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Jed McCaleb

Jed McCaleb is the Co-founder of and . He was an early pioneer in the space who helped launch three well-known crypto firms, Mt. Gox, , and . McCaleb serves as a Founder of Vast, Co-Founder at Stellar Development Foundation, Board Member and advisor to the CEO at Arcadia Science, and Venture Partner at .[1][3][15]

Early Life

Jed Mccaleb was born on June 8, 1975, in Fayetteville, Arkansas at Washington Regional Medical Center. His family later relocated to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he spent the majority of his childhood. His calling seems to have found him early, as he admits to having been programming ‘since 3rd or 4th grade.’

Education

Upon graduating high school, McCaleb enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley but dropped out while he was still a freshman, and moved to New York City to work as a programmer. [15]

Career

In August 2000, McCaleb founded MetaMachine, a metadata browser that adds and edits captions, keywords, licenses, and image ownership. Through MetaMachine, he created the peer-to-peer eDonkey and eDonkey2000 applications, one of the largest file-sharing networks of its time. He ran MetaMachine until September 2005. [15]

In February 2007, Jed McCaleb founded Code Collective, an independent game development company where he worked as a programmer and designer. There, he created a turn-based strategy game called The Far Wilds, which was highly praised by IGN for its unique, interesting, and addictive gameplay. In 2009, due to other commitments, he was unable to continue running the game and decided to hand it over to a dedicated group of fans to manage and operate it for the community. [16]

Mt. Gox

In 2010, McCaleb developed Mt. Gox, a major exchange. McCaleb sold the company to Mark Karpelès in February 2011 and remained a minority owner in the company until its collapse in 2014. [5]

Answering a question on what was the moment when he realized he would enter the sphere, McCaleb said:

"It was summer of 2010. I was winding down a project I was working on and just browsing the internet. I read some Slashdot article about Bitcoin, got super excited about it. Two weeks later I had put up Mt. Gox." [6]

Ripple

In August 2011, McCaleb joined , , and Ryan Fugger to create and cofounded Ripple in 2012. He developed the Ripple protocol and its currency while securing investments before leaving his active role with the company in July 2013. [15]

Stellar Development Foundation

In June 2014, McCaleb co-founded the non-profit organization the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) with Joyce Kim to develop an open-source protocol to allow cross-border monetary transactions including fiat digital currencies. The organization originally based its payment network on the McCaleb previously developed. The original design of was that anyone could have and other forms of value run in parallel with each other and with crypto assets. [7]

McCaleb said in the article "New Digital Currency Aims to Unite Every Money System on Earth" published by the magazine "WIRED": [12]

"We adopted this model because we don't think internet infrastructure should be owned by any small group of people"

He also argued in the article "Could Stellar be the answer to enable financial inclusion around the globe?" published by the magazine "Memeburn" :[13]

"Payments have not kept up with the internet. Money works fine in the developed world. The people who actually get screwed are the people who pay 10% remittances or those who can’t get a bank account."

Genesis, a crypto lending firm that filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York in January 2023, owes Stellar Development Foundation about $13.2 million. SDF is Genesis’ 42nd largest creditor. [18]

Astera Institute

In August 2020, Jed McCaleb founded Astera Institute, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to developing high-leverage technologies that can lead to massive returns for humanity. The platform targets areas of latent potential and supports programs in , Science, and Climate without a natural home in the existing innovation ecosystem. [15][17]

Vast

In December 2021, McCaleb founded an aerospace company called Vast to build in-space human infrastructure and industry for the solar system through the world's first artificial and zero-gravity environment enabling long-term human productivity in space. [7][8]

In May 2020, McCaleb posted an opinion about the future of blockchain on Reddit:

"Here is why I think blockchains are (still) the answer to how we build a more dependable, accessible and connected world - It promotes interoperability and inclusion.

A blockchain allows seemingly disparate systems to connect even though they don’t have a formal relationship with each other. While this might not sound very exciting, the socioeconomic impact is enormous. Because this connection means a world with over 180+ different monetary systems could work together on a single platform. That represents billions of people in the world being able to seamlessly transact and interact". [14]

Controversy

At one point, Jed McCaleb owned the original 9 billion as a founder, as well as cryptocurrency, . Most of his wealth comes from the estimated 3.4 billion XRP and XLM. McCaleb gradually sold his XRP into the cryptocurrency market. However, in 2015, Ripple accused McCaleb of violating an agreement that dictated the rate at which he could sell his XRP holdings. [9]

In 2016, the lawsuit concluded and McCaleb agreed to a sales restriction on his remaining XRP holding. The rate at which McCaleb was allowed to sell XRP was determined by the daily volume of the XRP market and increased on a yield basis. McCaleb also agreed to sell his equity in Ripple and donate 2 billion XRP to a charity of his choice.[9]

In 2019, McCaleb was hit with a lawsuit from two former Mr. Gox traders who alleged that he had fraudulently misrepresented the exchange and its level of safety when negotiating the sale of Mt. Gox to Mark Karpeles. [10]

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that safety issues already existed at Mt. Gox as early as January 2011, when two security breaches led to the loss of thousands of Mt. Gox user's . McCaleb was aware of the issue, but took no follow-up action and did not make the hack public. The complaints read:

"Rather than inform the public that these users were not refunded, nor stay to repair the security issues, McCaleb sold a majority of his interest in Mt. Gox to Mark Karpeles." [10]

After an eight-year dump of his Ripple holdings, McCaleb sold the last of the XRP held in his Tacostand wallet in July 2022 according to his ultimate agreement made in 2016. McCaleb’s agreement was intended to prevent price fluctuations. [11]

Philanthropy

In 2014, Jed McCaleb donated US$ 500,000 worth of to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) which became one of the largest single contributions in the institute's history. [4][5]

In February 2018, McCaleb was announced as a donor to the research group OpenAI. [21]

In October 2023, Navigation Fund, a nonprofit organization funded by Jed McCaleb bought roughly $500 million of Nvidia (NVDA.O) advanced chips with plans to lease computing capacity to companies for projects. The AI cloud-computing organization and a subsidiary of Navigation Fund called Voltage Park, has 24,000 Nvidia H100 chips, Voltage Park CEO Eric Park told Reuters in an interview. The operation plans to offer long- and short-term, low-cost AI computing to help alleviate the shortage of AI chips. [19][20]

"It's our belief that basically the current ecosystem for machine learning is broken," - Park said [19]

See something wrong? Report to us.

Jed McCaleb

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March 1, 2024

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