To fight poverty, to bring together cost-effective financial services and the people who need these services.
Pros & Cons
- Recently partnered with KlickEx Group and IBM to develop a cross-border payment system
- Lumen holders have a say in how the transaction fees should be spent
- Anyone can use the Stellar network to create cost-effective financial products
- Still not the number one cryptocurrency in the world
- 90% of the Lumens in existence are held by the founders of Stellar
- Fully decentralized
- 100% safe and secure
- Cheaper and faster transactions
- Jed McCaleb
- Holders of Lumens
- GitHub Last Updated
- Jan 16, 2018, 2:15 PM GMT+5:30
Stellar allows you to transfer funds safely, reliably, and quickly across the globe and just for a fraction of a penny. It is a completely open-source hybrid and distributed blockchain. Its infrastructure allows transfer of value across assets. If you integrate the Stellar network into an existing system, you will become part of a global and open financial network where everybody, including banks, payment networks, and people, are given equal opportunities for economic participation.
Who Founded Stellar?
Stellar is a digital currency with many names—STR, Lumens, and XLM. But very few are aware of the fact that Stellar was created on the Ripple (XRP) protocol. Jed McCaleb, the founder of Stellar, is also a co-founder of Ripple and the founder of MTgox, bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo.
Although based on blockchain technology, Stellar is something different from Bitcoin as it is based on the concept of consensus, not mining. While Bitcoin has a fixed supply of bitcoins to offer, the Stellar network’s supply of XLM increases by one percent every year. You can initiate transactions in any currency of your choice on the Stellar network, and this includes digital currencies as well as fiat currencies.
When the Stellar network was created as a result of a fork in the original Ripple protocol, Joyce Kim, a co-founder of the network, said that this was because of a flaw in Ripple. But Stefan Thomas, the CTO of Ripple Labs, challenged this statement in a blog post.
After this incident, the Stellar protocol was updated based on a brand new consensus algorithm. On April 2015, the white paper for the consensus algorithm was released, and the network was finally launched in Nov 2015. Two years later, Stellar announced rewards of up to $2 million for partners who participate in “high impact projects.” And today, it is a digital currency that many investors consider to be worth buying. Some experts also say that it could turn out to be the next Bitcoin.
Reasons to Use Stellar (XLM)
The reasons to buy Stellar’s digital currency or Lumens are many, but here are just a few:
Strategic Partnership: Stellar is now an IBM partner. Shortly before the network signed a partnership deal with IBM, it had gotten into a partnership with Stripe, an Irish online payment processing company that operates in 25 countries worldwide. IBM’s association with Stellar has increased the cryptocurrency’s credibility, considering the fact that Fortune 500 companies usually steer clear of digital currencies.
XLM is Inexpensive: Buying bitcoins is very difficult for most investors at present, but buying XLM is easy. At the time of writing, XLM is the most inexpensive coin in the world of digital currencies. This makes it easy for newcomers who want to get started with cryptocurrency trading to invest in Lumens.
Stellar is Being Increasingly used by ICOs: Not all blockchain networks allow entrepreneurs to use their platforms for their own initial coin offerings (ICO), but Stellar is an exception. Stellar makes it easy for those who want to run ICO’s quickly, cheaply, and easily. For example, Mobius raised $30,000,000 in its pre-sale on the Stellar network. Mobius sent an email to all its pre-sale contributors, in which it stated that its public sale will accept only XLM or Stellar Lumens. Mobius happens to be Stellar’s first ICO.
Easy to Use: For those who want to run an ICO on the Stellar platform, launching tokens on the network is very easy. They can create a simple token in just a few hours and complex ones in a few days. They don’t even need to hire developers who know Solidity because the Stellar network supports simple code. If investors wish, they can participate in ICOs run on the Stellar platform with bitcoins or Ether.
FairX: The toughest thing about cryptocurrency trading is exchanging your digital currencies for fiat currencies and vice versa. But FairX plans to use the Stellar network to solve this problem.
StackExchange: Stellar is planning a StackExchange of its own. Once this happens, developers can easily get answers to any question they might have. The project is fast approaching its beta stage.
Stellar is Attracting Attention: The number of people getting interested in Stellar is on the rise.
Stellar is Secure: Since the Stellar model is so simple, it is impossible for anybody to write code that can be exploited. Nobody can hack the Stellar platform and steal the XLM. This makes Stellar’s blockchain technology ideal for apps that do not need the complete generality of smart contracts written in Turing-complete language, something that applies to most initial coin offerings.
How Stellar Works
The working of Stellar can be simply explained as follows. Imagine that you have to send money to a friend who lives in another part of the world on the Stellar network. The Internet has a number of network servers that store Stellar websites, applications, and data. Stellar is actually a network of decentralized servers based in a wide range of locations. These servers feed a distributed ledger, which faithfully records all transactions made on the network.
Each Stellar server has a copy of this ledger. The network gets stronger if it has more servers, and anybody can operate a server of their own. Each server communicates with the other servers and verifies transactions made on the network. The ledger is synced every two to five seconds through a process called consensus.
The money that you wish to send on the ledger is recorded as credit issued by anchors. These anchors serve as intermediaries between the Stellar network and any given currency. When you make a deposit, the credit is put into your account. This credit can then be sent and received across the network. Owing to the distributed exchange of Stellar, you can send money in one currency and your friend can receive it in another. It will be automatically converted for a very low fee.
To understand the working of Stellar thoroughly, you should understand the following terms:
Decentralized Network: A decentralized network comprises peers that are independent of one another. A network of servers is given the power to transfer data from one point to the other. The Stellar network, therefore, is not controlled by any individual, government, or company.
Ledger: Stellar’s ledger records details of every transaction processed on the network. Each of the servers that comprise Stellar’s decentralized network, has a copy of this ledger.
Consensus: The servers on the Stellar network are continuously communicating with one another so that transactions can be verified. The verification is then synced across servers through a process known as consensus, which happens every two to five seconds.
Anchors, Credit, and Trust: An anchor is an entity that people have to trust to hold their deposits and issue credits in exchange. The funds are then transferred in the form of credits.
Distributed Exchange: Stellar’s ledger can store offers to purchase or sell currencies. An offer can be defined as a public commitment to exchange a credit for another at a price that is previously determined. This feature enables people to not only purchase and sell currencies, but also convert them easily during a transaction.
Transactions in Multiple Currencies: As previously mentioned, you can send money in one currency and the person you send it to can receive it in another.
Value of Lumens
On Jan 17, 2018, the price of one Stellar Lumen was $0.39. Two weeks back, it was worth $0.85. At the time of writing, there are over 8 million Stellar Lumens in existence and they are distributed among holders all over the world.
Future of Stellar
Many experts feel that Stellar has a bright future as Lumens are very affordable. In addition, there are plenty of ways of getting Lumens free of charge. For example, Mystellar.org gives away Lumens to anyone who completes simple tasks on its forum.
Stellar Lumens witnessed steady growth throughout Nov 2017 and clung to its price of $0.15. In Nov 2017, Clic.World displayed the first Stellar ATM in the world at the Singapore Fintech Festival. The machine could seamlessly transfer cash in Singapore Dollars, Stellar Lumens, and Uganda Shillings.
Experts believe that the Stellar Network has a great future for the following reasons:
- Non profit, open source platform that will ensure commitment to inexpensive transactions
- Fast transaction time
- Simple, but powerful
- Low transaction fees
- Environment friendly blockchain that has no mining
Moreover, it is an excellent cryptocurrency to invest in considering the fact that it enjoyed over 6300% growth in 2017.
Where and How to Buy Lumens
Buying Lumens is challenging because many exchanges do not permit you to purchase them with fiat currencies such as USD and EUR. Still, you will find it very easy to purchase Lumens.
If you have never purchased Lumens before, here is a step-by-step guide for you:
Step #1: Create an account at a cryptocurrency exchange such as Coinbase or Changelly. Buy some bitcoins or Ether. Experts suggest Ether as a better option because of the low transaction fees and faster transactions.
Step #2: Register an account at Binance or KuCoin and deposit the bitcoins or Ether you have purchased into your KuCoin or Binance account. This may take you around an hour although the time varies from one exchange to the other.
Step #3: The next step is to exchange the bitcoins or Ether for XLM.
Step #4: Now, you have to withdraw your XLM and deposit it into a Stellar wallet. Leaving your Lumens at an exchange is too risky as you are not in control of your private keys. Moreover, the exchange may shut down or run into problems when you least expect it and you may lose your Lumens.
You can purchase Lumens at the following exchanges—Poloniex, Binance, Kraken, Bittrex, BTC38, and Aex. The most popular of these is Binance as it allows trading in Ethereum, Bitcoin, and BNB.
Best Lumen Wallets
The official Stellar website lists 10 wallets that support its cryptocurrency. Of these, three are desktop wallets, four are mobile wallets, and seven are web wallets.
Desktop Wallets: You can choose from Stargazer, Stellar Desktop Client, and Ledger.
Mobile Wallets: There are four mobile wallets in which you can store your Lumens—Papaya, Stargazer, Lobstr, and Centaurus.
Web Wallets: The above mentioned Ledger is also a web wallet, so are Lobstr and Papaya. You can also choose from Stronghold, StellarTerm, and LuPoEx.
All the above-mentioned wallets are not owned, maintained, or operated by Stellar.org.
If you are not looking for a wallet, you can use the Stellar account viewer to send and receive Lumens on the Stellar network. You just have to input your secret key and sign in and generate a pair of keys to get a new account. You can also sign in with Ledger Nano S.
You can click on the following links if you want to improve your understanding of Stellar:
David is a forex trader and writer who has spent the last few years giving his opinion and spreading news about oncoming markets and trading tips. Besides from being a trader he is also a lifelong Everton fan and enjoys spending free time watching his beloved team in the premier league.