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I Like Stellar

A few years ago, Coinbase popped up with one of their learn-and-earn offers. Learn about a crypto project, earn a few tokens. I had heard a little scuttlebutt about the founder leaving Ripple and the bad blood. And then the subsequent, almost biannual updates about how the founder was "dumping" his Ripple on the market (at a pre-agreed rate with Ripple).

Fast forward a few years and Stellar (XLM) has been sitting there bouncing up and down in Coinbase and I never did much with it. After consolidating a lot of the learn-and-earn coins I had, I kept the XLM around. 

It wasn't until the past couple of weeks that I've really started digging into it. My first impressions:

  • It's good for moving money

... and that was about it. Then I stumbled onto StellarX and UltraStellar. I've been looking for a way to start parking some stablecoins and StellarX was interesting. With Coinbase as my on-ramp, the feed getting money into CB is high but the transfer out is free.

I moved a little bit of money into the Stellar network and started doing some of the Stellar Quest tutorials for development. (Thus, the previous whining about Javascript). The deeper I get, the more I start questioning why Stellar isn't the L2 chain to almost any other chain....

  • Fees are incredibly small. So small, some service providers just cover them.
  • There's a built-in DEX. Everyone is so enamored with DeFi on Ethereum and other networks, specifically yield farming and liquidity pools. I'm not sure how people missed Stellar in the equation, but you don't need to have 30+ different sites. The DEX is right there!
  • AMM was just added - you want liquidity pools. It is built into the protocol

In an odd way, this makes Stellar a little... boring. You don't need to have 30 different sites begging for your attention. Of course, you can still have that, but the underlying network and functionality is already there to wrap your business around.

The coolest feature I saw demoed today was Starlight. Starlight serves as a Layer 2 (L2) feature for Stellar. For people or businesses that have a high volume of back and forth payments - you can open up a side channel whereby you move transactions between you and a counterparty. When you're both done, you close the channel and the transaction is committed to the Stellar network.

There are some big things coming out of Stellar that I like and definitely worth keeping an eye on.

This article was updated on 15 Nov 2021