What is Stellar?
Stating it as it is, “Stellar” is a cryptocurrency. However, it is not just any other cryptocurrency, in the year 2017 it had an absolutely stellar performance – pun intended – and that has brought to it the honor of being a rising member of the prominent cryptocurrency community.
What is Stellar? Like Seriously…
Well all jokes aside stellar is a blockchain based ledger distribution networking system or in other more humane and legible terms it connects banking systems to their respective payment systems and allows those who use the cryptocurrency to execute transactions of multiple assets – similar or different it does not matter – as well as make any payments that are supported by the cryptocurrency forum. Stellar allows all this to take place at a relatively reasonable and much more economical cost than other such methods of payment or transactions. You can read more about it here.
Now even though Stellar is the one referred to as the cryptocurrency it is not quite so. Stellar is a blockchain network and on that network, it has a domestic cryptocurrency for which it is responsible. The cryptocurrency that Stellar is responsible for is known as “lumens”. Now each cryptocurrency has its own sigil, demarcation, or simply putting it, a symbol and the marking that is used to represent or denote “lumens” is “XLM”. Thus, if you are ever to come across the terms Stellar, lumens, or XLM just know that the three names are thrown around interchangeably so do not get intimated or worse, confused … after all not everyone knows as much about this encrypted currency as you do.
Stellar … Brick by Brick
In my personal yet humble opinion, if one is to truly understand something or know what it is they have to get down into the intricacies and the minute details. The best to get into the minute details is to go one step at a time or brick by brick. Now Stellar, the blockchain network, is run by an organisation that is surprisingly not interested in profits. The organisation is known as Stellar.org and it was brought into the real world by the one and only Jed McCaleb – Jed is also the person who brought the infamous “Ripple” cryptocurrency into existence. Visit this article to read more about it.
Much like Ripple, Jed designed Stellar be a form of payment and a method of transaction that was not restricted any international border allowing a free-flow of money without any hassle in between two countries or more, regardless of which countries the money was flowing in between. This feature allows the time that is wasted in between transactions to be brought down considerably and the costs that individuals or legal body entities have to face while conducting overseas payments are reduced by an incredible amount as well.
Such traits allow Stellar to be extremely useful for people and organisations in economies that are still in the developing stage. It is also serves as a great alternative for people who need to send remittances or have to deal with bank loans but want to stay far away from the banking service sector.
Now one might be compelled to ask, if Stellar does not charge individuals or organisations to use its network, how does it make any money and how is it still active? Well the answer to those questions is simple, Stellar is an organisation not interested in profits, so it only needs to cover the costs of its operations which it does through donations by companies as big as Google as well as by welcoming donations once they have gone through the process of tax deduction.
How does it even work?
Now that we have a sound idea of what Stellar is, lets dive into the intricacies of how this blockchain network, that has taken the world by storm, actually works. Stellar’s operation imitates, to a large extent, the operation of non-government-controlled methods of payments and forms of transactions using encrypted currencies like bitcoin. However, it does have a distinguishing trait that sets it apart from the rest, much like any other successful blockchain in the world, it has a little something called the “consensus protocol”. The consensus protocol allowed Stellar to become a system whose source code anyone out there could inspect, modify, and enhance for to suit their own personal need. Thus, not only is the network designed to be economical and cheap it is also designed to be personalised and versatile enough to be tailored to specific needs.
The great benefit of the defining feature of Stellar is that the authenticity of the transaction process is locked to a certain number of well-defined nodes that ensure that the records of this particular token are fresh, updated, and not manipulated. Moreover, the use of specific and clearly out-lined nodes is that the transaction or payment is not left to the whole network of nodes but rather to a few selected ones which speeds up the entire process and thus results in the death of time lags and brings down the costs that are incurred by a considerable amount.
Furthermore, Stellar propagates for a decentralised form of an exchange market in order to ensure that no third-party members or organisations do not have to be relied upon to hold the funds of a customer. This enables an individual to make payments or conduct transactions in the necessary or required currency regardless of the currency they are currently holding or have in hand. Thus, neither the sender nor the receiver has to go through the trouble of having to convert the said currency since it has already been sent in the required form due to the versatility of Stellar.
In this year only, Stellar has spread its wings of multi-national transactions to over 70 countries and has also become the first ever distribution network to get a Shariah-compliance certificate to garner a deeper and long-lasting bond with the Muslim community. The news does not however end there because this blockchain network has gone far enough to gain the support of a tech giant like IBM for its upcoming double-pegged stablecoin endeavour.
Now of course you might be wondering how you can get your hands on this cryptocurrency. Well it is actually pretty simple, and we’ll let you know of a few basic options on how to do so. You can buy the currency with your plastic cards or payment cards like the infamous Visa or Mastercard. Thankfully to the miracle of technology now you can even use the virtual card for such transactions.
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