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Stellar Dev Digest: Issue #53

Build a Stellar anchor from scratch, testnet resets Wednesday, and a proposal to increase the minimum fee.

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 this Wednesday, 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.
  • Are you building on Stellar? If so, SDF wants to hear from you! We’ve put together an ecosystem survey that’ll help us get a sense of what you’re building, and to find out if there are key features or improvements you think we should focus on to make Stellar better. — Take the survey here.
  • As July comes to a close, here’s a reminder that SDF has partnered with Lumenthropy for another round of donation matching! 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.
  • Litemint’s last Beta update just went live! Now’s a better chance than ever to earn your cards before they go live as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Stellar post-beta. — Try it out here.
  • Wirex announced a new partnership with Mastercard! Reminder that Wirex is aiming to launch 26 new stablecoins on the Stellar network that can be used seamlessly in day-to-day life — online, at ATMs and in shops, restaurants and supermarkets. — Read the announcement here.

Application of the Week

This week I’m featuring Polaris — an extendable Django app for Stellar Ecosystem Proposal (SEP) implementations maintained by the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF).

Using Polaris, you can run a web server supporting any combination of SEP-1, 6, 10, 12, 24, and 31 for your Stellar anchor or service. Additionally, each SEP implemented by Polaris comes with a programmable interface, or integration points, for developers to inject their own business logic.

If all of that sounds a bit confusing, don’t fret. A Software Engineer at SDF, Jake Urban, hosted an Engineering Talk last week that walks you through using Polaris to build a basic Stellar anchor from scratch. All you need to get started is a bit of Python and Django knowledge while Jake handles the rest.

You can watch the Engineering Talk here and check out Polaris here.

Releases and Updates

Here’s your last warning! The next Stellar testnet reset is scheduled for this Wednesday, 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.

Reminder: Horizon 1.6.0 was released last week! This update removes Stellar Core’s database dependency for non-ingesting instances of Horizon.

There were also an experimental feature added to this Horizon release: support for live ingestion using a Stellar Core subprocess instead of a persistent Stellar Core database. This feature starts paving the way to remove the dependency between Stellar Core’s database and Horizon but requires Stellar Core v13.2.0. Check out the full release notes here.

The Stellar Python SDK now supports SEP-0007! Find the new release here.

Subscribe here to get Stellar maintenance reminders and incident reports sent straight to your inbox.

Active Discussions

💬 This week I’m featuring a discussion around increasing Stellar’s minimum fee!

The network has entered surge pricing mode a lot over the past few months because ledgers are filling up with failed transactions. These failed transactions are caused by a trading bots attempting to take advantage of a small number of arbitrage opportunities.

I won’t cover too many details as this blog post does a great job of describing the issue. But essentially developers realized that you can submit a path payment and end up with more money than you started with, and they built bots to look for those arbitrage opportunities and try to capitalize on them.

The problem is, a lot of people built arbitrage bots, and they all look for the same opportunities. When one bot wins the race, every other bots’ transactions fail. Because those transactions met the minimum fee requirement, they fail after they’re included in the ledger rather than before, causing ledgers to fill up with failed transactions. These filled ledgers cause the network to enter surge pricing — which makes the network more expensive for everyone else.

At time of writing the minimum network fee is 100 stroops (.00001 XLM). To kick off the discussion we ask: what if we raise the minimum to 10,000 stroops (.001 XLM) per operation? While arbitrage is valuable in its own way, this 100x fee increase could encourage arbitrage hunters to be more efficient in there efforts and improve quality of life for the average user.

👉 If you have any thoughts on the fee increase, or want to see what everyone else has to say, please check out the feedback thread here!

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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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