Throughout recorded history, there have been visionaries, leaders, and pioneers who have created genuine change in various industries, societies, and countries. From Ben Franklin to Nikola Tesla to Elon Musk, some people have been able to use their genius to make massive improvements which benefit society.
One of the latest of these geniuses is Jed McCaleb. Jed McCaleb is a computer programmer and UC Berkeley dropout who is determined to change the financial world for the better. So far, he is doing quite well in this respect. After working on other high profile projects in the finance world, McCaleb created Stellar Lumens, a cryptocurrency and international payments platform.
A Closer Look at Stellar
McCaleb created the Stellar Development Fund (SDF) in 2014. This organization is philanthropic in nature and is designed specifically to help solve key banking issues. The goal of the Stellar Development Fund is to provide an effective distributed and global ledger for banking and transacting. Essentially McCaleb and the SDF want to make it possible for as many as the 2 billion people around the world who are unbanked to become banked.
McCaleb dreamed up this vision in 2014 when he realized that cryptocurrencies had the potential to dramatically improve banking and could literally help billions of people financially. He began to take action soon after he had this vision.
The Nature of the Problem
2 billion unbanked people may seem impossible in 2018. However, in many developing nations, being unbanked is fairly common. There are a number of reasons why so many people around the world are unbanked. For one, traditional banks often come with a lot of high fees. These include overdraft fees, deposit fees, transaction fees, etc. Many people who are living in poverty simply cannot afford to pay these fees. So they just choose to remain unbanked as a result.
Another reason why so many impoverished people remain unbanked is simply because they do not possess a credit history, or if they do, it is very bad. Many banks require at least decent credit in order to open a bank account. This can be a major hurdle for hundreds of millions of people.
In addition to the first to problems, people in third world nations often do not even have a bank within a twenty mile radius of their homes. So, simply getting to a bank can be a major problem. This is especially true considering that many of these people do not possess reliable transportation. So, in short, there are many different obstacles in the way of people who are unbanked in developing nations.
Stellar has the capability to solve many of these problems and to allow millions, if not billions of people around the world to become banked. Part of the reason why Stellar can do this is because through its public, blockchain-based ledger, Stellar lets its users make transparent transactions which are permanently recorded and validated. This prevents corruption and meddling. The Stellar blockchain is highly transparent and secure.
Stellar also has extremely low transaction fees and extremely fast transaction processing fees. This means that all a person needs to start using Stellar to become banked is a cellphone and a little bit of money to purchase Stellar’s cryptocurrency: Lumens (XLM).
So, people who are unbanked, but who want to become banked can use smartphones, or computers to create online wallets and to buy XLM. Once they have done this they can start making transactions immediately that are extremely fast and efficient, and that can be sent all over the world. For many people, being able to do this represents and dramatic life change and a brand new financial paradigm. Stellar is faster and cheaper than many of its competitors such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. So, Stellar is ideal for the most impoverished people.
Momentum is Building for Stellar
In its few short years in existence, Stellar Lumens has risen to become the 7th largest cryptocurrency by overall market cap. It is currently helping people in underserved nations such as Nigeria to become banked and to improve their lives. Stellar has also partnered with IBM. IBM now uses Stellar to conduct 60 percent of its cross-border payments in the South Pacific region.
Many ICOs are also starting to use the Stellar Platform instead of other options such as Ethereum. This is because Stellar is faster and cheaper than Ethereum. One such ICO is Mobius, a company that connects consumer applications with high fidelity oracles. Mobius was able to raise $39 million through its ICO on the Stellar platform.
Jed McCaleb has a created a smash hit with Stellar Lumens. As a payments platform, a cryptocurrency, and as an ICO launching platform, Stellar Lumens is currently doing extremely well. Considering the genius of Jed McCaleb, this is no surprise. Hopefully, in the near future, millions of people will be able to become banked through Stellar. It is certainly possible that this could happen, given the efficiency and practicality of the platform.