With all the good news that the Stellar network has experienced recently, it seems like a great opportunity to review recent partnership announcements and explore the potential effects they may have on both the network and native asset XLM (Lumens).

Stellar’s ‘SDEX’ announced as StellarX – summer launch

Back in January, the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) published their January roadmap. Within it they alluded to the third-party development of a ‘world-class front-end’ for ‘Stellar’s inherent decentralized exchange’ and dubbed the project ‘SDEX’.

Five months passed by, and finally the silence was broken with the announcement of StellarX – the much-anticipated front-end development and SDEX project. Developed by industry veterans whose previous projects include Kickstarter, Headspace and OkCupid, the trading app promises fee-fee trading of every asset class imaginable, directly from the user’s wallet.

Market maker rewards are available (of roughly $20,000) per week to the top market makers, demonstrating that the SDF and StellarX are prioritising the liquidity available within the protocol’s orderbooks. Furthermore, inflation pay-outs of 1% a week will be facilitated, meaning that any funds held with StellarX will receive the pro rata Lumens every Tuesday. Signup invitations are live on their website, with the app debuting this summer.

IBM’s and Stronghold’s USD Anchor

Following StellarX’s news, the Stronghold exchange announced their partnership with IBM to offer the network’s first official, venture-backed USD anchor. Institutional investors will be able to exchange US dollars for Stellar Lumens (XLM) and any other asset listed on the Stellar network, through the stronghold platform. Prime Trust will be acting as the custodian for USD accounts.

Whilst retail investors will have to wait, this particular announcement constitutes a landmark moment for the Stellar network. Providing direct access to the network and therefore greater liquidity with fiat is exactly what brought exchanges like Coinbase huge popularity. Not only that, but the speed of settlement that XLM provides means that it is now possible for institutional investors to use Lumens as a bridge currency, avoiding the slow speed and high transaction costs associated with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Combined with StellarX’s front-end and fee-free trading, the importance of this development for the network cannot be overstated.

Poseidon Foundation (Stellar network ICO) Landmark Partnership with City of Liverpool

Cryptocoinspy published details of the landmark partnership between the Poseidon Foundation, a non-profit blockchain carbon credit NGO, and the City of Liverpool. Liverpool is aiming to become the world’s first ‘carbon positive’ city by 2020, with the foundation and its utilisation of the Stellar network playing a pivotal role in doing so.

By creating a seamless point-of-sale system for consumer purchases, and an immutable carbon credit network, the Poseidon Foundation allows for the transparent offsetting of carbon emissions, contributing to key conservation and ecology projects around the world. This recent city partnership announcement comes off the back of yet more news for Poseidon, who have also secured deals with Ben and Jerry’s and BAC Mono previously.

The speed at which these collaborations and adoption of DLT on the Stellar network is occurring demonstrates a fantastic validation of the protocols capabilities.

Conclusion

It’s no secret that cryptocoinspy has been closely following the Stellar protocol for some time. Despite the top 10 position of this cryptocurrency, the general market opinion seems to be that Stellar and its growing network is hiding in plain sight. Certainly, acrimonious feelings and partisan behaviour between different network supporters seems to contribute to this ‘hiding’, as does the relatively low-key way in which the foundation goes about securing partnerships. What is quickly becoming clear, however, is that the Stellar network can no longer be ignored.

As Ethererum quickly grew in popularity at the beginning of 2017, acting as a springboard and catalyst for the exponential growth of the cryptocurrency market, so it seems Stellar is fast becoming 2018’s ‘Ethereum’ and catalyst. The sheer number of start-up and major projects coming online and onto the network certainly alludes to this conclusion. It is no great leap to even suggest that the Stellar network may act as one of the main contributing factors towards the end of the six-month long bear market. Cryptocoinspy will therefore be providing regular updates on the developments and breaking partnership news resulting from the network.

Whatever the potential iterations that might occur within the wider context of the markets, one view remains perfectly clear. Supporters and advocates of cryptocurrency would be foolish to ignore the Stellar network and its potential for much longer.