Q: "Why did you pick Stellar for the project?"
A: "1: People Our team at IBM believe that people, not technology, make for solutions. More importantly, having the right people, with the right mindset, with the right incentives, with the right subject matter expertise, make for solutions that bring actual value to the world. In our experience working with the Stellar team, we saw a perfect match. The folks at Stellar, like us, want to see the world move past the 40+ year old fragmented system that we all suffer in today, but move towards a system that is more fair and equitable for all.
2: Asset Class XLM/Lumens market, while relatively small today, is growing, and growing fast. More and more people are buying Lumens and trading them, albeit for other cryptocurrencies, actively. Along with our partners at KlickEx, we have a strong desire (and requirement!) to also open the market for fiat (traditional currency) to XLM at the institutional level. Also important to us was knowing up front the full ownership structure of Lumens with respect to the founders and the development foundation managing XLM. The process is completely transparent and we (and you!) know the founders’ holdings of XLM. This helps us to ensure there’s as little financial conflict of interest as possible.
3: Technology The choice of tech, our team needed to take into considering some of the future capabilities and participants on the network. A very unique capability with Stellar is the ability to issue an asset directly on the network, and specify how that asset is managed on the network and what nodes validate and confirm transactions. That means we can work with other parties - such as traditional fiat currency issuers (stay tuned :) ) - and help them feel safe about issuing on-chain.
Together with the technology we developed at IBM using Hyperledger Fabric, the ability to clear transactions with very fast settlement using Lumens was a no-brainer and a perfect match. Together, traditional - and non-traditional - Financial institutions can settle using a cryptocurrency/digital asset, with those transactions directly tied to counter-terrorism financing, AML, and KYC processes required by regulators around the world. Basically, its the missing piece those institutions need to move forward transacting with digital assets."
Q: "When does IBM plan to start using Lumens for transactions?"
A: "Immediately. The week of the announcement, we transacted with a few tightly monitored real-world value transfers. Through this year, you’ll see that traffic increasing gradually as more transactions are allowed to move through without tight monitoring. Basically: this is real money, affecting real people. There is zero room for error, so we’re making damn sure the system is built for scale."
Q: "Is the partnership with Stellar temporary or long term? Will the network be integrated with IBMs cross border payments permanently?"
A: "This partnership is not just long term - it’s tight. Stellar joined the Hyperledger Foundation in addition to partnering on this project. There are many upcoming projects coming up this year about to be announced. Stay tuned :)"
This was a fantastic AMA that sheds light on how important Stellar Lumens may become in 2018.