In the early phases of the dot-com boom, Jed McCaleb achieved worldwide recognition for introducing the online community to one of its first major peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, eDonkey2000. He is also the mind behind the first Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, and it was actually his growing interest in this brand of cryptocurrency, that led him to the development of his latest endeavor, “Stellar.” It was Jed McCaleb’s recognition of Bitcoin’s underlying idea, that it is really just a distributed database used to transfer value from one place to another, that moved him to create a universal financial network would connect financial institutions. Throughout history, the world’s most powerful financial institutions have neglected much of the world’s population, estimated to be 2.5 billion, due to an inability to service them because of outrageous costs. With the implementation of “Stellar,” Jed McCaleb believes that this population, which is considered to be unbanked, will be enabled to transfer funds more efficiently than ever due to the decreased costs it will provide. Several prominent business and organizations around the world have already begun utilizing Stellar, including South Africa’s own, Praekelt Foundation.
Much of Jed McCaleb’s success throughout his career can be attributed to his ability to remain efficient throughout the development process. In order to do so, he breaks his workday down into two parts – “focus mode” and “reactive mode,” where he spends time coding and building Stellar, and responding to emails, and other marketing aspects of running his company. While keeping his eye on the overall vision of the company, cutting out anything that feels is not essential to the process, he continues a high rate of productivity on a daily basis. He believes that proper planning is imperative to the overall process, as differences in direction often result in wasted time or unsuccessful ventures.
Although Jed McCaleb spends a large portion of his time building and implementing Stellar into society, he is also very excited and admittedly afraid, about the prospects associated with artificial intelligence. Over the next twenty years, Mr. McCaleb predicts that the impact artificial intelligence will have on the human population will be similar to the agricultural revolution.