Ripple Competitor Announces Plans To Roll Out Smart Contracts in 2022

Ripple competitor Stellar (XLM) is announcing plans to roll out smart contracts later this year.

Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) ecosystem head Justin Rice says smart contracts will enable a new suite of products and services on Stellar.

“There’s a lot of work to be done to get there, but at SDF we’re committed to researching and shepherding the development of the code and creating community engagement around an implementation.

The goal is to have Stellar remain one of the most accessible networks for developers so they can deliver high quality and safe applications to their users, while also allowing it to adapt and respond to the competitive blockchain landscape.”

Stellar is an open network for storing and moving money. The project’s native token, XLM, is used as a bridge currency between two fiat currencies when sending money abroad. XLM is trading at $0.192945 at time of writing, down 2.37% in the past 24 hours.

Tomer Weller, the vice president of tech strategy at Stellar, outlines the rough timeline for smart contract implementation in a new tweet.

“We’re aiming for a feature-complete test network by the end of 2022. Ultimately, the ecosystem will decide if and when to turn on smart contracts on Stellar.”

In October, the SDF announced a new partnership with the payments giant MoneyGram to use the Stellar blockchain to facilitate cross-border payments.

MoneyGram had previously entered into a partnership with Ripple, a Stellar competitor, in June 2019 for foreign exchange settlements and cross-border payments.

However, the payments giant suspended its use of XRP payments this past February in the wake of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) lawsuit against Ripple.

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Grayscale confirms Bitcoin ETF plans and adds exposure to Zcash, Stellar Lumens, and Horizen to its trusts

Institutional asset manager Grayscale has announced it will be converting its GBTC Trust into an exchange-traded fund (ETF) once the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has “comfort” with recently-approved Bitcoin futures ETFs.

In a Monday Twitter thread, Grayscale communications director Jennifer Rosenthal said the asset manager would proceed with offering an ETF when “the SEC has formally expressed their requisite comfort with the underlying Bitcoin market.” The offering would convert the asset manager’s Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), first listed in 2013, into an ETF.

“Once there’s official and verifiable evidence of the SEC’s comfort with the underlying Bitcoin market — likely in the form of a Bitcoin Futures ETF being deemed effective — the NYSE Arca will file a document called the 19b-4 to convert $GBTC into an ETF,” said Rosenthal.

The announcement follows ProShares announcement that its Bitcoin (BTC) futures-linked ETF will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BITO starting Oct. 19. Filings with the SEC show the regulator has also accepted the registration request for shares of Valkyrie’s Bitcoin Strategy ETF to be listed on the Nasdaq and may accept others in the near future — the SEC currently has several crypto ETF applications under review.

Related: Grayscale adds SOL and UNI to Digital Large Cap Fund portfolio

Grayscale also added three cryptocurrencies available for trading through its suite of crypto investment trust products. The firm said its Grayscale Zcash Trust, Grayscale Stellar Lumens Trust and Grayscale Horizen Trust were now listed on the OTCQX Best Market under the ticker symbols ZCSH, GXLM and HZEN, respectively.

According to Grayscale, the three trusts are not subject to registration and disclosure requirements from the SEC. The vehicles provide a way for investors to gain exposure to the tokens without directly investing in them. Grayscale offers six other crypto investment products with exposure to Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Litecoin (


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Stellar Soars on MoneyGram Partnership News

Key Takeaways

  • The Stellar Foundation has partnered with MoneyGram to enable near-real-time settlements.
  • XLM gained over 19% in market value following the announcement.
  • Stellar may now be bound for a brief correction before possibly higher highs.

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The Stellar Foundation is making significant strides to grow the utility of the XLM ledger. A new partnership with MoneyGram aims to enable customers to convert digital assets into cash seamlessly. 

MoneyGram Leverages the Stellar Network

MoneyGram has announced that it has teamed up with the Stellar Development Foundation and Circle to create a bridge between digital assets and sovereign currencies. The cross-border peer-to-peer payments and money transfer company aims to enable near-real-time settlements using blockchain technology and stablecoins. 

Customers will have the ability to convert USDC to cash and vice versa, leveraging the low fees and speed of the Stellar network. The integration is intended to boost the adoption of blockchain technology while increasing the utility and liquidity of cryptocurrencies, according to Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation. She said: 

“This partnership is a shining example of how blockchain technology and stablecoins bring new opportunities to global customers and enhance the existing financial system… giving [customers] access to fast and affordable digital asset services that may have previously been out of reach.”

Although the new services are scheduled to go live in select markets with further international expansion in 2022, market participants have reacted positively to the news. XLM has surged by 19% in the past few hours to reach a high of $0.37. 

XLM Looks For Liquidity Before Advancing Further

XLM’s price action appears to have been contained within an ascending parallel channel over the past two weeks. 

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Whenever Stellar rises to this technical formation’s upper boundary, it tends to be rejected and retraces to the pattern’s lower edge. From this point, it tends to rebound, which is consistent with the characteristics of a parallel channel.

The cross-border remittance tokens recently reached the channel’s upper trendline, indicating that a retracement to the middle or lower trendline may be underway. These crucial areas of support sit at $0.35 and $0.33 respectively. 

Stellar XLM US dollar price chart
Source: TradingView

It is worth noting that further buying pressure could invalidate the short-term pessimistic outlook and lead to more gains. A break of the $0.38 resistance level could result in a bullish impulse toward $0.41 or even $0.43. 

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An Introduction To Stellar And XLM: Mission, Control, And Consensus

This project is an enigma. On the one hand, Stellar is not for profit, it doesn’t have owners or shareholders, and strives to be somewhat decentralized. On the other, Stellar is a compliance-focused protocol, and its directors often meet with shadowy organizations like the World Economic Forum. According to their website, the protocol seeks “to unlock the world’s economic potential by making money more fluid, markets more open, and people more empowered.” Fine, but, at what cost?

Related Reading | Stellar To Power VISA’s New Partnership, XLM Begins Breakout

According to the legend, Stellar is a Ripple fork. However, as you’ll see below, that’s not exactly true. Founder of the infamous Mt. Gox cryptocurrency exchange and co-founder of Ripple, Jed McCaleb, launched Stellar in 2014. Joyce Kim, a lawyer, was his partner in the venture. Stripe financed the initial operation. The native currency of the whole Stelar ecosystem is called Lumen or XLM.

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Stellar’s Mission And Approach

The recently appointed CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation, Denelle Dixon, was recently interviewed by “The vision is big: Stellar and SDF hope to unlock the world’s economic potential by making money more fluid, markets more open, and people more empowered,” she told them.

On its website, Stellar justifies its existence by telling us. “The way the global financial establishment is structured today, people are born into an economy just like they’re born into a political system. Stellar is a way out: it lets people participate in a worldwide, stable, financial network regardless of where they live.”

The controversial aspect is Stellar’s approach. It’s completely opposed to the cryptocurrency ethos. The company wants to build a bridge between the traditional banking system and the cryptocurrency space, but by following the traditional banking system’s rusty rules. “The software has always been intended to enhance rather than undermine or replace the existing financial system.” 

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In other words, Stellar aims to provide a platform with which all financial actors can interact without any friction. All financial actors that are properly identified and approved by the legacy system, that is. 

What Is The Stellar Consensus Protocol?

As a consensus mechanism, Stellar doesn’t use Proof-Of-Work or Proof-Of-Stake. It uses its own Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP.) For a formal definition, let’s quote the paper that Stellar presented at the Symposium on Operating Systems Principles. How did Stellar solve the Byzantine general problem?

“With SCP, each institution specifies other institutions with which to remain in agreement; through the global interconnectedness of the financial system, the whole network then agrees on atomic transactions spanning arbitrary institutions, with no solvency or exchange-rate risk from intermediary asset issuers or market makers.”

And, what does the Stellar Consensus Protocol accomplish exactly?

“SCP lets Stellar atomically commit irreversible transactions across arbitrary participants who don’t know about or trust each other. That in turn guarantees new entrants access to the same markets as established players, makes it secure to get the best available exchange rates even from untrusted market makers, and dramatically reduces payment latency.”

For the system to function, Stellar relies on Federated Byzantine Agreements. For a description of what those do, let’s quote Bit2meAcademy:

“For the FBAs to function properly, participants must wait for the majority to reach a consensus. In this way, participants know which transactions are most relevant before starting to settle them. So when the majority of the network takes a position, the network accepts the transaction and makes it unfeasible to roll it back for an attacker.

In other words, the Stellar Consensus Protocol tends towards centralization and just ignores most of the problems that Proof-Of-Work solves. It does use significantly less energy, though.

XLMUSD price chart for 09/04/2021 - TradingView

XLMUSD price chart for 09/04/2021 - TradingView

XLM price chart for 09/04/2021 on Bitfinex | Source: XLM/USD on

Key Characteristics Of The Stellar Blockchain

  • Almost all of the Stellar validators are corporate entities of some sort. Or are maintained by the  Stellar Development Foundation. However, “anyone can install the Stellar software and join the consensus process.
  • Each Stellar Lumen account must have a minimum of XLM in them. This minimum balance protects the network from spam accounts.
  • The Stellar Lumen’s mission is to pay for gas to conduct operations inside the Stellar ecosystem.
  • The Stellar ecosystem was not designed for direct payments. The idea is to provide a platform to serve as an intermediary in currency exchange.
  • The system “doesn’t privilege any particular currency.”
  • The code is open source and auditable by anyone.
  • The Foundation helps maintain Stellar’s codebase, supports the technical and business communities around Stellar,” great! “And is a speaking partner to regulators and institutions,” ow.
  • Stellar recently signed a partnership with “crypto-asset risk management solutions” firm Elliptic. That means, “Elliptic’s monitoring, compliance, and analysis software now incorporates support for XLM, the native asset of Stellar.” Ow.
  • With the recent protocol 13 update, Stellar allows “fine-grained control of asset authorization.” This means the issuer of an asset can deauthorize accounts and don’t let them use the asset. This means, more control and permissions.
  • The Lumens had an inflation rate of 1% per year. In September 2019, Stellar removed inflation of Lumens. Also, the Stellar Development Foundation burned 55B of their Lumens. 

So, Is Stellar a Ripple Fork?

In its FAQ, Stellar goes back to its origins:

“The old Stellar network launched in July 2014. The node software (stellard) was a modified fork of the Ripple node software (rippled). The ledger was completely new and contained no history from Ripple’s network.”

Related Reading | Stellar To Introduce AMM Functionality, What This Means For Its Ecosystem

So, the software was originally based on Ripple’s, but the ledger was brand new. Nevertheless, in 2015, when they released the Stellar Consensus Protocol, they re-wrote the software from scratch. From that point onwards, Stellar doesn’t share any code with Ripple.

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Stellar Token XLM Targets $0.43 After Crucial Breakout

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Crypto Platform Stellar Looking To Acquire Payments Giant MoneyGram: Report

The Stellar Development Foundation reportedly wants to acquire payments giant MoneyGram.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that the non-profit organization behind the blockchain payment platform Stellar Lumens (XLM) is working with Boston-based private equity firm Advent International on the potential acquisition.



The two firms have already contacted MoneyGram, but a decision has not yet been made.

Several companies have been eyeing a takeover of MoneyGram amid increased demand for online payments. 

In 2017, Alibaba-owned electronic payments company Ant Group agreed to buy MoneyGram for $1.2 billion.

The deal stalled after failing to secure approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

Last year, fellow money transfer company Western Union offered to buy MoneyGram.

San Francisco-based payments firm Ripple also purchased a $30 million stake in the remittance giant in 2019, but the two firms announced in March that they are ending the partnership agreement.

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed at The Daily Hodl are not investment advice. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or digital assets. Please be advised that your transfers and trades are at your own risk, and any loses you may incur are your responsibility. The Daily Hodl does not recommend the buying or selling of any cryptocurrencies or digital assets, nor is The Daily Hodl an investment advisor. Please note that The Daily Hodl participates in affiliate marketing.

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Stellar’s XLM Up 14% on MoneyGram Takeover Plans

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Stellar’s XLM token rallied 14% following rumors that the Stellar Development Foundation has expressed interest in acquiring remittance provider MoneyGram International Inc.

XLM Rallies on MoneyGram Acquisition News

Stellar Lumens looks to have broken out of its downward trend. 

The project’s native token, Stellar Lumens (XLM), has risen 14% in the last 24 hours. The asset’s jump may be due to bullish news surrounding the Stellar Development Foundation. On Wednesday, anonymous sources told Bloomberg that the group behind Stellar had expressed preliminary takeover interest in MoneyGram International Inc. 

The Stellar Development Foundation is part of the Stellar Network, the non-profit organization behind the Stellar Lumens token. The organization’s goal is to facilitate fast, low-cost cross-border payments and remittances using XLM. Stellar is reportedly working with private equity firm Advent International on the acquisition. However, no final decision has been reached yet.

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XLM suffered more than most other leading crypto tokens during the recent market downturn, shedding 74% of its value since its May high of $0.78. Despite the decline, the token is still up more than 160% since the start of the current bull market. 

XLM Price chart
Source: CoinGecko

The Stellar takeover rumor is not MoneyGram’s first involvement with cryptocurrencies. In 2019, the firm partnered with Stellar competitor Ripple to provide international payment services using Ripple’s native token XRP. However, due to Ripple’s ongoing regulatory troubles with the SEC, MoneyGram officially ended its partnership with the company earlier this year. 

Disclaimer: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned BTC, ETH and less than $25 of XLM.

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Stellar Network To Power New Savings API Launched By Wyre

Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) CEO, Denelle Dixon, celebrated the result of a partnership with the payment infrastructure Wyre. This company has released a new Savings API for FinTechs to have access to a yield earning and savings product.

Based on the Stellar Network and its version of the stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), created by the CENTRE consortium.  The API provides an annual yield much higher than the one offered by most traditional bank accounts backed by the U.S. dollar.

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This average has been estimated at an 0.06%, according to data provided by the SDF. With the Wyre Savings API, institutional and corporate clients receive more yield for their capital, can access tools for treasure management and can power earnings products for their clients.

Stellar Supports Growth Of Blockchain-Based Savings And Payment Features

The API has been designed to be an easy on-ramp to those Stellar-based assets, such as stablecoin USDC, and provided a “seamless” Savings API, according to an official post published by the SDF. Ioannis Giannaros, Wyre CEO, said the following on the cooperation:

With this Savings API, we’re giving FinTechs faster access to deposits and the confidence of doing business with a licensed money transmitter. This is a huge win for early stage FinTechs looking to quickly expand the functionality available to their users– particularly those seeking to accept funds and offer stable currency savings with earning capability in the developing world.

Giannaros said to be excited about this launch and the possibility for their clients to leverage its savings functionality with yield payouts.

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The Stellar Development Foundation and Wyre have been working together for quite some time. At the beginning of 2021, the SDF’s Enterprise Fund made a $5 million investment in Wyre.

The organization believes that this new API, in combination with the cost-efficient Stellar-based rail for financial services, will power a new set of products, such as the one launched by Wyre.

The Wyre Savings account will make monthly payments of its earnings. This can be compound in value, the SDF clarified, and feeless to access the on-ramp fiat value. SDF’s CEO added:

As a Stellar anchor, Wyre’s industry-leading payment APIs — including its savings functionality — provide simple on- and off-ramps to Stellar USDC and high-value offerings to partners in developing countries. By making it easy for FinTechs to accept funds and offer their users a way to earn on savings, Wyre is simplifying and enriching development on Stellar and helping to further strengthen the network as a whole.

Stellar’s partner has operations in over 50 countries and process over $5 billion ins transfers executed since 2013. In the U.S., Wyre has a licensed to operate as a money transmitter in 27 states. One of the first companies to use their Savings API is the FinTech Airtm, a company with a great presence in Latin America.

Users in this region will be able to save money and accrue earnings with the Stellar USDC. Also, it will give many unbank users the option of keeping their savings in U.S. dollars. Josh Kliot, Head of Product and Co-Founder at Airtm said:

Using Wyre’s Savings API and Stellar USDC to provide our Latin American clients the ability to accrue earnings has been a tailwind for incentivizing their funds to remain as dollars instead of withdrawing to devaluing local currency.

XLM trades at $0.41 with moderate losses across the board.

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Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, XRP, DOT, XLM, SOL

Bitcoin (BTC) has been struggling to rise above the $50,000 mark, which could have resulted in traders dumping their Bitcoin positions to invest in altcoins. Glassnode data suggests that whale addresses owning more than 1,000 BTC have reduced from about 2,500 in February to 2,100.

If large investors continue to sell, Bitcoin could witness a sharp correction until institutional investors step in and buy at lower levels. While MicroStrategy announced the purchase of 271 Bitcoin on May 13, other existing institutional investors appear to be adopting a wait and watch approach.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

In an interview with Financial NewsSquare, Square chief financial officer Amrita Ahuja said, at this point, the firm does not have any plans to add Bitcoin to its existing haul of roughly 8,027 Bitcoin purchased in October 2020 and February of this year.

If other institutions also stay away from buying at current levels, Bitcoin’s price is likely to slide further. However, Fundstrat Global Advisors managing partner Tom Lee believes Bitcoin’s rally still has legs. Lee has increased his year-end Bitcoin target from $100,000 to $125,000.

With action becoming coin specific, let’s look at the top-5 cryptocurrencies that may lead the charge in the next few days.