The Stellar network is supported by a network of actors mainly composed of partner companies who take on the role of transaction validators. On August 8, 2019, only 125 nodes are running the network. Of these, 28 are complete nodes that make all of the information available to them accessible. 19 organizations are identified, some of which rotate several nodes. The most important to date is IBM, which wants to build its “World Wire” payment network on Stellar.
Unlike the Bitcoin network, transaction validation is subject to a vote: a large majority of players must recognize transactions as legitimate for them to be accepted and added to the blockchain. Such a system ensures a certain level of decentralization but it is the known and respected actors who have the most weight. The Stellar network is therefore more centralized and less robust than Bitcoin, but this architecture allows it to be faster with transactions that are validated within five seconds and a processing capacity of thousands of transactions per second.