I’m super intrigued by, on a number of different levels.

Interesting to create a new way to transfer money, interesting that they’re starting as a non-profit foundation.

But also very, very interesting how they’re compensating employees:

"As of July 31, 2014, approximately 2.5% of the stellars have been granted to employees and consultants of the Foundation under a 4-year vesting schedule, meaning 0.625% of the initial 100 billion stellar endowment of the nonprofit will be earned by employees and consultants working at the Foundation each year until the total 2.5% is earned in 2018."

So they’re establishing a new store of value & currency (stellars), and in the initial establishing grant, setting aside some for early compensation of people involved in creating it and making it more valuable — in other words, they’re creating a self-funding mechanism that is wholly aligned with the value of the currency.

Super, super interesting idea, and I’m not sure I’ve seen anything quite like it before. (One question I do have is whether you really want the stewards of the foundation incented to make the currency as strong as possible, rather than to take a more balanced approach, but at this early stage, it’s probably not that relevant a question.)

Also very interesting how they funded it: 

The Foundation received a loan of $3,000,000 from Stripe which was subsequently repaid with 2% of the stellars. The Foundation is allowed to use up to 5% of the initial stellars to fund operations (including the loan repayment).

It takes a lot of enlightened self-interest & foresight for the folks at Stripe to do this — again, not sure I’ve ever seen anything quite like it from a new company (or even an established one).

So…it’s fascinating. 

Being involved in Mozilla, then, and now Code For America, I’m super, super interested in how to make non-profits (more properly tax-exempt, but in this case the high order bit is the mission orientation rather than the tax status) durable & self-sustaining. This is going to be a very interesting organization to watch. 

Also, huge praise for the straightforward & open way they launched & are talking about what they’re doing. Kudos.

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