Stellar-Focused Firm Acquires Visa-Backed Blockchain Startup Chain

Financial services blockchain startup Chain has been acquired by the Stellar-focused firm Lightyear, Reuters reports today, September 10.

Chain CEO Adam Ludwin told Reuters that a new company, dubbed Interstellar, will “migrate” Chain’s customer network and existing products onto Stellar’s global public blockchain, aiming to thereby create a new public digital assets management platform:

“We were looking for a way to help our customers move the projects that we have been working on from a private network to a public one.”

Ludwin explained that the move comes as the firm judges Chain’s customer base to be more receptive to permissionless blockchains than it once was:

“When we started a few years ago, our customers were not ready for a public network. Fast forward to three years, they’re willingness has gone up, and the maturity of the public networks has changed a lot.”

While the financial details of the Lightyear acquisition remain undisclosed, the deal reportedly closed last week, following a period of negotiations that started in late 2017. According to Reuters, Chain had previously raised over $40 million to develop its financial services blockchain infrastructure from investors that included Visa, Citi Ventures, and Nasdaq.

Both Chain and Lightyear will cede their brands for this project to the newly-formed Interstellar, with Ludwin serving as CEO and Jed McCaleb – co-founder of both the Stellar Development Foundation and Lightyear – serving as Interstellar’s CTO.

The firm will reportedly employ a team of 60 at its San Francisco headquarters and New York city office. Its products will include the recently announced Stellar-based digital assets marketplace ‘StellarX,’ which is still in its beta phase.

According to a Stellar blog post, Lightyear is a for-profit company that was created to “enable forward thinking financial entities to easily join the Stellar ecosystem.”

As Cointelegraph has reported, IBM has just recently brought its Stellar-based Blockchain World Wire (BWW) payment network out of beta, aiming to facilitate international settlements between banks in “near real-time.”