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Mar 1, 2020

COINQVEST Launches Three Full Validators on the Stellar Network and Co-Establishes SCP Tier 1 Core Quorum Group

COINQVEST isn't only a cryptocurrency payment processor for merchants, but also contributes to the reliability, safety and liveness of the Stellar Network by maintaining three full validators, history archives, and public Horizon servers. Furthermore, we recently co-established the Stellar Tier 1 Core Quorum in close cooperation with other key-entities on the network.

All payments processed by the COINQVEST platform are backed by a distributed ledger technology called the Stellar Network. This public, globally distributed open-source network, holds a wide range of tokenized assets, which represent fiat or cryptocurrencies.

COINQVESTs' merchant's customer payments, originating on blockchains other than the Stellar Network, are automatically transformed into Stellar Assets. Using the network's native decentralized exchange, tokenized funds are converted to the settlement currency of the merchant's choice (e.g. USD, BTC or XLM). Once settled, funds can consequently be withdrawn to traditional bank accounts or blockchain wallets with ease.

The Stellar Network

Unlike conventional blockchains, the Stellar Network does not require expensive and wasteful proof-of-work mining operations to validate transactions on its blockchain. It utilizes a fast, efficient, optimized and provably safe form of the Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA) called the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP).

The SCP uses validators and nodes to confirm the authenticity of the transactions on the ledger. Consensus on the network is established by explicitly trusting other entities on Stellar. The more businesses build on Stellar, the more robust and decentralized the network becomes.

Stellar supports different levels of participation on the network. The simplest form is running a "watcher node", which may submit transactions (with payment operations for example) but doesn't validate. A more advanced node can be configured as an "archive" or "basic validator". COINQVEST's nodes are configured with the most committed form of participation on the network known as "full validators".

A full validator participates in consensus, increases the resilience of the network, submits and validates transactions, and provides publicly available history archives (see below), which help others to catch up to the current ledger state and join the network.

Full validators are the true measure of how decentralized and redundant the network is as they are the only type of validators that perform all functions on the network.

Every business and entity that utilizes the Stellar Network may contribute to the reliability, safety and liveness of the network by running validators, which form the backbone of the distributed ledger.

COINQVEST on the Stellar Network

In 2018, COINQVEST launched two full validators on the Stellar Network for two reasons: to operate its services with direct access to the ledger, and to improve overall network resilience against halts and other types of outages. In June 2019, COINQVEST added a third full validator, establishing itself as a safe stand-alone sub-quorum entity, ready for inclusion in other network participants' quorum slices.

Tier 1 Core Quorum

Furthermore, COINQVEST has been closely cooperating with the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), Keybase, SatoshiPay, and LOBSTR, to form the Tier 1 Core Quorum Group. This cooperation, with shared quorum slices and symmetric quorum intersection at the center of the network, aims at strengthening the reliability, safety, and liveness of the Stellar Network.

Crafting a safe quorum and ensuring validator availability is challenging. All entities in the Tier 1 Core Quorum Group agree to hold themselves to higher standards of monitoring, availability, performance, and incident response times. Tier 1 members are in constant communication in a joint effort to prevent potential future network halts and chain forks for all participants in the network.

Tier 1 Core Quorum Group

If you would like to add COINQVEST in your quorum slice, please use the following configuration:

[[VALIDATORS]]
NAME="coinqvest-fi"
HOME_DOMAIN="coinqvest.com"
PUBLIC_KEY="GADLA6BJK6VK33EM2IDQM37L5KGVCY5MSHSHVJA4SCNGNUIEOTCR6J5T"
ADDRESS="finland.stellar.coinqvest.com"
HISTORY="curl -sf https://finland.stellar.coinqvest.com/history/{0} -o {1}"

[[VALIDATORS]]
NAME="coinqvest-de"
HOME_DOMAIN="coinqvest.com"
PUBLIC_KEY="GD6SZQV3WEJUH352NTVLKEV2JM2RH266VPEM7EH5QLLI7ZZAALMLNUVN"
ADDRESS="germany.stellar.coinqvest.com"
HISTORY="curl -sf https://germany.stellar.coinqvest.com/history/{0} -o {1}"

[[VALIDATORS]]
NAME="coinqvest-hk"
HOME_DOMAIN="coinqvest.com"
PUBLIC_KEY="GAZ437J46SCFPZEDLVGDMKZPLFO77XJ4QVAURSJVRZK2T5S7XUFHXI2Z"
ADDRESS="hongkong.stellar.coinqvest.com"
HISTORY="curl -sf https://hongkong.stellar.coinqvest.com/history/{0} -o {1}"

You can find live information about our validator states at the following URLs:

https://finland.stellar.coinqvest.com/info.json
https://germany.stellar.coinqvest.com/info.json
https://hongkong.stellar.coinqvest.com/info.json

More information about our real-time quorum configuration can be found at below URLs:

https://finland.stellar.coinqvest.com/quorum.json
https://germany.stellar.coinqvest.com/quorum.json
https://hongkong.stellar.coinqvest.com/quorum.json

The JSON data returned by above monitoring URLs updates every 60 seconds.

COINQVEST's Stellar Network History Archives

If you are spinning up fresh validators, they will need to get up to date with the network history in order to reach the current ledger state and participate in consensus. Catching up is initiated by downloading data from network history archives. COINQVEST's network history archive data can be added using the following configuration:

[HISTORY.coinqvest-fi]
get="curl -ksf https://finland.stellar.coinqvest.com/history/{0} -o {1}"

[HISTORY.coinqvest-de]
get="curl -ksf https://germany.stellar.coinqvest.com/history/{0} -o {1}"

[HISTORY.coinqvest-hk]
get="curl -ksf https://hongkong.stellar.coinqvest.com/history/{0} -o {1}"

Public COINQVEST Horizon Instance

Horizon is the client facing API server for the Stellar ecosystem. It allows you to submit transactions to the network, check the status of accounts, subscribe to event streams, and more. There are several public instances of Horizon which allow developers to submit and monitor transactions, without running a validator. The most popular one is provided by the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) at https://horizon.stellar.org.

As an alternative, COINQVEST provides another public instance, which is hosted on fast and powerful hardware. If you are a developer, you can interact with the new COINQVEST Horizon at https://horizon.stellar.coinqvest.com.

Feel free to contact us anytime with questions or anything else COINQVEST can assist you with.

Stellar NetworkQuorumTier 1
Marcin Olszowy COINQVEST Co-Founder