The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has made its first investment in 2021, investing $5 million in cryptocurrency payments company Wyre. The Foundation believes the investment will provide a wide variety of payment application programming interfaces (APIs) to fintech applications on the Stellar blockchain network.
Wyre is a natural fit
In its press release announcing the investment, the Foundation described that bringing Wyre to the Stellar ecosystem will create key payment infrastructure for companies operating on the network. It will also enable relationships connecting international financial systems, the Foundation stated.
Denelle Dixon, the SDF CEO and executive director joins Wyre’s board as part of the investment deal. Commenting on the investment, she stated:
Growing the network of Stellar anchors — stablecoin issuers and on/off ramps — is fundamental to how Stellar connects global financial systems with blockchain technology. Bringing Wyre’s industry-leading payment APIs to the Stellar ecosystem will empower businesses, especially anchors, to expand existing payment corridors and develop new ones.
Yanni Giannaros, the Wyre CEO and founder, welcomed Dixon to the board. He believes that her operational excellence and wealth of knowledge will be invaluable to the company.
The investment is the first the Foundation has made in 2021 through its Enterprise Fund. Since its establishment, it has invested $14.27 million. Other firms the SDF has invested in include cryptocurrency wallet and exchange firm Abra and Settle, a digital asset settlement network across the Latin American region.
The investment’s most immediate impact will be through the integration of USDC stablecoin. As Crypto News Flash reported, the SDF will launch the stablecoin on the Stellar network in Q1 this year. The integration is expected to allow Stellar users to connect to the global financial infrastructure. USDC is the second-largest stablecoin globally with a $5.4 billion market capitalization.
Wyre will give Stellar apps a “compliant and reliable way” to integrate Stellar USDC without the need for additional coding. It will start off by enabling USDC on/off ramps in the existing fiat pairs – GBP, USD, AUD, EUR and CAD.
Wyre will also avail savings products and on/off ramps to incentivize deposits and lending of Stellar assets. Giannaros remarked:
We’re focused on making money transfers easy, cost-effective, and truly borderless, so working with the Stellar Development Foundation is a perfect fit. Building the world’s most robust, innovative, and inclusive financial system is a shared objective.
The Wyre integration is a big move for the Foundation and the Stellar ecosystem. The company has grown since its founding in 2013 to become one of the most significant blockchain payments companies globally. It connects fiat rails to blockchain ecosystems and has processed over $5 billion in cryptocurrency payments. It processes payments for over 500 applications globally.