SDF Blog

The Story of 2020

Lighting Up the Stellar Map

2020 was a landmark year for SDF and Stellar. Our goal was to support massive growth in the ecosystem — and as the year comes to a close, I am proud to say we delivered. We are closing out 2020 with a stronger, more active network and ecosystem and firmly positioned to drive growth in 2021. 

The work was fueled by the urgency of the moment and by countries and companies having a renewed focus on the options blockchain offers. To tap into the momentum for change, we organized around three strategic pillars: ensuring the robustness and usability of Stellar, being the blockchain people know and trust, and fostering sustainable use cases. 

The results are inspiring. 

We saw our network grow across the board, showing how mature, reliable, and usable Stellar is. One of the most notable measures of growth is the number of operations being processed. In April of 2020, we hit 1 billion operations processed on the network since it began in 2015. That alone is a milestone to celebrate this year, but it’s even more exciting to consider that since that milestone, we hit 553 million more operations (yes, you read that right — half a billion!).

These metrics speak to the impact we’re making on the road to setting a new global payment standard. Much of this growth is coming from the use cases that the network is designed to support — with assets tethered to real financial instruments that connect global financial infrastructure with Stellar rails. We’ve seen a 61.22% increase in the number of relevant assets on the network, and a 21X increase in transaction volume of these assets since the start of the year. 

It’s a testament to the hard work of our growing Stellar ecosystem — and importantly, the many new anchors who joined the network. We now have 20 anchor services on Stellar that SDF actively supports, which is up from 12 in 2019. These anchors are opening up critical cross-border corridors for payment flow that are both consumer and business focused. We’re seeing the Stellar map light up with anchors around the world!

SDF also brought new participants to the ecosystem through the Enterprise Fund, as well as through business relationships between SDF and companies that fulfill important roles within the ecosystem — like our partnership announcements with USDC and Samsung. The Enterprise Fund invested $9.265 million in 2020 in four companies: DSTOQ, SatoshiPay, Abra, and Settle Network.

To support these extraordinary innovators and businesses, SDF focused this year on integration support and easy-to-use integration tools. The beta release of Vibrant in 2020 by SDF subsidiary, Sunship, Inc.,  also highlighted the need for more attention to anchor-to-anchor and anchor-to-consumer integration models — which brought about improvement and adoption of additional Stellar Ecosystem Proposals. Changes to Stellar Core and Horizon (the API layer) were implemented to meet the needs of the ecosystem and the requirements of applications like Vibrant.  

It’s clear that this year of lighting up the Stellar map has had its exciting moments — and we dedicated time to sharing them with the world. We worked hard to grow our presence and brand so more people know about the impact we’re making together. We did that through aggressive marketing and communications efforts focused on the ecosystem and developments on Stellar, including: 

  • launching expanded paid digital media efforts and significantly elevating our content marketing capabilities,
  • holding quarterly update calls and publishing quarterly reports, which highlight our achievements and the strong ecosystem momentum that we are seeing, and  
  • hosting and participating in over 50 events — including our own conference, Meridian, with 2130 participants from 87 countries. 

And we brought our message to key stakeholders, like regulators, policymakers and influencers within and outside of the United States. Whether through a roundtable at the House Financial Services Committee or joining the WEF’s Digital Currency Governance Consortium, we used our voice to advocate our policy priorities. 

This year was unexpected in many ways and despite the unprecedented circumstances, we responded to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic with a deliberate and urgent focus on our contributions to the growth and health of the ecosystem and network. It’s clear our strategy proved successful, with the achievements listed here and so many more that we will share in our annual review in January (register here for the webinar). 

That’s where we’re at today as 2020 comes to a close. With our momentum propelling  us forward, we’ve got big plans and goals for 2021. 

In the year ahead, we will continue to act urgently and proactively. The pandemic created a window of opportunity within the global community to prove the usefulness and capability of blockchain technology. Regulators in many parts of the world are interested in and open to understanding the role this technology can play. We must continue to press ahead in support of our three strategic pillars.

In January, we will share our 2021 roadmap with the concrete ways we will foster another year of growth for Stellar. Until then, we celebrate a bright year for the network and toast to the work of every single member of this community and ecosystem that made it possible.

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