Original Text: The Starknet Stack’s Growth Spurt
Translation and Proofreading: “Starknet Chinese Community”
- The Starknet technology stack is growing rapidly, allowing users to launch customizable Starknet instances based on their needs.
- Starknet is the highest throughput Layer 2 solution.
- The Starknet developer community is growing rapidly, with the most decentralized Rollup technology stack, and important infrastructure built by multiple independent teams.
- Stay tuned for the launch of the first Starknet Appchain on the mainnet.
Public L2 networks on Ethereum are gradually gaining popularity. The most prominent one is the rapid development of Starknet, which has developed many use cases in areas such as gaming, DeFi, NFTs, and AI, thanks to its active developer community.
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Appchains are blockchains designed for specific application service needs and have been proposed years ago, but have recently gained attention once again. StarkWare’s SaaS product, StarkEx, has provided support for the most successful L2 Appchains running on Ethereum, such as dYdX and Sorare. As of now (July 2023), StarkEx has accumulated a total trading volume of over one trillion US dollars and processed over 500 million transactions. The Starknet Appchain, as a customizable environment, allows applications to customize their Starknet instances for better control of parameters, cost reduction, scalability, and selective privacy. The Starknet technology stack aims to allow any application to deploy its own Starknet Appchain in a permissionless manner.
Starknet Technology Stack
The Starknet foundation covers a wide range of applications and use cases, including STARK proofs, the Cairo programming language, and native account abstraction. With Starknet upgrading to version v0.12.0 on the mainnet, Starknet has become the highest TPS (transactions per second) performance Layer 2. Over time, it is expected that Starknet’s performance advantages over other L2 solutions, especially EVM-compatible L2, will continue to expand, as Starknet breaks free from the traditional limitations set by EVM design and implementation.
However, some applications still require fine-tuning on their platforms, which the Starknet technology stack will help achieve.
In the spirit of the Starknet ecosystem, we believe in showing first and then telling. However, considering the rapid development of the Starknet ecosystem and the growth of the Stack, the StarkWare team has decided to share some insights on the Starknet technology stack. The development work is carried out by the Starknet ecosystem, and the Starknet Foundation coordinates through development partnerships.
Benefits of the Technology Stack
The Starknet technology stack allows applications to launch customized Starknet Appchains, which can enjoy the general advantages of Appchains, including:
- Avoiding congestion on the public Starknet chain and providing better throughput and user experience for its users.
- Application chains may freely implement features that are not supported by the public chain, such as their own fee market logic. From the perspective of the public network, these new features implemented in application chains are valuable experiments. Implementing these on application chains can generate valuable conclusions that may have an impact on other application chains or the public network.
In addition to these benefits, Starknet application chains will have additional advantages. Starknet is the most scalable Rollup, with options to configure various parameters, including consensus, blockchain parameters, and data availability.
The Starknet technology stack is rapidly becoming the most decentralized layer 2 technology stack. Permissionless blockchains focus on achieving network security and resilience through decentralization. The Starknet Foundation is dedicated to achieving this feature for Starknet.
“A decentralized technology stack makes the network more secure, more resilient, more transparent, more scalable, and more innovative. There are no single points of failure, no reliance on a single entity, no black boxes, and more builders!”
CEO of the Starknet Foundation
“Starknet is achieving organic decentralization of the stack – different teams are generating optimized versions of core components, which are then fed back into the official release (LambdaClass Rust VM) or trigger entirely new components.”
Co-founder & CTO of Ledger
One recent example of the decentralized Starknet technology stack is the Madara sorter. Madara is based on Substrate, so it relies on decentralized consensus mechanisms from the start. Community development work began in February 2023. So far (July 2023), the engineering team, including 45 community developers, has generated over 740 commits and over 400 merged PRs. This effort has produced a sorter compatible with the public Starknet, with features such as a configurable memory pool.
Another notable effort is LambdaClass’s work on building the technology stack that will enable launching Starknet application chains (they also played a key role in the improvements in V0.12.0). LambdaClass is building a Starknet technology stack that will eventually include a prover, a sorter, an execution engine, and a network browser. In the near future, these different components may be integrated with other components of the Starknet technology stack to form a running instance of Starknet.
Community Building, Community Sharing
The goal of the Starknet ecosystem is to have multiple implementations for each individual component in the technology stack. Here is an overview of different teams and the infrastructure they are developing:
In addition to the core components of the technology stack, there are also important supplementary components and services that are necessary for running an Appchain (all components are in production unless otherwise stated):
- Block explorers: Starkscan, ViewBlock, Voyager, and LambdaClass’s browser (under development)
- Indexers: Apibara, Checkpoint, TokenFlow
- API services: Alchemy, Infura
- Cross-chain: LayerSwap, Orbiter, StarkGate
- Fiat channels: Banxa, Ramp
- Wallets: Argent, Braavos, Cartridge, and Metamask’s Snap (to be launched in September 2023)
- Domain-specific application development framework: Dojo (gaming)
The Starknet technology stack is supported by Cairo. Its latest version, similar to Rust, is in line with developers’ habits and has received great enthusiasm from the developer community.
“As someone who has never written any Rust before, I started learning Cairo a few weeks ago, and now I am as efficient in writing Cairo contracts as I am in Solidity. With the upcoming ability to share logic across contracts and built-in fuzzing, Cairo will be my preferred environment for writing smart contracts!”
Chief Solidity Developer at Uniswap
Cairo, as a general-purpose smart contract language, has the additional benefit of producing verifiable computation and is used by one of the fastest-growing blockchain developer ecosystems in history. Applications can find Starknet developers for collaboration, hiring, or outsourcing.
“The Starknet ecosystem feels like early Ethereum. It attracts the best talent in the field with its decentralized development and innovation.”
Co-founder and CEO of Argent
The Starknet technology stack is still under development and will continue to evolve and improve in the coming years. However, it can already be seen that Starknet Appchain can run as a managed service operated by StarkWare. In fact, the first Starknet Appchain will soon launch closed testing on the mainnet (really soon!).
We expect Starknet ecosystem development teams such as LambdaClass, Nethermind, and StarkWare, as well as Rollup-as-a-Service, to provide Appchain hosting services. Appchains can choose which technology stack components to adopt and how to run them through managed services (e.g., StarkWare’s SHARP). Whether using fully open-source components or proprietary technologies, the choice is completely up to the Appchain. This is the beauty of Appchains—they are not one size fits all. Instead, each application can make its own best choice.
Although Appchains were initially introduced as Layer 2 (L2) solutions on Ethereum, they will not stop there. As early as 2021, StarkWare introduced the concept of Layer 3 (L3) solutions. We believe that in order to achieve greater scalability and lower transaction fees, Starknet Appchains will migrate to L3 solutions and eventually operate on the L2 public Starknet network.
The Starknet technology stack is clearly in a period of explosive growth. We expect that due to improvements in performance, security, and expressiveness, the Starknet technology stack will dominate the Appchain field. The Starknet developer ecosystem is thriving, driving the rapid evolution of Appchain technology stacks and will continue to develop to meet the diverse needs of more and more applications.