Stellar was born in 2014 as an offshoot of Ripple because Jed McCaleb, the co-founder, had philosophical differences with the rest of the Ripple board. While Ripple is focused on providing solutions to banks, Stellar aims to help facilitate payments between people. While they work in a similar fashion, Stellar is sort of like a “bottom-up” approach compard to Ripple’s “top-down”. Stellar Lumens are the currency used by the Stellar network, and when the network was started 100 billion Lumens (XLM) were created.
The Internatioal Payment Problem In the original Bitcoin whitepaper, Satashi Nakamoto wrote A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. While Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies have taken this direction, making it easier for people to send money to each other without intermediaries, the company called Ripple has been using the technology of the blockchain to go in the completely opposite direction - making it easier to move funds between financial institutions.