StarkNet Alpha is Coming to Mainnet

StarkWare
StarkWare
Oct 5 · 5 min read

TL;DR

A Brief History

We announced our vision for StarkNet at the beginning of the year: to bring massive scalability to Ethereum while preserving L1 security, permissionless interactions, and decentralization.
We released StarkNet Alpha on a public testnet in June. This version supported fully permissionless general computation smart contracts. We’ve since upgraded it twice: first to Alpha 1 — providing L1<>L2 messaging and on-chain data, and then to Alpha 2 — supporting composability.

StarkNet Alpha 2 now supports composable smart contracts of general computation in an Ethereum-like state, with the ability for L1 and L2 contracts to interact with each other. Read more here.

What is StarkNet Alpha on Mainnet?

StarkNet Alpha on Mainnet will support similar features to those currently available on the Goerli public testnet.

What to Expect

Because StarkNet is still under development, we want to introduce capabilities in a stepwise fashion and ensure developer expectations are met at every single step. Two particularly important aspects we’d like to emphasize are:

Additional Near-Term Features

As part of the transition of StarkNet Alpha from testnet to Mainnet, we will:

We plan to continue the deployment of new features at a regular cadence, just as we’ve done on the public testnet. In the near term, we plan the following upgrades:

Fee Mechanism

The fee mechanism will be turned on as soon as account contracts and token contracts are added to StarkNet Alpha.

All transactions submitted to StarkNet will incur a fee designed to cover L1 and off-chain costs. The fee will initially be charged in ETH. The cost of a single transaction will decrease as StarkNet increases its scale (as is the case on all existing STARK-based systems). When crafting the initial fee mechanisms, we favor simplicity over accurately pricing transactions according to the resources they consume. Expect this mechanism to be refined and improved over time.

With an eye towards making StarkNet a sustainable network and incentivizing its operators and developers, a portion of the revenues collected from the fees will be distributed to application developers and StarkNet core developers.

Security

StarkNet Alpha’s security model on Mainnet will follow the current model on testnet:

The StarkNet Ecosystem is Growing

Opening StarkNet to the world attracted a massive wave of developers interested in learning Cairo and developing over StarkNet. They provided invaluable feedback, and it was a true delight to see vibrant discussions on the StarkNet Discord.

Moreover, StarkNet is being developed not only by the StarkWare team but also by some of the strongest teams in the blockchain ecosystem:

Expect many more interesting collaborations to be published in the coming months!

STARKs are Scaling Today

We approach the launch of StarkNet Alpha with confidence, as StarkEx, our standalone scaling SaaS, has demonstrated how STARKs can massively scale Ethereum applications. We launched StarkEx for dYdX (perpetual contracts), DeversiFi (spot trading and payments), as well as for Immutable and Sorare (NFT minting and trading). We saw their gas/tx costs reduced by 100X–200X, to about 650 gas/tx in Validium (off-chain data), and 1100 gas/tx for a ZK-Rollup.

To date, StarkEx has settled $80B in trades and over 27M transactions, far eclipsing any other L2 solution — and all of them combined.

Act Now

There has never been a better time to join the growing StarkNet ecosystem by building either your next dApp or useful developer tools.

We invite you to:

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