Category: Blockchain

Jed McCaleb Founds Stellar to Bank the Unbanked

According to the World Bank, around 2.5 billion people in the world have no access to regular banking services because they are not cost-effective customers due to their poverty or their rural locations. Most of them live in developing countries.


Jed McCaleb founded Mt. Gox, the first exchange for Bitcoin. While he was operating Mt. Gox, he realized the world needed not just the blockchain currency Bitcoin, but for entire financial institutions to run on the blockchain’s technology. By using blockchain to join financial institutions together, this reduces the cost to provide banking services to impoverished and isolated people, allowing them access to institutional money storage such as checking accounts and also the inexpensive and fast transfer of funds. Bitcoin uses its blockchain to serve as a currency. It can be kept, used to pay for products or easily given away without the requirement for an intervening third party such as a bank or credit card gateway to facilitate the transaction. In a similar way, Stellar connects entire financial institutions.


Therefore, Jed McCaleb and Joyce Kim co-founded the Stellar Development Foundation in 2014. McCaleb still serves Stellar as its Chief Technology Officer, leading the increasing development of Stellar as a universal financial network enabling the increased inclusion of economically marginalized peoples in developing countries. That keeps him busy. He codes and leads his team in setting up and improving the technical aspects of Stellar. And he runs the business, answering emails and making operational decisions.


Thanks to his experience with Bitcoin, Jed McCaleb has spent many hours thinking about the flaws of the current financial system, and how it can be improved using digital technologies. Stellar Development also works with, a nonprofit organization which uses technology to enhance digital financial literacy, and contributes toward the development open source software that works toward this goal.


Prior to starting Mt. Gox for Bitcoin, Jed McCaleb worked for MetaMachine, where he started eDonkey2000, a file-sharing P2P network. eDonkey introduced the hashtag, 1-to-many sharing of data and multi-source downloads. It was the first DHT large-scale implementation. He also programmed the game The Far Wilds.