In a newly announced merger, the for-profit arm of the Stellar Foundation has merged with Visa-backed project Chain. Stellar Lumens are a fork of the Ripple token XRP (Ripple and Stellar share a founder – Jed McCaleb) and boasts 1,000 transaction-per-second rates with 2 to 5 second confirmation times. While Ripple is great for quick international payments, Stellar is more community focused and offers a suite of tools such as currencies and exchanges that are open source and easy for anyone to spin up.
Any crypto project that is attached to the “gold standard” (at least in the crypto world) Visa will enjoy the boost in apparent legitimacy and this is no exception. Also attached would be Nasdaq and Citi Ventures as they had backed the former Chain, now Interstellar (great name by the way). The Stellar venture named Lightyear has been retired along with Chain. The two projects seem to compliment each other and solves a key problem: interoperability.
Stellar runs an open source and public blockchain, while Chain didn’t. Enterprise customers need permissioned and private blockchains for compliance reasons, which is not hard to provide, but most projects are not both permissioned and private and yet also open source and public. Chain had plans to create their own decentralized currency, but wisely will leverage what Stellar has already built. This merger should tackle this interoperability issue nicely as Stellar provides a trusted community and Chain provides a slew of enterprise customers that were formerly using a private chain.
Visa, Nasdaq, Citigroup, fintech company Cloudwalk, and LPS a French insurance company will move right over to the new Interstellar project. Stellar Lumens will provide the underlying infrastructure with the enterprise clients using an additional layer built on top. Stellar’s much awaited (along with competitor 0x) exchange will also move under Interstellar. We are excited to see how that interaction will look.
New Interstellar CEO Adam Ludwin said in a statement that the former Chain blockchain worked from “inside the enterprise, while Stellar has focused on the network” which shows both sides of the same problems. Adoption is an issue because you want as many users as possible to share the same network. Specifically YOUR network. They wouldn’t want the enterprise on one system and the public on the other or we are just reproducing the old way of doing things. Crypto is a perfect chance to improve the old technology and make it work better for everyone.
The second big issue is interoperability because, yes in a perfect world you want all the users on your chain, but in reality there are going to be several different competing companies, products, and blockchains. Planning for a future where your chain is the only surviving chain doesn’t make a lot of sense. Making sure that you future-proof your crypto by building in the ability for your chain to talk to other chains is going to be something for investors and speculators to look for going forward.
There are currently over 1,900 cryptos of various types being tracked on coinmarketcap.com with this number seeming to grow every day. Going forward we should see a lot of consolidation as projects and companies either merge or go extinct. Partnerships, especially partnerships with major companies should be huge for those respective cryptos that figure out how to coexist. Crypto is highly revolutionary and disrupting, but it will take time for things to mature and for the good and bad projects to clearly separate. Stellar and Visa and the previous Stellar and IBM connections are 2 of the biggest in the crypto space and it looks like Stellar is just getting started.