This is my entry to the Stellar Lumens competition:
Stellar is a payment network that facilitates fast and cheap cross-border transactions. It has its own native token, the Lumen (XLM). Created in 2014 by Jeb McCaleb, Stellar is a fork of Ripple, and at the same time one of Ripple’s main competitors. In fact, Jeb McCaleb is well known for cofounding Ripple and also for creating the controversial Mt. Gox exchange.
*Stellar-payment network *Lumen- native token *Founder- Jeb McCaleb *Features- fast, cheap, reliable
How does the Stellar payment network work? To be able to do a transaction, you need to own the platform’s native token, Lumen. When a transaction is performed, a fee of 0.00001 Lumens needs to be paid. At today’s rate. that is 0.00000123 $. In other words, for 1$ worth of Lumens, you could perform around 813.000 transactions on the Stellar network. The average human lives circa 26.000 days, so 1$ would suffice to perform 31,26 transfers per day, from one’s birth to their death! A transaction usually takes between 2 to 5 seconds.
*Fees paid in Lumens *Cheap transactions- 0.00001 Lumens *Fast transactions- 2-5 seconds
Stellar is a decentralized open-source platform. Instead of relying on one server, the network has a web of servers, so if one of them fails, the remaining ones will perform the transfer. A ledger keeps track of all the transfers. Stellar uses a consensus protocol which means that the validators in the network need to reach an agreement when a transaction is made, in order to avoid the issue of double spending. According to www.coincentral.com, Stellar works like a “more flexible PayPal. To start using it, you need to upload funds to an anchor on the network. Much like a bank or PayPal, this anchor then holds your money and issues credit to your virtual wallet.”
*Decentralized *Open-source *Consensus protocol *Ledger *Stellar = more flexible than PayPal
XLM is listed on 63 CoinMarketCap approved exchanges (yes, I counted them).
1. Exrates; 2. ZB COM; 3. BCEX; 4. LATOKEN; 5. Binance; 6. HitBTC; 7. Coinall; 8. Kryptono; 9. Upbit; 10. Bitforex; 11. BitMart; 12. CoinBene; 13. Coinegg; 14. OKEx; 15. DragonEX; 16. CoinTiger; 17. Bitthumb; 18. Sistemkoin; 19. Kraken; 20. Fatbtc; 21. Gopax; 22. Bittrex; 23. Vebitcoin; 24. GDAC; 25. Coinmex; 26. BtcTurk; 27. Bitfinex; 28. Poloniex; 29. Stellarport; 30. Stellar Decentralized Exchange; 31. Huobi; 32. Stronghold; 33. ABCC; 34. Indodax; 35. COSS; 36. Bitrue; 37. Cryptology; 38. Bitbns; 39. Paribu; 40. Exmo; 41. Ripplefox; 42. Gate.io; 43. Ovis; 44. Koineks; 45. CEX.IO; 46. C2CX; 47. Trade.io; 48. Kucoin; 49.OKCoin; 50. CryptoMarket; 51. Koinex; 52. Korbit; 53. Indodax; 54. Kuna; 55. Altcoin Trader; 56. CoinZest; 57. Coinsuper; 58. ZB.COM; 59. Liquid; 60. Cryptomate; 61. BCEX; 62. OTCBTC; 63. BITBOX
Projects on Stellar:
There are numerous projects built on the Stellar platform:
- IBM World Wire: a service used for cross-border payments. As IBM nicely puts it, ” let’s clear and settle cross-border payments in seconds – not days”.
- SatoshiPay: a micropayment for web content. Users are charged per article, videos watched or downloaded, etc. Content creators are rewarded instantly.
- DSTOQ: licensed stock exchange. You can use crypto currency to invest in real world assets. Their mission is to “introduce micro-investing to billions of people around the world.” Even buying 1$ worth of Apple stock is possible. Another similar project on the Stellar network is Slice. Smartlands is based on a similar idea as well.
- Stronghold: Stellar’s first USD anchor. You can deposit USD and Stronghold can issue many different tokens on the the Stellar network, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and of course, USD.
- Open Garden: “allows you to turn your phone into a WIFI hotspot and get paid in lumens for exactly the amount of data used.” This is an extremely useful product, considering that there are still places around the globe where people can’t afford to pay for internet data plan on a monthly basis.
- StellarX: a decentralized exchange built on the Stellar network.
In 2018, the XLM price has spiked as a result of some important partnerships. Below, you can find some of them:
- IBM: the partnership with IBM was one of the biggest crypto partnerships in 2018. I have already mentioned IBM World Wire in the “Projects on Stellar” section.
- Shift Markets: a UK regulated exchange. “SHIFT provides a single point of entry to access many regions where cryptocurrencies have yet to scratch the surface and allows XLM to be traded directly against multiple fiat currencies.” In other words, Shift Markets provides more liquidity and easier access to the Stellar platform.
- Stripe: a payment platform that deals with approximately 100.000 different businesses, Stripe invested 3 million USD in Stellar, by buying the token. They’re also planning on using the XLM token on their platform because of its faster transactions and lower fees.
- Sure Remit: a remittance company whose purpose is to “send value back home faster and cheaper than popular remittance providers.” The partnership with Stellar ensures that the fees will be lower and the transfers will be much faster.
- Deloitte: According to Wikipedia, “Deloitte is one of the “Big Four” accounting organizations and the largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals.” The purpose of this partnership was to make payments faster and more affordable.
Looking at Stellar’s performance compared to its “rivals”, the conclusion is that Stellar outperformed them in the bear market. Ethereum dropped the most compared to the peak of BTC (12/17/2017). It dropped to 12.17% of its ATH value ( all time high)! STELLAR dropped the least of its value compared to the peak of BTC (12/17/2017) : 40.68%. Both Stellar and Ripple still increased in value and market cap since 12/17/2017, 445% for Ripple, 380% for Stellar. If timing of investing in these currencies was unlucky, you could have lost more than keeping BTC, but not more than ETH. It is worth mentioning that during the very same period, some of the alt coins dropped to 5% or less of their all time high value. On average, the bull rallies of Stellar are stronger than the other 3 currencies building up a buffer for the bear moments. All in all, Stellar looks like a safer investment than Ether or Ripple, during both the bull and the bear markets.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor and this is just a personal opinion.
I must admit that before writing this article, I didn’t know much about the Stellar network. I’ve had people around me excited about the project, but I was too busy getting excited about different projects to even have a look at it. After having finished my research on Stellar, I strongly believe that this is one of the best cryptocurrency projects with maybe the highest potential to change the world. I completely understand why Jeb McCaleb left the Ripple project and developed a decentralized one that will revolutionize the world. The focus on fast and cheap peer to peer transfers, unbanked territories, and decentralization in general, make it my favorite project at the moment. To make you understand exactly how I feel about this, allow me to tell you that when I wrote my first sentence of this article, I didn’t own any Stellar Lumens. As I am writing my last one, I have 2399 XLM in my wallet, and will hopefully be able to accumulate more.
Interesting facts about Stellar:
- Before switching to “XLM”, Stellar’s ticker was “STR”. Exchanges such as Poloniex still list it as “STR”.
- In January 2018, Jed McCaleb’s XRP holdings were estimated to be worth 20 billion $ which placed him 40th in Forbes’ list of world’s richest people. However, it’s probably safe to assume that McCaleb was holding other cryptocurrencies as well.
- Stellar is a non profit organization. Rather than try to make money, the Stellar projects aims to help the poor.
- Nearly 50% of the staff working for Stellar are women.
- Even though it’s a decentralized project, Stellar is not opposed to regulation.