StarkNet Planets Alpha on Ropsten

The First Step to a Permissionless ZK-Rollup

StarkWare
StarkWare
Jun 14 · 4 min read

TL;DR

  • StarkNet Planets Alpha — the first step on our road to Mainnet — is now live on Ropsten!
  • StarkNet is a permissionless Turing-complete ZK-Rollup¹.
  • Developers can implement their business logic of choice in a smart contract and deploy it permissionlessly on StarkNet.
  • The state transitions of StarkNet are proven off-chain and then verified on-chain.
  • Much like Ethereum, users can interact directly with these smart contracts.

Introduction

We announced the roadmap for StarkNet in Jan 2021. The Holy Grail of scalability solutions would support (i) arbitrary smart contracts, with (ii) composability, (iii) operated over a decentralized network. Today we announce the deployment on Ropsten of Step 1: StarkNet Planets Alpha. The Alpha system supports arbitrary smart contracts. Composability will be supported later this year, with decentralization to follow.

It is very important for us to be fully transparent and set expectations properly. The purpose of this post is to clearly list what’s already supported, and what functionalities are still missing. What we’re releasing today is Work in Progress on testnet. We believe that this early release will help the formation of a healthy ecosystem around StarkNet and its tooling. We’re eager to involve developers in building the network with us, and to get continuous feedback from the community.

What’s in the StarkNet Planets Alpha?

Functionality: The Alpha allows developers to write and deploy StarkNet contracts for general computation. There is no whitelisting — any developer can write and deploy whatever contract they wish. Users can interact with these contracts, by sending transactions to them, and inspecting their state. All contracts exist in a single state². Updates to this state are proven off-chain, and verified on-chain — in the Alpha, verification is done on Ropsten.

StarkNet OS: The above functionality is supported by a new “operating system” we call StarkNet OS. It offers provable state transitions on StarkNet. Ethereum developers may think of it as the equivalent of the EVM: it is responsible for invoking smart contract functions, handling contracts’ storage, etc. We will publish a separate post detailing the architecture of the StarkNet OS.

What’s not in the Alpha? The Alpha is still missing some key capabilities, such as L1<>L2 interaction, on-chain data, and composability. More on these below.

Getting Your Feet Wet

Start out with our tutorial and documentation.

Then, you can read through the sample AMM smart contract we’ve written and deployed on StarkNet. It is a simple AMM, and you can interact with it here. You are now ready to write and deploy smart contracts on StarkNet. The block explorer for StarkNet — Voyager — allows anyone to inspect StarkNet’s state.
By getting your feet wet, we believe you will be better prepared to build on StarkNet, as we continue to roll out additional features. We are already busy planning a first hackathon, as well as workshops for developers.

Next Steps for StarkNet

The key capabilities still missing in the Alpha will be rolled out starting in the coming weeks. These are:

  • L1<>L2 Interaction, e.g. the ability to deposit and withdraw funds in L1.
  • On-chain data: publishing all storage changes on Ethereum.
  • Composability: allowing contracts to communicate with one another.

With these features in place, we will be ready to bring StarkNet to Ethereum Mainnet. We call this step in StarkNet’s evolution Constellations, and when we reach it, you will be able to build and permissionlessly deploy on Ethereum Mainnet scalable L2 dApps.

The StarkNet Ecosystem

We are very excited by the ecosystem that’s forming around StarkNet so we’ll pause to thank our collaborators thus far.

We’re working closely with Nethermind and the Nubia team, Alexey Akhunov (Erigon) & Igor Mandrigin (gateway.fm), Iddo Bentov, dOrg, Prof. Tim Roughgarden, Prof. Jeremy Avigad & Yoav Seginer, last but not least — the Paradigm team.
Our early partners — dYdX, Immutable, DeversiFi, as well as Sorare, Celer, and others — have been providing us with invaluable input from Day One, and allow us to build a production-grade network for real users.
We continue to be amazed by the quality of content created by the community, by people such as Bobbin Threadbare, Daniel Kroni, Adrian Hamelink, perama, Francesco Ceccon, Ilian Malchev, and the Alexandria team.

We are eager to see what the community will create on all fronts: developer tools, content, and of course StarkNet applications they will build. Let’s keep the conversation going in your favorite media of choice: discord, Twitter, email, and soon using the most decentralized of communication forms: f2f.

¹ We are not fans of the term ZK-Rollup, as — mathematically speaking — it is not zero-knowledge, but you all know what we mean

² Unlike the separate state maintained for current StarkEx deployments on Mainnet