Jed McCaleb, the co-founder of the universal financial network Stellar, believes technology should be consciously leveraged to improve the human condition and reduce inefficiency. A serial entrepreneur, McCaleb also created the file sharing network eDonkey, the first bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox and he founded Ripple in 2011. Realizing the global financial infrastructure leaves too many people without resources or the means for economic participation, in 2014 he co-founded Stellar.org. The goal of the financial network is to enable everyone to be able to enjoy economic participation.
At Stellar, Jed McCaleb is in charge of technical development. Stellar is a non-profit that contributes to open-source software and combines technology and digital financial literacy. It supports the Stellar network. McCaleb also advises MIRI, an organization which researches ways artificial intelligence can have a positive impact. He explained that the idea for Stellar came from his evolving interest in Bitcoin. He saw Bitcoin as more than an a new currency, but also a distributed database that connects financial institutions. He thinks the technology can potentially transform the world.
Jed McCaleb envisons Stellar helping the 2.5 billion people with no access to banking technology to save and send money cheaply and easily. He points out the financial infrastructure Stellar offers is already being implemented by non-profits and businesses. This includes South Africa’s Praekelt Foundation integrating Stellar into its open-source messaging app Vumi. Jed McCaleb constantly strikes a balance between leading technical development and management. He works in two modes, focused and reactive, to increase his productivity and efficiency. He codes and builds and handles the elements of running a business.
Excited about the potential artificial intelligence has to change the world, Jed McCaleb donates to the non-profit Machine Intelligence Research Institute. He also spends lots of time on planning, strategy and the essential elements of projects with global impact. His focus is on building great products. He doesn’t let failure stop him. His tenacity has led to his success. In January 2018 the value of McCaleb’s ownership of Ripple was $20 billion. On Forbes’ world’s richest people’s list he would have been ranked 40th.