Stellar had a big year in 2017, with the value of XLM growing 250 times from 0.002 to 0.50 USD. A lot of this growth was due to the long list of partnerships formed, as well as Lumens being made so accessible after being listed on Binance. Stellar is not slowing down though; 2018 is going to be packed with big events that will keep its popularity rising. This year, Stellar is going to see increased real-world adoption, become more accessible to the general public, and be integrated into a game-changing cryptocurrency project. If you haven’t invested in XLM yet, you can follow this guide to get you started.
1. IBM is already using Stellar Lumens for real-world applications
In October of 2017, the massive tech company IBM announced that they would be working with Stellar to produce a blockchain-based solution for cross-borders banking. Currently, sending money to different countries is a long, expensive procedure; transfers can take 3-5 days to process and require banks to constantly have large amounts of capital tied up. Stellar can be used to solve this problem because it can be sent cheaply, securely, and quickly. Transactions using Stellar Lumens settle in 5 seconds and cost a fraction of a cent each – a huge improvement that would benefit both the banks and their customers.
Since the announcement, IBM’s new system has gone live and is currently being used across Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Jed McCaleb, a co-founder of Stellar, stated during the SparkLabs conference in December that 30 banks were already using this system, with more to come at a later date. IBM have stated that they expect this system to process up to 60% of all cross-borders payments in the South Pacific’s retail foreign exchange corridor by early 2018.
In addition to improving international payments, IBM will be expanding this system to incorporate more complex day-to-day financial transactions into the blockchain. In the future, the blockchain-based system could be used to facilitate loans. The contract terms would be securely stored in the blockchain, where they could be easily accessed and safe from tampering.
2. Stellar ATMs are about to make Lumens more accessible than ever
At the Singapore FinTech festival in November of 2017, an ATM that supported Stellar Lumens was showcased. During the demonstration, Singapore Dollars were inserted into the ATM, which automatically purchased XLM and sent them to a chosen wallet address. The reverse was also possible, Stellar Lumens could be withdrawn from a wallet into Singapore Dollars, which were then instantly dispensed from the ATM. Michael Dowling, the group CTO at IBM, was understandably excited by this technology; he shared it on Twitter, stating that this would open liquidity between fiat currencies and XLM.
Easily being able to purchase Lumens with fiat currency is very important for the future of XLM. These ATMs will make it incredibly simple for the general public to access and send XLM, so they’ll also support the adoption of cryptocurrencies in general.
These ATMs could be rolling out sooner than you think. The receipts printed by the ATM at the FinTech festival read “NFT Mobile Money ATM Receipt”, which means they’re made by NFT Consult, a company that has already implemented similar ATMs in Africa. The ATMs that are currently installed in some third world countries allow users to deposit paper money and instantly send it to anyone they want – the hardware required for Stellar ATMs is already available and operating. After an update for the existing machines to support Stellar transactions, the implementation of these ATMs around the world could lead to a massive adoption of XLM.
3. FairX will utilize the Stellar network
FairX is an upcoming crypto exchange that will be powered by the Stellar network – it is set to make massive waves in the cryptocurrency world. They aim to allow trading directly between fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies, similar to what is offered by Coinbase. The big difference, though, is that FairX will allow users to trade a much wider variety of cryptocurrencies, not just Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash. The exchange is still in development, but the information they have released on Twitter paints a very promising picture.
Stellar Lumens can be sent quickly and cheaply, making them an attractive backbone for the FairX exchange. The Stellar network should give FairX a huge advantage over Coinbase, as it will allow them to offer quicker transactions and lower fees. FairX will have a real chance at becoming the new default fiat to cryptocurrency gateway, a title which Coinbase has held for a long time.
As more people start using FairX, the Stellar network will see a huge increase in traffic and liquidity. This is great news for Stellar investors, as the increased demand will see the value of XLM rise. You won’t have to wait long either; the beta release of FairX is scheduled for late January or early February – potentially less than a week away.
From just these three reasons alone, it’s pretty easy to see that 2018 is going to be very big for Stellar. Lumens will be adopted for more real-world applications, become way more accessible to users and new investors, and the demand for XLM is about to skyrocket. All of this will definitely further establish the position of Stellar Lumens as a valuable cryptocurrency that is here to stay. If you want to join the Stellar community and invest in XLM, but you’re not sure how, you can follow this guide for purchasing cryptocurrencies.