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What is Stellar (XLM)?

Stellar (XLM) — or Stellar Lumens — is the native cryptocurrency of the Stellar payment protocol. The payment protocol was launched in 2014, along with the Lumens cryptocurrency designed to support digital transactions across the network.

While Lumens is the main denomination of the cryptocurrency, there are smaller denominations too. A Stroop is the smallest unit that will register on the Stellar blockchain and is worth 0.000001 XLM. Stroops are used to add precision to payments and transactions and handle network and transaction fees.

XLM is based on a blockchain, but no mining process is involved in transactions and validations. Instead, the Stellar network adopts a different type of consensus logic across its 66 validator nodes, plus the three nodes operated by Stellar itself

What is Stellar used for?

The Stellar protocol is mainly used to facilitate cross-border payments and transactions. Traditionally, these payments have been slow, unreliable and expensive. In the digital age — and with the increasingly widespread adoption of blockchain technology — the protocol developers wanted to usher in a new way of doing things. With Stellar, it was hoped that these transactions would become faster, cheaper and more reliable, as well as more secure, thanks to the decentralised nature of the blockchain. The project succeeded, and companies like Deloitte and IBM have partnered with Stellar on their own initiatives.

Stellar (XLM) is the native currency for this payment protocol and is used to support payments across the network. However, the cryptocurrency can be used in other ways. Users can buy Stellar (XLM) or receive it via trade, using the token as an alternative to more traditional forms of currency or as a vehicle for speculation and investment. Stellar also offers XLM grants to support the development of future crypto projects, adding another use case for the crypto.

How is the price of Stellar determined?

The XLM price — i.e. the price of the Stellar Lumens currency — is determined according to market forces. It is not tied to any other currency or asset external to the network; therefore, it rises and falls exclusively according to supply and demand.

Unlike other cryptocurrencies — which have a maximum supply level and increase incrementally towards this maximum — the supply of XLM is controlled. Upon launch, 100 billion XLM — or Stellar Lumens — units were made available to traders, and this level was increased by 1% each year to reach a total of 105 billion units in 2019. Since then, however, supply has decreased, and roughly a quarter of the original total is in circulation as of September 2022.

The network's burn protocol also contains supply. Each time a transaction is completed, a very small amount of XLM — less than one unit — is removed from circulation or 'burned'. Despite these controls, demand is still an important factor. If there is a surge in demand, the price of Stellar will increase; if demand falls away, the price will fall with it.

The viability of XLM as an alternative currency depends on crucial demand, but so is its usability in other applications. As the initial aim of the protocol was to support streamlined global transactions, Stellar could provide an enormous benefit to the world's financial and commercial sectors, which could, in turn, drive up the value of XLM. However, as with anything in the crypto market, there are no guarantees this will be the case.

Start trading XLM with BTC Markets

Many Australians have become interested in altcoins as a way of diversifying their crypto assets. Lumens are among the most popular of these altcoins, thanks to their respected and well-known status. Here at BTC Markets, we provide a platform that helps you execute these investments conveniently, securely and reasonably. Head to our frequently asked questions page or contact our team to discover more. Alternatively, sign up for a BTC account today to get started.

Frequently asked questions

Is it safe to buy Stellar?

Stellar's XLM, or Lumens, are sometimes known as altcoins because they exist outside of the 'traditional' cryptocurrency mainstream, which is generally thought to consist of Bitcoin and Ether — the two market leaders. Despite this status, Lumens are hardly unknown, nor are they outsiders in the market. This is why currencies such as XLM, and other competitors like Litecoin, are considered to be among the foremost altcoins. So traders can be assured that they are buying into an established and legitimate cryptocurrency. Working with a reputable exchange like BTC Markets can also help traders to achieve peace of mind.

Of course, this does not mean there are no risks. The value of a cryptocurrency like Lumens can go up, but it can just as easily go down. Traders need to bear this in mind when they purchase crypto of any kind and should trade conservatively.

How do I store Stellar?

Your crypto wallet is the easiest way to store your XLM Stellar currency. When you sign up for an account with BTC Markets, you will gain access to a crypto wallet, one of the features built into the platform. This is a key part of trading crypto, and it's difficult to get involved in the cryptocurrency market without this digital technology. After all, this is where you will store and manage your XLM funds and your reserves in other currencies. You can also withdraw or add funds to your wallet using our built-in tools.

How do you buy Stellar Lumens in Australia?

This also requires a crypto wallet. You can either buy an equivalent amount of Lumens directly from the exchange by putting forward an equivalent amount of fiat currency — such as Australian Dollars or British Pounds, among others — or the same value of another supported cryptocurrency. Alternatively, you can gain access to XLM by trading with other network users and receive your funds in your crypto wallet after completing the transaction.

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