According to a report released yesterday, Chain Inc., a startup working with the Nasdaq to construct a blockchain based trading platform, has just been purchased by Lightyear Corp.
The news was published in the Wall Street Journal and Reuters as evidence that some of the technology that Bitcoin once monopolized may be reorganizing itself. Lightyear, a spinoff of the Stellar Foundation related to the cryptocurrency Stellar Lumens (XLM), is set to acquire Chain. The two companies will form into a new firm called Interstellar.
Valued at around $124 million during its last round of funding, Chain has raised some $43 million from major investors including Nasdaq and Vias Inc. It follows a growing pattern of startups and established Wall Street players and firms attempting to utilize blockchain technology for the ins and outs of trading and investments.
However, the established financial sector has been experimenting with this technology for some time. Companies such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., International Business Machines Corp. and Microsoft Corp. have all shown interest in the still young technology. Yet, none of these firms have been able to launch a commercially-viable product that can be used. However, it seems they are getting closer.
Chain, now four years old, made a deal with Nasdaq in 2015 to utilize their blockchain idea and apply it to their trading platform. However, they hit a wall then: customers didn’t want to maintain their own blockchain networks. Instead, they wanted something easy and an UI platform that would be effectively trustless. This is why Chain since then has been focusing more on building a decentralized network that could serve intuitively for trading.
With the merging comes the potential for Chain to utilize the network behind Stellar to finally make this idea a reality. Chain’s existing supporters and investors all support the move.
Stellar was founded just three years ago as an alternative to Bitcoin but utilizing the same technology underpinning it. The network has been growing exponentially since then and has been working closely with IBM to create a cross-border payment system that would be faster and more efficient than Bitcoin.
Overall, it seems that this new merger into Interstellar creates the opportunity for Chain to utilize the many benefits of Stellar’s existing network for the purposes of commercial trading. Given that there are existing decentralized exchanges already built on Stellar, this does not sound like a far-fetched idea. The only issue Chain will really have moving forward is successfully migrating their idea onto the Stellar blockchain and making it palatable enough for established, Wall St.-type audiences.