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How to buy, sell or trade Stellar Lumens (XLM)
See how the Stellar network works and how you can use Lumens.
Thinking about adding Stellar Lumens to your portfolio? These days, you can buy and sell Stellar Lumens (XLM) on quite a few exchanges, so keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to start trading this popular cryptocurrency.
Quick guide: How to buy Stellar Lumens (XLM)
If you live in the US, you won’t find a cryptocurrency exchange offering Stellar Lumens for direct purchase.
- Register for an account with an exchange like Coinbase. Skip to Step 5 if you’re looking to exchange existing cryptocurrency for XLM.
- Enable two-factor authentication on your Coinbase account and verify your account.
- Add a payment method and buy either bitcoin or Ether on Coinbase.
- Register for an account with an exchange.
- Enable two-factor authentication on your account.
- Copy the address of the wallet containing the coin you’re looking to exchange for XLM.
- On Coinbase, withdraw from your account the coin you’ve just purchased and send it to your wallet address.
- Exchange your coin for Stellar Lumens.
This is a quick guide to just one way to buy XLM. Compare some other options in the table below.
Exchanges where you can buy, sell or trade Stellar
Exchanges where you can buy or sell crypto with USD
A step-by-step guide to buying XLM
Buying XLM with cryptocurrency
If you want to buy XML with US dollars, here’s one example of how you can do it:
Tutorial: Buying XLM with Coinbase
How to sell XLM
To sell your XLM holdings:
- Log in to your chosen exchange.
- Click through to the trading page, and search for the pair you want to trade.
- Enter the details of your transaction in the Sell tab.
- Review the transaction specifics.
- Click Sell XLM.
Wallets that support Lumens
Some people opt to keep the XLM they buy in their crypto exchange account. While it’s a convenient way to makes sure you have fast access to your crypto for future trades, it’s a risky move. With crypto exchanges a popular target for hackers, it’s widely recommended that you move your XLM into a secure wallet that lets you control your private key. Wallets you may want to consider include the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet, the Stellar Desktop Client and the Lobstr mobile wallet. For tips on what to look for in an XLM wallet, read our guide to five of the best Stellar wallets.
- Ledger Nano S
- Stellar Desktop Client
- Stellar Portal
How Stellar works
Launched in 2014, Stellar aims to offer fast and affordable cross-border transactions. Its distributed payments network ensures that transactions are processed within two to five seconds for a tiny fee of approximately a single 600,000th of a cent per transaction.
To send funds on the Stellar network, create an account and then upload the currency you want to transfer to an “anchor,” such as a bank or remittance company. That anchor issues virtual credit to your Stellar account, allowing you to send near-instant transfers around the world. According to Stellar, Lumens play two main roles in the network:
- Preventing spam. To prevent denial-of-service attacks, each transaction on Stellar attracts a fee of 0.00001 XLM. All accounts on the Stellar network must hold a minimum balance of 0.5 Lumens, a measure designed to declutter the ledger.
- Facilitating multicurrency transactions. Lumens facilitate trades between fiat currencies, acting as a bridge between currencies that don’t have a large direct market.
The project is backed by the Stellar Development Foundation, whose mission is to promote global financial access, literacy and inclusion.
Why buy XLM?
Lumens is the network token, which you can use to:
- Charge a minor operation fee. A fee of 0.00001 XLM is charged to senders for each operation in a transaction. The fee is purely intended to discourage DDoS attacks, which occur when people flood the network with meaningless transactions.
- Act as an “entry pass.” You need to hold at least 20 XLM to use the Stellar network.
- Exchange currencies. If necessary, XLM can act as a universal unit of exchange for transferring currencies.
What to consider before you buy XLM
Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and complicated assets, so there’s significant risk involved in any crypto purchase. With this in mind, carefully assess the factors that could potentially affect the price of a currency before you buy. If you’re thinking of buying any XLM, remember to consider:
- Supply. According to CoinMarketCap, in August 2018, the circulating supply of Lumens was 18,771,744,750 XLM out of a total supply of 104,204,519,656 XLM.
- Inflation. The initial supply of Lumens was 100 billion, but the currency is designed to be inflationary. A fixed inflation rate of 1% per year applies, and all transaction fees paid on the network are recycled.
- Distribution. Stellar.org plans to distribute the initial supply of 100 billion XLM as follows:
- 50% given away to individuals who sign up to the network using an invitation link.
- 25% given away to businesses, governments, institutions or nonprofits that contribute to the growth and adoption of the Stellar network.
- 20% given away to bitcoin and XRP holders during a giveaway completed in 2016 and 2017.
- 5% reserved for Stellar.org operational expenses.
- ICOs. The Stellar network can also be used by new crypto projects looking to launch ICOs. Mobius Network and SureRemit are just a couple of the projects to have launched via Stellar.
- Competition. Ripple is generally considered to be Stellar’s biggest blockchain-based competitor, so check out our Ripple vs. Stellar comparison to find out how these two projects stack against each other.
- Partnerships. Stellar’s most notable partnership has seen it join forces with tech giant IBM, but you can find more information about other partners on its site.
The main challenge for Stellar in the months and years ahead will be whether it can achieve widespread adoption. Thoroughly research the ins and outs of the Stellar network, its technology and its purpose so that you can make an informed decision about whether you should buy any XLM.
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