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Stellar adoption receives boost as co-founder of Zelle joins Interstellar as new CEO

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Interstellar, an organization focused on developing the Stellar blockchain ecosystem, announced the appointment of Mike Kennedy as its new CEO, after Adam Ludwin stepped down from his position.

Mike Kennedy, co-founder of Zelle, a mobile payments company backed by large U.S banks, is also a former employee at Well Fargo and former president of the OFX, a global money transfer service institution.

It was indicated that Kennedy held the Stellar blockchain as the gold-standard for international payments and he was brought in to bring in his years of experience and expertise to the virtual payments medium and expand Stellar network from Interstellar.

Interstellar originated in 2018 after a deal was completed between Lightyear.io and decentralized ledger technology constructing company Chain. Lightyear.io was a startup built on the Stellar protocol and at the time of inception, the objective of Interstellar was to develop a solution for widespread adoption of the Stellar blockchain.

After the announcement, Kennedy stated,

“Our success [with Zelle] was because we were solving a real-world problem. With Interstellar I see another opportunity to solve a real-world problem.”

Presently, Interstellar was constructing the payments layer on the Stellar blockchain and the organization has been in touch with several banks, financial institutes, non-bank providers, etc, etc, in order to attract a wider user base. Kennedy explained that the company was currently focused on liquidity and market output.

He stated,

“That’s not something that makes sense for a nonprofit like the Stellar Development Foundation to do. However, it is something that would really help to drive growth and adoption of the network beyond the rates that we’re seeing today, and so that’s one of the things that we will likely do with Interstellar.”

The new CEO of Interstellar set his goal on competing with the SWIFT payment system, which was used by financial institutions to facilitate international payments. Kennedy believed that the blockchain technology would be able to perform the same task but at a better speed and higher reliability.



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Mark Prestwood, Khareem Sudlow