Foundation

SDF Mandate

Our mandate provides transparent and live updates on our progress towards our goals.

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create equitable access to the global financial system.

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create equitable access to the global financial system. Founded in 2014, the Foundation helps shepherd and maintain the Stellar network’s codebase, supports the technical and business communities around the Stellar network, and provides thought leadership to regulators and other stakeholders. In all, we’re a global company, more than 100 people strong, working to make Stellar the global payment network standard. The Stellar network technology is SDF’s means to achieve its mission.

SDF has no shareholders, no dividends, and no profit motive. The Foundation is funded by lumens generated at the Stellar network’s inception, and the Foundation’s current lumen holdings can be viewed below. All of the lumens held by the Foundation will eventually be used to enhance and promote the Stellar network and to pay taxes as we do so.

This page details the ledger addresses holding those funds and how those funds will contribute to the Stellar network’s success. Anyone can observe our progress towards our goals, more or less in real time, using the links provided. In addition, we’ll provide a quarterly public accounting and audit for all of our programs, as well as periodic updates where appropriate.

Direct Development

SDF uses lumens from the Direct Development fund to directly develop and advocate for the Stellar network. On Nov 5, 2019, when this mandate was first announced, 12 billion lumens were allocated to this fund and 3 billion were released for use through 2020. These funds are escrowed and unlocked 3 billion per year, beginning in 2021.

Total: 12B XLM

Name

Original Balance

Current Balance

Direct Development, Available Funds

11,953,799,117

4,686,483,539

Jan 1 2021 Escrow

0

2

Jan 1 2022 Escrow

0

2

Jan 1 2023 Escrow

0

2

Direct Development (Hot 1)

424,423

2

Direct Development (Hot 2)

399,849

100,119,148

Direct Development (Hot 3)

227,593

2

Direct Development (Hot 4)

0

135,005,195

Direct Development (Hot 5)

0

10,000,025

Total

11,954,850,982

4,931,607,917

The Foundation’s primary responsibilities are to:

  • lead development of both Stellar Core and Horizon
  • formulate policy around the Stellar network and blockchain generally, and engage with regulators and policy-makers
  • cultivate the network’s technology and business ecosystems
  • foster the Stellar network’s community of individual network participants
  • promote the Stellar network technology to new participants and markets

In order to fund the above efforts (and other development or operational needs that may arise,) SDF will sell its lumens using public exchanges like Kraken, Coinbase, and Bitstamp and through direct sales. The cash we generate pays for employee salaries, as well as for things like rent, overhead, travel, and server costs.

In addition to cash salaries, most SDF employees also receive lumen-denominated grants drawn from this fund as well.

Ecosystem Support

SDF is committed to making the Stellar network an attractive place to build. We do this through the Direct Development work detailed above, but we also provide monetary support to teams and projects that are independently strengthening the Stellar ecosystem. Our ecosystem work is focused on two main areas: supporting developers and supporting the issuance of more currency tokens on the network.

Here are the addresses and funds dedicated to those initiatives:

Total: 2B XLM

Name

Original Balance

Current Balance

Developer Support

1,000,000,000

458,155,326

Developer Support (Hot)

0

150,000,006

Developer Support (Hot 2)

0

13,258,993

Currency Support

1,000,000,000

847,880,117

Currency Support (Hot)

0

10,384,163

Total

2,000,000,000

1,479,678,605

Developer Support lumens go to hackathons, meetups, and other important developer-community initiatives. Developer Support also funds two larger grant initiatives:

Infrastructure Grants

SDF’s Infrastructure Grant program supports projects that provide crucial network utility. There is no way to apply for this program. Instead, we allow projects to emerge and prove their value organically. The SDF ecosystem team reviews the Stellar ecosystem, asking of each major project:

  • Is this project an application or service that helps the Stellar network grow?
  • Has the project proven its value?
  • Is the team ambitious and dedicated to the long-term success of the network?

If the answer to these questions is yes, the project is considered for a grant, and we reach out for more information.

Grants are paid out every quarter and before each distribution, SDF reviews roadmaps with each project to ensure the recipients continue to drive the ecosystem forward.

Research and Development Grants

To encourage innovation, SDF offers Research and Development Grants that support the creation of minimum viable products and proofs of concept aimed at improving liquidity, increasing throughput, or otherwise extending the capabilities of the network to meet ecosystem needs. R&D grants go to qualified teams with proven capability to define benchmarks, conduct experiments, deliver results, and explain them to the world at large.

Anyone can submit a proposal by following the steps outlined on the application page. Periodically, the SDF R&D grants committee will evaluate applications, and follow up with those that meet current standards and fulfill current ecosystem needs. When evaluating a proposal, the grants committee will ask:

  • Does the experiment have real potential to improve liquidity, increase network throughput, or add key functionality to the Stellar network?
  • Is it well scoped?
  • Will it deliver measurable results?
  • Does the team behind the proposal have a proven track record of reliability?

Community Fund

Unlike the other grant programs run by SDF, the Community Fund gives the broader Stellar community the opportunity to vote on which projects deserve XLM grants. The Community Fund is also unique in that any project can apply. The explanation of the Fund is here, along with information about how and when to apply and vote.

The Currency Support funds go to teams that issue redeemable, fully-backed currency stablecoins on the Stellar network and/or offer deposit-withdrawal endpoints for the network because deep, varied currency markets are an essential part of the Stellar network’s future. The funds here also support market-making efforts for essential tokens on the Stellar DEX.

Currency grants are decided by asking:

  • What currencies does the network need most?
  • What projects are most likely to provide stable, long-term endpoints for those currencies?
  • What projects are compliant with relevant regulations?

There is no application; we find promising enterprises and engage with them.

Use-Case Investment

SDF is committed to identifying and fostering sustainable Stellar network use-cases. We do this in two primary ways. Here are the dedicated ledger addresses and their balances:

Total: 10B XLM

Name

Original Balance

Current Balance

New Products

2,000,000,000

1,592,927,672

Enterprise Fund

8,000,000,000

7,406,430,880

Total

10,000,000,000

8,999,358,552

From time to time, SDF will create or acquire business units and products to fill gaps we perceive in the ecosystem. The New Products funds are for those efforts. We will focus on enhancing, rather than supplanting, existing projects, and we’re committed to building with open-source ideals in mind. When deciding whether to build or acquire a product, important considerations will include:

  • Will the product create value for many other Stellar network-based projects?
  • Could SDF fill the gap in the ecosystem by other means?
  • Will the development process help the SDF team better support current or future Stellar network projects?

The Vibrant mobile app is an example of such a project. It launched in 2020, and its ongoing operations will come from this fund.

The Stellar Enterprise Fund is a venture-style fund for growing the network. The XLM in this account will not be distributed as grants. They’ll be used instead to either acquire or invest in businesses that have potential for the Stellar ecosystem. Some of these businesses may not yet be building on the Stellar network but would bring substantial benefit to the ecosystem and to their own business if they were brought to the network. Any proceeds from investments will be cycled back into the Fund.

Lumens might be directly invested into projects or lumens might be sold for currency to invest. Similar to other programs, there is no public application for the Enterprise Fund. SDF will sources its own candidates, asking:

  • Is the management team experienced, knowledgeable, and focused?
  • Is blockchain a central component of the company’s business model and value?
  • What value could the company bring to the Stellar ecosystem?
  • What value could the Stellar network in turn bring to the company?
  • Does the company have a connection to SDF’s mission?
  • Is the company’s market large and meaningful for the Stellar network?

The Stellar Matching Fund is an investment track within the Enterprise Fund dedicated to investing in early stage (pre-Series B) companies interested in building on the Stellar network. We match investments raised from outside investors of up to $500,000 USD and process deals through an expedited process. Anyone can submit a proposal by following the steps outlined on the application page.

Three criteria need to be met to qualify for investment:

(1) Capital Raised: Secure a lead investor and submit your term sheet. 

(2) Stellar Scope: Submit 1 page integration scope to be performed within 1 year of investment close.

(3) Screening: Submit diligence materials and pass screening interview with SDF.

User Acquisition

SDF is committed to bringing new individual users to the Stellar ecosystem. Without users, the apps, tokens, companies, and projects created by the above efforts will fail. Here are the funds set aside for growing the Stellar network’s user base:

Total: 6B

Name

Original Balance

Current Balance

Marketing Support

2,000,000,000

1,961,395,864

Marketing (Hot)

0

16,393,002

In-App Distribution

3,973,661,553

3,906,599,180

In-App Distribution (Hot)

26,338,447

26,320,647

In-App Distribution (Hot 2)

0

17,082,502

Total

6,000,000,000

5,927,791,195

The In-App Distributions pool is the successor of the Stellar network’s original airdrop programs. The XLM in this account will fund user acquisition for Stellar network-built apps and services that have already shown traction in the marketplace. Distributions could be through airdrops, as a “matching funds” type of flow, as an off-set for fees incurred by the user or by the project, or in other creative ways. The goal of this fund is to put more lumens into the hands of real users through the apps they’re already using. SDF will source its own candidates, asking:

  • Is the project already gaining traction?
  • Does the project have a connection to SDF’s mission?
  • Will increased success of the project directly and positively impact the Stellar ecosystem?
  • How will an in-app distribution magnify the project’s existing marketing efforts?
  • Does the project have its own marketing team that could implement a co-created plan?
  • Does the project have a developed internal ecosystem, so that distributions will be used in-app, rather than offloaded to external exchanges and wallets?

The funds from Marketing Support will provide marketing, PR, and communications for the Stellar network itself and for the projects building on the Stellar network. We may use third-parties, or may choose to do the marketing work ourselves. Projects will be considered for marketing support using many of the criteria outlined above for other programs.

Tracking Our Progress

SDF’s Mandate includes all of the lumens held by SDF. For clarity, and to put the various SDF wallets in one simple table, here are all the mandate funds:

Name

Original Balance

Current Balance

Direct Development, Available Funds

11,953,799,117

4,686,483,539

Jan 1 2021 Escrow

0

2

Jan 1 2022 Escrow

0

2

Jan 1 2023 Escrow

0

2

Direct Development (Hot 1)

424,423

2

Direct Development (Hot 2)

399,849

100,119,148

Direct Development (Hot 3)

227,593

2

Direct Development (Hot 4)

0

135,005,195

Direct Development (Hot 5)

0

10,000,025

Developer Support

1,000,000,000

458,155,326

Developer Support (Hot)

0

150,000,006

Developer Support (Hot 2)

0

13,258,993

Currency Support

1,000,000,000

847,880,117

Currency Support (Hot)

0

10,384,163

New Products

2,000,000,000

1,592,927,672

Enterprise Fund

8,000,000,000

7,406,430,880

Marketing Support

2,000,000,000

1,961,395,864

Marketing (Hot)

0

16,393,002

In-App Distribution

3,973,661,553

3,906,599,180

In-App Distribution (Hot)

26,338,447

26,320,647

In-App Distribution (Hot 2)

0

17,082,502

Total

29,954,850,982

21,338,436,269

As we said when we first announced this framework in November 2019, we intend to use or disperse most of these lumens within ten years. Ideally sooner. Along the way, we’re committed to fulfilling our mandate with as much transparency, clarity, and energy as we can. Expect a detailed accounting of our progress each quarter, but of course you can always follow along on the ledger.

Anyone who wants a complete accounting for all lumens in existence should visit our Lumen Supply Metrics guide for detailed explanations of major lumen metrics, as well as instructions on how to calculate supply details from the ground-up using the Stellar network’s APIs.

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