What Is Stellar? A Complete Guide
What is Stellar? A cryptocurrency that makes the banking sector accessible to all? Better yet, how about a cryptocurrency that aims to reduce poverty? With such a positive, are we likely to see it have a stellar performance?
WHAT IS STELLAR? A BRIEF HISTORY
Launched in July 2014, Stellar entered the scene all before the crypto mania that ensued in 2017, by Ripple co-founder, Jed McCaleb. At its launch, the network had 100 billion Stellars (now referred as Lumens) of which 25% were given to not-for-profits who were working towards financial inclusion.
This emphasis on not-for-profits reflects Stellar’s underlying agenda – to reduce poverty and help societies without banks. Stellar claims countless societies and community groups do not have access to mainstream financial systems. To resolve this, Stellar aims to bridge the gap to these demographics through the capabilities of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Throughout the past, Stellar has partnered with numerous global institutions and government agencies. For instance, in 2016 Deloitte announced its integration with Stellar, amongst other prominent blockchain companies. This partnership was established to build a new core banking system, and offer blockchain solutions to clients worldwide. In 2019, IBM launched a cross-boarder payment system for large institutional banks it had developed with Stellar. More recently, the Ukraine Government selected Stellar to help develop a virtual asset ecosystem and central bank digital currency. These developments may set a precedence and pave the way for future partnerships with other governing bodies around the world.
WHAT IS STELLAR? THE USE OF XLM
Stellar’s purpose is to establish a connection between global financial institutions and communities who lack access to payment services. Via its blockchain network, Stellar can allow users to make transactions that are quick and inexpensive. These users would otherwise need to use conventional but more costly payment services, or not have access altogether.
In allowing users to send money via its blockchain network, Stellar challenges the payment services provided by large financial institutions. Stellar does this by providing faster and cheaper transactions since the transfer of its native cryptocurrency, Lumens (XLM), does not require approval from traditional miners. Further, users are also able to transfer everything from traditional currencies to tokens. These assets can then be traded between users, across borders, and with less disruption using XLM.
Additionally, since tokens can be issued, exchanged and transferred via the Stellar network, Stellar is one of only a few choices for initial coin offerings (ICOs). The nearest competitor in this domain is Ethereum, which has similar capabilities to Stellar. Further, like Ripple, Stellar can handle exchanges between traditional currencies (fiat-currencies) and cryptocurrencies. This means Stellar is in direct competition with Ripple for being a potential digital partner for banks, businesses and governments globally.
IS XLM SAFE TO INVEST IN?
Increasingly, developers have sought to make Stellar a marketplace for assets issued on its own protocol, with features that allows users to set preferred assets when settling trades and manage buy and sell orders. The value of XLM will likely increase if developments of this nature continue to be brought onto the platform.
Compared to other mainstream cryptocurrencies, XLM is more speculative in nature. This is because XLM is in direct competition with Ethereum for facilitating ICOs and Ripple for having capability as being a digital partner for banks, businesses and government agencies. In moving forward, this means significant developments or partnerships can transpire with XLM and may affect its price.
Also, investors must keep in mind that XLM’s low price relative to other cryptocurrencies largely reflects its high supply, rather than due to any lack of publicity. Investors should therefore hold XLM as part of a diversified crypto portfolio, as opposed to going all-in.
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