As technology evolves, the programming world is constantly on the lookout for tools that simplify coding and enhance the overall development experience. In the blockchain space, developers have long favoured the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) due to its vast resources and robust tooling that facilitate the building of smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps).
However, with the advent of WebAssembly (WASM), a new virtual machine (VM), programmers have started to pay attention to its myriad of benefits.
The rising popularity of WASM has unveiled a new landscape of opportunities for developers. Yet, as a relatively new VM, there are still challenges to overcome. Developers often face infrastructure limitations, a lack of comprehensive tools and documentation, and the right incentives to build on WASM.
This is where the Astar network, a supporter of WASM, steps in with its innovative tool – the Swanky Suite.
Introducing the Swanky Suite
Designed to be an “all-in-one” tool, the Swanky Suite caters to the needs of WASM smart contract developers. It’s a comprehensive toolkit that aims to provide an experience that developers are familiar with, especially those accustomed to EVM tooling.
The beauty of the Swanky Suite lies in its simplicity and extensive features. It empowers developers with the ability to quickly set up a local contract development node with instant finality, meaning that they can test and run their code without the typical waiting times associated with block confirmations. This reduces the contract development lifecycle considerably.
In addition, the Swanky Suite provides a ready development environment via a prebuilt Docker image and dev-container configuration, making it easier for developers to get started. It allows easy scaffolding of new projects using templates for both smart contracts and front-end dApps, and facilitates compiling ink! projects and generating TypeScript types.
Moreover, the Swanky Suite manages network accounts, enabling developers to deploy smart contracts within the Polkadot ecosystem. This opens up new opportunities for developers to not only build but also deploy their dApps in Astar and the overall Polkadot ecosystem.
Astar and ink!ubator Bounty Program
To further stimulate WASM usage, Astar has joined forces with Parity and other teams from the Polkadot ecosystem to launch the ink!ubator Bounty Program. This initiative is designed to provide foundational support to developers while stimulating the development of new ink! projects, open-source templates, and tools. It also offers smart contract auditing opportunities for Polkadot’s native WASM runtime environment.
Astar, being one of the leading teams pushing WASM and EVM smart contract environments, sees this program as a unique opportunity for developers. It allows them to build the next generation of dApps while innovating on the limited functionality of EVM and providing a unique edge.
The ink!ubator Bounty Program has allocated an initial 361,990 DOT to fund innovative teams that are building ink! templates and use-cases for the wider Polkadot ecosystem. This includes creating five WASM dApps by the community, such as stablecoin platforms, lending services, NFT marketplaces, and more. The program also supports two high-impact projects that are building sophisticated products or services using the ink! and WASM stack, and aims to build a “useink!” library for front-end development of dApps on Polkadot.
The bounty will be curated by members from at least four Substrate-based teams or Parachains and at least one member from Parity’s ink! team. Applications will be evaluated by the curators, and as the bounty matures, more support will be provided to high-value dApps and templates on an ongoing basis. This makes it a reactive bounty program that adjusts over time, including increasing the allocation as more result-driven applications are received. The application process should go live in the coming weeks and will be featured on Astar’s Twitter as well as on the socials of the other partners.
In conclusion, the Swanky Suite and the ink!ubator Bounty Program combined create a comprehensive support system for developers venturing into WASM development. By providing robust tooling, extensive resources, and financial incentives, Astar is set on fostering a thriving WASM development ecosystem within the Polkadot network. Whether you are a seasoned developer or just starting, now is an exciting time to explore the possibilities of WASM dApps with Astar.
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