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Stellar Anchors are the on/off ramps of the Stellar network: they accept deposits of fiat currencies (such as USD, CNY, and BRL) via existing rails (such as bank deposits or cash-in points), and send a user the equivalent digital tokens representing those deposits on the Stellar network. On the flip side, they allow holders to redeem those tokens for the real-world assets they represent. To read more about the kinds of things you can do with digital fiat currency, check out this explainer.

Stellar Anchors can issue their own assets (in which case, they earn the title Issuing Anchors), or they can honor assets that already exist on the network. So if you want to build an on/off ramp for Stellar, you can consult the Issue Assets section and issue your own token to offer customers or you can find another organization that issues a Stellar-network asset and arrange to broker their token.

This section covers how anchors can provide services for:

  1. Deposits & withdrawals on and off Stellar
  2. Cross-border payments through Stellar

This section doesn't cover the basic steps for issuing an asset on the network — you can find those here — rather, it explains how developers can connect the Stellar Network to their country's banking system and regulatory processes such as KYC and AML. It will walk through the flow, features, and protocol specifications used in each case above, and offer examples and tools to make the process easier to implement and test.

Interoperability and Stellar Ecosystem Proposals

Stellar is a completely open network, and its important that the organizations providing services on Stellar are built in such a way that allow new products to integrate with these existing services quickly. The SDF ensures this is done by defining standards that network participants implement.

Those standards are specified in Stellar Ecosystem Proposals (SEPs), which are publicly created, open-source documents that live in a Github repository. They define how different institutions (such as asset issuers, wallets, exchanges, and service providers) should interact and interoperate.

There are many use cases covered by the existing SEPs — including regulated assets (SEP-8) and federated user identification (SEP-2) — and new SEPs are proposed and discussed on Github all the time. We encourage you to participate in those discussions and help build new standards that will make the financial services easier and more accessible.

Implementing SEP-24 and/or SEP-31

Each of the backend services described in these protocols can be implemented using a three-phase process:

  1. Building the service from the ground up on Stellar's Testnet network
  2. Deploying the same service on Stellar's Mainnet network and connecting the anchor's existing off-chain rails
  3. Integrating with existing wallets or anchors on Stellar and launching the product

See the Enabling Deposits and Withdrawals or Enabling Cross-Border Payments sections for SEP-24 or 31, respectively.