Stellar (payment network)

Stellar is an open source, decentralized protocol for digital currency to fiat money transfers which allows cross-border transactions between any pair of currencies.[1] The Stellar protocol is supported by a Delaware nonprofit corporation, the Stellar Development Foundation, though this organization does not enjoy 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS.


In 2014, Jed McCaleb, founder of Mt. Gox and co-founder of Ripple, launched the network system Stellar with former lawyer Joyce Kim. Before the official launch, McCaleb formed a website called “Secret Bitcoin Project” seeking alpha testers.[6] The nonprofit Stellar Development Foundation was created in collaboration with Stripe CEO Patrick Collison and the project officially launched that July. Stellar received $3 million in seed funding from Stripe.[7][8] 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.[9][10] Stripe received 2 percent or 2 billion of the initial stellars in return for its seed investment.[11] The cryptocurrency, originally known as stellar, was later called Lumens or XLM.[12] In August 2014, Mercado Bitcoin, the first Brazilian bitcoin exchange, announced it would be using the Stellar network.[13] By January 2015, Stellar had approximately 3 million registered user accounts on its platform and its market cap was almost $15 million.[14]

The Stellar Development Foundation released an upgraded protocol with a new consensus algorithm in April 2015 which went live in November 2015.[15] The new algorithm used SCP, a cryptocurrency protocol created by Stanford professor David Mazières.[16], a for-profit entity of Stellar, launched in May 2017 as the commercial arm of the company.[17] 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. In September 2018, Lightyear Corporation acquired Chain, Inc and the combined company was named Interstellar.[18]

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.[19] Vumi uses cellphone talk time as currency using the Stellar protocol.[20] 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.[21][22]

Deloitte announced its integration with Stellar in 2016 to build a cross-border payments application, Deloitte Digital Bank.[23] 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.[24]

In October 2017, Stellar partnered with IBM and KlickEx to facilitate cross-border transactions in the South Pacific region. The cross-border payment system developed by IBM includes partnerships with banks in the area.[25][26]

In December 2017, TechCrunch announced Stellar’s partnership with SureRemit, a Nigerian-based non-cash remittances platform.[27]

On January 6, 2021, Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine announced cooperation and partnership with Stellar in development of Ukraine digital infrastructure after which Stellar value increased by 40%.[28]


Stellar is an open-source protocol for exchanging money or tokens using the Stellar Consensus Protocol. The platform’s source code is hosted on GitHub.

Servers run a software implementation of the protocol, and use the Internet to connect to and communicate with other Stellar servers. Each server stores a ledger of all the accounts in the network. 3 nodes are operated by the Stellar Development Foundation, in conjunction with 21 other organizations, providing for a total of 66 validator nodes.[29] Transactions among accounts occur not through mining but rather through a consensus process among accounts in quorum slice.[30] The current network fee is 100 stroops, equivalent to 0.00001 XLM or 1/10,000th of a cent.[31]


  1. ^Ben Dickson (January 30, 2018). “Can blockchain democratize education? This startup seems to think so”. The Next Web. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  2. ^“Stellar FAQ”. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  3. ^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 April2015.
  4. ^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.
  5. ^JP Mangalindan (31 July 2014). “New Bitcoin challenger launches”. Fortune. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  6. ^“Mt. Gox, Ripple Founder Unveils Stellar, a New Digital Currency Project”.
  7. ^“New Bitcoin challenger launches”.
  8. ^Michael del Castillo (5 August 2014). “Stripe takes on bitcoin with rival digital currency Stellar”. The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  9. ^“Payment processor Stripe helps launch a new currency, the Stellar”.
  10. ^“PayPal’s Cofounder Is Supporting A New Non-Profit That Will Tackle The Vision PayPal ‘Never Accomplished'”.
  11. ^“Stripe Backs Non-Profit Decentralized Payment Network Stellar, From Mt. Gox’s Original Creator”.
  12. ^“2 Game-Changing New Cryptocurrencies With Serious Backing”.
  13. ^“New Digital Currency Aims to Unite Every Money System on Earth”.
  14. ^“Stellar rewrote the rules of cryptocurrencies. Now, users in Asia are leading its growth”.
  15. ^Cade Metz (8 April 2015). “An Algorithm to Make Online Currency as Trustworthy as Cash”. WIRED. Condé Nast. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  16. ^Tom Simonite (April 15, 2015). “A New Competitor for Bitcoin Aims to Be Faster and Safer”.
  17. ^Jeff John Roberts (May 11, 2017). “Stripe-Backed Stellar Places a New Bet on Blockchain in the Developing World”. Fortune. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  18. ^“Blockchain Startup Chain Merges With Stellar to Accelerate Use”.
  19. ^Biz Carson (5 February 2015). “Stellar, South African nonprofit to bring digital savings to young girls”. GigaOm. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  20. ^Tom Simonite (20 February 2015). “Bitcoin-Inspired Digital Currency to Power Mobile Savings App”. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  21. ^Karen Webster (2 March 2015). “Stellar and Solving the Unexpected Tragedy of the Financial System”. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  22. ^Paul Vigna (28 February 2015). “Stellar Takes a Step Into the Microfinance World”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 April2015.
  23. ^Diana Asatryan (May 3, 2016). “Deloitte Taps Blockchain Startups to Build New Core Banking System”. Bank Innovation. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  24. ^ “Stripe-Backed Stellar Kicks Off Worldwide Money Transfers”. Fortune. Retrieved 2017-01-03.
  25. ^“Stellar jumps 20% after Stripe says it may add support for the digital coin”.
  26. ^“IBM and Stellar Are Launching Blockchain Banking Across Multiple Countries”.
  27. ^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.
  28. ^“Мінцифра співпрацюватиме зі Stellar Development Foundation над розвитком ринку віртуальних активів”. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  29. ^“ – Stellar network visibility”. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  30. ^Tom Simonite (15 April 2015). “A New Competitor for Bitcoin Aims to Be Faster and Safer”. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  31. ^contributors, Stellar org and. “Transaction Fees, Minimum Balances, and Surge Pricing | Stellar Developers”. Retrieved 2020-05-23.

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