 2014, it underwent a transformative evolution in 2022 by incorporating smart contracts to enhance its functional capacity. In April 2022, the developers at Stellar made a significant decision to embrace Wasm as their preferred computational engine. The rationale behind this move was substantiated by their observation that, despite the popularity of EVM, its “storage and execution models are expensive and challenging to parallelize.” This intrinsic limitation hampers scalability and subsequently escalates transaction costs. Stellar’s preference for Wasm was further underpinned by its compatibility with highly challenging and adversarial environments such as those encountered within blockchain networks.
A substantial portion of the developmental strides in the Wasm landscape can be attributed to the dedicated efforts of the Bytecode Alliance. This nonprofit entity is constituted by a conglomerate of influential internet corporations, including Amazon, Cisco, Intel, and Microsoft, among others. Of particular note, the involvement of the Internet Computer developer, Dfinity, positioned the alliance as an entity inclusive of blockchain networks, aligning with Stellar’s choice of Wasm as its computational engine.
In the formal announcement on August 21, Stellar expounded on the rationale behind its decision to join the Bytecode Alliance. By becoming an active participant, Stellar endeavors to exert influence over the formulation of standards and tools within the dynamic Wasm development community. This proactive stance not only embodies Stellar’s commitment to its own representation but also seeks to advocate for the broader spectrum of blockchain and its extensive developer base. Stellar is poised to contribute significantly to the alliance’s efforts to cater to the multifaceted requirements of Web3 and blockchain developers. The consortium’s aspiration is eloquently summarized by Stellar:
“This influence ensures that the Alliance considers the unique needs of blockchain and non-web use cases, moving the Wasm ecosystem towards accommodating and supporting a broader range of applications, like […] Smart contract platforms.”
In conclusion, the alliance between Stellar and the Bytecode Alliance serves as a momentous stride in the evolution of WebAssembly’s role in the blockchain arena. By leveraging the expertise of internet behemoths and blockchain pioneers, this collaboration is poised to shape the trajectory of Wasm’s impact on smart contract platforms and beyond.