One of the co-founders of digital currency payment network Stellar has announced her resignation.
In a statement published to her personal blog, Joyce Kim said that she would be “passing on the torch” of executive director to her co-founder, Jed McCaleb, who co-founded Ripple and was the original owner of Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt Gox.
Though resigning from the executive director post, Kim said that she would continue in her capacity as chairperson of the startup’s board.
In the blog post, Kim indicated that slow-moving legal changes in the financial industry and increasingly specialized product design played a role in her decision. But she added with a hint of optimism that her work abroad in micro-finance would impact her involvement with future projects.
“I count myself lucky for this experience as there are very few times in our careers when we design products beyond the tech-included demographic. I want to take these learnings with me to other parts of our ecosystem as well.”
Kim and McCaleb founded Stellar in 2014 with the aim of helping to facilitate low-cost transactions for users that lack access to traditional payments channels. Early on, the project positioned itself as geared toward the world’s underbanked in developing regions.
Stellar would find itself the subject of controversy after its founding, when a lengthy report in the New York Observer offered a take on Kim’s and McCaleb’s exit from the Ripple project.
Stellar would ultimately be drawn into a legal dispute between Ripple and several other parties over roughly $1m in disputed funds. Earlier this year, the dispute was resolved when those funds were released to Stellar.
A new beginning
Last month, McCaleb posted a roadmap for Stellar’s future, focusing on an effort to provide payments connectivity in Nigeria. The initiative involves a developer-ready platform for building apps and the establishment of partnerships with financial institutions in the African country
Kim says she plans to take the summer off to “think, read, and reflect” on her next steps during an exploratory trip that will include visits to Ecuador, Sweden and Spain. She said expects to return by the end of this summer.
Kim concluded her post:
“I will return from my travels bursting with energy, ideas and likely a dinged up surfboard.”
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