Stellar: Stellar Roadmap 2019, Stellar Lumens breaks resistance and Stellar approval by Thailand SEC
Biweekly update 22nd February — 8th March
This is not financial advice.
During the last two weeks Stellar illustrated high social activity. To start with, Stellar has recently published its Roadmap 2019 which covers Stellar’s horizon, Stellar core, product, ecosystem and organization. To continue, Stellar Lumens [XLM]’s price soared by 14.58% and continued to grow. The market cap was $2 billion, which helped the token briefly switch places with Binance coin [BNB] at the seventh position. Finally, Thailand’s financial markets regulator has banned several cryptocurrencies as a means to invest in ICOs and as a base in trading pairs apart from bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), ether classic (ETC), litecoin (LTC), XRP and stellar (XLM).
Nodle, a connectivity provider for the Internet of Things just announced the launch of its mobile application, Nodle, made exclusively available now for HTC Exodus users. Once users launch the app, they will be directly rewarded for participating in the Nodle Network.
The Nodle app connects and collects data from IoT devices like environmental sensors, BLE tags, cars, bikes and scooters. The company has built a robust Bluetooth Low Energy-powered network to help companies and cities connect and collect data from their devices, sensors and tags.
The Nodle app will be preinstalled on the HTC Exodus phone. Users can start earning NODL coins in minutes from launching the app.
The NODL coin is built on top of the Stellar blockchain. The Nodle team and the Exodus team worked closely to add the Stellar blockchain support to the Zion hardware wallet.
About the Stellar blockchain and ecosystem, Micha Benoliel, Nodle co-founder, mentions that “Stellar enables us to deploy complex smart contracts with simple atomic operations, providing an efficient payment platform that is interoperable with the traditional fiat world. That makes it a perfect fit for Nodle.”
Jesse Lund, Head of Blockchain & Digital Currencies at IBM, discussed the roadmap for World Wire, which is a cross-border payment solution built on the Stellar network.
In this interview, Lund explains how the XLM token will be used as part of World Wire and shares IBM vision for the network. He also left Jesse Lund with a juicy hint that central bank currencies, usable by everyday people, are coming soon.
- Cape Town Stellar Meetup on 28 March. It is the first official event in South Africa featuring presentations by @Helghardt and Rehive team.
- Stellar’s Jedd McCaleb and IBM’s Jesse Lund take the stage at this year’s Money 20/20 Conference (19–21 March, 2019)*
The workshop is addressed to:
- crypto beginners
- business people with interest in the crypto world
- everyone who is interested in blockchain technology
Smartlands Platform, a Stellar-based Worldwide Security Token Issuance Platform designed for 21st-century crowdfunding, is thrilled to announce that the official launch of its STO campaign for private investors is set for March, 19th at the Money20/20 Asia event in Singapore ‒ the “Oscars” of FinTech.
During the Money20/20 Asia event, the high-level officials from Smartlands will be meeting with a number of private investors to formalize their commitment to participate in the first STO on the Platform and sign contracts for the purchase of security tokens. Also, in line with a tradition of making big surprise announcements at globally influential conferences, Smartlands is planning a surprise during its own event organized on the margins of the Money20/20 Asia event.
Money20/20 Asia will be the official starting point of the Smartlands Platform STO Roadshow to showcase the Smartlands Platform business model further and maximize opportunities for sophisticated private investors. During the roadshow, the Smartlands officials plan on participating in a number of high-caliber industry events in South-East Asia, Europe, and the US making in-depth presentations of the Smartlands Platform case study and further revealing the array of benefits the Platform delivers to investors and asset owners.
A German company has won the race to issue a fully regulated security token, at least in Europe. Despite others having claimed to have “tokenized” something in the past, this Bitbond issue is a radical shift in the STO narrative so far.
Indeed Bitbond — a Berlin based crowdfunding company — has released a prospectus approved by German regulator BaFin to raise funds by issuing a security token bond on the Stellar blockchain, without a depositary bank, without certificates or coupons and intermediaries. Differently from what happens with traditional bonds, no commission/premium/agio will be charged to subscribers. Also the size of this STO is considerable, with an ambitious hard-cap of €100M.
Thailand’s financial markets regulator has banned several cryptocurrencies as a means to invest in ICOs and as a base in trading pairs.
The country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued rules last July, mandating that any entity seeking to conduct a token sale must first file for an application for its approval. At the time, the SEC said that only Thailand’s national currency, the baht, and seven cryptocurrencies can be used to invest in ICOs: bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), ether classic (ETC), litecoin (LTC), XRP and stellar (XLM).
Stellar Lumens [XLM]’s price shot up and there seems to be no stopping to it. The token soared by 14.58% over the past day and continued to grow by 2.76% over the past hour, at press time. The coin broke the resistance of $0.10 and was valued at $0.1066. The market cap was $2 billion, which helped the token briefly switch places with Binance coin [BNB] at the seventh position.
The seventh largest coin registered a growth of 28.01% over the past week. The reason behind this pump was suggested to be the German financial media house, Börsenmedien AG acquiring SatoshiPay, a cryptocurrency startup. This startup offers micro-payment solutions and had blockchain projects with Stellar, Aergo, and Aeternity.
For this partnership, the company used Stellar’s blockchain Technology, which allowed the media house to initiate a pay-per-article scheme, using SatoshiPay’s payment solution to send funds from the reader to the publisher.
XLM overtook BNB coin on the CoinMarketCap list briefly. BNB was valued at $14.42 with a market cap of $2 billion, at press time. The token also noted a 24-hour trading volume of $154 million, with a price rise of 28.18% over the past seven days.
Stellar Roadmap 2019 published on February 28, 2019
- Mid/Late Q2: Bring Horizon SDKs to parity with Horizon server
The three SDF-supported Horizon SDKs don’t all support every Horizon server feature. Stellar wants developers to be able to use whichever one they are most comfortable with, so it needs each SDK to have full functionality. Therefore, Stellar is adding full Horizon server feature support to each of the ones it maintains.
- Q2: Create technical spec for Core/Horizon API
Stellar will define a schematized API for how Horizon fetches data from stellar-core. The new approach will remove the tight coupling between Horizon and the stellar-core database, reduce load on the stellar-core database from Horizon, allow stellar-core to update its DB schema without needing Horizon changes, and improve Horizon ingestion performance. It should also make it easier to build non-Horizon systems on top of stellar-core via a simple and stable API. This is just the planning step, implementation will happen later in 2019.
- Q1: Add transactions that fail in consensus to Horizon
Horizon’s original design ignores transactions that are submitted to the network (and thus pay a fee) but that fail to execute due to issues like an insufficient balance or a bad sequence number. This behavior has two main consequences: users can be charged a fee but not see how that happened when examining their transaction history, and the Horizon /fee_stats endpoint will do a poor job of estimating accepted fees if a majority of transactions fail. The former is important for users to have precise accounting of their account balance, and the latter is important for wallets to ensure that transactions execute in a timely manner during surge pricing conditions. Stellar is adding a configurable feature to Horizon in v0.17.2 to make it ingest failed transactions as well, resolving both issues.
- Ongoing: Whittle down the Github PR and issue backlog
Community engagement in Horizon development is extremely important to us. Stellar will reduce the backlog of PRs and issues in Github from 2018 and earlier. Going forward, Stellar tea will respond within 3 weeks to new Horizon issues and PRs in Github.
Stellar Core is the software that nodes on the network use to achieve consensus and validate transactions. It’s the backbone of Stellar, and SDF is currently working to make it more efficient, more responsive, and easier to install and maintain.
- Q2/Q3: Improve decentralization while preserving performance
More validators will join the network if a Stellar node can run on medium-range hardware. Towards that goal, Stellar will improve data access to stellar-core’s database (by implementing batching and prefetching). Stellar will add safeguards for bad archives and allow full validator discovery and quorum configuration by Q3.
- Q2/Q3: Make node management faster and easier
It should be easy to maintain a Stellar validator or a watcher node. Stellar will eliminate exposure of unreachable peers to speed up connection times, develop ways to define and measure peer quality so that people can better understand network topology, and define and measure quorum quality to make it easier for people to create safe quorums.
- Ongoing: Maintain a consistent ship schedule
Stellar will have 6 Minor Releases in 2019; one each in February, March, May, June, August, and October. Stellar will push 3 Protocol upgrades; one each in Q2, Q3, and Q4. In Q2 Stellar will migrate the SDF infrastructure to a new production environment.
Product at SDF entails everything from the brand and messaging for Stellar to building SDKs for Stellar-based apps. SDF’s product team also publishes open-source tools that make Stellar more powerful and easier to use.
- Q2: Redesign Stellar.org
The Stellar.org website has needed an overhaul for a long time. Work on this is well underway. Stellar anticipates that the new site will be up May 1st.
- Q1/Q2: Publish More Content
Stellar will publish use case explainers and walkthroughs for core concepts like Decentralized Trading and Asset Issuance. We will also publish a human-readable SCP explanation. Stellar will also post more often about what Stellar team and important partners are achieving. Stellar will continue to improve and post to its new Developer’s Blog as well.
- Q1/Q2: Make Better Tools
- Q2: Create an open-source Wallet SDK
Stellar will create a first-class, open-source Stellar Wallet SDK. This will make Stellar easier to build on, and strengthen the network. For example, fiat tether issuers will be able to use Stellar knowing that wallets can uniformly support in-app deposits and withdrawals of their token. By Q3, Stellar will have at least one high-quality, high-impact project using its new framework.
- Q2/Q3: Improve Kelp
Kelp is a trading bot library designed to make it easy to make markets on Stellar. The project was launched last summer and is now being maintained by SDF. Stellar will address currently open community PRs/issues. Stellar will extend the library for usage on centralized exchanges. Stellar will enable historical indicator-based trading strategies and provide a way for the community to share trading strategies with one another.
Q2/Q3: Continue work on Lightning-like Payment Channels (aka Starlight)
Last year, Stellar laid the groundwork for lightning-like payment channels on Stellar, and Interstellar built a bidirectional preview implementation, which they called Starlight. However, Stellar is still several months away from fully supporting a lightning-like experience. Hiring more engineers to finish this work is a top priority.
- Ongoing: Increase community and marketplace presence
Stellar will increase SDF presence across our online channels, as well as increase support for local events around the world. Stellar will have a Stellar Conference in 2019.
- Ongoing: Integrate more community feedback
Last year, Stellar announced a process for Core Advancements Proposals — proposals to change or improve the Stellar Core protocol. Any approved CAP will be implemented into Stellar-core within 6 months of finalization. CAP005 and CAP006 will be in Stellar 11.0.0 (our April 2019 release). New CAPs will receive feedback within two weeks. Stellar will also have all development-related conversations (unless ops or security related) in stellar.public on Keybase.
- Ongoing: Collaborate with ecosystem projects
Stellar wants to form real, ongoing relationships with the teams doing meaningful work on Stellar. Stellar wants to do a better job sharing the design, engineering, and product expertise that we’ve assembled here at SDF. Above all, Stellar had much rather collaborate with our community of developers than simply dispense lumens.
So, to help important projects become better participants in the Stellar ecosystem, Stellar team will be providing detailed product and development guidance, targeted grant rewards, and sometimes working directly on the projects themselves. This is what the Stellar Developer Program, announced in December, will be.
- Stellar.expert: supporting their headcount growth as they develop StellarExpert ID and also improve the information design and functionality of their ledger explorer.
- AnchorUSD: supporting improved brand messaging and user experience.
- StellarX: supporting their continued development as an open interface to Stellar’s decentralized exchange.
In 2019, Stellar will identify at least 7 other projects for detailed engagement and support. Stellar’s goal is to see meaningful growth/improvement in at least 7 of the 10 projects we collaborate with. Because of the amount of work each new project will entail, Stellar ultimately decided not to take applications; SDF will instead reach out to prospective partners. Emerging projects will for this program continue to receive support via the Stellar Community Fund. Stellar will announce the specifics of the Community Fund on Mar 20th.
- Ongoing: Hire more good people
Hiring is a top-level goal for SDF. Stellar will grow the core team by at least four engineers, add at least two major senior executives, and build out a marketing and content team to accomplish our communications goals. Stellar already has the nucleus of a product team, but Stellar will have 6 people working on Stellar products and ecosystem tools by the end of the year.
- Q3:Increase clarity around SDF’s lumen holdings and distribution plans
A full accounting of SDF’s projects, grants, XLM holdings, and plans for those holdings is long overdue. By year-end there should be complete clarity around all SDF’s activities and assets.
Partnerships and team members
- Börsenmedien AG acquires stake in blockchain company SatoshiPay
Börsenmedien AG, one of the leading media houses for finance information in German- speaking regions, has acquired a 5 percent stake in SatoshiPay, the platform based on scalable blockchain technology wich offers a frictionless micropayment solution to help digital publishers monetise content globally, as part of the payment company’s latest funding round. In addition to the investment, the two companies agreed upon a strategic partnership.
Both companies are currently working on integrating SatoshiPay’s payment solution into Börsenmedien AG’s digital media outlets. Using SatoshiPay, online readers will be able to pay for premium content with just one click. The solution leverages Blockchain technology, supplied by the Stellar distributed ledger network, to send payments directly from the reader’s wallet to the publisher. This is done without any intermediary and with network transaction costs significantly below 1c.
San Francisco based Stellar Development Foundation supports the partnership by supplying free credits to new readers, which can be used to purchase content on Börsenmedien AG’s platforms and to get familiarised with the SatoshiPay wallet.
Stellar-based Smartlands which is seeking to become a global platform for security token issuance, is pleased to announce a partnership agreement with Globacap, a UK-based blockchain security issuance platform specializing in enterprise-grade custody and administration solutions. Globacap is authorised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The partnership with Globacap will enable issuers on the Smartlands Platform to meet regulatory transfer agent requirements. Additionally, Globacap will safeguard customers securities/shares, conduct account administration, transaction settlements, distribute dividends and interest payments, and oversee foreign exchange operations on Smartlands platform.
How it works:
Once an security token offering is concluded and security tokens have been distributed, Globacap as a Nominee on Smartlands Platform will execute shareholder rights following the vote conducted on the Platform during shareholder meetings. In the future, trades executed on the Stellar Network (regulated segment) can be immediately and immutably documented in the shareholder rights table for investors’ legal protection.
Social media metrics
The graph above illustrate a slight increase in the number of Reddit subscribers and Twitter followers. However, Twitter followers prevail.