An Introduction to the Stellar network @ Auckland’s Crypto Community Meetup

Tammy Camp
Jun 27, 2018 · 4 min read

One of our goals as a next-generation financial institution is to create a thriving ecosystem around Stellar and its open source protocol that connects banks, payments systems and people, enabling them to move money quickly, reliably, and at almost no cost..

On June 7th, our CTO Sean Bennett led a walkthrough of the Stellar network at the Auckland Crypto Community Meetup. We’re keen on establishing a strong crypto community in New Zealand, especially on the heels of opening our new office in Christchurch.

It was an awesome event. Sean met with developers, investors and crypto enthusiasts, many of whom already knew a bit about Stellar and its capabilities.

In this post we’ll go over some of the main points that Sean dove into during the meetup, and the bigger takeaways for the Stellar community going forward.

Even in 2018, with all that’s been done to create a borderless society, cross-border transactions — simply sending money to friends or family overseas — remains an antiquated process.

Remittance fees and inconvenient requirements make it very difficult to send money overseas. But not for much longer.

What Ripple did with banks and corporate accounts, Stellar is doing for the underbanked.

Sending money through Stellar’s distributed ledger technology and using lumens (XLM — the network’s native asset) enables:

  1. Real-time transfer of value (instant settlement)
  2. A bridge currency between digital-fiat assets issued by anchors

Here’s what the process would look like:

Give 10 NZD to your bank/institution in return for the equal of that in XLM inside the network. Now that it’s tokenized, you can transfer it everywhere and enjoy all the benefits.

Sean Bennett explains cross-border payments.

Because Stellar has an exchange built directly into it, there is no need to involve any other networks. To convert XLM back to the country’s native currency, there just needs to be another Stellar anchor on the other side.

People anywhere can use and benefit from this process, but there’s a huge need for a remittance fix in many Asian and African countries.

Companies like Coins.ph have taken the lead, helping people in Philippines send and receive money through Stellar. Flutterwave is doing similar things in African countries, and ICICI Bank in India.

This comparison chart tells you why Stellar is preferred to other networks for cross-border transactions:

Read more about the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP).

Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple are powerful networks that have their uses, but for the simple task of cross-border transactions, Stellar is far and beyond the best solution for families who just want to send money.

While Stellar stands out as the best option for global remittance, there’s another area that it excels in: simple ICO building. Sean noted that this was a huge point of emphasis among the people he talked to:

“So many of the questions from developers were about building an ICO. Up to now they’ve had to use Ethereum, but for simple, straightforward projects, Stellar is the best option.”

For new ICOs, Stellar has key features that set it apart from the others:

  • Easy asset issuance
  • Decentralized exchange (allows ICO to trade instantly with no intermediary)
  • Fast, cheap, scalable
  • A limited attack surface

Ethereum is strong, but it comes at a cost. It’s too slow and expensive for most applications, and development is difficult. Not because of unskilled developers — it’s just a much more complicated network.

Stellar on the other hand:

  • Simple smart contracts
  • Choose from predefined operations = no scripting
  • Bulk of computation outside of core system
  • Reduced attack surface
  • Easier to audit
  • More scalable
  • No specialist developers

Ultimately you should pick the best network for your use case. But for most ICO projects, Stellar is the way to go. No need for specialized developers, and much lower possibility for mistakes.

And then there’s compliance. Pre-defined operations are much easier for compliance and control. You can whitelist holders (AML/CFT), easily recover assets, and even lock up your token for pre-defined period.

Stellar is continuing its momentum, with IBM’s first public token (built on the Stellar network) getting closer to release.

We’re taking big steps as well.

Stronghold is currently a trading platform with over 20,000 active traders, but we are moving towards becoming a full-service asset management platform. This will allow us to serve a greater audience and introduce Stellar to groups and institutions around the world.

Learn more about the Stellar + Stronghold relationship

As a Stellar anchor, we’re committed to helping build awareness for the network and show the world what it can do.

Want to watch the full video from the meetup? Here you go:

Any questions? Get in touch! We appreciate any comments and feedback.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@strongholdxchg) for real-time updates and announcements.

strongholdxchg

Stronghold | Digital Assets

Tammy Camp

Written by

Founder @Strongholdxchg, Previously a Partner @500Startups, Head of Growth @Stellarorg, Product @WalmartLabs, @NFXGuild

strongholdxchg

Stronghold | Digital Assets