Jed McCaleb Talks About How He Entered The Cryptocurrency Industry

Jed McCaleb learned about Bitcoin and blockchain technology in 2010. He read an article on Slashdot about this cryptocurrency and then read its whitepaper while also starting to follow Bitcointalk which is a popular online forum to discuss this subject. He thought a decentralized currency was a really great idea, but he wasn’t sure at the time if it was really possible to build such a thing.

He said that Bitcointalk went from 200 users to over 2,000 soon after the Slashdot article was posted. He decided to create Mt. Gox which was a centralized Bitcoin exchange site. At one point this website grew to have 80% of the market when it came to trading Bitcoin. Jed McCaleb sold this company off in 2011 to another software developer, Mark Karpeles. Mt. Gox was hacked later on, in 2014, which was broadly reported on at the time.

Jed McCaleb stayed involved in the cryptocurrency industry after selling Mt. Gox. He used his accumulated knowledge of cryptocurrencies to find Stellar Development Foundation. His goal is to create an internet-level protocol for online payments. He plans to link together a large group of financial institutions as well as payment networks. This includes the largest financial institutions in the world as well as smaller ones.

Stellar is a nonprofit. Jed McCaleb says that he organized it this way because he wants it to be open source. The business model can’t be changed which is always a risk with a for-profit enterprise. This creates a high level of trust, he says, so that people can confidently rely on Stellar.

Stellar isn’t the first company that Jed McCaleb has founded. His first company was MetaMachine which he launched in August 2000. This was a company that offered eDonkey2000 which allowed people a way to do multi-source downloads. In February 2007 he decided to open a video game company, Code Collective. He programmed “The Far Wilds” which was a turn-based strategy game. The game got a high review score from IGN and proved to be pretty popular. He eventually handed over control of this game to a set of hardcore fans of it when he decided to enter the cryptocurrency industry.

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