Thoughts on Stellar’s “2018 Stellar Roadmap”
In the roadmap they focused on two things:
- their growth in randos per week (r.p.w or rpw)
- their strategic goals for 2018
Growth in randos per week
Jokingly (at least I hope so) Christian shared a 12kk increase in “the critical indicator for a decentralized protocol” (original emphasis), namely randos per week (r.p.w or rpw; number of random people talking about crypto) and promised equally moonish growth.
I have shared my thoughts on Stellar’s randos per week in “Thoughts on Stellar’s Randos Per Week in the context of increased crypto awareness”. The main points are:
- Although rpw was meant as a joke, crypto has become more talked about
- More attention around crypto is important because crypto diffusion — a two-step process (see Two mental steps towards cryptoasset diffusion) takes time. The more people know about it, the faster it will diffuse.
- Nevertheless, crypto attention has its downsides: a) misconceptions are prevalent, b) several (not only financial) bubbles will burst, c) “overpresence” of pro-crypto people doesn’t represent overall adoption and leads to dangerous conclusions
Besides that, they shared their goals for 2018, namely SDEX (Stellar Decentralized Exchange), improving ecosystem support, integrating the Lightning Network and some secondary tech objectives.
Strategic Goal 1: SDEX — Stellar Decentralized Exchange
Stellar’s goal #1 for 2018 is to build their decentralized exchange named SDEX. The initial milestone was set at the end of 2017 where they recruited a “veteran team” for SDEX. Also, they referred to their partnership grant for fueling projects such as SDEX. Except for that, however, no further news regarding the exchange just promises about future updates.
Strategic Goal 1.5: Improving Ecosystem Support
As a secondary goal they listed their intention to improve the ecosystem through very general marketing-tasks (“better overall brand communication”, “more implementation walk-throughs to help people get going”, “better technical documentation, including release notes”, “continued improvement to our Horizon API and the surrounding SDKs”).
Particularly because such vague statements are impossible to measure, one must take these statements for what they are — statements. However, as I have mentioned in Thoughts on “Stellar and the State of Cryptocurrency”, I consider the mere presence of marketing talk positive because marketing is important and – as indicated above – crypto diffusion takes time.
Strategic Goal 2: Integrating Lightning Network
Stellar’s goal #2 for 2018 is to integrate Lightning in 201. More details were promised to come.
Strategic Goal 2.5: Secondary Tech Objectives
Similarly to the secondary goal “Improving Ecosystem Support“ they stated secondary technical goals;
- Hardening: increase security
- Decentralization: ease node operation
Besides that, analogously to above, nothing special here.
 Here is the list of people they hired in September and October (copied blatantly from the respective sources). I have no opinion on whether they are “veteran”.
Team members hired in September
Nicolas Barry, CTO
Nicolas Barry joins the foundation as CTO. He is no stranger to Stellar as he designed and implemented parts of stellar-core, and will use his experience with large distributed systems to accelerate building the next iteration of our platform.
Tomer Weller, Developer
Tomer is a Maker and a Software Engineer. He recently graduated from the MIT Media Lab where he worked on 3d glass printing, systems for understanding visual media and fostering collaborations between makers and non-profits. Before MIT, he was a full stack developer and taught Android development. Tomer is passionate about Hummus, glass-blowing and LISP.
Jonathan Jove, Developer
Jonathan joins us as a core developer, bringing a decade of C++ experience to the team. Before joining, Jonathan worked as a quantitative trader.
Nikhil Saraf, Developer
Nikhil is a full-stack developer and joins Lightyear on the platform side. He most recently worked at Duetto, a dynamic pricing SaaS startup that is focused on the hotel industry. His past experience includes working at Salesforce, Amazon, and running his own mobile payments startup.
Lisa Kinard, People Ops
Lisa is our office Ninja as head of People Ops. Before moving into the operation side of things, Lisa worked on electronic commerce policy issues at two think tanks.
Source for Team members hired in September: Stellar’s Monthly Roundup — September
Team members hired in October
Tom Llewellyn-Smith, Developer
Tom Llewellyn-Smith is a Unix systems engineer specialising in large-scale distributed systems, configuration management and systems security. Prior to Stellar Tom designed and managed infrastructure for gaming, science and finance companies.
Source for Team members hired in October: Stellar’s Monthly Roundup — October