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Stellar: The New Stellar Logo, The New Executive Director and CEO from Mozilla and Coinbase Support for XLM

Biweekly update 8th March — 22nd March

This is not financial advice.

During the last two weeks Stellar illustrated high social activity. To start with, Stellar announced its new logo. The new logo replaces the cartoon rocketship, which wouldn’t have been out of place in a children’s storybook. It attempts to bring the Stellar brand in line with symbols used for real-world money and other, more professional looking, crypto symbols. To continue, The Stellar Development Foundation appoints Denelle Dixon, previously Mozilla COO, as executive director and CEO. Denelle will start on May 1st. FInally, Coinbase supports Stellar Lumens (XLM) at Coinbase.com and in the Coinbase Android and iOS apps. Coinbase customers can now buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store XLM. However, XLM will be available for customers in most jurisdictions, but will not initially be available for residents of the United Kingdom or the state of New York.

Development

Github metrics
Developer activity (from Coinlib.io)

The Stellar Consensus Protocol is a “federated Byzantine agreement system” that allows decentralized, leaderless computing networks efficiently to reach a consensus outcome on some decision. The Stellar payment network uses SCP to provide a consistent view of the network’s transaction history to all participants.

Consensus protocols have a reputation for being difficult to understand. SCP is simpler than most but still shares that reputation — due in part to the mistaken idea that “federated voting,” which the whitepaper spends its first half describing, is SCP. But it’s not! Instead, it’s an essential building block used by the second half of the whitepaper to construct the actual Stellar Consensus Protocol.

This article covers brief background about what an “agreement system” even is, what can make one “Byzantine,” and why you’d want to make a Byzantine one “federated.” Then the federated voting procedure described by the SCP whitepaper and SCP itself will be explained.

Two of the most popular Stellar wallets/exchanges are now usable with StellarGuard. StellarTerm exchange and Lobstr recently added full support for submitting transactions with your StellarGuard enabled account. That means that you can use these tools like normal, and if your account has StellarGuard enabled, the transactions will be sent to StellarGuard for you to authorize.

So if you’re one of the many people who have been asking for some extra security before trading on the SDEX with StellarTerm or importing your account into Lobstr, sign up for StellarGuard and try them out. To see how to trade with StellarTerm: Read the Tutorial.

https://github.com/stellar/stellar-core/releases/tag/v10.3.0

This is a minor release (no protocol changes) with major impact on the performance of a node when joining the network: we’ve seen a speedup of up to 10x to apply buckets on our low end hardware.

Stability improvements:

  • database access improvements: batching calls to avoid too many round trips to the database.
  • improved communication between peers
  • fixed a crash when replaying history during catchup triggered by flaky connectivity to the network
  • fixed a crash when merging buckets and running out of disk space
  • SCP: nomination now remembers previous round leaders, this reduces the chances of timeouts (and longer consensus time)
  • Windows: fix random failures when adopting buckets
  • stop using memory for peers that are too slow by dropping them

New features:

  • peers referenced by name in the configuration file have their IP refreshed periodically to help with peer discovery during DNS updates.
  • added a configuration to drop peers that are too slow

Breaking changes:

  • Stellar-core now depends on Postgresql of at least 9.5 (was 9.4)
  • as part of the performance improvements, core’s database schema changed for some ledger entries. See docs/db-schema.md for details. This means that software that uses core’s database directly (such as Horizon) must support schema version 9 or above.
  • old style command line will be deprecated post 11.0 release. See docs/software/commands.md for the list of supported command line options

Details: https://github.com/stellar/stellar-core/projects/9

Pedity is a decentralized content platform taking a novel approach with a reward sharing platform on Stellar. .The release of Alpha 0.2(codename: Skyline) is announced, in this release your content will now be available on stellar. In Alpha 0.1.x, your content stays available on PEDI nodes and all the nodes are paid using the content fees. This article on Pedity is available at this link.

In Pedity 0.2, PEDI asset can be used for various utilities such as

  1. Create your decentralized blog using PEDI asset which is used to pay nodes for storing content
  2. Create fundraiser campaign without need of issuing token and liabilities
  3. PEDI asset can be used to promote your content
  4. Use PEDI asset to support your favorite article by tipping

It is really simple to create a blog, writing a single article will allow you to get a decentralized blog.

In 0.2, you only need to use your public key for logging in which allows you to personalize Pedity platform and use features such as Promoting article, Tipping, Editing Profile, Setting goals, etc. All these actions happen on blockchain and there is no centralized database involved. You get an XDR (External Data Representation) object, which you can submit either on Stellar labs or on Pedity. Your secret key is never stored or shared with us.

You can now earn reward PEDI tokens for sharing content on Pedity. In Alpha 0.2, you will get rewarded everyday automatically for your content. It will be fixed amount of tokens per day.

You will be able to see daily rewards on Pedity Rewards section. This section will allow you to view recent tips and fund raiser campaigns by creators. We will release subscriptions in near future, that will allow content creators to earn higher rewards and sell paid content as well.

Social encounters

Stellar enlisted the design firm Kurppa Hosk. The new Stellar Logo meets the following principles:

  1. The new logo should be versatile.
  2. The new logo should tell some of Stellar’s story.
  3. The new logo should work as a currency symbol.

Upcoming events:

The workshop is addressed to:

- crypto beginners

- business people with interest in the crypto world

- everyone who is interested in blockchain technology

See also:

Monthly Roundup March 2019

Finance

Token holders, the number of payments, trades and assets (information from stellar.expert):

Once sufficient supply of XLM is established on the platform, trading on the XLM/USD, XLM/EUR, and XLM/BTC order books will start in phases, beginning with post-only mode and proceeding to full trading should its metrics for a healthy market be met. Support for XLM will be immediately available in Coinbase’s supported jurisdictions, with the exception of New York State. Additional jurisdictions may be added at a later date.

The Stages of the XLM Launch:

  1. Transfer-only. Starting at 1pm PT on March 13, customers will be able to transfer XLM into their Coinbase Pro account. Customers will not yet be able to place orders and no orders will be filled on these order books. Order books will be in transfer-only mode for approximately 12 hours.
  2. Post-only. In the second stage, customers can post limit orders but there will be no matches (completed orders). Order books will be in post-only mode for a minimum of one minute.
  3. Limit-only. In the third stage, limit orders will start matching but customers are unable to submit market orders. Order books will be in limit-only mode for a minimum of ten minutes.
  4. Full trading. In the final stage, full trading services will be available, including limit, market, and stop orders.

You can sign up for a Coinbase Pro account here to start trading. For more information on trading XLM on Coinbase Pro, visit our support page.

FinTech platform YouHodler is a Blockchain-based Financial Ecosystem focused on cryptocurrency-backed lending with fiat loans. YouHodler lending platform provides USD and/or EUR loans, secured by collateral in BTC, ETH, XRP, and other popular cryptocurrencies. It continues to expand its global reach with a new collateral addition to their growing list. Due to popular demand from their community, YouHodler now includes Stellar (XLM) as their latest collateral option. The new listing comes just after the platform added BSV and will attempt to bring another sector of the crypto community to their service.

Choosing XLM as collateral on the YouHodler platform allows users to receive a loan in EUR, USD or USDT. Using a credit/debit card, verified bank account or stable coin wallets, users can then instantly withdraw their loan from the platform.

OnePageX.com has listed XLM for fast exchange. OnePageX.com supports over 140 altcoins along with Stellar! Buying Stellar is now easier than ever. Simply go to OnePageX.com, and pick which asset you want to use for the swap and XLM on the second drop down. After that, just click “Start Exchange” and a card will show up.

VMC is a software company that solves challenges in urban mobility. The mobility of cities is evolving rapidly. VMC is at the forefront of these developments with a groundbreaking live product that makes it easy to develop connected and coordinated cities and vehicles, which serves travellers, mobility providers and smart goals for city governments. The mobility marketplace is expected to grow from $500 billion to $1 trillion between 2020 and 2030. The value of the market we approach is huge and will continue to grow substantially, due to emerging mobility, technological developments and growing urbanisation.

VMC technology and services are positioned to support the widest combinations of legacy infrastructure and new technologies and services in mobility. Connecting planes, trains, busses and taxis to e-bikes, scooters, drones and hyperloops to autonomous transport and other shared modalities. VMC enable seamless access for the masses to newly connected mobility services.

Token name: VMC-ST

Token price: €0.20

Private sale bonus: 30%

Private sales starts: Now

Public sale starts: 15–04–2019

Public sale ends: 30–06–2019

IBM’s Blockchain World Wire officially launched today, enabling payment locations in 72 countries, with 47 currencies and 44 banking endpoints. The network is based on Stellar and facilitates the transacting of a wide range of digital assets. Among them will be at least six fiat-backed stablecoins issued by international banks.

Today also saw IBM head of blockchain Jesse Lund, and Stellar founder Jed McCaleb, take to the stage to deliver the keynote at the Singapore Money20/20 conference to explore the announcement in more detail and discuss where it fits in their vision of the future of money.

It’s likely that the launch of IBM World Wire will end up being among the most significant developments in payments in the last century.

The importance of these network effects also has big implications.

First, because liquidity is the key to making Stellar work, so having a lot of participating financial institutions is the key to making any of this actually work. With its big launch today, World Wire is bringing a lot of participants to Stellar.

And second and third, because it means you get that snowball effect of adoption and because it means payment protocols are something of a winner-takes-all market.

The world of remittances and international payments is almost incalculably large and able to host countless competing companies, but the benefits of those network effects will see them all clustering around a single underlying protocol.

Roadmap

HORIZON

Horizon is a client-facing API server for the Stellar ecosystem. It is how developers connect their applications to Stellar Core. SDF currently maintains three Horizon SDKs: Javascript, Java, and Go. Early this year Stellar reached out to developers in the ecosystem to get their feedback on Horizon. Stellar will use this quarter to focus on improving the Horizon admin and developer experience.

  • Mid/Late Q2: Bring Horizon SDKs to parity with Horizon server
  • Q2: Create technical spec for Core/Horizon API
  • Q1: Add transactions that fail in consensus to Horizon
  • Ongoing: Whittle down the Github PR and issue backlog

STELLAR CORE

  • 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
  • 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

  • Q2: Redesign Stellar.org till May 1st.
  • Q1/Q2: Publish More Content
  • Q1/Q2: Make Better Tools: Dashboard, Laboratory, SEP6 validator
  • Q2: Create an open-source Wallet SDK
  • Q2/Q3: Improve Kelp, a trading bot library designed to make it easy to make markets on Stellar.
  • Q2/Q3: Continue work on Lightning-like Payment Channels (aka Starlight)

ECOSYSTEM

  • Ongoing: Increase community and marketplace presence
  • Ongoing: Integrate more community feedback

Last year, Stellar announced a process for Core Advancements Proposals — proposals to change or improve the Stellar Core protocol.

  • Ongoing: Collaborate with ecosystem projects
  • 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. Emerging projects will for this program continue to receive support via the Stellar Community Fund. Stellar will announce the specifics of the Community Fund in March.

ORGANIZATION

  • Ongoing: Hire more good people

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.

Updates:

Stellar Horizon 0.17.4 has been released

  • Support for Stellar-Core 10.3.0 (new database schema v9).
  • Fix a bug in horizon db reingest command (no log output).
  • Multiple code improvements.

Partnerships and team members

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) announced that it has named Denelle Dixon as its Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. Denelle will start on May 1st. Stellar.org’s co-founder and current SDF Executive Director, Jed McCaleb, will move into a role as Chief Architect, where he will focus on the network protocol and Stellar’s adoption strategy.

Previously, Dixon served as COO of Mozilla, one of the most successful mission-driven open source organizations. During her tenure at Mozilla, she led the organization’s ongoing fight for Net Neutrality and the global effort to ensure that people can control their personal data. She also pushed Mozilla to understand how to partner with commercial entities while staying true to its core mission of openness, innovation, and opportunity on the web.

Rumours

IBM is paving the way for banks and other regulated financial institutions to join the blockchain revolution. Rather than going through a series of intermediaries when sending money across borders, IBM has created a real-time, global payments network to support cross-border transactions and foreign exchange in more than 50 countries using digital assets, also known as cryptocurrencies or “stable coins.”

IBM Blockchain World Wire will help financial institutions improve the services they deliver to their consumers by optimizing and accelerating foreign exchange, cross border payments and remittances. Using the Stellar protocol, World Wire serves as a network provider for international payments, enabling point-to-point money transfers in lieu of the complexities of conventional correspondent banking. While IBM announced an initial pilot of World Wire in October 2017, today the network is officially accessible in a growing number of markets.

According to IBM, World Wire is the first blockchain network of its kind to integrate payment messaging, clearing and settlement on a single unified platform. Participants are also allowed to dynamically choose from a variety of digital assets for settlement. Currently, World Wire has enabled payment locations in 72 countries, with 48 currencies and 44 banking endpoints.

The World Wire network currently supports settlement using Stellar Lumens (XLM) and a U.S. dollar stable coin through IBM’s previously announced collaboration with Stronghold.

One reason a number of banks and other regulated financial institutions have expressed interest in joining World Wire is due to the benefits the network could offer to those sending money across borders. With World Wire, clearing and settlement happens in near real-time, as the network uses digital assets like cryptocurrencies and stable coins to settle transactions. These assets serve as an agreed-upon store of value exchanged between parties, meaning funds can be transferred at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional correspondent banking.

Moreover, according to Lund, the Stellar protocol offers clear benefits in terms of using blockchain technology to facilitate cross border payments through the World Wire network.

Social media metrics

Social media activity

The data show very unusual pattern.

Social media dynamics
Social media dynamics
The information is taken from Coingecko.com

The graph above illustrates a slight increase in the number of Reddit subscribers and Twitter followers. However, Twitter followers prevail.

This is not financial advice.

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