Date Launched: July 31, 2014
Founders: Jed McCaleb, Joyce Kim
Major Investors: Stripe, Plug and Play
Major Advisors: Sam Altman (President of Y Combinator), Naval Ravikant (CEO and Founder of AngelList), Patrick Collison (CEO of Stripe), Keith Rabois (Managing Director of Khosla Ventures), Greg Brockman (Former CTO of Stripe), Matt Mullenweg (Founder of WordPress.com), Greg Stein (Director at Apache Software Foundation)
Parent Code Fork: Ripple
Stellar is an open-source protocol for exchanging money. Launched on July 31, 2014 by Jed McCaleb and Joyce Kim, Stellar focuses on increasing people’s access to the exchange of value. This is mostly used to describe currency to currency exchange and cross-border payments.
Stellar is a fork of Ripple’s code, meaning that much of Stellar’s initial code was based on Ripple. The founder of Stellar is Jed McCaleb, who created the first major Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox (later sold to Mark Karpelès). Jed also founded Ripple in 2011, but left the team in 2013 and founded Stellar in 2014.
While Ripple’s main focus is to expand its business with major banks around the world, Stellar has been focusing on a different market. Stellar aims to help any individual send money in any currency around the world. Utilizing decentralized protocol, Stellar is often called a leapfrog technology that connects people, payment systems, and even banks. It lets users facilitate multi-currency and asset transactions quickly, reliably, and for fractions of a penny.
Stellar’s focus is clearly different from Ripple’s, with plans to tackle the developing world first. There are many users who like Ripple’s technology but don’t agree with its partnerships with banks. Stellar as a good alternative for these investors.
Lumens is the cryptocurrency on the Stellar network. It acts as a bridge currency to facilitate transactions and pay for fees. Transactions on the network are also extremely fast. Confirmation times are approximately 2-3 seconds and the network can handle over 1000 transactions per second.
With Stellar as your payment rails, you can:
- Use real currencies.
There are dozens of currency-backed tokens already on the network; if you’re a financial institution, issuing your own is simple and safe. That’s why IBM’s World Wire, which supports 47 currencies in 72 countries, is powered by Stellar.
- Send money globally.
Stellar users can send money across borders faster and for lower costs. Transactions take about 5 seconds and cost only a fraction of a penny.
- Convert any asset.
Stellar makes assets liquid and flexible. You can swap between any pair of tokens issued on the network using simple functions built into the protocol.
Stellar boasts an impressive team and group of advisors. On its board is Keith Rabois, an investment partner at Khosla Ventures and Greg Brockman, CTO of Stripe. Among its advisors are Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, Naval Ravikant, founder of AngelList, and Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator.