Jed McCaleb recently appeared on CNBC Africa and responded to questions comparing Stellar to Ripple in terms of degree of decentralization and real partnerships. The most interesting new insight: SDF will not be running validators at the end of this year.
Regarding the decentralization of Stellar's network when compared to Ripple's:
I would argue that Stellar is more decentralized than Ripple. The nature of the consensus algorithm allow for more people to run validators. At the end of this year, we (SDF) are not even going to be running validators. Out there in the community, businesses running on Stellar will be running all the validators, so in that sense it will be completely decentralized.
Regarding Ripple’s “customers”:
I don’t know how many of those partnerships are real. A lot of large banks are doing pilots, and it is very easy to get proof of concept. I would say, having tried to work with large banks over the years, it is very, very hard going from proof of concept to actual production. It is a years-long process, and, a lot of times, it doesn’t happen.
On Stellar’s remittance company focus:
For us, we mainly focus on remittance companies and smaller players in the ecosystem because I think they will be the first to adopt. They are more tech-forward, they are more innovative in general, and they have a stronger need. So it makes sense to start there, and we are much more bottom up. We have probably 10 remittance companies on the network right now. We have a pipeline with another 70.