Jed McCaleb is one of the pioneers of the blockchain revolution. When Bitcoin was practically an underground digital currency known only to a select few fanatics, he founded Mt. Gox, the first Bitcoin exchange where anybody could go to buy Bitcoin and store it in an online account or wallet. And they could sell it if they wished, or use it to purchases goods at businesses that accepted it. By making Bitcoin more accessible to ordinary users, McCaleb facilitated its increasing popularity.
In 2012 he also co-founded the company OpenCoin with Chris Larsen, which produced the cryptocurrency Ripple or XRP. Ripple played off ideas of Ryan Fugger and Jed McCaleb had to allow people to create their own currencies by verifying consensus between people in the network. This is similar but different to the mining involved in Bitcoin. After receiving several rounds of funding by angel investors, OpenCoin developed the Ripple exchange and payment network, then changed its name to Ripple.
Jed McCaleb continued to think about how the blockchain technology underlying both Bitcoin and Ripple could be used to improve the economic condition of humanity. He realized it could be used to allow financial institutions to have the flexibility to provide services to the 2.5 billion people around the world who are “unbanked.” That is, because of their poverty or their isolation in rural areas, it’s not economic to provide them with banking services.
Therefore, in 2014 he and Joyce Kim co-founded the Stellar Development Foundation. Their goal is to develop the digital financial technology to enable small banks in developing companies to join together to offer everybody financial services at a price that is affordable for all. Jed McCaleb still services as Stellar’s Chief Technology Officer. He is in charge of a team that codes and develops the technical improvements to the universal financial network.
Prior to his work with transformative blockchain technologies and coins, Jed McCaleb founded Code Collective, programming and designing the game The Far Wilds. That’s a strategy game that emphasizes the need for clever plays, and it was widely praised for its “addictive gameplay.”