Stellar (XLM), the cross-border payments protocol competing with Ripple (XRP), recently suffered a loss of a key player in its ecosystem, when Jesse Lund, their global head of blockchain for financial services and digital currencies, left IBM.
As reported by CoinDesk on May 28, a spokesperson from IBM reportedly said in an email:
“I can confirm that Jesse Lund is no longer employed by IBM. IBM’s practice is not to discuss the specifics of employee departures.”
Lund Played a Key Role in Stellar’s Adoption, Now He’s Gone
Lund was a former banker with ties to the banking industry, which allowed him to harbor an ambitious plan to merge cryptocurrencies with traditional finance and even explore stablecoins and a central bank digital currency.
As the head of blockchain for IBM, he spearheaded IBM’s World Wire payment network, which uses the Stellar blockchain to support multiple digital assets and improve financial inclusion worldwide.
With Lund’s ties to the traditional banking world, he played a key role in Stellar’s adoption through their IBM partnership. He managed to onboard 6 banks onto the World Wire platform and grow it to locations in 72 countries with 47 currencies and 44 banking endpoints.
However, when CoinDesk asked the co-founder of Stellar, Jed McCaleb, if Lund’s departure would affect Stellar’s participation in the World Wire platform, he said:
“No, we are still full steam ahead with World Wire.”
Moreover, Lund’s departure does not impact his view on blockchain innovations for payments, as he said via LinkedIn:
“Yes, I’ve left IBM but am still optimistic about payments innovation using Blockchain.”
Perhaps Lund will contribute to the blockchain industry elsewhere. However, there’s no word as to what he will be doing next.
Will Stellar’s rate of adoption take a hit with Lund’s departure? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.