Stellar Lumens (XLM) Forum with for newcomers and contributor's rewarded Check here

Jessica CollierAugust 11, 2015
Stellar is always looking for new ways to partner with people who share our vision of an open financial network for all. We’re pleased to announce our first visiting scholar, Bhagwan Chowdhry, a professor of finance at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Professor Chowdhry is currently dedicating his sabbatical to working on Stellar in India.
[img=800x0][/img]Prof. Bhagwan Chowdhry in his office at UCLA
As an academic, Chowdhry has what you might call a professorial interest in microfinance: he supervises graduate projects, develops models, and writes papers on the topic. Chowdhry also, however, works on the ground, running microfinance experiments geared towards broader financial inclusion. In 2009, he cofounded Financial Access at Birth (FAB), an organization that aims to provide newborn children with a $100 savings account. The account is linked to a unique ID that other organizations can use for cash transfers or dissemination of social services.
“I’ve been advocating financial inclusion for all people—particularly those who have no access to any formal financial services—for many years,” says Chowdhry. “Stellar’s mission and philosophy is close to my heart.”
While Stellar currently has projects in Nigeria and South Africa, Chowdhry’s work is our first foray into India. “The fact that Stellar is agnostic about currencies—US dollar, euros, Indian rupees, bitcoin—will allow us to tailor our applications to local needs and conditions,” he observes.
In a recent article, Chowdhry argues that digital currency is the best way to expand financial services to nearly 3 billion poor people—if we make digital currency more convenient, work well with regulators, and properly secure ourselves against fraud. His work on FAB points up the fact that “the most important element of financial inclusion is to be able to move money, nearly instantaneously and with negligible transactions costs. Stellar can deliver that. This network will have huge implications for the poor to be able to save effectively.”
Like the team here at Stellar, Chowdhry thinks a lot about how the poor suffer disproportionately from high transaction costs and remittance fees. Such costs are the result of a fragmented and antiquated financial system that is also disincentivized to build products for low-income customers. “Because Stellar provides a level playing field for large and small transactions, everyone will benefit from it—particularly the poor, who are often unable to save small amounts of money frequently without incurring high costs,” Chowdhry notes.
With Chowdhry’s support, we hope, as he writes, to help “do away with most transaction costs” and enable everyone to participate in the global economy.
Community translations of this post
Chinese: 访问学者Bhagwan Chowdhry发声
Japanese: 学者Bhagwan Chowdhry訪問

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Financial Inclusion Roundup: Visualizing the Global Economy & Building Services Communities Need

Eva GantzAugust 6, 2015

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Stellar TeamJuly 31, 2015
One year ago today, Stellar launched. In our first turn around the sun, we took challenging initial steps towards global economic change. We crafted cutting-edge technology, built relationships with partners, and were welcomed into the global development community. is 1!
Here are a few highlights:
  • grew from a scrappy pair of cofounders—Jed McCaleb and Joyce Kim—to a lean, diverse team of sixteen.
Spreading the word Development
  • Chief Scientist David Mazières released a white paper that outlines the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP).

  • The Stellar team created a new codebase for the network.

  • We published the first chapter of Adventures in Galactic Consensus, a graphic novel that makes the ideas behind SCP accessible to everyone.
An inclusive Stellar community emerged and continues to grow. Together we can now:
  • Chat with Stellar developers on every continent—except Antarctica. (Hey, Antarctic developers, we’d love to have you, too.)

  • Join a real-time Stellar chat. The conversation grows by about 20% each month.

  • Find Stellar resources in more than twelve languages. View How Digital Money Works in eleven different languages, or catch up on Stellar news in Chinese or Japanese.
Stellar around the world
To celebrate the thriving community, Eva Gantz created a visualization of Stellar projects and contributions across the globe. Click any pin on the map to learn more.*


Thank you
All of you have played a crucial role in Stellar’s first year.
  • If you’ve tweeted or told a friend about Stellar…

  • If you’ve built a product that runs on the Stellar network…

  • If you’ve given us feedback or read a piece that we’ve written…

  • If you’ve attended meetups or chatted with us at conferences…
then you’ve contributed to making Stellar what it is today. Thank you!
What’s next?
Our mission is to enable low-income people in underserved communities to take control of their financial lives. The next 365 days will be about making Stellar more accessible so we can achieve that mission. We’ll be launching the new network, as well as introducing tools for learning to use and build on Stellar.
And we need your help. In year two, the Stellar community will be even more involved. So what can you do?
  • Come to us with project ideas that could use Stellar collaboration. The #general Slack channel and QQ are good places to talk.

  • Ask questions in #dev channel about the code stack.

  • Attend a local meetup, or start your own.

  • Donate to
Your Stellar contributions bring us closer to a world where all human beings can participate in the global economy. Together, we can use the next year to work towards a new financial future.
*The community map is in progress. Want to be added? Email with a description of your project and a link to your website.
Community translations of this post
Chinese: 应对全球金融变化:恒星一周年回顾

Read More Read More, Posted by: san2ok
Joyce KimJuly 30, 2015
Today we are excited to welcome two new board members to the family: Shivani Siroya, founder and CEO of InVenture, and Greg Brockman, the former CTO of Stripe.
With backgrounds in unserved economies and payments software, Shivani and Greg bring perspectives crucial to building open and inclusive financial services. Together, they represent’s consistent focus on two issues dear to our mission: financial inclusion and technology.
[img=914x0][/img]Shivani Siroya and Greg Brockman, Stellar’s newest board members
Shivani has previous experience in global health, microfinance, and investment banking with the United Nations Population Fund, CitiGroup/HealthNet, and others. She founded InVenture to help close the credit gap in emerging markets by building alternative credit scores for borrowers without formal financial history. InVenture’s Android application in Kenya and Tanzania collects data that already exists on customers’ mobile devices—including social media accounts, web searches, and financial transactions—to create a holistic picture of each potential borrower and assess his or her risk. Inventure then issues the loan, collects repayments, and provides data-driven customer service—all through the same mobile app.
I was a fan of Shivani’s work long before I met her in person. When my role at gave us the opportunity to sit down for longer conversations, I knew her insights would be invaluable. Shivani brings expertise with financial inclusion technology and data science. She has a strong understanding of the local challenges facing communities in the developing world when they try to access credit. In the wide world of fintech, Shivani is completely focused on her mission to provide access to people otherwise left out.
Greg has been with Stellar from the beginning. Says CTO Jed McCaleb, “He’s consistently been a thoughtful sounding board for both technical and philosophical decisions facing Stellar as we’ve evolved over this first year. We’re glad to have him involved even more.”
One thing I’ve always appreciated about Greg is that he pushes us to examine issues from different angles. With extensive experience in large-scale payment systems, he brings a new perspective to Stellar. We tackle problems from different angles, but we both approach our work with open minds and, over time, have shaped each other’s perspectives on the financial inclusion landscape. I appreciate Greg’s pragmatism, and his feedback has already influenced the organization in profound ways.
As a nonprofit,’s mission is full economic participation for all human beings. By connecting isolated financial systems, Stellar aims to include the world’s two billion unbanked people. Shivani and Greg bring additional diversity of experience to our board—they will help us make decisions that impact how traditionally underserved communities access financial services around the world.

Community translations of this post
Chinese: 金融普惠+技术领袖:Shivani Siroya 和 Greg Brockman 加入恒星理事会

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Eva GantzJuly 28, 2015

  • Scott and Vanessa met new open-source friends at OSCON and played a few rounds of our card game Making Change.

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Eva GantzJuly 24, 2015
  • Ever wonder how much people live on around the world? Pew Global Research published aninteractive map of income distribution by country. It illustrates global trends over ten years—including a 14% reduction in the number of people living on $2 or less per day.
[Image: mapworldincome.png]

Read More Read More, Posted by: san2ok
Eva GantzJuly 15, 2015

  • Professor David Mazières walked the Stellar team through the latest revisions to the SCP white paper.



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History of money, teach us how human created things to common goods, but the history went forgotten after generations, debt become more and more a burden and object of greed

by open university

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[Image: Cybercriminal1.jpg]
Director of Edgar, Dunn & Company, the management consultants, asks the question, can blockchain or distributed ledger technologies combat cybercrime in financial systems?
As director of EDC’s London office, Samee Zafar has advised some of the biggest financial services organizations in Europe and North America focusing on competitive strategy, operations, and technology.

With his expertise covering retail banking, card issuing and acquiring, and electronic payments such as Internet and mobile payments his recently published blog on Finextra is a timely piece on the issue of cyber criminals.

He focuses on how even though banks follow set procedures to validate individuals and detect irregularities with hundreds of billions of dollars at stake, flaws can still be found.
He said:

Quote:Even with all these financial fortifications in place and armies of back-office staffers monitoring money movements, now and again hackers manage to get away with very large sums of money.

He cites the $81 million theft from the Bangladesh Bank account with the New York Federal Reserve that took place earlier this year as an example of how cyber criminals have reached new levels of sophistication.
He adds:
Quote:The Bangladesh heist was the work of confident criminals who knew their way about the system, avoiding the strongest defences and targeting the weakest links in the international payments network.

Are Blockchain and DLT the Solution?
Blockchain was initially developed to support the popular decentralized digital currency, bitcoin as it provides a record that can’t be argued helping to establish ownership over bitcoins. As such it doesn’t require a centralized government to approve or make decisions for it.
Of course, while blockchain is autonomous, according to Zafar, ‘distributed ledger architecture can support all types of systems.’ While he mentions that a distributed ledger system is likely to be less autonomous in financial services it can still be effective.
He said:
Quote:A fraud prevention system based on a distributed ledger approach with multiple databases working in sync can be deployed to combat fraudulent incidents of this type very effectively.

Currently, the responsibility of creating strong risk management controls is down to the individual bank. This means that there are inconsistencies with a variety of risk controls and procedures in place.
In order to combat these inconsistencies, a distributed ledger system would benefit large and small banks, cutting out the central network middleman known as SWIFT, according to Zafar.

Banks Are Exploring Hybrid Systems
Banks, Zafar says, are turning their attention to hybrid systems where a single authority looks after the records centrally, but at the same time encourages and maintains a distributed ledger system where security and integrity are maintained.
He adds:

Quote:Such a system could work on several levels – global, regional, and local or domestic, to enable centralised authorities in multiple jurisdictions to develop an additional layer of shared decentralised systems.

However, he points out that while such a distributed ledger system would take time and a substantial amount of money to build it’s not a failsafe against cyberattacks, but is a much better option when it comes to identifying fraud and money laundering transactions quickly.

Read More Read More, Posted by: violin
[Image: Bitexcoins-768x506.png]

Bitcoin Press Release: The cryptocurrency trader ( based in Saint George is taking a bold strategy within the current Bitcoin market conditions. While the price of Bitcoin is slowly but continuously going down, Bitexcoins is still purchasing Bitcoin for even higher amounts than those they were offering within the previous months.

Many may be wondering what stands behind this company’s appetite for Bitcoin. At the heart of Bitexcoins there is a handful of people who have financial and economic backgrounds and are confident they know what they are doing. The company’s representatives declared to have purchased over 3000 BTC so far and target the acquirement of another 10000 by the end of September 2016.

While investments are in excess of USD 1 Mil already, the company is going out on the market for more, offering even higher rates for Bitcoin purchase. These weeks the offers stand for 10% above Blockchain’s official rate.

“We’re aiming high achievements with this company and so it is our business strategy. At this stage, our main focus is purchasing as much Bitcoin as we can. We are on a budget but haven’t reached its bottom yet. We cannot go public with our future business plan at the moment because it is easy to have competitors steal our ideas and we don’t want that to happen. People may be asking what do we have in mind and many have been wondering if this business makes any sense, as we’re buying expensive Bitcoin, but we have a strategy behind all this and we are confident we’ll surprise the market in a very good way soon. We’re planning on a business that will bring even more value to the cryptocurrency market,” declared Sidney Ingram, founder and CEO of Bitexcoins.
About Bitexcoins Inc.

Bitexcoins Inc. is a cryptocurrency trading company based in Saint George, USA, founded and developed by few bold investment professionals who have seen the business opportunity outside the traditional capital markets and have targeted cryptocurrency trade in terms of medium and long-term investments strategy.
Business is operated in an effective manner, with a user-friendly platform and easy contact means through the company’s website and via e-mail or phone. Payments for the trade are free of any charges on the customer’s side, while the company covers all costs involved.

Read More Read More, Posted by: violin
[Image: VISA-Wireless-768x506.jpg]
VISA and blockchain-technology partner BTL will invite a select group of European banks to participate in a blockchain project that will see inter-bank payments made via transfers over the ledger.
Hot on the heels of the likes of R3, Visa will experiment its own blockchain-based payments platform with a select group of banks who will send money over a blockchain.

The proof-of-concept project will use Interbit, a cross-border blockchain remittance and settlement platform developed by industry startup BTL.Launched earlier this year, the Interbit platform is seen by Visa as the solution to “reduce cost, settlement time, credit risk, and by leveraging smart contracts to automate many of the regulation and compliance requirements of domestic and international transfers.”
BTL estimates that remittance costs can be reduced by over 80% through the Interbit platform, compared to traditional means, such as SWIFT.
Hendrik Kleinsmiede, co-founder of Visa Europe Collab, stated:

Quote:We’re now inviting a small number of European banks to participate in the project alongside us and BTL. Participating banks will be able to connect to the network and send funds to other banks in the network across multiple currencies.

The proof-of-concept project is expected to complete the banking experiment within 100 days.
Visa has made notable strides to research and develop blockchain technology with various endeavors in recent times. For instance, the world’s largest payments network revealedplans to expand its team of 750 engineers at its technology innovation lab in India. The blockchain-focused technology center is aiming at employing over 1,000 employees before end of 2017, up from 400 engineers during its August 2015 launch.
In late 2015, Visa Europe Collab partnered with Epiphyte, a blockchain-based software-as-a-solution (SaaS) provider to develop a proof-of-concept.
Earlier this year, Visa published a job posting that sought to hire a senior software engineer to join as a part of its research team to develop a “secure and scalable blockchain” network.

Kleinsmiede added:
Quote:Through the use of smart contracts and blockchains, I believe we can create a fast, compliant and low-cost interbank payment and settlement service, with embedded regional compliance.

Blockchain Remittance
One of the first known instances of banks using a blockchain to exchange value came to light in early 2016 when R3 revealed an experiment with a total of 11 participating banks, across four continents. Each bank was connected to a private R3-managed ledger, underpinned by Ethereum technology while hosted on a VPN on Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud platform. The successful test ran continuously 24 hours a day for five days in total.
In February 2016, a report revealed that JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, was discreetly testing U.S. dollar transfers between London and Tokyo with some 2,200 participating clients. JPMorgan is expected to introduce the technology for live transactions later this year.

Read More Read More, Posted by: violin
[Image: Metlife-building-768x506.jpg]
MetLife Inc., one of the largest insurers in the world has joined the R3-led blockchain consortium that now counts 60 of the world’s largest financial institutions.

Insurance giant MetLife is the latest financial institution to join the financial private blockchain consortium led by New York-based startup R3.
MetLife will partner and interact with other R3 members in an effort to explore the potential application of blockchain technology in the insurance industry. Specifically, how distributed ledgers can streamline activities such as business processing, policy administration, customer payments, new investments management and the distribution of proceeds, a statement revealed.

“R3’s work has proven how blockchain technology can disrupt how business is done today,” stated Marty Lippert, executive vice president and head of MetLife’s Global Technology and Operations.
He also stated that MetLife is the first multinational insurer and now the 60th member to join the global consortium.

Corda, the distributed ledger software platform developed by R3 in conjunction with its members will remain the shared private ledger used to record and transact financial agreements between approved members.
R3 CEO David Rutter spoke about the consortium’s growing membership which now sees an influx of non-banking institutions.

Quote:The addition of a major insurance player such as MetLife is testament to the growing interest in distributed ledger technology amongst the non-bank financial services community.

He further stated that R3 was leading the charge of the FinTech industry.
Our consortium is now one of the largest of its kind ever assembled in the financial technology space, with some of the world’s largest banks and financial institutions working together to deliver cutting-edge solutions that can be applied to the benefit of all end users and their clients.

Notably, MetLife isn’t the first insurer to join R3, with that distinction taken by Hong Kong-based life insurance group AIA. The pan-Asian life insurance group, which is also the largest publicly listed firm in the region, joined R3 in early June 2016.

The global network of R3 partners, which now includes MetLife Inc., will collaborate at the R3 Lab and Research Centre to work toward researching and fulfilling the potential of blockchain technology in the financial services industry.

Read More Read More, Posted by: violin
[Image: Anti-piracy-768x506.jpg]
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Custos Media Technologies, a South African bitcoin blockchain-based startup that has developed the means to identify and track illegal file-sharing and pirates through the bitcoin blockchain, has received a new cash injection of over $400,000.

South African startup Custos Media Technologies, a company that uses the bitcoin blockchain to combat media piracy has reached an agreement with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) that will see funding of 5.9 million Rand (approx. $400,000) gained by the startup over the next two years.

A Bitcoin Reward for Downloaders?
The technology, seen as a unique way to combat media piracy, works by embedding a bitcoin bounty within a piece of a media. The watermark can then be tracked on the blockchain with the idea of recognizing and identifying infringements when the media leaves the original recipient or buyer of the media.
The watermark is an identifying code unique to each user purchasing the media. This code can be used to access a “finder’s fee”, a deposit in the form of cryptocurrency. If and when the content is shared or leaked, the third-party gains possession of the media can cash in the code, for the finder’s fee. At this point, an alert is triggered toward the content producer, who can then check the bitcoin blockchain ledger to discover the source of the leak.

As a nod to the technology and the idea, the Stellenbosch-based startup has already seen funding from the TIA in the past, to the tune of R500,000. The TIA, a government initiative set up by the South African government grants financial support through various funds for a variety of businesses and institutions, along with Small Medium Micro Sized Enterprises (SMMEs).
Custos CEO G-J van Rooyen stated:

Quote:TIS has again shown their commitment to support early-stage technology business in South Africa. The funding agreement will allow Custos to accelerate product development, while simultaneously freeing up resources to spend on bringing the product to the widest possible market.

The newest cash injection follows a seed funding round in April 2016 where the blockchain-startup raised $265,000 from prolific industry investor Digital Currency Group (DCG) and a South African private investor. Prior to that, Custos raised an initial investment of R2,100,000 last year from Innovus Technology Transfer. Altogether, the company has, so far, raised some 12 million rand (over $800,000).
Speaking to CCN in the past, Custos chief operating officer Fred Lutz revealed that the South African company’s ultimate goal is to target Hollywood, to see major movie studios among its client list.

Read More Read More, Posted by: violin
[Image: Venezuela-neighborhood-768x506.jpg]
Cryptobuyer, a Venezuelan cryptocurrency brokerage has announced support for Dash, which sees the digital currency joining bitcoin on Cryptobuyer’s platform.

Caracas-based cryptocurrency brokerage and firm Cryptobuyer has added Dash to its platform, citing “soaring demand” of the cryptocurrency. Dash, currently the 8th largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization, joins bitcoin as digital currencies that Venezuelans can now use for remittance, cell phone top-ups, recharging debit cards and more, through a compliant exchange.

Venezuela is in the throes of hyper-inflation at a triple digit rate and dire shortages of essential commodities, products, food and more. A devaluating local currency has seen Venezuelans turn to cryptocurrencies in a time of uncertainties. The Boliviar, the national currency of Venezuela is performing direly, dropping by nearly 40% against the U.S. dollar.

Furthermore, traditional remittance operators such as Western Union and Moneygram were forced to shut down operations in Venezuela over 10 years ago. As a result, a vacuum and a need for services exist in the remittance industry due to crippling measures enforced by the regime, enacted in 2005.
In an announcement, Cryptobuyer CEO Jorge Farias stated:

Quote:Our partnership with Dash is valuable, especially for customers with unstable fiat currencies, and the perfect example can be found in Venezuela right now. Alternatives for accessing money without traditional banks are gaining traction fast, and we are incredible confident that Dash will flourish in this economy.

The cryptocurrency is gaining users in Latin America in recent times. A recent partnershipwith Panama-based crypto-ATM network TigoCTM meant that Dash, along with bitcoin, is now available to adopters and new users of digital currencies in the region.  The ATM integration offers an easier method of adoption to Latin American users without access to a phone, computer or the internet.

A self-funded and self-governed organization, Dash currently has a market cap of over $80 million, with over $1.1 million in trading volume over the past 24 hours. In January 2016, the cryptocurrency  turned two and the occasion also saw the cryptocurrency doubling its blocksize from 1 MB to 2 MB after an instant vote among stakeholders running nodes of 1,000 dash and above.

Read More Read More, Posted by: violin
[Image: 725_Ly9jb2ludGVsZWdyYXBoLmNvbS9zdG9yYWdl...5qcGc=.jpg]
NXT team has announced the launch of the full suite of Smart Transaction templates. Meant to serve as building blocks for businesses to construct Blockchain solutions for particular problems, they represent a less risky alternative to Ethereum’s Turing-complete smart contracts.
The development of NXT’s Smart Transactions began 3 years ago, as the need to provide an easy way to implement scalable Blockchain solutions in unrelated businesses has been recognized. The team set out with the goal of delivering a working framework, which would be secure, easy to code and lightweight.
In order to fulfill that goal, they have created and rigorously tested a suite of Smart Transaction templates, which can be used on their own, or in various combinations, to build the necessary applications for businesses, governments, lawyers, organizations, and so on.
Low risk, low cost Blockchain-as-a-Service
The main idea behind NXT’s Smart Transaction templates is to provide a low-risk, low-cost opportunity to implement Blockchain smart contracts, leaving little room for human error, compared, for example, to Ethereum’s freeform smart contracts.
Here’s how Mitchell Loureiro, NXT’s Marketing Strategist, compared the two:

Quote:“The templates are designed to work like Lego, essentially, while Ethereum is like clay. With Ethereum, every piece needs to be built from scratch, then molded. Any imperfections cause damage later. With NXT, the lego pieces are already tested and secure. You need only assemble them in the right combination to achieve whatever goal you have. The right combination of Smart Transactions, as we call them, can accomplish a variety of goals.”

Now, 3 years after the development of Smart Transactions began, they are fleshed out, well-tested, and, according to the developers, able to cover almost all needs a business can have.
If you are interested in learning more about NXT’s Smart Transaction templates, you can use the following links:

Ardor tokens distribution
The concept of Smart Transactions is closely tied to Ardor, a “child chain” platform in development by NXT’s team, which was announced late last month. A Blockchain-as-a-Service platform, Ardor’s mission is to allow anyone to set up their own child chains, connected to NXT’s main Blockchain for security purposes.
The platform is due to be released in 2017, and it will be fully compatible with the Smart Transaction templates.
Ardor tokens, the cryptocurrency which will power the Ardor ecosystem, are planned to be released earlier than the system itself on October 12, 2016. They will be distributed to every holder of NXT, the amount received being an average of hourly snapshots of the owners’ balances.
Three major exchanges so far have agreed to take internal snapshots of their customers’ balances for the purpose of future distribution of Ardor tokens: PoloniexBTC38, and Bittrex. The snapshotting process takes place from July 14, all the way to October 12, when it will end on the millionth block of NXT’s Blockchain.
Bas Wisselink, Director of NXT Foundation, claims that this is the perfect time for people outside of the crypto industry to become engaged in the Blockchain technology, as the exchanges allow for fiat-to-NXT, and, by extension, to-Ardor trading:

Quote:“This is a really exciting time for NXT users and people who wouldn’t normally engage with the cryptocurrency world. Many of the concerns our users had with regard to scalability and the ability to customise individual chains using the central Blockchain have been addressed with the design of Ardor. The introduction of Fiat currency exchange will enable retail investors and people beyond the Fintech and investment world to access the benefits of a decentralised asset exchange in these uncertain times.”

Read More Read More, Posted by: lidya.fransisca


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