Interstellar and Velo Labs Join Forces


Today, Velo Labs and Interstellar announced that the Interstellar team, based in San Francisco, CA, is integrating with Southeast Asia-based Velo Labs, under the leadership of Mike Kennedy and with the ongoing support of its partner organizations, Stellar Development Foundation and Lightnet Group.

The strategic partnership between Interstellar and Velo Labs, which began in January 2020, set out to revolutionize international payments. This latest move pushes the relationship closer, bringing the combined strengths and ecosystems of the two organizations — Interstellar team’s knowledge and expertise of the Stellar blockchain and Velo’s established partnerships across the Southeast Asia region — to help build a global settlement network that enables faster, cheaper and more transparent cross-border payments.

Over the course of the last year, with the support of the Interstellar team, Velo has accomplished significant milestones, including the issuance of Velo Tokens on the Stellar network, the listing of Velo Tokens on major exchanges (KuCoin, VCC, OKEx, MXC), the development of the Velo Protocol with core functions (Digital Credit Issuance System, the Digital Reserve System, and the Hermes Warp Protocol), and the completion of its first live transactions using its Federated Credit Exchange network in December 2020. Together in the year ahead as a unified organization, they’ve set out a roadmap to build market-leading solutions for individuals, businesses, financial institutions, and their customers. The company also aims to drive greater adoption of the Velo protocol and increase the number of transactions over the Stellar DEX and Velo FCX.

Mike Kennedy, the current CEO of Interstellar, will take the helm as CEO of Velo Labs. Kennedy was the former CEO and Founder of Zelle.

Mike Kennedy, CEO of Velo Labs, said: “Interstellar has been focused on revolutionizing international payments with the Stellar blockchain technology, specifically in Southeast Asia. Velo and Interstellar joining teams is a natural progression of that work and will accelerate our shared vision to drive implementation and adoption throughout the region. We’ve already accomplished so much together and I am proud to lead this team through the next phase of our growth.”

Chatchaval Jiaravanon, Chairman of Velo Labs: “This announcement is a pivotal point in our long relationship with Interstellar. It signifies the culmination of our core development phase and the commencement of our growth and evolution phase. Working together as one company will enable us to quickly expand Velo’s ecosystem and continue innovation on the protocol to meet our growing list of partners’ needs.”

Tridbodi “Beam” Arunanondchai, Vice Chairman of Lightnet, said: “As our work has progressed over the last year, the opportunity has become clear — we are in a strategic position to provide unprecedented innovation, especially for cross-border transactions, in Asia. To best tap into that opportunity, it is time to bring our combined strengths under one roof. With Mike’s proven leadership in payments and his team’s technical and strategic blockchain expertise at Velo, we can deliver solutions faster to our growing list of customers and partners.”

Jed McCaleb, Founder of Interstellar and the Stellar network, said: “This is a significant step for the Stellar ecosystem, with potential to drive more anchors to the network, creating new on/off ramps in Asia and business opportunities for both Velo and Stellar communities. It ultimately moves us closer to the future we want to see, where Stellar is connecting global financial infrastructure so that it’s faster, more affordable, and more accessible.”


Bitazza, Lightnet and Velo to Create Next-Generation Financial Ecosystem and to Become the “Go-to” CeDeFi Bridge


Bitazza, Thailand’s leading digital asset brokerage, alongside Lightnet Group, have announced a share acquisition in Bitazza raising 6 million USD to fuel its growth expansion plans. The acquisition will seal a strategic partnership between Bitazza, Lightnet and Velo Labs to create a next-generation financial ecosystem by seamlessly connecting traditional finance to the global digital network, creating a more streamlined pathway between fiat and crypto currencies, and providing millions of Thai users with access to international markets. This collaboration aims to accelerate the mass adoption of blockchain technology in Asia, beginning in Thailand, by challenging SWIFT with a low-cost, near real time, and interoperable network, delivering more accessible and efficient financial services to Thai users.

  • Bitazza, Lightnet Group and Velo Labs to elevate financial and investment solutions in Asia by expanding its network of partners in the region
  • Creation of a new financial ecosystem that will enable seamless movement between fiat and crypto currency, traditional assets and digital assets, and link Thai users to international markets by utilizing licenses, such as Bitazza’s digital asset broker licenses, Lightnet Group’s MPI license under the Payment Services Act (PSA) overseen by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license in the European Union through Bank of Lithuania.
  • Velo Tokens will serve as the main bridge asset for the total ecosystem of the CeDeFi Bridge.
  • BTZ Tokens will serve as the core utility token for Bitazza’s platform of products and services serving as fuel to its infrastructure and BTZ token holders will receive various discounts, rewards and benefits across the ecosystem.

This agreement between the three parties involved will contribute towards improving the financial mobility and access of millions of users in Asia. Bitazza will enable users to transition between traditional financial services, assets, and the crypto/digital assets market by leveraging their capabilities as a digital asset broker and providing users access to the most liquid and active global digital asset markets. Velo is a blockchain based financial protocol designed for borderless asset transfers as well as digital credit issuance. Lightnet is Asia’s leading cross-border remittance network provider aiming to replace SWIFT by connecting to a global network of innovative FX liquidity and cross-border payments providers to reduce transaction times and lower transfer fees for users.

Chatchaval Jiaravanon, Chairman of Velo Labs adds: “This agreement is a testament to Velo Labs’ and its partners’ continuous efforts to achieve Financial inclusion for millions in the under-served MSME lending market in Southeast Asia and illustrates our commitment towards enabling greater financial inclusion. I hope to allow Bitazza to leverage on local partnerships including True and 7-Eleven to further expand their service networks across the country.”

“We are delighted to be a part of this unique collaboration with trusted partners like Bitazza and Velo Labs. We are committed to providing customers from the MSME market in Thailand with another pathway to improve Financial wellness and access” said Tridbodi Arunanondchai, Vice Chairman and Group CEO of Lightnet Group

Kavin Phongpandecha, Chief Executive Officer of Bitazza, states that Bitazza’s plans for expansion into the Asian market, as well as the robust tokenomics underpinning the BTZ token makes Lightnet Group’s investment an intuitive partnership between the parties. This collaboration also represents an opportunity for product integration between the parties involved and extends our collective reach into the various partners throughout the new investor’s network.

Mr. Phongpandecha also goes on to say: “Our goal is to place Thailand at the forefront of the digital and crypto asset industry. Much like Wall Street and Silicon Valley have been the epicenter of Finance and Technology respectively, we hope to shift the paradigm and push Thailand, and eventually Southeast Asia as the global frontier for next-generation financial innovation.”

Kevin Heng, Chief Strategy Officer of Bitazza  commented, “Not only is this an opportunity for us to work towards Lightnet’s commitment to serve the underbanked and unbanked in conjunction with Bitazza’s mass adoption plans, but it will also raise the standards of financial mobility and access throughout Asia. With this partnership, Bitazza can materialize our vision of an interconnected trade network through direct integration and easy access to local financial institutions and custodian services. By accelerating the reach and adoption of crypto technology through better infrastructure and terms, Bitazza is positioned as a crypto asset platform with a clear pathway towards connecting the masses to the crypto asset market as a whole.”