Stellar and its innovative consensus protocol has lots of advantages for projects like ours, but here are a few that matter the most to us.
Fees Stellar has extremely low and predictable transaction fees. At current rates, Stellar’s base transaction fee is a fraction of a fraction of a cent. Fees like this make even small loans and the related micro-repayments tenable.
Speed Stellar can process over 1,000 transactions per second and those transactions take only 2-5 seconds to confirm. This is crucial for a project that aspires to process tens of thousands of transactions per day.
Security The Stellar smart contract system is simpler and more secure than many competing platforms. This is critical for projects like ours that handle large amounts of value for users.
Mission Stellar was established as a non-profit working to promote global financial access, literacy, and inclusion. That aligns perfectly with our mission to provide universal access to affordable credit and financial services.
Stellar's low transaction speeds and fast transaction times are a result of their unique consensus protocol.
In this system Stellar validators serve a similar purpose to miners in the Bitcoin or Ethereum networks. They come to consensus on sets of transactions to be added to the global ledger by passing cryptographically signed messages. Consensus on these updates is reached every 2-5 seconds.
Unlike other similar consensus protocols, there is no single, master validator list recommended by a central authority. Instead, each validator decides which other validators they trust. This list of trusted validators is called their quorum slice. The overlap in these quorum slices are used to reach a network-wide consensus on which transactions to add to the ledger.
In this way, no single centralized authority is needed to determine the list of validators. Instead, the network functions on the basis of open membership. Anyone can participate in the consensus process as a validator, as long as another validator adds you to their list. Through this process, the network and its decision-making process becomes truly decentralized.
The Stellar Core software is in charge of communicating and maintaining the Stellar network. Using the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP), it does validation and agrees on the status of transactions on the network. Anyone can run the software. Running Stellar Core is similar to running an Ethereum or Bitcoin node, except that there is no mining involved.
Horizon is a RESTful API Gateway which allows you to interact with Stellar Core and makes it easy to build applications using the network. With it you can submit transactions, read accounts or subscribe to events in the network.
Anchors issue assets on top of Stellar and then credit those asset to other Stellar accounts. If the anchor represents fiat, then it is likely an authorised entity to deal with money like banks, savings and credit institutions or a remittance company. User deposit fiat to the anchor's account and they credit the user Stellar account with the equivalent balance
Anchors can represent other cryptocurrencies as well. If you want to deposit Ether, they give you an Ethereum address. After you deposit Ether to that address they issue the equivalent to your Stellar account. In this case you'll have to trust the Anchor because they'll be acting as custodian for the Ether you sent them
Assets are resources with economic value like money, equity, real estate, goats, you name it. Stellar allows any account to define traditional assets or even come up with new ones. These can be easily traded and exchanged over the Stellar network.
You need to create a Stellar account before interacting with the network. To create an account you need to deposit Lumens into it, you can get the Lumens buying them in a exchange or asking a friend for some.
Creating a Stellar account generates a Public/Private keypair. The public key begins with 'G' and is the equivalent of your bank account number while the private key (begins with 'S') and is the password. The private key is required to sign each transaction. You may choose to add other signatories to manage your account as well but this will bump up the minimum Lumen balance required to operate your Stellar account.