Blockchains 101: Stellar Lumens

Bringing XRP to the Unbanked


XLM was created in 2014 by Jeb Mac Caleb after leaving Ripple (XRP) due to some disagreements about present and future strategies for XRP.

XLM (Lumens) is the native cryptocurrency powering the Stellar protocol.

Stellar Lumens logo

Mac Caleb created XLM with former lawyer Joyce Kim based on the same architecture than XRP but a different vision. When XRP tends to serve the banks and institutions, XLM focus on the unbanked and individuals.

The Stellar network is an open-source, distributed and community-owned blockchain network used to facilitate cross-asset transfers of value. If Stellar has similarities with XRP as improving cost, speed and efficiency of cross border transfers settlements, it also aims to be an open financial system for anyone looking for financial alternatives.

Since 2016, Stellar has made numerous partnerships to bring XLM to real word applications notably with IBM, Deloitte Digital Bank, ICICI Bank (India) or KlickEx. XLM is integrated to the private messaging app KeyBase.

Actions that change things in Stellar, like sending payments, changing account information, or making offers to trade various kinds of currencies are called operations. To perform an operation, users need to initiate a transaction (a group of operations with extra information such as timestamp, account information and cryptographic signature)

XLM Consensus Protocol (SCP) is based on a Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA) relying on 4 keys properties:

  • Decentralized control (anyone can participate in the consensus without central authority),
  • Low latency (consensus reach within seconds),
  • Flexible trust (trust doesn’t rely on large holders),
  • Asymptotic security (large computing power doesn’t influence security).

Every Stellar account is required to hold a small amount of Lumens to act as a barrier against spamming, allowing Stellar to achieve a higher level of decentralization than its counterparty Ripple (XRP). Stellar also supports smart contracts.

Stellar wallet v2.6

XLM Official wallets:

Technical specificities:

  • Type: Native Coin
  • Total Supply: No Hard Cap
  • Subunit: NA
  • Consensus: SCP
  • algorithm: FBA (Federated Byzantine Agreement)
  • Privacy: Pseudonymous (Low)
  • Blocktime: 4–5 sec
  • Coding languages: Java, Python, Ruby, C++, Go
  • Open source: Yes


Telegram community:

Twitter: @_Digital_Assets



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store