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Stellar is an open-source protocol for value exchange founded in early 2014 by Jed McCaleb (creator of eDonkey) and Joyce Kim. Its board members and advisory board members include Keith Rabois, Patrick Collison, Matt Mullenweg, Greg Stein, Joi Ito, Sam Altman, Naval Ravikant and others.[1][2][3][4][5][6] The Stellar protocol is supported by a nonprofit, the Stellar Development Foundation.[7][8][9][10][11][12]
Stellar (payment network) logo.svg
Original author(s) Jed McCaleb, Joyce Kim
Developer(s) Stellar Development Foundation
Initial release July 31, 2014; 3 years ago (2014-07-31)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written in C++, Go, JavaScript, Java, Python, Ruby, Shell
Type Real-time gross settlement, currency exchange, remittance, blockchain, cryptocurrency



In 2014, Jed McCaleb, founder of Mt. Gox and co-founder of Ripple, launched the network system Stellar with former lawyer Joyce Kim.[13] Before the official launch, McCaleb formed a website called "Secret Bitcoin Project" seeking alpha testers.[13] The nonprofit Stellar Development Foundation was created in collaboration with Stripe CEO Patrick Collison and the project officially launched that July.[13] Stellar received $3 million in seed funding from Stripe.[14][15] Stellar was released as a decentralized payment network and protocol with a native currency, stellar. At its launch, the network had 100 billion stellars. 25 percent of those would be given to other non-profits working toward financial inclusion.[16][17] Stripe received 2 percent or 2 billion of the initial stellars in return for its seed investment.[18][19] The cryptocurrency, originally known as stellar, was later called Lumens or XLM.[20] In August 2014, Mercado Bitcoin, the first Brazilian bitcoin exchange, announced it would be using the Stellar network.[21] By January 2015, Stellar had approximately 3 million registered user accounts on its platform and its market cap was almost $15 million.[22]

The Stellar Development Foundation released an upgraded protocol with a new consensus algorithm in April 2015 which went live in November 2015.[23][24][25] The new algorithm used SCP, a cryptocurrency protocol created by Stanford professor David Mazières.[26]

Real-world applicationsEdit

Nonprofit organizations and businesses are implementing Stellar as their financial infrastructure, particularly in the developing world. One such example is Praekelt Foundation.[27][28][29][30]

Oradian, a cloud-based banking software company, also plans to use the Stellar network to connect microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nigeria.[31][32]

In December 2016, more partnerships were announced, including in the Philippines, India and West Africa.[33][34]

In October 2017, Stellar partnered with IBM and KlickEx to facilitate cross-border transactions in the South Pacific region.[35][36] The cross-border payment system developed by IBM includes partnerships with many large banks including Deloitte.[37][38]

In 2018, Stellar announced their affiliation with Keybase to eliminate the need of extended cryptographic addresses for international transactions.[39]

In March 2018, the DigitalBits Project announced that they had forked the Stellar software to support the loyalty and rewards market as their initial use case.[40]


Stellar is an open-source protocol for exchanging money using blockchain technology.[13] The platform's source code is hosted on Github.[41] The Stellar network can quickly exchange government-based currencies with 2 to 5 second processing times. The platform is a distributed ledger maintained by a consensus algorithm, which allows for decentralized control, flexible trust, low latency, and asymptotic security.[citation needed]

Servers run a software implementation of the protocol, and use the Internet to connect to and communicate with other Stellar servers, forming a global value exchange network. Each server stores a record of all “accounts” on the network. These records are stored in a database called the “ledger”. Servers propose changes to the ledger by proposing “transactions”, which move accounts from one state to another by spending the account’s balance or changing a property of the account. All of the servers come to agreement on which set of transactions to apply to the current ledger through a process called “consensus”. The consensus process happens at a regular interval, typically every 2 to 4 seconds. This keeps each server’s copy of the ledger in sync and identical.[42][43]


  1. ^ Michael Casey; Paul Vigna (31 July 2014). "Mt. Gox, Ripple Founder Unveils Stellar, a New Digital Currency Project". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Cade Metz; Marcus Wohlson (6 August 2014). "New Digital Currency Aims to Unite Every Money System on Earth". Condé Nast. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Roberto Baldwin (1 August 2014). "What you need to know about Stellar, the new open-source solution to international currency exchange". The Next Web. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Michael del Castillo (27 February 2015). "Matt Mullenweg: bitcoin only used twice a week in 2014, offers free subscriptions if you do". Upstart Biz Journal. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  5. ^ Michael del Castillo (5 August 2014). "Stripe takes on bitcoin with rival digital currency Stellar". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  6. ^ Mario Cotillard (5 August 2015). "Digital Currency Startup Stellar Adds Ex-Stripe CTO Greg Brockman To Board". Brave New Coin. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  7. ^ Jillian D’onfro (31 July 2014). "PayPal's Cofounder Is Supporting A New Non-Profit That Will Tackle The Vision PayPal 'Never Accomplished'". Business Insider. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Kim-Mai Cutler (31 July 2014). "Stripe Backs Non-Profit Decentralized Payment Network Stellar, From Mt. Gox's Original Creator". TechCrunch. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  9. ^ JP Mangalindan (31 July 2014). "New Bitcoin challenger launches". Fortune. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Stellar Mandate". 31 July 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "Certificate of incorporation of Stellar Development Foundation Non-stock Corporation" (PDF). Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  12. ^ Jacques Coetzee (5 May 2015). "Could Stellar be the answer to enable financial inclusion around the globe?". Memeburn. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Mt. Gox, Ripple Founder Unveils Stellar, a New Digital Currency Project". 
  14. ^ "New Bitcoin challenger launches". 
  15. ^ Michael del Castillo (5 August 2014). "Stripe takes on bitcoin with rival digital currency Stellar". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  16. ^ "Payment processor Stripe helps launch a new currency, the Stellar". 
  17. ^ "PayPal's Cofounder Is Supporting A New Non-Profit That Will Tackle The Vision PayPal 'Never Accomplished'". 
  18. ^ "Stripe Backs Non-Profit Decentralized Payment Network Stellar, From Mt. Gox's Original Creator". 
  19. ^ "Stellar Rockets into the Cryptocurrency Top 10 After Tripling in a Week". 
  20. ^ "2 Game-Changing New Cryptocurrencies With Serious Backing". 
  21. ^ "New Digital Currency Aims to Unite Every Money System on Earth". 
  22. ^ "Stellar rewrote the rules of cryptocurrencies. Now, users in Asia are leading its growth". 
  23. ^ Cade Metz (8 April 2015). "An Algorithm to Make Online Currency as Trustworthy as Cash". WIRED. Condé Nast. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  24. ^ Stan Higgins (14 April 2015). "Jed McCaleb Talks Stellar's New Protocol for Consensus". Coin Desk. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  25. ^ Hans Lombardo (5 November 2015). "Stellar Releases Major Upgrade that Runs Faster, Uses Less Memory & Stores Data Better". All Coin News. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  26. ^ Tom Simonite (April 15, 2015). "A New Cometitor for Bitcoin Aims to Be Faster and Safer". 
  27. ^ Biz Carson (5 February 2015). "Stellar, South African nonprofit to bring digital savings to young girls". GigaOm. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  28. ^ Leo Mirani (6 February 2015). "Platforms, not products, are the way to bring financial services to the poor". Quartz. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  29. ^ Tom Simonite (20 February 2015). "Bitcoin-Inspired Digital Currency to Power Mobile Savings App". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  30. ^ Hans Lombardo (2 February 2015). "Non-Profit Foundation Uses Stellar Protocol to Improve Economic Security of South African Girls". All Coins News. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  31. ^ Karen Webster (2 March 2015). "Stellar and Solving the Unexpected Tragedy of the Financial System". Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  32. ^ Paul Vigna (28 February 2015). "Stellar Takes a Step Into the Microfinance World". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  33. ^ McCaleb, Jed. "The Philippines is Now Connected to Stellar". Retrieved 2017-01-03. 
  34. ^ FORTUNE. "Stripe-Backed Stellar Kicks Off Worldwide Money Transfers". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-01-03. 
  35. ^ "IBM Blockchain Payments To Use Stellar In Major Partnership Deal". Cointelegraph. 16 October 2017. 
  36. ^ "IBM's Blockchain 'Cross-Border' Payments Initiative With Silicon Valley Firm To Drive Efficiencies". 
  37. ^ "Stellar jumps 20% after Stripe says it may add support for the digital coin". 
  38. ^ "IBM and Stellar Are Launching Blockchain Banking Across Multiple Countries". 
  39. ^ "Stellar Partners with Keybase to Help Facilitate Global Crypto Transfers". CryptoSlate. 2018-03-13. Retrieved 2018-03-27. 
  40. ^ "DigitalBits Project Puts Decentralized Blockchain Into Loyalty & Rewards". PaymentWeek. 2018-03-20. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  41. ^ "Jed McCaleb Reveals Stellar, His Previously Secret Bitcoin Project". 
  42. ^ Tom Simonite (8 April 2015). "A New Competitor for Bitcoin Aims to Be Faster and Safer". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  43. ^ Giulio Prisco (17 April 2015). "The New Stellar Consensus Protocol Could Permit Faster and Cheaper Transactions". Bitcoin Magazine. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 

External linksEdit