For the past 18 months, development around the Terra blockchain was intended to do one thing very well: retail payments for e-commerce. While this strategy was crucial to bootstrapping the adoption of the network and differentiate Terra from the dozens of blockchains without much userbase, the time has now come for Terra to transition to an open platform where it empowers developers to build game-changing applications for Terra’s now 2M strong users.
Here we outline our the Terra Core release schedule, roadmap, related tooling and projects, and initiatives for the remainder of 2020 up until the launch of our fifth mainnet update, Columbus-5.
Terra Core will change in two major ways over the next two upgrades.
- With Columbus-4, Terra Core will become more expressive with the addition of CosmWasm smart contracts → cosmwasm.com
- With Columbus-5, it will become more interoperable with the addition of the Shuttle bridge module to create a message bus with multiple other blockchains. More details on Shuttle and Columbus-5 will be released in a later roadmap update as timelines and development progress become available.
Smart Contracts on Terra.
In Columbus-4, users will be able to write and upload smart contracts onto the Terra blockchain, enabling fully decentralized agents with transparent state and logic. This represents a significant development in the evolution of our chain as it opens up the ability for developers to create decentralized applications that leverage the unique advantages of the Terra blockchain, such as native stablecoins, oracle prices, and on-chain swaps.
Terra is secured by Tendermint consensus performed over the 100 top validators by bonded Luna stake. This ensures block finality, and block times generally fall in between 5 and 6 seconds. As such, the Terra blockchain is able to reach hundreds of transactions per second. Terra promises to extend its success of bringing the advantages of crypto to over 2 million ordinary users to smart contracts such as Anchor.
Smart contracts on Terra run on WebAssembly, which is quickly becoming the preferred industry standard for safe and portable execution. WebAssembly’s compact format, potential for optimization, and inclusive language support make it the ideal choice for supporting performant smart contracts that can operate across multiple blockchains — a future that Terra is at the center of shaping. It’s the direction a lot of smart projects are heading and we’re glad to be on board.
Smart contracts are written in Rust, a modern low-level systems language with an emphasis on performance and safety. Rust offers developers a fine granularity of control while also providing automatic guarantees of memory safety, which make it a great language for writing efficient and robust contracts. Terra smart contracts will also be able to import crates, allowing easy reuse of Rust logic and libraries. We hope to see smart contracts become significantly more interesting as developers experiment with bringing functionality from the large existing Rust ecosystem onto Terra. We’re above all excited to be part of its vibrantly enthusiastic developer community.
This was made possible through an integration with CosmWasm, which is featured in Terra Core’s new WASM module. CosmWasm is a project that enables Cosmos chains to embed a sandboxed WebAssembly runtime for executing smart contracts. Confio, the team behind CosmWasm, has put a great deal of thought and attention into smart contract security, particularly in avoiding the pitfalls of Ethereum, such as reentrancy attacks and integer overflow. They have also put a tremendous amount of care in designing an easy-to-use API for smart contract writers.
You can find CosmWasm sample contracts in our repository here and more detailed information featuring CosmWasm’s innate features and capabilities can be found here in this high level post as well as its documentation portal.
Columbus-4 brings additional features to the chain.
Terra will additionally be adding important feature proposals to be confirmed via appropriate governance processes with release candidate RC-0.4.3 including:
- A mint module which will allow inflation
- A message authorization module that allows users to delegate authority over accounts examples of which include:
> user account permissions delegations which can alleviate user account and key management. Imagine a user new to cryptocurrency having his/her keys managed by a relative who understands the ins and outs of key management.
> granular management of actions from delegated permissions like setting specific transaction counts and account limits.
These features are currently being audited with results and appropriate fixes in September 2020.
In addition to the smart contracts and core feature upgrades, we will be launching a suite of tools to be used on Terra. We aim to have the tooling, resources, and products as fully featured as they can be to support the best developer experience that will allow developers to go from ideation to product as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Houston is a development framework for CosmWasm smart contracts. This will be a development environment, testing framework, and asset pipeline for blockchains using WebAssembly. With Houston you get:
- Built-in smart contract compilation, linking, deployment, and WASM management
- Automated contract testing tools for rapid development
- Scriptable, extensible deployment and migrations framework
- Network management for deploying to any number of public and private networks
Station Extension is a browser extension for accessing the Terra blockchain and its ecosystem of applications. For folks familiar with Ethereum, this is the Metamask of Terra.
Terra’s very own multi-featured blockchain wallet Station will now available as a mobile app. You’ll have access to your dashboard, staking, swaps, and wallet now conveniently on mobile!
The Engineering Bay is a knowledge base for smart contract standards, tooling, and resources for building with CosmWasm smart contracts on the Terra blockchain. Here developers will have access to a library of standardized smart contracts, development guides/recipes, testing frameworks, and general developer resources.
Your first opportunity to use Anchor will be coming soon. In Anchor’s V1, you will have guaranteed principal protection, instant withdrawals, and a steady and high APR. Anchor V1 will have bLuna contracts (liquid staking) and a money market that subsidizes its interest with staking rewards coming from bLuna. Support for interchain assets (Cosmos, Polkadot, Solana) will be available in V2 coming with our next mainnet update in Columbus-5!
Roadmap to Launch.
The road from development, testing, auditing, and launch for the suite of tools, applications, and code for Columbus-4 has been quite comprehensive and wide reaching. Terra has been hard at work preparing tools that will make the community and developer ecosystems better, more efficient, and more robust.
As we mentioned the important features that we will be pushing to the public in our Columbus-4 update, an audit is a fundamental step towards ensuring that the community has a guarantee that the code we are suggesting for upgrade is trusted. A formal audit of these features will be completed before any such mainnet exposure. We would like to clarify that these feature upgrades for Terra’s mainnet are feature recommendations that will only be passed through network consensus.
For the Community. With the Community.
The significant efforts at making the Terra network more robust, efficient, and feature-rich has been a core effort of the Terra infrastructure team from inception. Our infrastructure team, with the help of our genesis validators and many significant additions to our validator ecosystem, has brought us all to the successes we’ve achieved thus far. This next mainnet update milestone introducing smart contracts and core feature proposals represents an opportunity for much more ecosystem exposure, collaboration, and development.
The Terra network is governed by the community and important upgrades like these are solely determined by protocol upgrade proposals and entirely in the hands of Luna stakeholders.
We’ve seen how compelling this technology can be for the masses and now we’re excited to see the community’s contributions in moving forward with governance, application development, and engagement!
Upcoming Roadmap and Tentative Timelines
- Public Tequila-4 Terra Testnet
> To go live this Thursday September 3, 2020 17:00 KST (01:00 PST, 04:00 EST)
> Testnet for proposed feature upgrades including smart contract integration!
> ETA starting Thursday September 3rd with rc-0.4.3
> Developer Contest
> All validators and incoming/interested validators should join
- Public Mainnet Upgrade (Columbus-4)
> October 3, 2020
> Contingent upon audit and successful passing of governance proposal
> Development framework for CosmWasm smart contracts.
> ETA late September
- StationCX Browser Extension
> Browser extension for interacting with the Terra blockchain
> ETA mid September
> Mobile wallet for Terra blockchain
> ETA mid October
> Knowledge base for Terra smart contract standards, tooling, and resources
> ETA late September
- Terra’s First Hackathon
> Hack away at your dApp ideas on Terra’s first official hackathon!
> ETA late October
> Version 1 of Anchor launch in debuted on Terra network
> ETA late November
> Terraform Labs will be issuing substantive grants to catalyze promising development contributing to core infrastructure, application development/tooling, and community support.
> ETA late November
- Terra End of Year Summit!
> Terra’s first summit with the year’s recap, product updates, talks from the community, team, and more!
> ETA mid December (Christmas/holiday time)
In preparation (and celebration) of the Columbus-4 Mainnet update for smart contracts coming to Terra, we will be holding a Developer Contest! As we kickoff our Tequila-4 Testnet for Columbus-4 Mainnet update, we invite all developers to build out your ideas for what you’d like to see on Terra!
- 1st place — 20,000 Luna
- 2nd place — 10,000 Luna
- 3rd place — 5,000 Luna
How to submit:
- Tweet out with a link to your github repo
- Follow @terra_money on Twitter
- Include the hashtag: #SmartContractsOnTerra
Deadline to submit will be the last day of September!
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