Zelle co-founder to grow Stellar network as CEO of Interstellar

Quick Take

  • Zelle co-founder Mike Kennedy will take the CEO role at Interstellar, a company aimed towards growing the Stellar network
  • Kennedy is looking towards market making and liquidity solutions for Stellar
  • Further down the line, he believes Stellar protocols could replace traditional international payment systems like SWIFT and correspondent banking 

Zelle co-founder Mike Kennedy believes the Stellar blockchain could be the gold-standard for international payments, taking on current industry stalwarts. The Zelle co-founder is bringing his experience in the digital payment field to grow the Stellar network as the CEO of Interstellar, a for-profit company developing payment protocols on the Stellar network.

Interstellar was born out of a 2018 acquisition deal between Lightyear.io, a startup built on the Stellar protocol, and decentralized ledger technology builder Chain. At the time, the company stated that it aimed to provide enterprise solutions for adopting the Stellar blockchain, developed by the non-profit Stellar Development Foundation (SDF).

Interstellar is growing the network by building out the payment layer on Stellar, an area where Kennedy has extensive experience. The company has been connecting with various banks, licensed non-bank providers and companies, and building layers to entice a wider user base, according to Kennedy. This includes building projects that the SDF wouldn’t. Right now, this means pivoting towards liquidity and market making capabilities, something Kennedy said industry players continue to call for.

“That’s not something that makes sense for a nonprofit like the Stellar Developme