Greg Brockman has been a long time advocate of the digital currency startup Stellar, founded in 2014. He was also partly behind the $3 million dollars Stripe invested in Stellar shortly after its founding, and has been an advisor to the company ever since.
“He’s consistently been a thoughtful sounding board for both technical and philosophical decisions facing Stellar as we’ve evolved over this first year,” commented Stellar co-founder and CTO Jeb McCaleb, “We’re glad to have him involved even more.”
“Digital currencies are still nascent, and my hopes for them remain unchanged. Particularly, we need digital currency protocols like Stellar that work with the existing financial system and focus on a seamless user experience.”
- Greg Brockman
In a blog post describing why he joined Stellar’s board he expressed his continued interest in digital currencies, and their potential to impact the world positively. Brockman added that he still sees problems like a seamless user experience, and digital currency advocates resisting integration with traditional financial system.
Brockman added that he thinks the technology and team behind Stellar will be able to solve these problems facing the industry. “I’ve always been impressed with Joyce, Jed, and their team’s approach to the space. Stellar is a nonprofit entity producing open-source software, with a strong emphasis on financial inclusion. From launch day, they’ve been hyper focused on the core technology and community. It’s still too early to say where it might end up. But I’m excited to help along the path.”
Joining Brockman on Stellars Board is Shivani Siroya, the Founder and CEO at InVenture Mobile, a startup that is trying to provide access to credit in developing markets using mobile technology. Siroya brings years of experience dealing with non-profits, microfinance, and the health industry from working with the United Nations Population Fund and Health Net.
Brockman and Siroya will be joining other high profile people in the tech industry already on Stellar’s board, including Stripe CEO Patrick Collison and Investment Partner at Khosla Ventures and ex-Paypal senior executive Keith Rabois. The startups advisory board includes; President of Y Combinator, Sam Altman; Director of the MIT Media Lab, Joi Ito; Founder of WordPress.com, Matt Mullenweg; Founder of AngelList, Naval Ravikant; and Director of the Institute for Technology and Society of Rio de Janeiro, Ronaldo Lemos.
Although the startup has seen its fair share of hype, it has yet to be shown helping the developing world, more so than other rivals Ripple and Bitcoin. The Stellar Development Foundation, is attempting to give the digital currency functionality on a text messaging based mobile platform in South Africa.
The protocol is also being used as the basis for a peer-to-peer digital currency broker service, a rewards program for a social SnapChat-like app, and various other projects unrelated to Stellar’s core focus of helping the developing world.
Last year, things turned particularly sour for the startup when its consensus network failed, and shut down due to a technical error. Without the consensus, people could double spend their stellar currency, as well as manipulate the protocol's accounting history, both key to its function as a sustainable and usable network. Stellar rebounded with a new network consensus protocol developed by Prof. David Mazières, head of Stanford’s Secure Computing Group, that has since remained secure and functional.