Before we get in to it, you should probably know who Jed McCaleb is by now. If not, he’s the original founder of Mt. Gox (which he subsequently sold to Mark Karpeles in 2011) and Ripple.
McCaleb’s project — which isn’t quite so secret anymore — is called Stellar, located at Stellar.org. Stellar is more of a protocol than anything else, allowing consumers to easily send money in different currencies.
Description from the Stellar website:
[blockquote style=”2″]Stellar is a decentralized protocol for sending and receiving money in any pair of currencies. This means users can, for example, send a transaction from their Yen balance and have it arrive in Euros, Yen, or even bitcoin. We’re expecting to support the usual categories of transactions: payments to a merchant, remittances back home, or rent splits with a roommate.[/blockquote]
The protocol comes together with an internal digital currency, not surprisingly called Stellar. Upon signing up and connecting a Facebook account (which Steller says is required to cut down on duplication/spam requests), the user will receive 5,000 Stellar. 95 percent of Stellar, in fact, is being given away for free (but only half of that via the Facebook connection).
It’s an interesting concept, indeed, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not it will catch on.
Stellar is open source, and its code can be found on Github [link].
The Wall Street Journal has a great write-up on this, I encourage you to read it by following this link.