Stellar is an open-source, distributed, and community-governed network that allows for the movement and storage of money. The Stellar network facilitates the transfer of value across assets at a minimal cost, aiming to open up the financial system to serve unbanked populations and connect firms with blockchain infrastructure
Stellar’s native token, Lumens (XLM), functions almost like Ripple’s XRP, being utilized as a bridge for trading across multiple currencies. This functionality of the Stellar network and XLM simplify cross-border transactions.
Stellar was founded by Jed McCaleb in 2014, after leaving Ripple in 2013, where he was co-founder and CTO. McCaleb, who also founded the crypto exchange Mt. Gox, currently serves as Stellar’s CTO. Joyce Kim is Stellar’s co-founder and serves as the firm’s executive director.
Stellar was born following disagreements among Ripple’s founders regarding the company’s future direction. According to McCaleb, Stellar aims to drive crypto into the mainstream by creating an interoperable platform that integrates fiat, crypto, and other forms of value assets. The Stellar Organization, like Ripple, is centralized. However, unlike Ripple, the Stellar Organization is a non-profit organization. Also, the Stellar network remains open-source and decentralized.
The Stellar network aims to create a single network for all financial systems to interact, making transactions borderless and limitless. This way, users can create, send, and trade all digital forms of valuable assets and money. More importantly, Stellar’s payment technology drives down the time and cost for cross-border transfers.
To drive down the cost, XLM tokens are deployed as the bridge currency between different assets. Also, the Stellar network’s fees are a meager 0.00001 XLM per transaction. Compared to traditional financial systems like PayPal and other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin, Stellar’s fees are ultra-low.
Stellar utilizes the Stellar Consensus Protocol based on the Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA), which powers the network to have a high throughput, enhanced network scalability, and low transaction costs. Also, users can build their infrastructure on Stellar through the network’s SDKs and APIs.
Stellar’s network allows users to decide, via a vote, the projects that are likely to improve the network and need community funding.
The operation of Stellar draws some similarities with Ripple because the project was initially built on the Ripple Labs Protocol before its code was rewritten.
XLM tokens are used for staking in the Stellar network and are also applied to facilitate multi-currency transactions on the platform. XLM also allows for low-cost transactions on the Stellar network. Additionally, the 0.00001 XLM fee prevents Denial of Service (DoS) attacks that would otherwise occur on the network. Stellar has teamed up with fintech companies and tech companies. One key partnership is Stellar and IBM’s World Wire project that enables large financial institutions to transact on the Stellar network using bridge assets like XLM and stablecoins. Other projects on the Stellar network are Stablex, Fireblocks, Wirex, SIMBA, Saldo, and SatoshiPay.
XLM Token Economics
100 billion XLM were pre-mined when the network launched. Currently, the total supply is 50 billion XLM with over 22 billion in circulating supply. The Stellar Development Foundation burned 55.5 billion XLM supply in 2019 and currently controls slightly under 30 billion XLM, promising not to burn any tokens further. XLM market cap is currently over $12 billion making it among the top 20 cryptocurrencies.
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