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Stellar Dev Digest: Issue #52

SDF’s Q2 in review, Stellar is now available on Samsung Galaxy smartphones, and DSTOQ launching soon.

Hey everyone! Welcome to another issue of the Stellar Dev Digest, a weekly recap of all things related to the development of the Stellar Network.

What is Stellar? Stellar is a platform that connects banks, payment systems, and people. Integrate to move money quickly, reliably, and at almost no cost.

News & Posts of the Week

  • ⚠️ The next Stellar testnet reset is scheduled for 07/29/2020 at 0900 UTC. To stay on top of this kind of thing, sign up for alerts on our status page (https://status.stellar.org/). A reset clears all ledger entries and historical data from both Stellar Core and Horizon. — Read how Stellar.org recovers from a reset.
  • The Stellar Development Foundation reflected on Q2 last week. In the release of our second quarterly report, we provided an overview of some of the advances we made, aligned to the pillars of our roadmap: ensuring the robustness and usability of Stellar, being the blockchain people know and trust, and fostering sustainable Stellar use-cases. — Watch the webinar here.
  • During the Q2 report, we also announced a collaboration with Samsung to expand the blockchain ecosystem experience and support Stellar developers to build compatible applications, with 4 ecosystem partners committed to leverage integration. — Read the press release here.
  • SDF has partnered with Lumenthropy for another round of donation matching! This time the goal is to raise money for the University of San Francisco’s Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice. SDF will be matching all donations up to 2 million XLM for the entire month of July! — Get more info here.
  • Cryptotesters hosted an interview with Wirex CEO, Pavel Matveev, on crypto cards, payments, their plan to launch stablecoins, and why they chose Stellar. — Listen here.
  • Public Node released an episode of Stellar Discussions last week with Martin Wainstein of Open Solar —an exciting project participating in Round 5 of the Stellar Community Fund. They discussed the features of Stellar and which are being used to design a new method for investing, financing, developing, and running solar arrays around the world. — Listen to it here.
  • Mister Ticot, creator of SCF Round 5 entrant Cosmic.vote, released a blog post detailing a voting mechanism known as Majority Judgment to aid in describing how Cosmic.vote will bring “decentralized organizations” to Stellar. — Read it here.

Application of the Week

This week I’m featuring DSTOQ — again! Why? Because they are finally launching the live DSTOQ app this week.

DSTOQ is an exciting example of how Stellar allows applications to explore the boundaries of what is possible in finance.

DSTOQ is a trading facility platform that allows partner banks to issue tokens representing securities. Those securities are held in custody by banks that are regulated and licensed, and DSTOQ users can buy those regardless of how much money they choose to invest. It doesn’t matter if you have $5 or $1,000.

Additionally, DSTOQ will be offering an end-to-end solution for securities trading. Their API abstracts away the difficulties, regulations, and compliance challenges of financial markets, and makes the process of storing and trading Stellar-based assets easier for integrated businesses.

Congrats to the DSTOQ team for all their hard work and here’s to a successful launch 🍻

Try out DSTOQ (when it goes live) and let them know what you think! Find their site here.

Releases and Updates

Here’s another testnet warning in case you missed the first one: The next Stellar testnet reset is scheduled for 07/29/2020 at 0900 UTC. A reset clears all ledger entries and historical data from both Stellar Core and Horizon. Start preparing yourself now.

Also, Horizon 1.6.0 was released today! This update removes Stellar Core’s database dependency for non-ingesting instances of Horizon. Horizon doesn’t require access to a Stellar Core database if it is only serving HTTP request, which allows the separation of front-end and ingesting instances.

There were also an experimental feature added to this release: support for live ingestion using a Stellar Core subprocess instead of a persistent Stellar Core database. Stellar-core now contains an experimental feature which allows replaying ledger’s metadata in-memory. This feature starts paving the way to remove the dependency between Stellar Core’s database and Horizon but requires Stellar Core v13.2.0.

To try out this new experimental feature, you need to specify the following parameters when starting ingesting Horizon instance:

  • --enable-captive-core-ingestion or ENABLE_CAPTIVE_CORE_INGESTION=true.
  • --stellar-core-binary-path or STELLAR_CORE_BINARY_PATH.

Check out the full release notes here.

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Active Discussions

💬 This week I’m featuring a discussion about the Stellar Community Fund!

We are on the 5th round of SCF at the time of this writing (go vote btw) and the Stellar Community Fund has evolved a little each around. As we encounter different problems with SCF we try our best to implement solutions to fix them. That being said, as SCF has evolved, we’ve noticed that some big structural changes would be needed to make SCF as successful as we hope it can be — so that’s what we’re doing. Last week, Tyler and I hopped on the Stellar Podcast to announce the new SCF restructuring.

Here’s a summary: The Stellar Community Fund will be split in to two categories. The first category, the Lab Fund, will run 4 times a year with a smaller prize pool and will aim to inspire experimental use cases, open-source software, documentation, events, market presence, and real-world stress tests.

The Lab Fund can also serve as an onramp for the second category, the Seed Fund, which will run 2 times per year and will have a significantly larger prize pool than the Lab Fund. The goal of the Seed Fund is to help viable, innovative, first-mover businesses and utilities get started on Stellar. This will help larger, long-term project receive more sustainable funding.

Another structural change will be the introduction of a community panel. The aim of the community panel is to handle nominations: they’ll vet all applications, and choose projects for inclusion in the final Lumen allocation round. The panel will filter out potential scams and technically weak or unachievable entries, and will present a strong and consistent pool of projects for community vote. In its current state, SCF requires the entire community to vote filter through projects and vote twice leading to voter fatigue and a lack of motivation to participate. We’re hoping the community panel will mitigate this.

The last structural change is that we’re introducing a new voting mechanism called Quadratic Voting (QV). Community voting as it stands today tends towards a linear distribution that makes it impossible to recognize exceptional projects. Quadratic voting adds velocity to votes to capture community sentiment and enables the community to help police bad actors and thwart manipulation. You can read a short primer on Quadratic Voting and how it’s used here.

I know this is quite a lot to take in. Fortunately, we hosted the podcast live and were able to answer some questions that popped up along with going in to more detail about the restructuring. Check it out here:

👉 If you have any thoughts on the new SCF structure, please hop in to the SCF Keybase team and let us know — any feedback is welcome!

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Did I Miss Something?

If you found that something from this issue is missing or inaccurate reach out to me (kolten) on Keybase and I’ll make sure to fix it 👍

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