By Emma Okonji
A renowned financial firm, Stellar.org has launched its platform into the Nigerian financial space, with a strong promise to remove all obstacles that could hinder access to smooth financial transactions within and outside the country.
This, according to the firm, would enable individuals to enjoy seamless interoperability and exchange of currencies between diverse financial systems globally.
Founded in 2014, Stellar prides itself as a platform that is capable of enhancing financial inclusion for the estimated 2.5 billion unbanked people that made up half of the world’s population.
Speaking at a financial technology conference co-hosted by Stellar.org and Deloitte in Lagos recently, its keynote speaker, Mr. David Mazieres from Stellar.org, said the firm’s financial platform is designed to facilitated safe, low-cost, convenient and seamless transfers of money between people, financial institutions and companies, both locally and globally. He explained that the platform could also support large business to business transactions as well as micro transactions.
According to him, the platform has made it a lot easier for people to send money in any currency to anywhere in the world, adding that it supports exchange of world currencies, including dollars, pounds, euros and naira.
“Stellar can be used by banks, microfinance, governments at the state and federal level, as well as startups, hospitals and other corporate entities that require a convenient platform to connect and move money,” Mazieres
Stellar is a decentralised ledger network of servers in many locations that power a distributed ledger. The ledger records every transaction in the system and a complete copy of the ledger exists on each server on the Stellar network. The servers communicate with each other to verify transactions and synchronise the ledger every 2 to 5 seconds, and this mechanism is known as consensus, Mazieres said.
“Stellar offers major rewards. It cuts out of inefficient banking intermediaries to save billions for consumers and the financial services industry. These rewards include: cheaper cost: no middlemen involved in the transfer process; safer platform: industry certified security; facilitates financial inclusion for the poor among others.”
Associate Director, West Africa Technology Consulting, Mr. Oluwole Oyewole, who represented Deloitte partner, said Stellar had remained a leading Blockchain payment technology platform provider in the world.
He described blockchain as a technology that has the potential of disrupting and changing not only the financial industry but also several industries in the world.
Giving the history of Blockchain, Oyewole said shortly after it was introduced, it became widely employed by the dark web, occupy activists, wikileaks among others, to transact business. Today however, we are beginning to see a giant shift, how this technology is being utilised, he said.
Today, Deloitte has partnered Stellar in developing digital applications for financial institution that will address key challenges faced in the financial sector. We believe that more than ever, companies that adopt the Blockchain will see significant improvement in processes while ensuring cost-savings and minimising risk,” Oyewole said.