In a market that now has more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies, it is inevitable that some of them will be defined in comparison to the better known ones. And so, NEO is the Chinese Ethereum; Monero is the Bitcoin of privacy and instead Stellar is called the anti-Ripple.
The reason is simple: born in 2014 as a rib of the more well-known Ripple (which has the aim of facilitating large money transfers between financial institutions), however, Stellar aims to simplify the money transfers between people.
Basic operation is simple. Today, whatever method you want to use to send money abroad - international wire transfer, PayPal or more innovative systems such as Transferwise - takes time and / or money. Using the distributed, open-source and decentralized register of Stellar (which is based on the blockchain and whose currency is called Lumen, XLM), the transaction is instead immediate and has a paltry price (a fraction of a hundredth of a dollar), because the institutions involved operate on the same network.
Money sent in a currency will be processed by Stellar's distributed network (a fundamental feature of the open blockchain, which prevents a single entity from having exclusive control) and then converted into the currency needed by those who must receive the money, at the most convenient exchange rate that can be found around.
The crucial aspects, however, are two: first of all, thanks to the extremely reduced costs it will be possible - at least this is the promise of its creators - to open bank accounts also for the two billion so-called "unbanked" in the world. In addition, Stellar is able to manage something like 10 thousand transactions per second, a huge progress compared to 3/7 of Bitcoin and 15 of Etherereum.
The potential of this system has inevitably attracted the attention of giants such as Barclays, Deloitte and even IBM; nevertheless Stellar - which is a non-profit - has always promoted the image of an organization attentive to the social and which sees its main catchment area in Africa (where he worked a lot) and in Southeast Asia.
It is in these areas that it aims to become the reference network to receive remittances from migrants directly on the smartphone (which is the basic tool in areas where home computers are much less common), to finance social enterprises, to take advantage of micropayments and even more.
Competing with Ethereum and Coinbase Finally, Stellar can also be used as a platform for the creation of new tokens and therefore host the ICO (initial coin offering, the equivalent of the stock exchange listing for startups operating on the blockchain). For example, recently the Kik messaging service - which has recently held its ICO - has decided to move its tokens from Ethereum to Stellar, considered a higher quality platform.
With Stellar, on the other hand, the mechanism is simplified: the euros sent are converted into XLM, converted back into yuan and then received by the Chinese bank; in a matter of seconds and with minimal costs. According to what reported by the site, it is sufficient to have a Lumen (which today costs about 40 cents, but could rise in the future) to be able to make 100 thousand transactions using the Stellar network.
As in the case of Ripple, however, the question that immediately arises is: what is the use of a cryptocurrency for a network that transfers money from one point to another? Lumen (XLM) effectively acts as a bridge between one currency and another and is necessary to cover the basic costs of the exchange. In summary, today to send money from my bank to a friend in China I have to send a tot of euro to a Chinese bank (which takes time and money); the Chinese bank receives the dollars, converts them to yuan and after another time and commissions applied it deposits them into my friend's account. In the meantime, days have passed and tens of euros have been bur