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Fast Forwarding Stellar AMMs - SDF Blog

In early November, Stellar validators will vote on the public network upgrade to Protocol 18.  If accepted, that upgrade will add a new feature to Stellar — the ability to create Automated Market Makers (AMMs) — and in a previous blog post, we looked at how that feature works and why it's exciting.  The short version: AMMs can democratize market making, boost overall network liquidity, and make asset conversion more efficient.  This post, however, will not focus on the potential AMMs have to transform Stellar.  Rather, it will focus on another remarkable piece of the AMM story: the speed with which the ecosystem moved to implement, integrate, and support them.  

Over the past few months, as the teams devoted to Stellar Core and the Horizon API have been heads down implementing Protocol 18, developers across the Stellar ecosystem have been working in parallel to build products and interfaces to allow users to take advantage of AMMs.  Many are preparing their launches to coincide with the November upgrade vote, which means that unlike past protocol rollouts, there won't be a delay between network upgrade and feature availability.  If Stellar validators vote to accept the upgrade, real-world users will immediately be able to use those products and interfaces to create, deposit into, withdraw from, and trade against liquidity pools. 

If you follow Stellar, or any ecosystem-based network or platform, really, you know that kind of simultaneous launch is unusual. How did the ecosystem manage to fast forward AMM development?  To answer that question, let's take a look at the usual rollout, and compare it with the accelerated rollout.

The usual rollout

A new Stellar feature has a specific lifecycle.  It starts with an initial discussion on the open-participation Stellar Developer Mailing List.  It's then drafted into a Core Advancement Proposal (CAP), goes through several rounds of public discussion, iteration, and revision, and, when it's sufficie...

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