Stellar, a new protocol for transmitting money, is launching under the guidance of several payments industry experts.
Its board members include Jed McCaleb, who co-founded the digital currency network Ripple; Keith Rabois, former COO of the mobile payments company Square; and Patrick Collison, co-founder and CEO of Stripe.
McCaleb will lead development of Stellar, calling it a decentralized protocol geared toward supporting payments to a merchant, sending payments to family members in distant locations or splitting a rent payment with a roommate, according to a July 31 blog post announcing the new system.
McCaleb left Ripple last year. He worked alongside Chris Larsen, a financial services entrepreneur, to develop the Ripple network as a decentralized open platform for payments made with any currency.
Stellar, also the name for the digital currency to be used with the Stellar protocol, is initially being developed as part of a non-profit organization that McCaleb will head called the Stellar Development Foundation. He will work with David Mazieres, head of Stanford's Secure Computer Systems group, the blog post says.
The Stellar digital currency will have value as determined by the market, and the foundation views its primary function as providing a conversion path between other currencies (similar to the concept behind Ripple).
Users will be able to send transactions in one form of currency, such as yen, and have it arrive at its destination in yen or other currencies such as euros or bitcoin.