The first few days of 2018 have shown a booming start of the year for cryptocurrency, with the total market value pushing new all-time highs and many coins seeing huge bull trends. Among these, Stellar Lumens (XLM) is emerging as perhaps the biggest winner.
Since December 31, Stellar Lumens has already increased closed to 300%, from a price of US$0.31 to US$0.88. XLM has ascended to the sixth highest valued cryptocurrency, with a total market cap of US$15.7 billion. Stellar is now worth more than NEM and LTC, valued at US$15.2 billion and US$13.3 billion, respectively.
Just under a month ago, Stellar Lumens was struggling to maintain a position in the top 20 cryptocurrencies. This recent surge is an addition to an even larger run in the past month, with XLM growing over 980% since December 3. To reach the top 5, Stellar will have to grow another 60% to overtake Cardano (ADA), currently valued at US$26.8 billion
Stellar Lumens provides a decentralized alternative to Ripple (XRP). Like Ripple, XLM provides a number of features to dramatically reduce transaction costs and simplify cross-border payments. Unlike Ripple, which is marketed to banks, XLM seeks adoption by citizens worldwide as a gateway for remittances, as well as a superior currency for micro-transactions for both merchants and individuals.
Much of XLM’s valuation can be attributed to their partnerships with industry leaders, such as IBM and Deloitte. Deloitte, one of the “Big 4” accounting firms, announced they have seen a 40% cost reduction since adopting Stellar Lumens for internal transactions. IBM is using XLM to power their blockchain initiatives. Currently, the company is creating a cross-border payment system, which seeks to act as a global solution for blockchain banking.
Beyond this, there are rumors that Stellar will be integrated in the upcoming distributed exchange, FairX, which is poised to serve as a desperately needed competition to the exchange giant, Coinbase. FairX is being developed by IBM Employees and in conjunction with existing IBM blockchain infrastructure.
It is not explicitly confirmed that Stellar will be incorporated on FairX, but if this is the case, it stands to reason that XLM has potential for even larger increases than what has already been seen.