Offchain Labs, the initial contributor to Arbitrum, today released the code and testnet for Arbitrum Stylus, a new technical implementation that allows developers to build smart contracts in Rust, C, and C++, alongside previously offered EVM languages. Multi-language support encourages developers to build on Arbitrum Nitro, the leading scaling solution for Ethereum, by utilizing the familiar WASM-compatible languages and facilitating cheaper dApp interactions due to lower gas costs. Offchain Labs will make Stylus available to the Arbitrum DAO for a vote on adoption of the tool.
For software engineers looking to enter the blockchain space, a constant barrier to entry is the limited number of languages in which they can code. Currently, there are estimated to be 3 million developers using Rust and 12 million developers using C, both of which will now be available via Stylus, compared to approximately 20 thousand developers using Solidity. Stylus removes this barrier by letting programmers use one chain with various programming languages alongside the unparalleled security, maturity, and scalability of Arbitrum technology. An entire new class of developers can now access the largest community of protocols and partners in the Ethereum ecosystem.
“Growing and building the most inclusive developer community is incredibly important to us,” commented Steven Goldfeder, CEO and Co-Founder of Offchain Labs. “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. I look forward to a continuously flourishing ecosystem and collaborative community that will push the Web3 space forward.”
Blockchain use cases that were previously impractical will now be possible due to Stylus’ computational speed, improved cost efficiency, and access to the mature WASM ecosystem. Having a faster runtime than the EVM, WASM results in a faster execution – generally, a 10x improvement has been seen for contracts using WASM languages compared to contracts using EVM-based Solidity. Cryptography, mobile applications, high-compute gaming, and AI projects are specifically primed to take advantage of Stylus’ language flexibility and improved computational efficiency. Additionally, Stylus will offer security benefits to avoid exploits, as reentrancy is disabled by default and can only be manually overridden.
In the future, any systems programming language that can compile to WASM is expected to be supported. While there are other blockchains execution environments that support a WASM virtual machine, Arbitrum’s Stylus upgrade is unique as it is a dual virtual machine that can process both EVM and WASM contracts while also maintaining interoperability and provability over Ethereum.
For more information, please visit the Offchain Labs blog: https://medium.com/offchainlabs/stylus-now-live-one-chain-many-languages-eee56ad7266d
About Offchain Labs
Offchain Labs is a venture-backed, Princeton-founded company that has dedicated over five years to blockchain research and development. As the original contributors to Arbitrum, Offchain Labs has been instrumental in revolutionizing the industry through this leading network scaling solutions. The team continues to build upon this foundation by innovating and enhancing products such as Prysm, Arbitrum Orbit, Stylus, and Arbitrum Nitro. In October 2022, Offchain Labs acquired Prysmatic Labs, the leading consensus client for Ethereum, further cementing Offchain Labs alignment with Ethereum.