OVERVIEW OF ARBITRUM STYLUS

Daniel Christopher
3 min readDec 15, 2023

What is Stylus?

Stylus as a next-gen programming environment for Arbitrum chains is an upgraded version of the existing Arbitrum Nitro technology which powers Arbitrum One, Arbitrum Nova, and Arbitrum Orbit production chains. This innovation comes as a second coequal virtual machine to the EVM. One exciting feature of Arbitrum Stylus is in the fact that it allows developers write smart contracts in programming languages that compile down to WASM, such as Rust, C, C++, and many others, extensively one could refer to this innovation as a pro version of the existing EVM technologies.

Key Fundamentals of ARBITRUM STYLUS

Compatibility and Interoperability: A core feature of Arbitrum Stylus is its compatibility and interoperable nature with other EVM programming languages, this is expressed in the following functionalities of the Arbitrum Stylus;

  • Stylus lets you write smart contracts in programming languages that compile down to WASM, such as Rust, C, C++, and many others.
  • Rich language support already exists for Rust: you can use the Stylus SDK and CLI tool to start building today.
    Stylus smart contracts benefit from Arbitrum’s EVM equivalence thanks to a second, coequal WASM virtual machine.
  • Solidity contracts and Stylus contracts are fully interoperable. In Solidity, you can call a Rust program and vice versa.
  • Stylus contracts are over an order of magnitude faster with significantly lower gas fees due to the superior efficiency of WASM programs.
  • Memory is 100-500x cheaper when using Stylus, unlocking new use cases now that consuming RAM is viable on the blockchain.”

How does Arbitrum Stylus Work?

Arbitrum Stylus makes use of WebAssembly (WASM) a popular modern binary format rather than the conventional EVM bytecode, this technology has been developed to be fast, portable, and human-readable, WASM also has sandboxed execution environments for security and simplicity.
The WASM Virtual Machine technology allows any programming language that can be compiled down to the WebAssembly to be accessible and compatible with Arbitrum Stylus.

Here are two popular Advantages of the WebAssembly Virtual Machine Technology over Solidity;

  • Efficiency
  • Speed

WASM offers a more efficient and faster run time compared to Solidity programming language.

Who has access to Stylus?

The Arbitrum Stylus Technology testnet is accessible to all interested parties like developers, builders and innovators. It’s of a fact that everyone at this point is still early to Stylus as feedback from developers will aid the general improvement, documentation, and language features of the program. Arbitrum Stylus provides all early adopters and users a wide range of possibilities as dApps built with Stylus tend to be faster, cheaper, or safer.

Here’s a list of innovations introduced by Stylus;

  • Custom precompiles for alternative signature schemes, such as secp256r1
  • Generative art libraries that consume a bunch of RAM
  • Bringing existing games written in C++ on-chain
  • Compute-heavy AI models.

CONCLUSION: At the core of Web3 innovations and Blockchain Technology, Stylus is a next-gen programming environment for Arbitrum chains. Arbitrum Stylus innovates on many levels, this is seen in its framework which allows developers so the following;

  1. Developers are now free to use their preferred programming language, all interoperable on any Arbitrum chain with Stylus.
  2. Developers still get all of the benefits of the EVM, including the ecosystem and liquidity, while getting efficiency improvements and access to existing libraries in Rust, C, and C++. All without changing anything about how the EVM works.
  3. Developers enjoy new gas pricing models for WASM programs. Intended for high-compute applications.
  4. Developers get to enjoy cheap reentrancy detection, and using the Rust SDK, reentrancy is disabled by default, unless intentionally overridden.

ARBITRUM
Arbitrum is a suite of scaling solutions providing environments with high-throughout, low-cost smart contracts, backed by industry-leading proven technology rooted in Ethereum. Arbitrum has primarily 2 blockchains called Arbitrum One and Arbitrum Nova. The newest product Arbitrum Orbit let’s you create your own dedicated chain that settles to one of Arbitrum’s Layer 2(L2) chains. Arbitrum One, Arbitrum Nova, or Arbitrum Goerli. Learn more about Arbitrum
here.

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Daniel Christopher

Exclusive Content Creator, Digital and Crypto enthusiast, Graphics/Infographics Designer, MEME expert.