Around 17:45 UTC on Monday (March 18th), Coinbase announced that it was about to launch the digital asset Stellar Lumen (XLM) on Coinbase Consumer (i.e. Coinbase.com), its platform for regular retail investors/traders, as well as on Coinbase's mobile app.
Stellar is "an open-source, decentralized protocol for digital currency to fiat currency transfers which allows cross-border transactions between any pair of currencies;" this protocol, was designed by Jed McCaleb (a former CTO of Ripple) and Joyce Kim, is supported by the nonprofit organization Stellar Development Foundation. Lumens (XLM) "are the native asset of the Stellar network."
Last Wednesday (March 13th), as reported by CryptoGlobe, Coinbase announced that Stellar Lumen (XLM) had been added to Coinbase Pro, its platform for professional/experienced traders/investors.
Here is how Coinbase first announced today's news on Twitter:
Stellar Lumens (XLM) support is launching at https://t.co/bCG11KveHS and in the iOS and Android apps within the next 15 minutes. You may need to update your app to properly buy, sell or convert XLM. We will update when XLM is fully live. https://t.co/YSIYNPO4JP— Coinbase (@coinbase) March 18, 2019
And then three minutes later, came this tweet:
This is how Coinbase's blog post describes XLM:
"Stellar’s cryptocurrency, the Stellar Lumen (XLM), powers the Stellar payment network. Stellar aims to connect banks, payment systems and individuals quickly and reliably. Since its launch in 2014, its vision has been to unite the world’s financial infrastructure so that money can flow quickly and cheaply between banks, businesses, and people. The Internet connected the world’s computers so that information could be shared globally. Stellar aims to do the same for money."
Two things worth noting are:
- "... inbound transfers and many sends require the specification of an XLM destination tag."
- "XLM will be available for customers in most jurisdictions, but will not initially be available for residents of the United Kingdom or the state of New York."
Here is a chart by CryptoCompare showing XLM's price action during the past 24-hour period:
Today's Coinbase announcement about XLM came just (roughly) eight hours before Jesse Lund, IBM's Vice President of Blockchain and Digital Currencies, will make an announcement about his company's cross-border payments solution "IBM Blockchain World Wire" (which runs on the Stellar network) at the Money20/20 Asia conference (March 19–21) in Singapore.
Lund will be joined on stage by Jed McCaleb, co-founder of Stellar, Ripple and Mt Gox. Lund hinted at this upcoming announcement during an interview with Australia's largest comparison site Finder.com.au that was published on February 20th.
Here is what Lund said about Blockchain World Wire at that interview:
"The architecture of World Wire is really a cross-border payment network, the magic of which is the ability to send a payment message instruction saying 'Hey, I'm sending you something; get ready!' and on the other end, the receiver is making sure that who you are sending it to is not some nefarious actor or bad actor, but once that happens, and that happens really fast, then we send the value along, and that transfer of value is made possible by an ecosystem of digital settlement instruments, of which [Stellar] lumens is one...
IBM's long game in this is to be the network operator... So, the subscribers, the customers, if you will, of World Wire are market makers who really provide the pay in, pay out locations, and they themselves have corporate clients and probably retail clients. So, we're really providing a kind of conduit through which money can flow in real-time."
Featured Image Courtesy of Stellar Development Foundation