Today, June 1, 2021 at 1500 UTC, the Stellar public network successfully upgraded to Protocol 17. Woohoo!
Protocol 17 introduces a new feature – Asset Clawback – that is designed to allow businesses issuing regulated financial instruments such as money market funds, bonds, and equities to comply with regulatory requirements by demonstrating the ability to revoke assets in certain situations.
Clawback doesn't affect existing assets, balances, or accounts; rather it opens up new possibilities for issuing regulated assets on the Stellar network. For more information, see the Protocol 17 Improvements blog post or the developer documentation.
The network upgrade to Protocol 17 required the assent of validators, who vote for and agree to a new protocol version just like they vote for and agree to apply transaction sets to the ledger. If you're interested in participating in future votes, you can run your own validating node, no permission required. For more on network governance, see the Upgrading the Network doc.
It takes a lot of coordination to pull off a major protocol change, and we appreciate the diligence, patience, and effort everyone in the ecosystem put in to prepare. If you haven't already, we encourage you to sign up for updates on our status page to make sure you're aware of network incidents and scheduled maintenance.
If you haven't upgraded your Stellar-related software, you may encounter errors if and when your integration encounters one of the new clawback flags or operations. If that's happening to you, simply install software that supports Protocol 17. It's quick and easy, and once you do, you should be back up and running in no time. For links to relevant releases, see our Protocol 17 Upgrade Guide.
As always, we are very cautious with network upgrades, and put a great deal of effort into making sure the ecosystem is informed well in advance. If this upgrade is catching you by surprise, please let us know! You can email me directly: [email protected].