How to buy Stellar lumens online
This is an introductory guide to the Stellar lumens cryptocurrency. Learn what Stellar is and what it does, and find out the best place to buy XLM.
Compare where to buy Stellar lumens, and open an account
If you want to buy Stellar lumens right away, use one of the brokers below. These have all been reviewed and approved by our team of experts and any of them are an excellent place to start investing in cryptocurrency. If you aren’t ready to buy yet, read on to learn more.
What is Stellar?
Stellar is a platform for moving money around the world. It’s like PayPal on the blockchain, where its users can send and receive money in any currency or cryptocurrency. To be able to create an account and make transactions, you need Stellar lumens, the platform’s own crypto coin, that’s also known as XLM.
Set up in 2015, Stellar’s ultimate goal is to make money ‘borderless’, where people can spend and hold money in lots of different currencies without needing bank accounts in every country or worrying about exchange rates. XLM is crucial to this process, as it’s an entry requirement to use the platform.
How does Stellar work?
Stellar works by recording all transactions made through the platform on its own blockchain. That blockchain is like a ledger, which stores what each person owns and any transaction they want to make.
Rather than being run by a central authority, the Stellar blockchain relies on a network of computers to run the network and constantly check and recheck the ledger to make sure it’s accurate.
All of this is publicly available information and anyone can join the network as one of the computers that helps host it. Each one has voting rights, so the power is decentralised – unlike a bank where the power is held in one place.
How to buy Stellar lumens online – a step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find an exchange to buy Stellar
The easiest place to buy XLM is on a cryptocurrency exchange. Exchanges offer a wide range of coins and many different pairs that you can swap between. XLM is a relatively well-known currency that should be available on most exchanges. Here are a couple of our favourites:
- Binance: Binance is the most popular crypto exchange in the world and has one of the largest array of coins available. It has a ‘lite’ version of the website that’s ideal for beginners. Sign up for Binance now >
- BitMEX: BitMEX is a Bitcoin exchange, which means you need some of that cryptocurrency to be able to use it. However, it offers lots of advanced features for more experienced traders. Join BitMEX today >
Step 2. Sign up and fund your account
To be able to buy and sell coins on an exchange you need to create and verify your account. That usually doesn’t take long, but you should be prepared to enter some contact details like an email address and phone number.
To fund an account you can often make deposits in fiat currency, but look out for how much the exchange charges you to do so. Some platforms, meanwhile, only accept cryptocurrency as a deposit, in which case the best thing to do is to use Bitcoin.
Step 3. Buy Stellar
Now that your account is funded and ready to go, you need to find the right coin on the exchange. To find Stellar, search for the XLM coin and you’ll be presented with a list of different prices depending on which currency or cryptocurrency you want to buy it with. If you’re using USD, look for the USD/XLM pair to execute the trade.
Step 4. (Optional) Get a suitable wallet
The most secure place to keep your new coins is in a cryptocurrency wallet. Wallets are pieces of software that encrypt your coins so they can only be accessed using a private key that’s unique to you. There are a few different ones around depending on the level of security you want, but here are two to consider:
- KeepKey: KeepKey is a hardware wallet, which means it stores your coins on a USB-like device that is completely offline. Get KeepKey today >
- Trezor: Trezor is another hardware wallet that keeps your coins secure by protecting them even if the device is plugged in to an infected computer. Sign up with Trezor >
How to trade Stellar – a step-by-step guide
Step 1. Find a broker
The best way to trade XLM is to find a broker that charges low fees. Making sure you don’t pay too much each time you trade is an important part of a short term strategy and should be the main consideration when it comes to choosing a platform. Here are two of the top brokers around:
- eToro: eToro is a CFD broker, which means that you can speculate on price changes in all sorts of assets, from popular stocks to the leading cryptocurrencies. Sign up with eToro today >
- Plus500: Plus500 offers a wide range of assets from all the major classes, including cryptocurrency. Again, it lets you trade CFDs against the value of coins such as XLM. Join Plus500 now >
Step 2. Deposit money
Brokers only accept deposits in fiat currency like GBP and USD, so that is how you have to fund your account. Look out for any fees, as often low trading fees are balanced out by bigger charges to deposit and withdraw funds.
Step 3. Decide how you’d like to trade
Once you have an account, you need to decide how to trade. The most common way to do so is to use CFDs, or contracts for difference, which are like notes that represent the price of an asset. You can use them to predict whether a coin will rise or fall in price by a set date.
Step 4. Start trading
You can start trading by using a demo account to practice. Most brokers offer one in some form, where you can use virtual money to get used to the market without putting your own cash at risk.
In terms of the actual trading itself, you have to decide whether you expect a coin to go up or down in value. If you think it’s going to go up then you should buy it (also known as going ‘long’), if you think it’s going down, sell (going ‘short’).
For more experienced traders, you can make bigger bets on your instinct by using leverage. That means you put down a small part of the overall trade value as a deposit and borrow the rest from your broker. Beware, however, that you are liable for the entire trade value and your losses can spiral very quickly using this method.
It’s always a good idea to take some time to think about your investments, especially when it comes to cryptocurrency. To help you come to a decision, here is a summary of XLM’s pros and cons, followed by a few final questions.
- Must be owned by anyone who wants to use the Stellar platform
- Stellar has potential as an alternative payment method
- There is a finite supply of XLM to preserve value
- The global payments market is very competitive
Below are three more questions to help you decide whether to invest in Stellar.
1. Is it a good time to buy Stellar?
That depends on your investing outlook. It’s a good time to buy XLM if you want to use Stellar’s platform or expect more people to flock to it in the future.
If your horizons are more short term, then the decision rests on your analysis of the current XLM price to look for opportunities. You can study price charts and then use technical indicators to decide when to buy. We perform this kind of analysis all the time and you can use our work to help you.
Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar price analysis roundup
Is Stellar (XLM) going up or down? Here’s my price prediction for April
Here’s why Stellar (XLM) price trades 200% higher this week
2. What problem does Stellar solve, and what are the coin’s investment prospects?
Stellar solves the problem of moving money across borders and maintaining its spending power wherever you are in the world. It also makes it easy to use cryptocurrency as a means of payment that you can transfer to other people or businesses in a frictionless way.
XLM’s investment prospects rely on Stellar’s continued growth. As owning Stellar lumens is a requirement to send money on the platform, more people using it would be good for XLM’s long term value. A broader move towards more transparent payment mechanisms would also be good news.
The challenge is that there are already lots of companies offering cross-border payments. PayPal in particular represents a major competitor, particularly as it has already started to accept cryptocurrencies itself. Drawing people away from PayPal, given that is already widely used, will be difficult. Follow the latest news to track Stellar’s success in that area.
Stellar (XLM) developers upgrades protocol in response to Node outage
Signal messaging app adds MobileCoin payment feature
Stellar (XLM) becomes third most popular crypto asset on Coinbase
3. Do you want to hold Stellar for the long term?
The decision rests on a number of factors, particularly your outlook for cross-border payments in general and whether Stellar can carve out a large market share for itself. Here are some final considerations, depending on whether you’re more interested in the long or short term.
Considerations for a long term investment strategy
If you feel good about XLM’s prospects in the future, then you should go ahead and buy some coins straight away. Find a reliable exchange platform to do so, and then consider getting a wallet to store your new cryptocurrency in.
Considerations for a short term trading strategy
Short term traders should find a broker that charges low fees and allows you to make as many trades as you want. Technical indicators and analysis is crucial to being a successful trader, as you need to study charts to be able to predict future price moves.