In the world of cryptocurrency, few projects have managed to both fly under the radar yet maintain an enormous market capitalization like Stellar Lumens (XLM). With a current market cap hovering around $3.5 billion, XLM is firmly entrenched as a top 25 cryptocurrency. Yet, unlike major coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and even the controversial XRP, Stellar garners relatively little attention or mindshare.
This obscurity is perhaps rooted in Stellar’s convoluted origins. Initially launched in 2014 as a fork of XRP, the original vision was to provide an open-source crypto alternative to facilitate cross-border payments. However, after a bitter feud with Ripple, Stellar went its own way under the leadership of Jed McCaleb, one of Ripple’s co-founders.
Since then, Stellar has meandered along, touting partnerships but achieving little in the way of real-world adoption. The blockchain processes a paltry 150 thousand transactions per day compared to XRP’s 3-5 times greater volume. Even the native currency XLM lacks a clear purpose despite a generous total supply of 105 billion.
Yet XLM’s price has pumped sporadically, likely due to speculative manias around low-value coins. In January 2018, a parabolic rally saw XLM surge over 14,000% to reach an all-time high of $0.87. However, this meteoric rise was short-lived, and XLM soon crashed back to earth. Since then, it has bounced around aimlessly between $0.10 to $0.40, beholden to the whims of the broader crypto market.
While Stellar hosts a motley array of DApps, NFT projects, and ICOs, it’s unclear whether there’s much substance behind the scaffolding. Compared to sophisticated platforms like Cardano and Solana, Stellar seems a largely reactive and inferior system. However, Stellar still retains a devoted community base that has kept XLM relevant despite its lack of standout technological achievements or adoption.
Perhaps Stellar’s survival is partially rooted in clever marketing and the ability to stay just relevant enough to avoid fading into obscurity. But at some point, the project needs to deliver tangible utility and adoption if it wants to be taken seriously. Until then, XLM remains an enigma – hanging around the top tier through a combination of luck and inertia rather than technology and leadership. For a meandering cryptocurrency in search of purpose, the road ahead remains long and uncertain.
The price of Stellar (XLM) is $0.135200 today with a 24-hour trading volume of $65,491,590.08. This represents a -1.56% price decline in the last 24 hours and a -2.77% price decline in the past 7 days. With a circulating supply of 27 Billion XLM, Stellar is valued at a market cap of $3,699,155,864.
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