Xycloo: sTeX & Stensitive

Stellar-based modern LaTeX editor, sensitive data storage on Stellar & more.
$
15,300
worth of XLM on the day of pay-out*
worth of XLM on the day after voting*
Website
Tools
Candidate:
SCF #10
Winner:
No items found.

Xycloo's focus is to use Stellar's power to improve traditional services. We are submitting sTeX and Stensitive, but are also working on other big projects (see our website).

sTeX is an online LaTeX editor that offers a vs-code-like interface, autocompletion, and real-time preview that uses Stellar to manage its documents and IPFS to store them.

We have additionally developed Stensitive, a simple open-source tool to store sensitive data on Stellar using any wallet.

In operation since

2022

Based In

Italy

Stage

Development

Products & Services

Our submission consists of two projects under the name of Xycloo [which we look forward to creating as a company soon also with the help of the requested budget, which is why this application comes from an individual (Federico De Ponti) and not a company]. Our projects will all help the network grow its user base by bridging the Stellar blockchain and traditional services with innovative approaches as will be later discussed.

These projects are:

  • sTeX, a blockchain-based, live, and collaborative LaTeX editor.
  • Stensitive: store sensitive data on Stellar through your wallet (cross-wallet compatibility).

By voting our submission you are also voting to finally start Xycloo as a legal company. Xycloo will commit to building and shipping other projects through the Stellar Network, for example, AgoraBet which will however not be part of our submission due to stellar’s submission rules [7.1.3] (https://communityfund.stellar.org/rules-and-guidelines).

Now that we’ve introduced our proposals, let’s see what each project entails, how they use Stellar, and why we’ve decided to work on them, but before that, we’d like to share info about why our previous SCF project (smartartists) has stopped its development: with the announce of on-chain smart contracts, many features that smartartists aimed to offer on layer 2 will be available in layer-1 contracts, thus we are stopping further development until we see how on-chain contracts will look like.

Now, let’s start!

sTeX

After a fair bit of time spent using a variety of different LaTeX editors, which all excel in their own way, we realized that they have a few glaring issues and limitations, which unfortunately can hinder or slow progress on large papers, especially when working in a team.

We think it’s time for LaTeX users to be able to write, compile, and store their documents online: the core is designed to interact with the Stellar network to do this, all while the users see a modern and fast editor, packed with features that greatly improve usability, such as carefully designed auto-completion and a real-time compiler. Additionally, we felt as though collaboration felt somewhat clunky on some editors, so we implemented a way for other users to see changes in real-time.

It is also worth noting that users will not necessarily have to deal with actions which can disrupt their workflow (especially for users who aren’t familiar with Blockchain), such as dealing with Stellar wallets, transaction signing, etc. They will rather use sTeX as any other standard username/password authentication and authorization mechanism.

Technical Details

The app relies on a serverless Cloudflare worker that provides an easily maintainable REST API, which powers our client-side, where you’ll find a VSCode-like editor with LaTeX-specific auto-completion. Real-time compiling is possible thanks to swiftlatex.

Competition

We are aware of existing alternatives to sTeX: the TeX community seems to specifically use Openleaf. While we think that Openleaf features many functionalities and is an incredibly robust product, there are some features that make sTeX an extremely valid alternative:

  • Real-time compiler.
  • Improved document-sharing.
  • Modern design.
  • VSCode-like editor (as well as all its functionalities).

Stensitive

Storing sensitive data efficiently and securely on Blockchain is possible thanks to Stensitive, the only thing you’ll need is a Stellar wallet. How does it work? Isn’t data on blockchain open by design?

This is all possible thanks to the nature of a transaction’s signature: unique and unpredictable depending on the user’s secret key and the signed transaction’s body. By this definition, encrypting data with a transaction’s signature as the encryption key allows the data to be only decrypted by signing the transaction again to re-obtain the signature. This process obviously assumes that the transaction used to retrieve the signature to encrypt the data is never submitted to the network.

Stensitive, which will be open-source, uses the above approach and ports it to a simple npm & hex package.

Further technical details are described in our whitepaper.

Security

As described in our Whitepaper, given the design of Stellar transactions and signatures, if the user chose to use this approach to store sensitive data, that data won’t be compromised unless:

  • The user’s stellar account is compromised
  • The user submits a transaction with the same signature as the encryption signature (this should not be possible unless the user modifies the code of one of the packages, since the transaction used to get the encryption signature has invalid time bounds by default)
  • The user’s wallet is compromised

Products

On its own, Stensitive is not an app, but rather only a way of bridging wallet transaction signing and sensitive data encryption. Yet, we have developed (and will continue developing) modules and apps that make it easier to start using the above-described encryption technique. Specifically, as of now (May 12), we have developed:

  • The stensitive npm package (mainly for web usage)
  • The stensitive hex package for elixir (for CLI usage)
  • A LaTeX document editor that manages its document’s contents with stensitive. The editor is a demo of how the sTeX editor will somewhat look like (strictly the editor, stensitive won’t be implemented in sTeX which is supposed to be more user-friendly).

Competition

We are unaware of other technologies that achieve the same result as stensitive on a public blockchain network.

No items found.

Previous submission

No items found.

What's new?

Goal & Budget

In 6 months we are looking forward to having already launched sTeX and started growing its user base through marketing and promotion. We also see Stensitive starting to become a usual way for blockchain lovers to store their passwords, documents, and images. We will also have worked on other projects which are not part of the submission (see our website).

Steps to get there

To launch sTeX, we will design a modern UI, which we will connect to our almost finished backend. We will deploy the backend as an API running on a serverless Cloudflare worker instance. This design will also allow us to scale efficiently.

Stensitive is ready to be launched, we are currently cleaning the code and writing documentation, but the packages are already available (though almost unusable since there is no documentation).

Part of our budget request will also be used to bring traffic and awareness to the crypto community. We will develop a marketing campaign that will target both Stellar users and non-stellar blockchain users.


Our Request

In order to launch sustainable lasting projects, we will also need to request legal assistance for sTeX.


We are requesting $15.300, which will be used to:

  • Create and legalize Xycloo as a company (~€5000 - ~$5300)
  • Legal assistance and expenses for Xycloo (~€2500 - ~$2.700)
  • Servers, IPFS & UI design (~€2500 - ~$2.700)
  • Marketing & Promotion (~$4.000)


As you can see, with our budget request we are looking forward to establishing solid foundations for our business so it can run smoothly in the long term.

Progress so far

In 6 months we are looking forward to having already launched sTeX and started growing its user base through marketing and promotion. We also see Stensitive starting to become a usual way for blockchain lovers to store their passwords, documents, and images. We will also have worked on other projects which are not part of the submission (see our website).

Overview

sTeX

LaTeX is a software for document preparation. It is widely used both in professional and educational fields thanks to the freedom to shape your documents and integrate charting, math expressions, etc. Whether you use multiple computers or are looking forward to collaborating with other collogues, having to move around your .tex files computer to computer is unnecessarily difficult. That is why we are developing sTeX, which would work as google docs for LaTeX documents.


Existing LaTeX online editors lack some features we deem critical, such as:

  • modern UI
  • modern editor, sTeX solves this by using the Monaco editor (upon which is built vs-code)
  • real-time document preview, especially when working with LaTeX charts, a live preview is critical for speeding up the writing process
  • Smooth collaboration, which we solve by using Mozilla's TogetherJS.


Revenue model

We will offer three plans:

  • free tier
  • enthusiast tier
  • professional tier


Each plan will target a specific audience and provide them with everything they need for their editing experience.


Stensitive

Data stored on the blockchain is open by default, meaning you can't have control over who accesses it. As of now, sensitive data is being stored on the blockchain with 256-bit encryption keys. Who wants to carry around a piece of paper with a 32-chars long string when we already have stellar wallets?

Stensitive makes it possible to encrypt and decrypt sensitive data by signing transactions with any wallet.


Revenue Model

Stensitive is completely open-source and free-to-use, thus not generating any direct revenue. We are however sure that given its utility, Sensitive can drive more traffic to our other projects as well as to the Stellar Network.


Why Stellar

We think Xycloo and Stellar are a perfect match since:

  • the low fees will attract more users.
  • the ease of development thanks to the well-developed and well-documented SDKs.
  • fast transactions.
  • easy tokenization and data retrieval for our governance assets.
  • the awesome community we've interacted with.
No items found.

sTeX

LaTeX is a software for document preparation. It is widely used both in professional and educational fields thanks to the freedom to shape your documents and integrate charting, math expressions, etc. Whether you use multiple computers or are looking forward to collaborating with other collogues, having to move around your .tex files computer to computer is unnecessarily difficult. That is why we are developing sTeX, which would work as google docs for LaTeX documents.


Existing LaTeX online editors lack some features we deem critical, such as:

  • modern UI
  • modern editor, sTeX solves this by using the Monaco editor (upon which is built vs-code)
  • real-time document preview, especially when working with LaTeX charts, a live preview is critical for speeding up the writing process
  • Smooth collaboration, which we solve by using Mozilla's TogetherJS.


Revenue model

We will offer three plans:

  • free tier
  • enthusiast tier
  • professional tier


Each plan will target a specific audience and provide them with everything they need for their editing experience.


Stensitive

Data stored on the blockchain is open by default, meaning you can't have control over who accesses it. As of now, sensitive data is being stored on the blockchain with 256-bit encryption keys. Who wants to carry around a piece of paper with a 32-chars long string when we already have stellar wallets?

Stensitive makes it possible to encrypt and decrypt sensitive data by signing transactions with any wallet.


Revenue Model

Stensitive is completely open-source and free-to-use, thus not generating any direct revenue. We are however sure that given its utility, Sensitive can drive more traffic to our other projects as well as to the Stellar Network.


Why Stellar

We think Xycloo and Stellar are a perfect match since:

  • the low fees will attract more users.
  • the ease of development thanks to the well-developed and well-documented SDKs.
  • fast transactions.
  • easy tokenization and data retrieval for our governance assets.
  • the awesome community we've interacted with.
No items found.

About the Team

Federico De Ponti (Xycloo, Other Projects)

Marketing, Legal arrangements, and product design


Tommaso De Ponti (Xycloo, sTeX, Stensitive, Other Projects)

Product design and lead developer


Konradin Radicati (sTeX)

Product design and development

*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on September 27, 2021 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
* The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on the date of transfer as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on December 16, 2021 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)
*The USD valuation of the award in XLM is calculated using the CF Stellar Lumens-Dollar Settlement Price on July 5, 2022 as administered, maintained, and reported by the cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks Ltd. (using the ticker “XLMUSD_RR”) (available at https://www.cfbenchmarks.com/indices/XLMUSD_RR)