Stellar is a platform that connects banks, payments systems, and people. Integrate to move money quickly, reliably, and at almost no cost.
Stellar Lumen’s team wants to make monetary transactions cheaper, quicker, and more reliable than they are under current systems. In addition, their protocol would connect people from all over the world by allowing for more efficient cross-border payments.
Stellar is most compared to its competitor (Ripple) $XRP.
How does Stellar Lumens work?
The Stellar network runs on a web of decentralized servers supported by an international consortium of individuals and entities. These servers support the distributed ledger that keeps track of the network’s data and transactions.
To start using Stellar, you would 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 in its stead.
Let’s say you wanted to send funds to your family living in China. You would use your credited USD balance to send him funds through the Stellar network.
You can compare this with something like Venmo or ZellePay. Stellar would then automatically convert the USD to Chinese Yuan using the lowest exchange rate, and your family’s account would be credited with the exchanged amount in Chinese Yuan.
After receiving the transfer, he can withdraw the funds from an anchor that supports Yuan and have the funds instantly. Pretty awesome huh?
Benefits of Stellar
Stellar provides nearly all the types of services you want from a banking institution, but on a decentralized network with no greedy bank taking your money in the form of fees. Remittances are simple, letting you send money across various borders for a fraction of what a traditional bank would charge. This makes multicurrency transactions nearly as simple as those in the same currency.
Stellar also provides specific benefits for micropayments by decreasing the cost and increasing the efficiency. This lets businesses offer customers incremental payment options without any downside. In fact, a fee of just $0.01 will handle about 600,000 transactions.
Agency banking companies can also get mobile branches to expand their retail operations without having to worry about overhead costs, like rent and electricity. Branches aren’t the only thing that is mobile with Stellar; customers can send and receive mobile money to others, regardless of provider. Each of these use cases for Stellar will appeal to a different financial institution.
In addition to the main use cases for Stellar, the network provides the benefit of a real-time transaction settlement of just two to five seconds. All transactions are cryptographically secure. It also features an automatic currency exchange, regulatory compliance, payments that move similar to email, and international reach in just one integration.
Where you can buy Stellar Lumens
Stellar Lumens trades under both the XLMticker. The Stellar team changed the ticker from STR to XLM a while back, but some exchanges, such as Poloniex, hasn’t bothered to change it.
Bittrex, Poloniex, and Binance all support Stellar. Binance and Bittrex support both ETH and BTC trading pairs, while Poloniex supports BTC and USDT only.
Where you can store your Stellar Lumens
Most of the wallets used to store ledger are either ledger specific or exist within Stellar’s network for use with its global marketplace. Stronghold, for instance, is the distributed exchange built into Stellar’s system, and StellarTerm is a client that allows you to access the distributed exchange to trade or send funds. The Stellar team has also created the Stellar Desktop Client that is specific to the Lumens currency.
If you’re looking for a non Stellar-exclusive wallet, the Ledger Nano S is probably the safest bet, but if you don’t have this hardware wallet, you could check out stargazer, Papaya, and Saza.
Does it cost anything to use the Stellar network?
The Stellar network is completely free to use. The license allows for commercial modification, use, and/or distribution. Just keep in mind that to integrate it, you will need to dedicate your own technical resources. The average integration requires between 120 and 200 hours’ worth of technical development based on experience and size.
If Ripple was built for financial institutions and banking giants, then Stellar Lumens goes to work for the common man. It has the potential to revamp how we process peer-to-peer transactions on a global scale.
I don’t like to compare Ripple with Stellar because I am personally a holder of both cryptocurrencies and believe in the impact that they are both providing for the blockchain community.
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