Online cross-currency payment service Stripe contributed $3 million to fund Stellar, a decentralized protocol for sending and receiving payments in different currencies such as dollars, Euros, and bitcoins.
In exchange for the funding, Stripe received two percent of all “stellars” (Stellar’s digital currency), according to a blog post by Stellar’s Greg Brockman. There are 100 billion stellars in circulation, and the number grows by one percent every year as an artificial rate of inflation.
Stellar was co-founded by Jed McCaleb, who founded Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox and sold it in 2011 to pursue other projects including open source payment protocol, Ripple. Once known as a prominent business in the Bitcoin space, Mt. Gox lost a lot of credibility when the service essentially lost hundreds of thousands of Bitcoins worth roughly $380 million, and severely damaged confidence in Bitcoin itself.
Stellar charges a fee of $0.30 plus 2.9 percent for every successful transaction.
Stellar isn’t seeking to replace other crypto-currencies or fiat money, but rather facilitate transactions in all kinds of currencies. This makes it an intriguing project for Stripe, which currently supports businesses in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and many European countries, but could potentially tap into other markets and currencies.
Earlier this year, website publishing platform Squarespace released a new ecommerce service with Stripe integration so that both physical and digital goods can be sold on the platform. Last month, GoDaddy announced a partnership with Stripe and other ecommerce solution providers in order to process a variety of worldwide currencies.
It seems clear that the world is not switching to crypto-currencies any time soon, and that the best option is to make it easy to accept any form of payment.