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Finally, a feeless network: IOTA Launches Beta of Next-Gen Smart Contracts.

On October 21, the IOTA Foundation announced the beta release of the next-generation Smart Contracts solution that focuses on interoperability, flexibility, and accessibility and is ready for testing. 

The fully functional smart contract solution offers several new features to resolve current scalability and transaction fee issues while providing new features currently unmatched in the crypto space.

Feeless Network

IOTA Foundation aims to build a new digital economy by redefining how people and devices connect to share information and value. Being not profit-driven, Foundation encourages the creation of standardized and open-source technology. 

With the launch of IOTA Smart Contracts Beta, IOTA Foundation makes history by enabling users to create and execute custom intelligent contracts on a feeless network for the first time. The Tangle allows users to set their own smart contract execution fees or go completely feeless.

Unlike on Ethereum blockchain, IOTA Smart Contracts enable developers to set their execution fees. This dynamic pricing creates an incentive to drive costs down since different chains can compete for the work of executing a smart contract. Zero-fee smart contracts become tangible with IOTA’s Beta release.

“When we released the IOTA Smart Contract Protocol Alpha in March of 2021, we sketched our vision of where the future of Smart contract innovation was headed and how we would eventually enable those innovations on IOTA. The IOTA Smart Contract Beta is the realization of this vision,” 

said Dominik Schiener, Co-Founder and Chairman of the IOTA Foundation.

New Digital Economy

IOTA Technology integrates with the current industry standard set by Ethereum, with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) support. However, IOTA Smart Contracts Beta adds flexible fees that can support feeless transactions through zero-fee smart contracts.

Users will be encouraged to test IOTA Smart Contracts using several supported programming languages, such as Go, Rust, and Ethereum’s Solidity. Developers can now write Solidity smart contracts inside an EVM chain anchored on the feeless IOTA Tangle. 

This choice is in line with the IOTA Foundation’s commitment to interoperability and standardization, two cornerstone principles of the new digital economy.

“We have integrated some of the defining features of IOTA – interoperability, flexibility, feeless transactions – into a smart contract solution for a new generation that we believe will become industry standard once it is released on the IOTA main net. We invite as many users as possible to try out the current Smart Contracts Beta and to see for themselves how much potential this release has,” 

shares Schiener.

Power of scalability and interoperability

The IOTA Foundation’s approach to smart contracts represents a shift away from existing architectures. It addresses their inefficiencies, such as the inability for parallel and scalable execution, the failure to run “foreign” smart contracts on different virtual machines, and being hindered by volatile and sometimes prohibitive fees.

The most powerful and unique feature of IOTA Smart Contracts is its scalability and interoperability. The network already offers full sharding, making it possible to scale smart contracts beyond the current limitations on other networks. 

IOTA Smart Contracts will be fully programmable and enable users to develop and test complete smart contract solutions. Completely trustless and powered by feeless native asset transfers, the technology will guarantee interoperability between smart contracts. 

By leveraging native tokenization on the IOTA Ledger, all smart contracts can wrap assets onto the base layer. This makes all smart contracts and any digital asset created on IOTA fully interoperable without the need for trusted relays or bridges. This will enable powerful new composability for dApp developers and new possibilities for users to engage in the ecosystem.

Automated and Error-Proof Smart Contract

IOTA Smart Contracts Beta will include the Smart Contracts Schema tool feature, which helps automatically generate many of the standard-form sections of a smart contract and reduce time or error rate. Like regular paper-based contracts, smart contracts consist of a fair boilerplate, which takes considerable effort to generate manually. 

With the IOTA Smart Contracts Schema tool, users can input the functionalities they wish to include into the smart contract they are writing and have the system automatically generate and test the appropriate boilerplate code. 

The Schema tool currently works on Go and Rust smart contracts. Future IOTA Smart Contracts releases will expand their functionalities and add convenience, such as automatically-generated client codebase libraries.

The IOTA Smart Contracts Beta can be tested on the IOTA 2.0 DevNet. The IOTA Foundation is now working to bring its smart contract solution to the IOTA main net so that users can enjoy the entirety of Smart Contract functionalities even before the IOTA 2.0 release. The next version of IOTA Smart Contracts will include expanded EVM integration and a permissionless market for chain validators.

On The Flipside

  • As the technology is in the testing phase, the future and the feedback from the userbase will show the possible weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities for this breakthrough technology.

Why You Should Care?

High transaction fees were a massive problem for wider crypto adoption. By significantly reducing the transaction cost, IOTA Smart Contracts will contribute to a broader blockchain technology adoption and become a standard in the industry. 

The IOTA Foundation’s approach to smart contracts represents a shift away from existing architectures and addresses their inefficiencies to innovate the entire ecosystem, as the use cases of smart contracts are innumerable.

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