The Stellar Development Foundation finished the year strong, celebrating and reflecting on its victories achievements against 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 Q4 report outlines what SDF has accomplished, measured against the three pillars, in the fourth quarter and all of 2021. Highlights include:
To fully leverage the power of anchors and asset issuance on Stellar, SDF partnered with Circle and the Centre Consortium to integrate the USDC stablecoin onto the Stellar network in the beginning of 2021. Since then, USDC’s impact reverberated across the Stellar ecosystem, and businesses building on the network are able to leverage both the world’s leading digital dollar currency and Stellar’s fast speeds, low transaction fees, and interoperability for their own offerings.
Announced in October 2021, MGI is integrating with the Stellar network and facilitating payments through Stellar USDC to enable cash-in and cash-out in local currency for consumers, using USDC as the bridge between different currencies, with near-instant settlement. This capability (currently live in pilot stage) will connect millions of current (and future) MoneyGram users to the world of blockchain and digital assets, providing greater access to the global financial system and greater financial inclusion for all.
In 2021, the Enterprise Fund invested $80.25M dollars in a total of 8 companies, nearly 8x the amount invested the previous year. The Enterprise Fund most recently invested $5M in Bitt, a fintech company that enables central banks, financial institutions, and merchants to issue, manage, and use CBDCs.
As part of its commitment to bringing new individual users and businesses to the Stellar ecosystem, SDF is re-launching its Marketing Grant Program with open applications to support the growth and user acquisition efforts of projects built on Stellar. To learn more about marketing grants and SDF’s other sources of funding support, visit the new Grants and Funding webpage.
Earlier this year, Horizon 2.0 – the API that enables interaction with the Stellar network – was released, making running products and services on Stellar more efficient by introducing significant performance benefits. This upgrade allows businesses and developers to deploy Horizon with fewer resources and far greater flexibility.
SDF doubled down in event participation, sponsoring or participating in 54 external events in addition to hosting 20 events this year, including Meridian 2021 – SDF’s largest event of the year in Q4. The virtual event, themed “Build Locally, Impact Globally,” featured 13 sessions with new content additions such as docsprints, demos, and tech talks. SDF’s marketing team also built out its case study repository and debuted a new brand video, highlighting the possibilities of building on Stellar.
In the US, SDF advocated for revised text in the definition of “broker” put forth by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, informed the President’s Working Group stablecoin report, and testified before the US House Committee on Financial Services about financial innovation, digital assets, regulatory frameworks, and more.
Internationally, SDF assisted Nigeria-based ecosystem participants in navigating legislation passed earlier this year, co-authored the World Economic Forum’s recommendations for crypto regulatory framework design, and signed an MOU with Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation to support the development of Ukraine’s digital economy. At the end of the year, global fintech Bitt and TASCOMBANK, one of Ukraine's oldest commercial banks, launched a pilot project to issue an electronic hryvnia on Stellar.
Read the Q4 report to learn more about these highlights and other strategic achievements from this quarter. You can also watch the Q4-in-review webinar below, where Denelle Dixon (SDF CEO and Executive Director) was joined by Justin Rice (Head of Ecosystem), Candace Kelly (General Counsel), and Jake Chervinsky (Executive Vice President & Head of Policy at the Blockchain Association) to cover growth metrics for the Stellar network and other highlights and accomplishments from the fourth quarter and entire year.
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