Iota Releases Shimmer Public Test Chain Ahead of Native Ethereum Virtual Machine Launch

The public testnet will help developers improve the resilience, performance, and security of ShimmerEVM.

AccessTimeIconMar 29, 2023 at 12:51 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 29, 2023 at 3:40 p.m. UTC

Iota Foundation, the developer of the eponymous blockchain, released the Shimmer Ethereum Virtual Machine test chain on its Shimmer testnet, developers told CoinDesk Wednesday.

Shimmer, an incentivized staging network, started operation in September. It is the first EVM-enabled launch on Iota and is intended to increase the network's overall utility for developers and traders. The public testing period is a key step ahead of the ShimmerEVM introduction on the mainnet, or real-world blockchain.

“We are continually making new improvements so when the ‘real’ ShimmerEVM is ready to launch, it’s more polished,” Iota Foundation Chairman Dominik Schiener said. “This testnet is an important step forward for the rollout of future ecosystem projects on both Shimmer and Iota.”

Testnets are blockchain networks designed for testing purposes. They mimic activity on the mainnet and allow developers to debug any issues and monitor network activity ahead of wider release.

An Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) refers to the environment in which all Ethereum accounts and smart contracts live, serving as a virtual computer utilized by developers for creating decentralized applications (dapps). When deployed on other blockchains, EVMs can allow developers to build dapps and decentralized finance (DeFi) applications similar to the way they would on Ethereum.

Testing ShimmerEVM with multiple validators and dozens of dapps will enhance the resilience, performance, and security of the planned ShimmerEVM smart contract chain, developers said.

Alongside test chain launch come with other important updates to the consensus module.

The basis for this extended EVM compatibility is built by so-called Magic Smart Contracts, which come as a default on every Iota smart contract chain. These smart contracts enable seamless and bridgeless native asset transfer between the Shimmer layer 1 and EVM chains – eliminating the need for custom bridges within the Shimmer ecosystem.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.