What is Stellar?
When you swim past the noise, hype, and shilling ever-present in the cryptocurrency space, you’ll be able to bump into some of the impressive smaller crypto projects. One of the lesser known, yet successful virtual currency investments is Stellar Lumens. Like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash and other cryptocurrencies that recorded notable performance in 2017, Stellar too made a lot of headway. Let’s back up a little to the basics.
Stellar is a cryptocurrency platform selling itself as a “decentralized consensus network.” The project was brought to life in 2015 by forking Ripple (XRP). Stellar’s tokens are called Lumens (XLM) and can be traded online, used to facilitate cross-border payments and serve as intermediary currency functionality.
How Stellar facilitates cross-border payments
Let’s say you are looking to swap Euros for Swedish Krona, the network will facilitate the transaction by scouting for someone who needs Euros by disposing of Krona. It’s all about matching relevant offers or rather connecting two parties who need the help of each other. Stellar has been so successful in fostering such connections to the extent that IBM teamed with them for cross-border payments. All the transactions take place without the buyer or seller touching the lumens. Stellar is merely a bridge currency meant to introduce a single ledger rather than several of them.
The coin structure of stellar differs slightly from those of other crypto coins. While it makes use of blockchain, its network is not maintained by miners who are in charge of validating and verifying transactions. Rather, it uses Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP), which is a group of nodes tasked with validating transactions. SCP is faster and energy-efficient than Proof-Of-Work protocol used by most miners in other blockchains. Several Stellar Lumen transactions are executed within 2-5 seconds. This explains why it’s becoming the favorite medium to use for cross-asset deals.
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Pros of Stellar
- Multicurrency transactions – nothing succeeds at facilitating multicurrency transactions like Stellar. This currency replaces banks by enabling any person to convert crypto coins to fiat and vice versa. You can also exchange one crypto for another. Barclays and IBM have already adopted stellar services to be able to offer faster cross-border payments.
- Backing from established institutions – the success or failure of a cryptocurrency relies on its relationship with big institutions as well as mass adoption. Besides Barclays and IBM, Stellar has attracted the attention of many financial institutions as well as cryptocurrency traders.
- Low fees – most of the transactions happening on Stellar network bear a small fee compared to what banks and other Fintech institutions charge.
Cons of Stellar
- Trades off decentralization – one of the core values of cryptocurrency movement is to root out centralization thus avoiding the possibility of intermediary meddling. Unfortunately, Stellar trades a portion of that for high-speed transactions.
Where to buy Stellar
Stellar is supported on many exchanges including Binance, Poloniex, and Bittrex and it goes by STR and XLM ticker.
XLM offers some pretty interesting features than even the most accomplished cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Smart contracts, faster transactions, streamlining cross-border payments, and ease-of-use are a few of the benefits offered by Stellar. There is certainly a lot in store for this currency in the coming years.