In the last 24 hours Stellar’s Lumen XLM coin has increased in value by 30% and at time of writing is the 7th largest cryptocurrency by market cap. This growth comes after another 30% increase on New Year’s Day which took it into the top 10 biggest cryptocurrencies for the first time.

Stellar’s currency, the Lumen or XLM, can be used to transfer funds between institutions and individuals, including across national borders. The company was started by Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb who also founded the Mt.Gox exchange.

While Ripple is focused on the interbank money markets and offering a quicker, cheaper alternative to SWIFT payments, Stellar is registered as a non-profit and its activities are more geared towards individuals sending money to other individuals.

Stellar’s company vision is of enabling an “affordable financial system where people of all income levels can access simple-to-use, secure, and low cost financial services.” Part of this is offering low-cost financial services to the “unbanked”, those who are excluded from mainstream finance, and migrant workers whose remittance payments to their home countries are currently subject to high fees and long transaction times.

FOMO Post-Ripple

The recent extraordinary growth in Ripple’s value means that investors are looking for the next big thing. For those who missed Ripple’s price surge Stellar is looking like a good option. It is similar enough to Ripple for people to understand, and different enough to reassure people that there is a market for both.

Having Ripple’s co-founder on the team certainly helps too, as does the list of partners currently working with Stellar. Deloitte Consulting is on board, as is IBM, who are using Stellar’s network to bring together an international group of banks to test a cross-border payment system.

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