Stellar is a platform and associated governing non-profit with the laudable mission to create an affordable financial system that is transparent, secure, low-cost and easy to use. It also aims to provide technology that developers can use to create financial products and services for their own communities. Unlike many crypto companies out there, the organizational structure, detailed job descriptions and even internal policies are publicly available in impressive alignment with the company mission of transparency and reliability.
You should also know about Lumens, the digital currency created by Stellar. Although the original name for the Stellar token was Stellars, the snazzy new name given in 2015 is Lumens (symbol XLM), which are essentially the same as a Bitcoin, but are used to pay for the transactions over the network. Because Stellar is a non-profit and not seeking to strike it rich, 100 billion Lumens are being given away on a distribution schedule over the next ten years. Individuals can also buy Lumens to benefit as they (if all goes well) grow in value, and have them ready to pay for transactions.
For example, Marta in Chicago can send USD to her family in Madrid through the Stellar distributed exchange. In a nutshell, once submitted, the network identifies the best exchange rate and Marta’s USD becomes Euro, adding 0.00001 Lumen, or a fraction of a USD penny, as a transaction fee. In 2–5 seconds, her family has the money in funds they can go right out and use immediately. Pretty cool, right? And about time.