Our vision for 2021 is based on our belief that this is Stellar’s year to grow in meaningful ways — growth of the number of entities building on Stellar, growth of relevant transaction volumes on Stellar, and growth of the number of people that know about Stellar. We want to do our part to ensure that Stellar is known as a credible and valuable integration option by business leaders, policy makers, regulators, and consultants.
This vision for Stellar and the ecosystem can only be achieved by focusing on technology, ecosystem, policy, brand, and use-case development.
To ensure that Stellar is usable, scalable, secure, and robust enough to support all existing and future use cases, and to further decentralization and network trust, SDF will focus on attracting and maintaining new stakeholders and high-quality validators to Stellar. SDF will also work with the ecosystem and on the technology itself to create more safety and resilience measures.
Stellar’s ecosystem of builders and enterprises are critical to guiding network improvements to support top use cases. These ecosystem contributors work with SDF and other network participants to improve the Stellar Ecosystem Proposals and ways participants can leverage the strengths of Stellar. We want this to continue.
Those who build on Stellar have the best vantage point to help improve the integration processes and identify how Horizon and Stellar can further support their work. We will continue to collaborate with the ecosystem on the different use cases to respond to new technical requirements raised by each. We will also build additional easy-to-use tools, content, and documentation that simplify integration efforts for anchors, wallets, and securitized asset platforms on Stellar.
Based on feedback from existing developers on Stellar, we will also complete a prototype of a layer 2 technology that is a bridge between Stellar and other technologies, such as private ledgers or “sidenets,” which will help to guarantee that Stellar can adapt to the resulting increase in use cases and volume. Scalability is also critical, as the network needs to be ready to handle the rapid transaction growth that will flow from network effects. We want to see 5X growth of relevant transactions on Stellar and will work with the ecosystem to ensure support for this objective.
As the network grows in volume, asset value, and visibility, the potential fallout from bugs and other technical failures grows as well. In 2021, we will invest in technical and procedural changes that make the network even more safe and resilient. Doing so protects Stellar’s existing participants from risk and helps attract new enterprises who may be wary of using new technology.
Improving liquidity is an essential part of the 2021 growth plan.The ability to efficiently convert assets is what enables varied use cases and actors to interact with one another on Stellar. We are encouraged by the ecosystem's engagement on this issue and will explore the many options and proposals they have developed. In collaboration with ecosystem participants, we will explore whether and how to improve liquidity through proposals such as automated market makers and additional integration with OTC liquidity solutions.
SDF will continue its contributions to establishing Stellar as the blockchain people know and trust by increasing awareness and visibility of Stellar and the ecosystem. We will accelerate our visibility and participation in national and international conversations around payments technologies to support the growth of Stellar. SDF will also support and market the Stellar network and the ecosystem to key audiences — developers, businesses, regulators, and policymakers — because if Stellar is going to have an impact on the world, we need all stakeholders to think of Stellar when they think of payments and innovative financial technology.
An important part of SDF’s work in 2021 will be focused on supporting the enterprises that are already building on Stellar through marketing efforts — by bolstering their marketing efforts and by featuring ecosystem companies in our own narrative and marketing. We featured multiple enterprises in our 2020 communications efforts and launched additional case studies in 2020. We will launch at least 2 more case studies in 2021 to bring more attention to those already building on the network. We will host Meridian 2021, and as with our prior Meridian events, we will highlight ecosystem participants and how those participants work together, and we will focus on creating additional network effects.
Creating stability for blockchain technology from a policy standpoint will not only benefit the industry as a whole, but will help us to achieve SDF’s mission of creating equitable access to the global financial system. We will work to establish that financial institutions around the world can reliably and lawfully use blockchain technology. We will do this through education, partnerships with governments, and advocacy for legislation that brings clarity to the regulatory landscape while leaving ample room for innovation.
SDF created the Stellar Enterprise Fund in 2019 as a catalyst for growth on Stellar. In 2021, we plan to invest in at least one new enterprise per quarter. We will use the Fund to grow the network with a focus on generating network effects.
Building strong relationships with technology consultants is crucial to the expansion of Stellar. Consultants can act as an extension of SDF and can help companies and government entities integrate with Stellar. We will grow these relationships in 2021 by building formal partnerships with at least 10 consulting firms, specifically with their blockchain and crypto practice groups.
The SDF ecosystem team creates opportunities for ecosystem participants to engage with SDF and with one another. In 2021, we will continue to be creative in the type and number of events held by SDF, hosting at least four events each quarter. These events will be aimed at fostering network effects by ensuring that enterprises are aware of one another and cognizant of what they can do together.
To deliver products and services built on Stellar that contribute to long-term growth and sustainability of the network, SDF will foster use cases that have clear value for end users and can demonstrate a path to a viable business model.
In 2020 we supported the growth of relevant transaction volume by helping to bring anchors to Stellar and by connecting those anchors to one another — fostering network effects. We will continue both of these efforts, and also start to focus more explicitly on adding and growing use cases in ways that lead to greater network effects.
We will grow Vibrant by expanding the user base and adding at least one new market and two additional product features. We will continue to work within the ecosystem to increase relevant transactions by 5x. There is an undeniable need to create new payment corridors on Stellar. We will open at least 4 new payment corridors by onboarding anchors and working with the ecosystem to create relationships within the anchor network. In order to ensure that Stellar grows with the demands of the ecosystem, we will onboard partners as lighthouse examples for consumer and business cross-border payments on Stellar, remittances and business payments in high friction corridors, and global access to financial services such as USD savings, investing in securities, and other tokenized assets.
For SDF to reach our goals, we need to ensure that diverse perspectives, ideas, views, and talents are included and sought. We will build openness and diversity into each of our products, as pillars for the way that we support and hire talent, and in the manner in which we live our SDF values. To build technology, tools, and products that are solving problems all around the world requires us to be curious, rigorous, and creative in ensuring that we embrace and reflect the needs of the regions that we seek to support.