Blog Urbit Community Update - January 2023

Jeremy Tunnell at

Introducing Urbit Labs

Urbit Labs is a project that aims to leverage Urbit as infrastructure for web3 projects.

The Urbit Labs team will collaborate with aligned web3 projects. Through these collaborations, they’ll be able to explore the possibilities presented by Urbit’s technical qualities in ways that are not immediately obvious, while leveraging Urbit’s software for builders around the world.

We're excited to announce that we've brought on Resident Developers Trent (~hanfel-dovned), Yun (~lonhep-tamfeb), and Evan (~bondbud-macryg) to head up our Urbit Labs initiative.

They’ll be working together with the NEAR Foundation, as well as a host of other projects that stand to benefit from Urbit’s unique architecture.

Urbit 411K

The upcoming release of 411k removes a major scalability limit of the Urbit network, clearing the way for significant growth. That's pretty important, considering that the network has grown by 16% month over month since August!

We’re getting to the stage where approximately eight million Urbit ships could be online and talking to one another. This is truly laying the ground for a new digital landscape.

The release also features the long-awaited Encrypted Remote Scry. This enables developers to write applications that handle private data in a vastly more efficient and scalable way. Check out Urbit Foundation CTO Ted Blackman’s thread about the latest release here and the release notes here.

Hoon Academy

It’s never too late to learn Hoon. And it’s never too early to sign up for Hoon Academy.

Our next cohort begins March 14. Sign up here. You can also check out the syllabus for the last session here.

And if you’ve already got some Hoon chops and really want to think ahead, head over to our App Academy sign-up form here.

Hoon Academy has been reorganized by teacher Jack Wang, and the reports from the latest cohort are that it was a truly excellent experience. We hope to see you there.

An Urbit-Native Blockchain

One of Urbit’s greatest strengths is that any application that uses Urbit will immediately have networking and identity baked in. The %token project, which got started at a build party, is a community-led venture to build a blockchain taking advantage of these unique features. It is an Urbit-native Proof of Identity blockchain that implements a cryptocurrency $TOKEN. Check out the README here and the public Urbit group for discussion of %token here.

Highlighted Media

Odds & Ends

Some quick hits from on and around the network this past month:

  • Rumors are in the air about a new publication coming soon: the Urbit Systems Technical Journal. If this sounds intriguing to you, reach out to ~lagrev-nocfep.

  • Assembly Capital just released a new version of %vita, making Urbit app development 100x easier. %vita allows you to create an app that will be instantly available across the network. Download today from ~nodmyn-dosrux

  • Check out %feeds, an app from ~migrev-dolseg that allows you to subscribe to, discover, and publish rss feeds from around the internet.

  • At a build party last week, the Urbit Labs team worked with ~paldev to build %hits, which uses %pals and the gossip library that powers %rumors to rank popular apps. The app will be released shortly—stay tuned!

  • In case you missed it, we’ve released almost all the panels and discussion from Assembly Lisboa. Check out the playlist here.

  • Urbit chess has been re-booted with a Sail front end. Check out the repo here.

  • The Urbit Foundation will be developing tools for writing native Urbit apps in non-Hoon languages. Watch out for more updates.

  • ~wispem-wantex made %recipe-book for tracking your macros. Download at  ~dister-dozzod-wispem-wantex/recipe-book

As always, we look forward to seeing you on the network!

–The team @ Urbit Foundation

Jeremy brokers the sale of galaxies and stars. To purchase or sell a galaxy or star contact him at [email protected]

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