The Stellar Development Foundation rides its strong momentum from the previous quarter into the third quarter as it executes around the three strategic pillars of its 2021 roadmap: supporting the robustness and usability of Stellar, helping Stellar be the blockchain people know and trust, and fostering and developing sustainable Stellar use cases for cross-border payments and securitized assets.
Our Q3 report outlines what SDF has accomplished, measured against the three pillars. This quarter’s highlights include:
We’ve been heads down continuing preparations for the Protocol 18 vote coming up on November 3rd. This is the most significant upgrade to Stellar since its inception: the ability to create Automated Market Makers (AMMs). With AMM functionality, developers will be able to integrate and offer exciting user-facing services, allowing users to create and deposit into liquidity pools on the network. This enables cheaper, faster, and highly usable cross-asset payments, and democratizes market making by opening up participation in liquidity provision. It's an exciting development not only because Stellar is the first layer 1 blockchain to incorporate AMM functionality at the protocol level, but also because SDF and the greater Stellar ecosystem collaborated to accelerate development so that the AMM functionality will be immediately available to end users if and when validators vote to accept the Protocol 18 upgrade.
SDF is happy to announce its largest Enterprise Fund investment to date, contributing $40 million to a $145 million Series E investment round for Tala. This Series E investment round will support Tala’s product expansion as the team builds out digital banking capabilities. Tala users will be able to borrow, spend, save, invest, and send/receive entirely using Stellar assets and stablecoins like Stellar USDC. With this investment, the Stellar network extends its global reach deeper into four countries and millions of Tala users.
Arf and Tempo launched a payments corridor between Europe and the Philippines, with Tempo converting senders’ Euros into USDC and Arf facilitating the USDC to a local payout partner who then converts it into local fiat on the receiving side.
Spanish startup Vottun will develop a payments solution in the Spanish Regulatory Sandbox with support from professional services firm PwC and SDF, enabling corporate clients to tokenize intra-company payments using Stellar-based digital currencies and seamlessly execute and settle payments.
VersaBank and Stablecorp announced their intention to commercially launch VCAD, a Canadian dollar stablecoin that is the first to be issued by a North American bank.
Stellar USDC is now available on leading Asian crypto exchange Liquid. By providing users with fee-free USDC withdrawal capabilities to help its customers maximize benefits of the digital dollar currency, Liquid looks to increase interoperability, solve issues arising from recent spikes in blockchain fees, and improve service levels for their customers.
Latin American crypto exchange Bitso has begun integrating Stellar USDC for its customers, using USDC as a bridge asset and the preferred on/off ramp asset between Mexico and the US. This lowers costs, accelerates transactions, and allows its two million+ users to benefit from a cheaper USD <> MXN payment rail.
SDF made the case for why Stellar is well-suited for the issuance of CBDCS in a white paper, including how to execute a CBDC on Stellar and a primer on the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP), the engine that drives the network.
Wilhelm Wanecek published a thesis on the electricity consumption of the Stellar network, with the goal of obtaining a generalized estimate of the electricity use of a payment transaction. He summarized and discussed his findings in a blog post, including the method used to derive them.
Engaging with policymakers has been a top priority for SDF this quarter. SDF continued to support the development of Ukraine’s digital economy, welcoming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Silicon Valley, while a SDF delegation travelled to Ukraine to meet with the Ministry of Digital Transformation and other stakeholders.
In July, SDF was certified as a Great Place to Work, validating the organization’s commitment to fostering a supportive and equitable work environment. 82% of SDF’s employees participated in the Index Survey, and SDF netted a 96% overall positive response rate – well over the required minimum of 65%.
To tie all of the accomplishments made this past year together, SDF will be hosting Meridian 2021 on November 17th-18th. Registration for the conference is now live, so visit the site for updated information on speakers, the agenda, tech talks, and more.
Read the Q3 report to learn more about these highlights and other strategic achievements from this quarter. You can also watch the Q3-in-review webinar below, where Denelle Dixon (SDF CEO and Executive Director) was joined by Justin Rice (Head of Ecosystem), Jordan Edelstein (Chief Marketing Officer), and Shivani Siroya (Tala’s CEO and Co-founder) to cover growth metrics for the Stellar network and other highlights and accomplishments since the beginning of the third quarter.