The Stellar Platform is for Everyone
The IBM Announcement
Yesterday, IBM announced it would be using Stellar Lumens to settle cross-border payments. This is a big deal for many reasons. First, it says a lot when a tech titan like IBM decides to use your protocol. Also, they will be using Stellar’s native currency, Lumens, to settle these transactions. This is huge.
It’s almost impossible to talk about Stellar without someone bringing up Ripple. I get it, Stellar initially forked Ripple but once they implemented the Stellar Consensus Protocol, the code is completely different. Furthermore, Ripple’s network can run without their native currency, XRP. This is why IBM’s decision to use Lumens is a big deal.
Beyond Banking Partnerships
I get the vibe that most people in the crypto space believe Stellar is only for institutions. That could not be further from the truth. A component of the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP) is that membership remains open. This is a big upgrade from prior Byzantine agreement models. Furthermore, projects that build on the platform have SCP’s ability to choose whom they trust. For example, a non-profit could configure their node to not trust banks. So any agreement or quorum the non-profit comes to is done without known bank nodes having a say.
They’re also projects coming down the pipeline that have many scratching their heads and asking can Stellar do that? You bet! Mobius comes to mind. The ICO aims at creating an API that connects developers to blockchain. Translation, developers can continue to build projects without having to learn new languages.
I think this makes future projects that integrate with Stellar more secure. For example, XYZ app can develop outside the blockchain and deploy on iOS and Android. They could integrate with the blockchain ecosystem using the Mobius API. In the unlikely event that Stellar goes down, the project can disconnect the Mobius API. Continuity remains on centralized platforms (iOS, Android, etc).
A Platform Built for Development
In recent months, the topic of scaling has been very popular. Ethereum and their proposed Plasma subchains come to mind. I have also spent hours trying to explain SCP to the most seasoned crypto enthusiasts. We are talking about a protocol that doesn’t use mining (it doesn’t need to) and the nodes don’t need a full record of all transactions. It gets even more complicated when we start talking about quorum slices and quorums. So yes, there is a bit of a learning curve.
The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is that Stellar is secure and can scale today. Not in two or three years on proposed solutions but right now. Currently, the estimated transactions per second is around 1,000. Scaling past 1,000 is simple once the need arises.
Stellar is an ideal platform to build on because you don’t need to worry about scaling in the future. No mining drama or chain splits. It works and it works well enough for IBM to give it their stamp of approval. Who’s next?