Stellar is a blockchain-based open-source network for storing and transferring money. It offers a quick, secure, and low-cost way for cross-border payments using various currencies and tokenized assets.
Stellar was created by Jed McCaleb, founder of Mt. Gox and co-founder of Ripple, and former lawyer Joyce Kim. Initially, the network was forked from Ripple in July 2014, but in 2015 it has relaunched with a completely new consensus model and software.
The main purpose of Stellar is a cross-border transfer of value via its network of trusted enterprises and nodes. Similar to Ripple and XRP, Stellar uses its intermediary crypto-asset called Lumen (XLM), allowing users to send payments in any fiat currency to anyone else in the world who in turn can receive this transfer in their native fiat currency.
Unlike some other networks that are trying to set up a new global financial order, Stellar shares a friendly sentiment towards the traditional financial system claiming to be its supplement rather than a competitor. One of the main focuses of the platform is to provide users with reliable options to move all forms of value via blockchain on- and off-ramp.
Stellar tries to provide an alternative to outdated solutions like SWIFT and the correspondent banking model by attracting so-called Anchors to connect its network to traditional financial systems. Anchors are regulated financial institutions, money service businesses, or fintech companies that offer stablecoin issuance or fiat on/off-ramp services. Such partnerships are beneficial both for selected enterprises and the Stellar network itself, allowing the transfer of value from the traditional banking system into Stellar and vice-versa, at low costs and high speed.
The Stellar network is secured by the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP) which was first described in a whitepaper by David Mazières in 2015. SCP is based upon a “federated Byzantine agreement system” that allows decentralized, leaderless computing networks efficiently to reach a consensus outcome on some decision.
Unlike the BFT consensus model, SCP does not require the majority of nodes to approve transactions but is doing so in multiple rounds with a set of selected trustworthy nodes. The SCP consensus model is described in detail in a blogpost. The shortened approval cycle is directly reflected in the overall speed of the network. Generally, it takes 3-5 seconds for nodes to reach consensus, apply a transaction set, and update the ledger.
Aside from cross-border multi-currency payments, Stellar allows any cryptocurrency or real-world asset, including stocks, bonds, or gold, to be tokenized on the network.
The Stellar app can be used by developers to issue digital assets as well as for building applications based on a public distributed ledger. Tokens issued on the Stellar network are advertised as highly configurable and may be set to require holders to have passed KYC, or may enforce Regulation D ownership requirements for the token. The digital assets may be controlled by multi-signature accounts and can be time-locked.
Users can trade tokens on the Stellar blockchain on a peer-to-peer level through DEXes built on the platform. The company also provides its users with so-called path payments, which are trades when one user sends a currency to another but the recipient receives currency different than the one that was sent. All this happens through a single transaction.
To avoid spam, there is a minimum balance on Stellar that requires each newly created account to be funded by at least 1 XLM. Any additional asset held by a user requires an additional 0.5 lumen reserve. To add three different assets to an account, a user must have at least 2.5 lumens. The minimum fees Stellar collects are equal to 0.00001 lumen per transaction.
The Stellar wallet list includes known hardware wallets - Trezor and Ledger as well as apps such as Blockchain.com and Keybase among others.
XLM, or Lumen, is the native cryptocurrency on the Stellar network. It serves as an intermediary store of value in cross-currency transactions while also being used for paying fees. The smallest unit of a lumen is called a stroop, which equals one ten-millionth of a lumen.
Lumen’s maximum supply is capped at 50 billion. Initially, there were 100 billion XLM tokens issued but almost half of that supply was burned by developers in November 2019 in an attempt to boost the price of the token. Around 30 billion tokens of the total XLM supply are retained by the Stellar Development Foundation for developing and promoting Stellar.
Stellar XLM token can be purchased on centralized exchanges like Coinbase Pro, HitBTC, and Binance.
Stellar XLM token can be purchased on decentralized exchanges like StellarX.
It is up to you where to buy the XLM token. It is worth taking into account that decentralized exchanges allow you to do this anonymously, you do not need to pass KYC procedures to use them, on the other hand, the cost of transactions may be higher than on centralized exchanges, while there is a risk of your funds being held by the exchange.
To understand if Stellar is a good investment and try to make an XLM price prediction, you need to do your own research on the project.
All the data for research is available on the project page on our website: check out the technical features of the project in this review, try to use the app, see if the information about the team is available and the team is open for communication, and using the project dashboard and the XLM price chart, assess the project usage rates as well as the token price movement and the number of its holders.
Stellar is operated by the Stellar Development Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization founded by Jed McCaleb. The Foundation has offices in both San Francisco and New York City and employs team members all around the world. Its leaderboard is completely transparent and includes technologists, scientists, designers, and entrepreneurs.
The CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation is Denelle Dixon, who previously worked at Mozilla and Yahoo. The Stellar team co-founder Jed McCaleb is involved with Stellar in the Chief Architect role. Another co-founder and the author of Stellar’s whitepaper, David Mazières, is now the Chief Scientist of the project.
The Stellar Development Foundation claims to have no shareholders and is funding its operational costs with donations.
The Stellar network received its initial funding from the payments startup Stripe, along with donations from companies like BlackRock, Google, and FastForward.
The growth of the ecosystem is one of the current priorities for Stellar. The network already cooperates with some prominent industry members such as Circle, the issuer of one of the most popular stablecoin USDC of peer-to-peer payments network Moneygram. The usability and efficiency of the Stellar network are backed by its various anchor partners among which are fintech projects Tempo Money Transfer (EURT), Cowrie Integrated Systems (NGNT), and Settle Network (ARST).
Stellar is also known for its partnerships with governments. In January 2021, the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine to build out a “virtual assets ecosystem and national digital currency of Ukraine.” In December 2021, it was announced that the Stellar network will be the testing ground for the upcoming Ukrainian digital currency.
Stellar’s native XLM token is represented on most centralized exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, Bittrex, Bitfinex, Upbit, Coincheck, Huobi, NovaDAX, GMO Coin, or Crypto.com.
The Stellar roadmap pictures main directions for future development of the blockchain which include the support of the network’s robustness and usability, the growth of its ecosystem, and the addition of more Stellar use-cases, as well as further brand development and cooperation with the global policy-makers.
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