How to buy and sell Stellar Lumens (XLM) in the UK
A beginner’s guide to buying, selling and trading XLM in the UK.
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.
Where to buy and sell Lumens
A step-by-step guide to buying XLM
There are two options available when purchasing Stellar Lumens:
- Buying XLM with fiat currency, such as GBP
- Buying XLM with another cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH)
Buying XLM with cryptocurrency
If you would like to buy XLM with another cryptocurrency, here’s how you can do it.
How to sell XLM
If you decide that you want to sell your XLM holdings, the process you’ll need to follow is fairly similar to that detailed in step 3 above. You’ll have to:
- 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”.
Which wallets can I use to hold Stellar Lumens?
Some people opt to keep the XLM they buy in their crypto exchange account. While this is a convenient option that makes sure you have fast access to your crypto for any 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 more tips on what to look for in an XLM wallet, check out our guide to five of the best Stellar wallets.
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 2 to 5 seconds, for a tiny fee of approximately a single 600,000th of a cent per transaction.
To send funds on the Stellar network, you’ll need to create an account and then upload the currency you want to transfer to an “anchor”, such as a bank or remittance company. That anchor then 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 also hold a minimum balance of 0.5 Lumens, a measure designed to declutter the ledger.
- Facilitating multi-currency transactions. Lumens facilitate trades between fiat currencies, acting as a bridge between currencies which do not have a large direct market.
The project is backed by the Stellar Development Foundation (also known as stellar.org), which has a mission to promote global financial access, literacy and inclusion.
What to consider before you buy XLM
Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and complicated assets, so there’s a significant level of risk involved in any crypto purchase. With this in mind, you’ll need to carefully assess all the factors that could potentially have an impact on the price of a currency before you buy.
If you’re thinking of buying any XLM, remember to consider the following:
- Supply. According to CoinMarketCap, at time of writing (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 non-profit organisations 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 up against one another.
- Partnerships. Stellar’s most notable partnership has seen it join forces with tech giant IBM, but you can find more information about its other partners on its site.
The main challenge for Stellar in the months and years ahead will be whether or not it can achieve widespread adoption. Make sure you thoroughly research all the ins and outs of the Stellar network, its technology and its purpose, so you can make an informed decision about whether you should buy any XLM.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ADA, ICX, IOTA and XLM.
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