Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Automata Podcast: Brit Yonge of Stellar’s For-Profit Arm Lightyear

Automata Podcast: Brit Yonge of Stellar’s For-Profit Arm Lightyear

What if a global distributed payments project focused on the people who need it most, rather than megabanks? Today, Automata spoke to Brit Yonge, founder of Stellar’s Lightyear — an enterprise-focused, for-profit entity that wants to make asset and value transfer readily available throughout the developing world too.

Also read: Automata Podcast: Sarah Hody of Perkins Coie Talks Bitcoin and the Law

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Lightyear Is Stellar’s Link to the Corporate World

Stellar, a “top-down re-write” of Ripple with a similar distributed consensus model, is itself a not-for-profit organization and handles governance for the value-exchange protocol. Lightyear began in May 2017, when Stellar realized the business community preferred to deal with a more corporate entity.

Most of the interest in Lightyear comes from “non-bank financial institutions”, Yonge said. These companies provide the services banks are reluctant to (like remittances and cross-border payments) and often get cut off from the sophisticated liquidity networks banks can access.

That’s not to say Stellar doesn’t operate at high levels — they’ve now done business with several tier-one banks and made a deal with IBM. “That’s a huge deal for market validation” and shows the world there’s an alternative to SWIFT, Yonge said.

Stellar launched in early 2014 — the brainchild of Ripple (and Mt. Gox) founder Jed McCaleb, and Joyce Kim. McCaleb, who’s dedicated to building distributed systems, also created the filesharing network eDonkey2000.

Anyone who accepted Stellar’s free token giveaway in 2014 will be happy now — its native  “Lumens” are now worth $0.15 each.

About the Automata Podcast

Jon Daniel Automata“The future is automated.” Automata is a series of brief audio introductions to the projects that will drive the automated economies of the future. Pactum Capital‘s Daniel Cawrey and Bitsonline senior editor Jon Southurst chat with leaders in blockchain, cryptocurrencies, freer markets (and the occasional regulator) to find out where all this is going.

You can find older Automata episodes on Soundcloud, and subscribe to the channel for more.

If you have any requests for future episodes, we’d love to hear them. Post your feedback in the comments below.

Images via Daniel Cawrey, Jon Southurst, Pexels

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