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Node server for running a USD anchor on Stellar using Stripe
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README.md

Stellar Stripe Anchor

This is an all-in-one package for running a USD anchor on Stellar using Stripe to accept deposits and pay withdrawals. All you need is an activated Stripe account in the USA, a database, and to be able host this package on an HTTPS domain. It will run a Stellar Bridge for you, and operate entirely autonomously as long as it has sufficient balance.

Obviously this is opinionated, but can be a base for your own anchor application. Alternatively, it will run out of the box without you needing to learn Stripe or Horizon APIs or worry about edge cases.

What's an anchor?

A Stellar anchor takes deposits in a non-Stellar currency (in this case USD) and issues a USD asset on the Stellar network. These can be traded around (hopefully) at a close to $1 value. You should also be able to send the asset back to the issuer and receive USD. In this application, you make deposits using a card, and withdraw by signing up with Stripe and providing a payout debit card or US bank account.

Dependencies

For bridge server:

  • Go
  • A running MySQL or PostgreSQL database

For anchor webserver:

  • node.js (6.14.0) latest version supported by Google Cloud Functions
  • yarn
  • A domain with HTTPS (to go into production)

Setup

Stripe dashboard setup

  1. Sign up and activate your account. Your location must be set to United States. Activating is not needed until you go into production.
  2. In Radar - Rules, ensure you block payments if CVC or ZIP code verification fails. This will protect you from fraud.
  3. In Balance - Settings, set payouts to manual, as you need to keep balance on the platform in case of withdrawals.
  4. In Connect - Settings input branding details (name, logo, domain), and add a Redirect URI. In production the default URI should be (https needed) https://yourdomain.com but for testing you should set the default to http://localhost:3000. Take note of your client ID.
  5. There are three keys you need from Stripe to configure this application, your publishable API key and your secret API key, which are in the API tab, and your Connect client ID. You can get these seperately for Stripe test mode as well (use the test mode slider on the left of the Stripe dashboard)

Environment configuration

You will need to create a default .env file and multiple files according to the environment you want to run your code. For example, setting NODE_ENV=production will pick up the variables from .env.production. Not setting NODE_ENV will pick up the default .env file.

Example .env file:

STRIPE_SECTRET_KEY=sk_test_p3niuTATgGB2xsptKYU6y2hl
STRIPE_CONNECT_CLIENT_ID=ca_6tmNTYUBmzQ4G38rL8DwQVjCtfzewJwA
ISSUER_ID=GCFPBUGPOQUVBR3IM3IKYK2SLOXQFLNY4NIKVQUY6YWBO2ZRYWR5J4UQ
ISSUER_SEED=GCFPBUGPOQUVBR3IM3IKYK2JILJNIWNY4NIKVQUY6YWBO2ZRYIASDFEF
BRIDGE_IPS=::ffff:127.0.0.1 ::1
BRIDGE_PAY_ENDPOINT=http://127.0.0.1:8006/payment
BRIDGE_PORT=8006
DATABASE_URL=postgres://user:password@10.800.234.345:5432/stellar?sslmode=disable
DATABASE_TYPE=postgres
HORIZON_URL=https://horizon-testnet.stellar.org
NETWORK_PASSPHRASE=Test SDF Network ; September 2015
WITHDRAW_ENDPOINT=http://localhost:5000/api/withdraw

Note: BRIDGE_IPS will need to be separated with a space.

Configuration

The key areas where you will need to change variables are:

File Configured variables Purpose
.env,.env.test,.env.production Environment variables (section above) Sensitive information
client/src/clientConfig.js Anchor name, support email, issuer account ID, Stripe publishable key and Connect ID. Frontend (publicly accessible)
client/public/.well-known/stellar.toml Issuer account ID Use yourdomain as issuer name

bridge.cfg will be generated from your system environment variables when running yarn setup, make sure you have all the variables setup first.

Installing dependencies

yarn setup

This will generate the bridge.cfg file, install node modules, do a first build of the frontend, pull in the bridge-server submodule and build it, and setup your database.

Running in Production

Deployment

  1. Build the front end:
cd client && yarn build && cd ../
  1. Run the production server with:
yarn prod

This will also run the bridge for you. If you want to host the bridge yourself, simply edit the bridge script in package.json to do nothing (for example "bridge": " "), and change the bridge payEndpoint in your environment configuration.

HTTPS is required by Stripe.

Finances

The first deposit will take 6 days to become available balance, so you will not be able to take withdrawals in this time. After that there will be a 2 day waiting time, although this can vary. I highly recommend you deposit some of your own funds via card or bank account and ensure this has entered available balance before you start accepting public deposits. A withdrawal freeze will not be popular even if it has good reason.

If a withdrawal fails due to insufficient balance, you will need to use the bridge reprocess payment feature to reinitiate the withdrawal once you have available balance. You should not do this within 24 hours of the failure or Stripes idempotency mechanisms will prevent the payment actually being resent, but you can always choose to pay the person manually from the Stripe dashboard and not reprocess the payment on the bridge.

There are essentially no profit margins deliberately baked into this application. Fees have been chosen such that they are guaranteed to cover Stripe fees, which is likely to end up with a slim profit. It is up to you to increase the fee functions in src/utils.ts and the frontend copy.

Legal

This project isn't endorsed by Stripe nor am I an expert on their policies. It is up to you to maintain a professional relationship with them. This is a software package designed to make it easy to accept and make payments with their platform. Please refer to the license file which gives a more detailed disclaimer.

It is likely that you need to provide some sort of disclaimer in the frontend about what you do and do not guarantee. If you are a genuine registered business and open about your identity, and provide some sort of binding guarantee to pay out withdrawals subject to certain conditions, it is likely to improve confidence in your asset and therefore bring its value closer to $1.

Oversight

The bridge GUI is at http://localhost:8006/admin and can be used to reprocess failed withdrawals as well as to view payment activity.

It is not possible to credit someones deposit without charging them, as the deposit code will authorize the charge, then send it, then capture it (which should never fail). It is also impossible to charge someone without crediting their deposit, as if this fails then the charge won't be captured. There are therefore no worrying deposit failure modes.

For withdrawals, the customer will always be charged, as they initiate the withdrawal by sending the asset back to the issuer. The failure mode to be aware of (excluding bad input from the person withdrawing, which you are not responsible for) is not having enough available balance to pay out. See finances.

Server logs are not persisted by default. This is highly recommended in order to determine the reason for failed withdrawals (this will generally either be user error eg wrong reference or insufficient available balance). Loglevel ALERT is used for deposit and withdrawal failures. A careful operator might set up email alerts for these events (for example with a cloud log service).

Test & Development

All you need for development is:

yarn dev

This will run (and auto-refresh) the frontend at http://localhost:3000, and the backend at http://localhost:5000. The frontend server will also proxy API requests to the backend. The bridge server will run concurrently.

Manual Testing

Stripe provides excellent tools for testing. If you run the application locally (yarn dev is simplest) using your stripe test keys, and have your default Stripe Connect redirect URI set to http://localhost:3000, then the application will work locally, hosted at http://localhost:3000.

To deposit, use any details and the first card specified here, with any CVC and any expiry in the future. This will immediately add funds to your available balance.

To withdraw, click the connect button and sign up with a different email to your Stripe account. Use phone number (000) 000-0000 and verification code 000-000. You can use any US debit card as listed here. Then simply follow the instructions in the front-end.

Automated Integration Testing

Integration tests; they talk to Stripe, and they even use the Horizon testnet. They cover every path it is possible to cover without human input (it's impossible to go through a valid Connect flow programmatically), currently 93.4% of lines. To run them, ensure your bridge is set to use testnet, and that you have a valid (account existing) issuer ID and seed, and a test seed in src/test/spec.ts. The accounts currently present in this repository do exist on testnet but may occasionally need topping up by the friendbot.

The tests use the stripe keys from your testing environment file config, you want to be extra careful that your production Stripe keys aren't used in your .env.test file.

To run tests:

yarn test

Some tests might time out, in which case you can raise their timeouts in src/test/spec.ts, and the tests which withdraw via the bridge may altogether fail as they are optimistically hoping that the bridge will notice the withdrawal and tell Stripe within a few seconds. This waiting time can be increased.

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