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Stellar (payment network)
Stellar (payment network) logo.svg
Original author(s) Jed McCaleb, Joyce Kim
Developer(s) Stellar Development Foundation
Initial release July 31, 2014; 4 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
License Apache 2.0

Stellar is an open-source, decentralized protocol for digital currency to fiat currency transfers which allows cross-border transactions between any pair of currencies.[1] The Stellar protocol is supported by a nonprofit, the Stellar Development Foundation.[2][3][4][5][6][7] The Stellar network has been used by companies such as IBM, KlickEx, Deloitte, Parkway Projects, Tempo, Wanxiang Labs and Stripe.[8]


In 2014, Jed McCaleb, founder of Mt. Gox and co-founder of Ripple, launched the network system Stellar with former lawyer Joyce Kim.[9] Before the official launch, McCaleb formed a website called "Secret Bitcoin Project" seeking alpha testers.[9] The nonprofit Stellar Development Foundation was created in collaboration with Stripe CEO Patrick Collison and the project officially launched that July.[9] Stellar received $3 million in seed funding from Stripe.[10][11] 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.[12][13] Stripe received 2 percent or 2 billion of the initial stellars in return for its seed investment.[14][15] The cryptocurrency, originally known as stellar, was later called Lumens or XLM.[16] In August 2014, Mercado Bitcoin, the first Brazilian bitcoin exchange, announced it would be using the Stellar network.[17] By January 2015, Stellar had approximately 3 million registered user accounts on its platform and its market cap was almost $15 million.[18]

The Stellar Development Foundation released an upgraded protocol with a new consensus algorithm in April 2015 which went live in November 2015.[19][20][21] The new algorithm used SCP, a cryptocurrency protocol created by Stanford professor David Mazières.[22], a for-profit entity of Stellar, launched in May 2017 as the commercial arm of the company.[23] In September 2017, Stellar announced a benefits program, part of its Stellar Partnership Grant Program, which would award partners up to $2 million worth of Lumens for project development.[24] In September 2018, Lightyear Corporation acquired Chain, Inc.[25] The combined company is Interstellar[26], with Adam Ludwin, who was Chain’s CEO, Interstellar’s CEO, and Jed McCaleb as CTO. The company's portfolio includes StellarX.[27]

Real-world applications

In 2015, it was announced that Stellar was releasing an integration into Vumi, the open-sourced messaging platform of the Praekelt Foundation.[28][29] Vumi uses cellphone talk time as currency using the Stellar protocol.[30][31] Stellar partnered with cloud-based banking software company Oradian in April 2015 to integrate Stellar into Oradian's banking platform to add microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nigeria.[32][33]

Deloitte announced its integration with Stellar in 2016 to build a cross-border payments application, Deloitte Digital Bank.[34] In December 2016, it was announced that Stellar's payment network had expanded to include, a mobile payments startup in the Philippines, ICICI Bank in India, African mobile payments firm Flutterwave, and French remittances company Tempo Money Transfer.[35]

In October 2017, Stellar partnered with IBM and KlickEx to facilitate cross-border transactions in the South Pacific region.[36][37] The cross-border payment system developed by IBM includes partnerships with many large banks including Deloitte.[38][39]

In December 2017, TechCrunch announced Stellar's partnership with SureRemit, a Nigerian based non-cash remittances platform aimed at solving the challenges of remittance in Africa, India, and the Middle East[40]

In January 2018, it was announced that ZED Network would be developing an integrated global payments platform using the Stellar distribution network and its blockchain technology.[41] That same month, Mobius Network ran its initial coin offering (ICO) on the Stellar network.[42] Also in January 2018, Stellar gained media attention when online payment company Stripe announced it might add support for Steller's cryptocurrency, lumens.[43]


Stellar is an open-source protocol for exchanging money using blockchain technology.[9] The platform's source code is hosted on Github.[44] 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.[45][46]


  1. ^ Ben Dickson (January 30, 2018). "Can blockchain democratize education? This startup seems to think so". The Next Web. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ JP Mangalindan (31 July 2014). "New Bitcoin challenger launches". Fortune. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Stellar Mandate". 31 July 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Certificate of incorporation of Stellar Development Foundation Non-stock Corporation" (PDF). Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  7. ^ Jacques Coetzee (5 May 2015). "Could Stellar be the answer to enable financial inclusion around the globe?". Memeburn. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  8. ^ Samuel Rae (January 30, 2018). "Here's Why Stellar (XLM) And Ripple (XRP) Are Both Winners". Global Coin Report. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d "Mt. Gox, Ripple Founder Unveils Stellar, a New Digital Currency Project".
  10. ^ "New Bitcoin challenger launches".
  11. ^ Michael del Castillo (5 August 2014). "Stripe takes on bitcoin with rival digital currency Stellar". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Payment processor Stripe helps launch a new currency, the Stellar".
  13. ^ "PayPal's Cofounder Is Supporting A New Non-Profit That Will Tackle The Vision PayPal 'Never Accomplished'".
  14. ^ "Stripe Backs Non-Profit Decentralized Payment Network Stellar, From Mt. Gox's Original Creator".
  15. ^ "Stellar Rockets into the Cryptocurrency Top 10 After Tripling in a Week".
  16. ^ "2 Game-Changing New Cryptocurrencies With Serious Backing".
  17. ^ "New Digital Currency Aims to Unite Every Money System on Earth".
  18. ^ "Stellar rewrote the rules of cryptocurrencies. Now, users in Asia are leading its growth".
  19. ^ Cade Metz (8 April 2015). "An Algorithm to Make Online Currency as Trustworthy as Cash". WIRED. Condé Nast. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  20. ^ Stan Higgins (14 April 2015). "Jed McCaleb Talks Stellar's New Protocol for Consensus". Coin Desk. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Tom Simonite (April 15, 2015). "A New Cometitor for Bitcoin Aims to Be Faster and Safer".
  23. ^ Jeff John Roberts (May 11, 2017). "Stripe-Backed Stellar Places a New Bet on Blockchain in the Developing World". Fortune. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  24. ^ "Stellar Grant Program Will Award 'Selected' Participants $2 Mln In Tokens". Cointelegraph. 8 September 2017.
  25. ^ Interstellar (2018-09-10). "Announcing Interstellar". Interstellar. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  26. ^ "Blockchain Startup Chain Merges With Stellar to Accelerate Use".
  27. ^ "Introducing Interstellar". Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  28. ^ Biz Carson (5 February 2015). "Stellar, South African nonprofit to bring digital savings to young girls". GigaOm. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ Leo Mirani (6 February 2015). "Platforms, not products, are the way to bring financial services to the poor". Quartz. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  31. ^ Tom Simonite (20 February 2015). "Bitcoin-Inspired Digital Currency to Power Mobile Savings App". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  32. ^ Karen Webster (2 March 2015). "Stellar and Solving the Unexpected Tragedy of the Financial System". Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  33. ^ Paul Vigna (28 February 2015). "Stellar Takes a Step Into the Microfinance World". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  34. ^ Diana Asatryan (May 3, 2016). "Deloitte Taps Blockchain Startups to Build New Core Banking System". Bank Innovation. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  35. ^ FORTUNE. "Stripe-Backed Stellar Kicks Off Worldwide Money Transfers". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  36. ^ "IBM Blockchain Payments To Use Stellar In Major Partnership Deal". Cointelegraph. 16 October 2017.
  37. ^ "IBM's Blockchain 'Cross-Border' Payments Initiative With Silicon Valley Firm To Drive Efficiencies".
  38. ^ "Stellar jumps 20% after Stripe says it may add support for the digital coin".
  39. ^ "IBM and Stellar Are Launching Blockchain Banking Across Multiple Countries".
  40. ^ Jake, Bright. "Africa's SureRemit joins the tokenized race to win the global remittance market". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on December 12, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  41. ^ "ZED Network To Provide $600 Billion Remittance Market With Decentralized Global Payments Platform". Payment Week. January 18, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  42. ^ Brady Dale (January 25, 2018). "Why a $39 Million ICO Chose Stellar Over Ethereum". Coindesk. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  43. ^ "This PayPal Competitor Is Dropping Bitcoin Like a Bad Habit". Fox Business. January 28, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  44. ^ "Jed McCaleb Reveals Stellar, His Previously Secret Bitcoin Project".
  45. ^ Tom Simonite (8 April 2015). "A New Competitor for Bitcoin Aims to Be Faster and Safer". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  46. ^ Giulio Prisco (17 April 2015). "The New Stellar Consensus Protocol Could Permit Faster and Cheaper Transactions". Bitcoin Magazine. Retrieved 20 November 2015.

External links