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Can Arbitrum’s Stylus Testnet change the L2 game in ARB’s favor?

2min Read

The Testnet would allow developers to build applications on the Nitro chain while enabling gas reduction. How does this affect ARB?

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  • Development activity on the Arbitrum network increased.
  • New addresses continue to overlook the L2 in favor of ARB’s competition.

For some months, Arbitrum’s [ARB] has not been the most used Layer Two (L2) scaling solution. The reason is that the likes of Optimism [OP] and Coinbase’s [COIN] Base are now considered preferred options by market participants.

How much are 1,10,100 ARBs worth today?

Arbitrum attempts to compete in “style”

Despite being pegged back, Arbitrum is not resting on its oars as regards developments on the network. In line with this commitment, Offchain Labs has released the public Testnet for Arbitrum’s Stylus for developers’ use.

The Arbitrum Stylus allows developers to build applications on the Nitro chain while enhancing lower gas costs and enabling Ethereum Virtual Machine [EVM] contracts for faster execution on the blockchain. 

While admitting that it has made the Testnet available for public GitHub repositories, Offchain Labs noted,

“The availability of the live Testnet for Arbitrum Stylus that allows developers to build smart contracts, alongside previously offered EVM languages.”

This move looks similar to the strategic move Base made before its Mainnet launch in the first week of August. During that time, Base experienced a lot of adoption as users found a way to bridge the network.

This also led to the surge in the value of assets bridged on the network and its surging adoption. But what has been the impact of the development on ARB since then?

Waiting on the outcome as developers swing into action

According to Santiment, Arbitrum’s network growth rose briefly to 3,152 on 31 August. However, the hike did not last as it had fallen to 1,111 at press time. Network growth measures the number of new addresses interacting with a project.

When it increases, it means a surge in traction. However, a decrease in ARB’s network growth implies that the adoption of the project or use of the token by new entrants was far from impressive. 

Therefore, it is unlikely for Arbitrum to follow in Base’s footsteps with respect to improving traction on the L2. However, OffLabs’ declaration of allowing public GitHub repositories seemed to be factual.

This assertion was due to the state of the development activity. At the time of writing, Arbitrum’s development activity had risen as high as 5.46— a height it has not neared in months.

Realistic or not, here’s ARB’s market cap in OP’s terms

So, the press time state of the metric suggests that developers were working on polishing the Arbitrum network.

Arbitrum network growth and development activity

Source: Santiment

While it might be too early to conclude that Arbtirum may not match Optimism’s or Base intensity, OffLab clarified that it was up to Arbitrum One and Nova DAO to decide how far Stylus’ development would go.


Victor Olanrewaju is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. Settled in Lagos, his fascination with blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency market arose out of his love of freedom and everything free. As a Nigerian, Victor understands the impact unfounded financial restrictions have on a population. He sees Bitcoin and cryptos as a way to circumvent these obstacles, as a tool for value creation despite all the setbacks. A graduate in Physics, Victor previously worked as a Senior Marketer at Melange Technologies. Before that, he dealt with crypto-marketers on a regular basis in his capacity as Copywriter at Ventrix Media. At AMBCrypto, Victor’s focus is on assessing the real effectiveness of both on-chain and off-chain developments on a project and its community sentiment.
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