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Stellar (XLM) Activates Major Upgrade on Testnet, What Comes Next?

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Wed, 15/05/2024 - 14:16
Stellar (XLM) Activates Major Upgrade on Testnet, What Comes Next?
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Stellar (XLM) recently initiated a significant milestone by activating Protocol 21 on its testnet. This move marks a pivotal moment for the Stellar network as the countdown begins to the upgrade's mainnet activation.

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On June 18, 2024, Stellar public network validators will vote on whether to upgrade the network to Protocol 21 which, if approved, will activate five new Core Advancement proposals on Stellar Mainnet.

These five CAPs introduce some new features, such as passkey signing support, an improvement to the state archive and a few overall cost improvements for smart contract transactions.

Stellar stays committed to constantly improving network efficiency and reducing fees. Its network seeks to provide equal access to the global financial system and CAPs 0054, 0055 and 0056, which will be deployed as part of the protocol 21 upgrade, aiming to keep the Stellar network accessible and cost-effective for all users.

On Feb. 20, 2024, validators voted to upgrade to Protocol 20, which brought Soroban smart contracts to Stellar's public network. Since then, developers worldwide have successfully deployed smart contracts to the Stellar Mainnet. 

Here's what comes next

With Protocol 21 now live on the testnet, the focus shifts to preparing for its deployment on the mainnet — a process that will require careful coordination and testing to ensure a smooth transition.

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Once implemented on the mainnet, Protocol 21 is poised to unlock new scalability and functionality for the Stellar network. As the testnet upgrade has now gone live, key dates have been updated to reflect this upgrade, and version numbers were added to Protocol 21 release links to reflect the minimum supported versions.

The key dates following the testnet upgrade include:

- May 30: Stable releases of Stellar Core, Horizon, RPC.

- June 11: Testnet reset to ensure all new implementations perform optimally. 

- June 18: Vote to upgrade the mainnet to Protocol 21. Update votes are programmatic as they are part of a regular round of consensus and, if approved, the update will take effect immediately.

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