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Core Advancement Proposals (CAPs)

CAP Status Terms

Primary Workflow

  • Draft — A CAP that is currently open for consideration and actively being discussed.
  • Awaiting Decision — A mature and ready CAP that is ready for final deliberation by the CAP Core Team. After a maximum of three meetings, a vote will take place that will set the CAP's intended FCP disposition (FCP: Acceptance/Rejection) or go back into a Draft state.
  • FCP: [Acceptance/Rejection] — A CAP that has entered a Final Comment Period (FCP) with an intended disposition. After one week has passed, during which any new concerns should be addressed, the CAP will head towards its intended disposition [Acceptance/Rejection] or go back into a Draft state.
  • Accepted — A CAP that has been accepted on the merits of its idea pre-implementation, and is ready for implementation. It is still possible that the CAP may be rejected post-implementation due to the issues that may arise during an initial implementation.
  • Implementation Review - A CAP that has been implemented in a Stellar Core implementation. During this time the proposal is brought up again before the protocol group for additional comment, where it is possible that the proposal is rejected based on the issues that arise from an implementation.
  • Implemented - A CAP that has been implemented with no issues brought up during Implementation Review, with the protocol version specified in the CAP. It will graduate to Final when it has been formally accepted by a majority of validators (nodes) on the network.
  • Final — A CAP that has been accepted by a majority of validators (nodes) on the network. A final CAP should only be updated to correct errata.

Additional Statuses

  • Rejected - A CAP that has been formally rejected by the CAP Core Team, and will not be implemented.
  • Superseded: [New Final CAP] - A CAP that which was previously final but has been superseded by a new, final CAP. Both CAPs should reference each other.

List of Proposals

Number Title Author Status
CAP-0001 Bump Sequence Nicolas Barry Final
CAP-0002 Transaction level signature verification Nicolas Barry Final
CAP-0003 Asset-backed offers Jonathan Jove Final
CAP-0004 Improved Rounding for Cross Offer Jonathan Jove Final
CAP-0005 Throttling and transaction pricing improvements Nicolas Barry Implemented
CAP-0006 Add ManageBuyOffer Operation Jonathan Jove Implemented
CAP-0015 Bump Fee Transactions OrbitLens Accepted
CAP-0017 Update LastModifiedLedgerSeq If and Only If LedgerEntry is Modified Jonathan Jove Accepted
CAP-0018 Fine-Grained Control of Authorization Jonathan Jove Accepted
CAP-0019 Future-upgradable TransactionEnvelope type David Mazières Accepted
CAP-0020 Bucket Initial Entries Graydon Hoare Implemented

Draft Proposals

Number Title Author Status
CAP-0007 Deterministic Account Creation Jeremy Rubin Draft
CAP-0008 Self Identified Pre-Auth Transaction Jeremy Rubin Draft
CAP-0009 Linear/Exterior Immutable Accounts Jeremy Rubin Draft
CAP-0010 Fee Bump Account Jeremy Rubin Draft
CAP-0011 Relative Account Freeze Jeremy Rubin Draft
CAP-0012 Deterministic accounts and creatorTxID David Mazières Draft
CAP-0013 Change Trustlines to Balances Dan Robinson Draft
CAP-0014 Adversarial Transaction Set Ordering Jeremy Rubin Draft
CAP-0021 Generalized transaction preconditions David Mazières Draft
CAP-0022 Invalid transactions must have no effects David Mazières Draft
CAP-0023 Two-Part Payments with BalanceEntry Jonathan Jove Draft
CAP-0024 Make PathPayment Symmetrical Jed McCaleb Draft
CAP-0025 Remove Bucket Shadowing Marta Lokhava Draft

Rejected Proposals

Number Title Author Status
CAP-0016 Cosigned assets: NopOp and COAUTHORIZED_FLAG David Mazières Rejected

Contribution Process

The Stellar Protocol, like most software in the world, continues to evolve over time to meet the needs of our network's participants and to drive technology forward into new territory. Given the importance of the reliability and safety of the network, we ask that all of those who have ideas towards pushing Stellar's protocol development forward adhere to the following:

  • Consider your idea and how it serves the fundamental goals of the Stellar Network and aligns with values of the Stellar Protocol (which are listed below). If you cannot show how your proposal aligns with those goals and values, it's unlikely to ever be implemented.
  • Gather feedback from discussion on the dev mailing list and other forums, and utilize it to begin a draft proposal, otherwise known as a CAP (Core Advancement Proposal).
  • Follow the proposal process listed below. If you're having difficulty moving the proposal forward, talk to the buddy that's assigned the CAP; they'll often have guidance on how to move things forward, as well as feedback regarding feasibility and how the proposal does or does not align with the Stellar protocol's goals and values.

Stellar Network Goals

  • The Stellar Network should be secure and reliable, and should bias towards safety, simplicity, reliability, and performance over new functionality.
  • The Stellar Network should run at scale and at low cost to all participants of the network.
    • In support of this, the Stellar Network should support off-chain transactions, e.g. Starlight.
    • An explicit non-goal is limiting the hardware requirements of stellar-core to a personal computer.
  • The Stellar Network should facilitate simplicity and interoperability with other protocols and networks.
    • In support of this, the Stellar Network should facilitate side-chain transactions to enable sub-networks.
  • The Stellar Network should enable cross-border payments, i.e. payments via exchange of assets, throughout the globe, enabling users to make payments between assets in a manner that is fast, cheap, and highly usable.
    • In support of this, the Stellar Network should support an orderbook that values simplicity over functionality, and one that primarily serves to enable cross-border payments.
    • In support of this, the Stellar Network should facilitate liquidity as a means to enabling
    • cross-border payments.
    • In support of this, the Stellar Network should enable asset issuance, but as a means of
    • enabling cross-border payments.
  • The Stellar Network should support decentralization wherever possible, but not at the expense of the majority of its values.
    • There should be no privileged actors — we should support egalitarianism and everyone participating on the same playing field.
  • The Stellar Network should enable users to easily exchange their non-Stellar based assets to Stellar-based assets, and vice versa.
  • The Stellar Network should make it easy for developers of Stellar projects to create highly usable products.

Stellar Protocol Development Values

  • The Stellar Protocol should serve the goals of the Stellar Network.
  • The Stellar Protocol should bias towards simplicity.
    • When possible, solutions should be considered outside of core protocol changes such as via SEPs (Stellar Ecosystem Proposals) to minimize complexity in the Stellar protocol.
    • When possible, proposals should minimize the impact of changes to the smallest surface area and shallowest depth (i.e. sticking to the higher levels of the software) of the protocol architecture possible to make changes predictable and easier to test and reason about. Changes should be surgical, and minimal invasive. As a result, changes that affect lower levels of the implementation have a higher bar for acceptance.
    • In order from the lowest level to the highest level systems, the systems are:
      • Historical / Ledger XDR
      • Observable Transaction Semantics
      • Consensus XDR
      • DB State
      • Overlay XDR
      • Unobservable tx semantics (eg. performance or bug fixes)
      • Horizon semantics
      • Public APIs, Client Libraries/SDKs.
  • The Stellar Protocol should be clear, concise, and opinionated.
    • New operations and functionality should be opinionated, and straightforward to use.
    • There should ideally be only one obvious way to accomplish a given task.
  • The Stellar Protocol should bias towards broad use cases, and bias against niche functionality.
  • The Stellar Protocol should bias towards user safety.

CAP Process

These are the steps from idea to deployment on how to create a Core Advancement Proposal (CAP).

Pre-CAP (Initial Discussion)

Introduce your idea on the stellar-dev mailing list.

  • Make sure to gather feedback and alternative ideas — it's useful before putting together a formal draft!
  • Consider contacting experts in a particular area for feedback while you're hashing out the details.

Creating a CAP Draft

Draft a formal proposal using the CAP Template, and submit a PR to this repository. You should make sure to adhere to the following:

  • Use the following format for the filename of your draft: cap_{github_username}_{shortsha256sum}.md
    • shortsha256sum is defined as the first 8 characters of the SHA-256 checksum.
    • For example, a CAP by Github user cryptocarnage with a SHA-256 checksum of a200f73c would be titled
  • Make sure to place the draft in the core/ folder.

Finally, submit a PR of your draft via your fork of this repository.

Additional Tips

  • Use TBD for the protocol version. Don't assign a protocol version to the CAP — this will be established once the CAP has reached the state of Final and has been formally implemented.
  • If your CAP requires images or other supporting files, they should be included in a sub-directory of the contents folder for that CAP, such as contents/cap_cryptocarnage_a200f73/. Links should be relative, for example a link to an image from your CAP would be ../contents/cap_cryptocarnage_a200f73/image.png.

Draft: Merging & Further Iteration

From there, the following process will happen:

  • A CAP buddy is assigned and will merge your PR if you properly followed the steps above.
    • They'll rename the above files to the latest CAP draft number before merging in the PR.
    • They'll provide initial feedback, and help pull in any subject matter experts that will help in pushing the CAP towards a final disposition.
  • You should continue the discussion of the draft CAP on the mailing list with an attempt at reaching consensus. We welcome any additional PRs that iterate on the draft.

Draft -> Awaiting Decision

  • When you're ready, you should submit a PR changing the status in the draft to Awaiting Decision.
  • Your buddy will continue to help provide guidance on the CAP throughout the discussion — and will ultimately be responsible for deciding the CAP's next state:
    • If the CAP hasn't been sufficiently commented on by the community, your buddy will not change the status until its received enough discussion within the Stellar community.
    • If the CAP has not received enough support as a draft despite multiple iterations, your buddy can decide to mark the CAP as Rejected instead of moving forward to the rest of the core team.
    • If the CAP has received support and general consensus, it is moved to Awaiting Decision.
  • The CAP will be scheduled to be discussed at the next protocol meeting. As the author of the proposal, you'll be invited to share your CAP and participate in discussion during the meeting.

Awaiting Decision -> Final Comment Period (FCP)

  • A vote will take place among the CAP Core Team.
    • A unanimous approval from the CAP Core Team will put the CAP in a FCP: Accepted status.
    • Otherwise, the CAP will be given feedback and head towards a FCP: Rejected status (if the majority of the CAP raises concerns) or a Draft status (if only a minority of the CAP raises concerns).
    • It can take upwards of 3 meetings before a disposition is reached.

FCP -> Accepted/Rejected

  • After a week of an Final Comment Period (FCP) where any major concerns that have not been previously addressed can be brought up, the CAP will head to its final disposition.
    • Concerns will be addressed on a case by case basis, and only major concerns that were not addressed earlier will move the CAP back to a Draft state.

CAP Implementation

SDF will prioritize accepted CAPs among its priorities for a given year. However, if you want to ensure your CAP is implemented in a timely manner, it is likely best for you to attempt to implement it yourself.

Once a CAP is implemented, a PR should be submitted to update its status to Implementation Review, along with the protocol version it was released in if applicable.

From here the proposal is brought up again before the protocol group for additional comment, where it is possible that the proposal is rejected based on the issues that arise from its implementation. If no issues arise, it will move to Implemented by a CAP team member.

CAP Finalization

Once an implemented CAP has been released in a specified version, the CAP should be updated with the protocol version that the implementation targets. From there, once a majority of validators on the network have accepted the implementation, it will move to Final.

CAP Team Members

CAP Core Team: Nicolas (SDF), Jed (SDF), David (SDF)

CAP Buddies: Jon (SDF), Graydon (SDF), Johnny (SDF), Orbitlens

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