Now that the initial launch excitement of Stellar has receded (although they’re still seeing an incredible volume of new signups), the question becomes: Who will be the first to build meaningful products on top of this new network?
I’ve argued that the initial excitement missed an important point: Stellar is not a currency, it’s a postage stamp. Although stamps do have value in their own right, you don’t buy them to act as a store of value. You buy them because of what they let you do (send packages).
So what will we do with our postage stamps?
The first wave of products won’t look altogether different from the rest of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Stellar will be baked into existing exchanges, originally in order to buy/sell Stellar, but eventually in its intended role of helping to move value around the financial ecosystem.
The second wave will look different from anything we’ve seen in cryptocurrencies so far. This second wave will happen quietly, at the underserved edges of our financial infrastructure. It will happen slowly, and won’t be covered in the tech press or on Good Morning America. It won’t be venture backed and built in a Palo Alto garage.
There’s a French phrase, “l’economie de la débrouillardise” which refers to the resourceful, resilient, entrepreneurial economy that exists largely at the margins of the global financial infrastructure. Nigerian importers of Chinese electrical generators. Pakistani migrant construction workers sending money home to their families. The emerging “gig economy” in the developed world. By most metrics it is the second biggest economy in the world, with an estimated GDP of $10 trillion.
This economy works because of the informal bonds of trust that exist at the edges of our current financial networks. Stellar is going to knit together those informal trust networks in a way that has never been seen before.
Why? Because Stellar speak...