What is Stellar Lumens?
Since the introduction of the bitcoin, cryptocurrency (CC) has revolutionized the way business transactions are handled worldwide. They are safe, easy to use, and also accepted through a variety of business practices that need to complete transactions at a faster pace than your typical banking institution can process. This being said, there are many CCs being used in place of traditional physical currency. In this discussion, we will be talking about one type of CC…the stellar lumen.
Now you may already be familiar with CCs and their roles in the economy, but for the sake of this conversation we will discuss the general points as they relate to the stellar lumen. Stellar lumens are a CC created and used by Stellar, a non-for-profit corporation that seeks to provide a financial system that is accessible and easy to use to help end poverty while providing individuals with the financial prowess to begin their own business. Through the Stellar network, money can be sent almost instantaneously to anyone sharing the same network, regardless of the type of currency being used. For example, this means being able to pay for services using the American dollar to a company in Japan that only accepts the yen and not have to wait for the bank to process and clear the transaction before converting one form of currency to another. This is possible by using the stellar lumen.
But how can the stellar lumen make these types of transactions? How does it function as a substitute for physical currency without having to go through the same channels as you would a normal money transfer? Think of how a money service app like CashApp or Paypal works. When money is entered into an account, it is credited to that specific account to be used for purchases or to be sent to another user for withdrawal. The stellar lumen works the exact same way. The only difference between money service apps and stellar lumens is that the stellar lumen is located on a decentralized network and can only be accessed by someone using the same network. And because the Stellar network is decentralized, their servers are all connected and process the same information. These servers are in constant communication with each other and exchanges information every 2-5 seconds. When money is converted into stellar lumens, the credit becomes available for use and is convert-able through any Stellar server regardless of what form of currency that specific server is set to. In short, where it takes 1-3 business days for funds from a transfer to become available, using the Stellar network can make funds available within seconds.
Now the value of the stella lumen fluctuates like any CC based on factors like sales volume, availability of lumens, even by how well the company is doing. Things like inflation don’t have a necessarily large impact on them seeing as they are on a decentralized network. The number of stellar lumens one has determines the quantity one has available to trade. The only thing affected is how much a single lumen is worth at the time of sale. After that, the only thing to do is make a purchase or send a batch to someone to withdrawal.
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What is Ripple?
Ripple (XRP) was originally released in 2012 by Ripplepay. XRP is a form of a real time gross settlement system, remittance network, and currency exchange. Ripple is managed by a common ledger that’s management is a network of independent validation servers that allow for constant comparison of transaction records.
This allows XRP to not rely on computing and intensive energies that are used in other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The basis of XRP is on a shared public database that allows for the use of a process of consensus between the validating servers in order to ensure integrity. The validation servers can be owned by anyone, including individuals or even banks. The protocol for XRP, whose token is represented as the characters XRP, allows for instant and direct transfer of currency between two parties. A variety of currency can be exchanged between parties including gold to airline miles.
XRP avoids the wait times and fees that banking and traditional cryptocurrency transactions entail. Ripple was designed for enterprise. The primary purpose of XRP is to move large amounts of money around the globe as fast as possible. The stability of XRP has been good and to date has processed over 35 million transactions without any issues. It has been updated to match Visa transaction times which is 50,000 transactions per second. In comparison, Bitcoin’s transaction time is three to six transactions per second, while Ethereum is able to handle 15 transactions per second. The XRP token is not mined like many other cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin). At the time of XRP’s creation, a number was chosen and there were that many XRP coins issued.
The value of XRP is it’s ability to move assets and currency around the globe rather quickly, not the XRP token itself. XRP software is used by banks to switch money between foreign currencies. The movement of currency is accomplished through the use of a system named SWIFT. SWIFT is a system that relies on banks having different accounts within every country they work in. XRP has claimed that it has signed more than 100 banks, also including American Express. There has been a large increase in the price of XRP due to rumors that the site Coinbase was going to list XRP as a currency for sale.
In December 2017 this rumor led to a price surge in XRP. Coinbase addressed the rumors and informed the public that there was no decision to add XRP to Coinbase. This announcement led to a dramatic drop in the price of XRP in January 2018. Since this time XRP’s price has dropped and recovered. Even without Coinbase’s support, XRP is easily acquired through multiple sources. XRP utilizes a unique node list that allows for the protection and blocking of insecure or malicious validation servers. XRP is an alternative cryptocurrency that is trusted to exchange currency and payments.