Ever since the holiday break began, I’ve found myself addicted to learning everything about cryptocurrencies. It was an eventful two weeks. I witnessed the rise and fall of Verge (XVG) and Tron (TRX) as well as an Ethereum rally more recently. I put some money in Ethereum and some altcoins; and after researching methods to store my crypto holdings, I bought a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
However, one cryptocurrency has really caught my eye: Stellar Lumens (XLM). Stellar is an open-source protocol for exchanging money on a public, distributed ledger. Lumens are the unit of currency for the Stellar Network.
The team and tech are superb
I think that Stellar will become the standard in the longer term and stands a good chance of becoming the financial infrastructure of tomorrow. I’m impressed by the quick transaction time for such a low transaction fee; a single Lumen (currently valued at ~$0.70) can cover 100,000 transactions! This is possible because of the Stellar Consensus Protocol. The whitepaper delves deeper into the details of the SCP; I highly suggest reading it through.
I’m also impressed by the comprehensive and readable developer documentation. As a software developer, I appreciate this.
The team supporting its development is impressive, too. The Stellar Development Foundation was co-founded by Jed McCaleb, who created the Mt. Gox exchange (and left before the 2011 hack) and previously founded Ripple. The foundation also has an impressive list of board members and advisors, and Stripe and IBM have backed the foundation.
The ecosystem is thriving
Stellar’s ecosystem is already booming. Developers have already built applications that use the Stellar network to handle payments. Their use cases include micropayments, low-cost remittances, and more! Applications backed by Stellar will bank many of the world’s unbanked.
I would like to point out two great applications using the Stellar network that I’m personally excited about.
Mobius aims to be the “Stripe for blockchain.” They offer a simple public API that abstracts away the complexity of dealing with payments on the blockchain. Currently, Mobius can work with any ERC20 token and the team is planning on expanding to other token standards.
I highly encourage you to read the whitepaper for more details. I think that this project complements Stellar’s mission well. The public token sale will start January 18 at 9am PST.
My current process for buying altcoins is as follows: first buy Ethereum on Gemini, then wait 4-5 business days for the bank transfer to clear, and then transfer the ether to Binance, and then wait a few hours because if network is congested. And finally I receive my ether on Binance, minus transaction fees, and trade them for altcoins.
This process is painful, which is why I’m super excited for the launch of the FairX exchange. It will use Stellar Lumens as an intermediate currency between any two currency pairs in order to take advantage of Stellar’s quick transactions and low fees. If this lives up to its promises, FairX could become the exchange for buying any cryptocurrency with fiat (e.g. US dollars, euros).
I hope this writeup will prove helpful to those interested in Stellar or cryptocurrencies in general. The space is moving quickly; it feels like an eternity since I first bought Bitcoin and Ethereum seven weeks ago. In this bull market, many are drawn to chasing short-term gains on crappy coins, but I prefer to hold coins that have long-term promise. I think that Stellar is my best crypto holding, and that 2018 will be the year when Stellar will be widely adopted around the world.
If you like this article, I’d appreciate it if you donate some Lumens and follow my blog. My XLM address is: GBHPIYBSUEVFVL7LKG37PR6IWTY6GBCDJQM2EHRHTUGZSQK6YRTKLVBJ