Jed McCaleb, co-founder of Ripple and the creator of the Mt. Gox exchange before selling it in 2011, claims a decentralized network is necessary for a cryptocurrency to be successful in the long term. This is why he split off from Ripple to form Stellar in 2014.
A centralized financial payment system will be no better than PayPal or Swift, he told CNBC’s “Fast Money” on Friday. He said decentralization provides the path to network growth and ubiquity.
Ripple Is Centralized
McCaleb said it is very difficult to run nodes outside of Ripple Labs, and the fact that the Ripple team runs most of the nodes should concern people.
McCaleb, who serves as Stellar’s chief technology officer, said Stellar is an Internet level protocol. He said the protocol should be done by a non-profit entity, and noted that had the Internet been created by a for-profit company, it would look very different today.
Stellar has been successful in part because it has not limited its investor base to only a few participants. The underlying coin has been distributed very widely, he said.
Stellar’s coins, known as lumens and XLMs, ranked among the 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization earlier this year, although the currency has since fallen by around 34% on the year.
Stellar’s transaction settlement is five seconds or less, which is much faster than bitcoin, he noted.
Blockchain And Crypto To Change Banking
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will change banking in the future by generating a public ledger everyone can see that cannot be altered at random, McCaleb told CNBC last week.
In the next 10 years, most assets, including those that are not crypto assets, will become digitized, he said. Within the next 10 years, McCaleb predicted most assets, even non-crypto assets, will become digitized.