Stellar (XLM) Review: a Coin made of Ripple?
Since its creation in 2014 the coin known as Stellar Lumens (or XLM) has seen a fairly impressive rate of growth.
When we look at Stellar you will feel a sense of Deja Vu as you realize that Stellar and Ripple (XRP) are very similar coins. Well, there is a reason for those similarities. Both were created by yet another brilliant mind residing here in the cryptosphere; Jed McCaleb. As children of the same father both of these coins share a very important and unique trait among cryptos in that both are backed by physical assets. However, upon closer inspection; that is where the similarities end and the differences begin. Stellar is actually a hard fork of Ripple. And, like other hard fork coins, Stellar has become something completely different than its predecessor; with its own followers. And, for good reason. Stellar is truly unique among cryptos, as we will discuss herein.
But, Why Was a Ripple Fork Needed?
The Stellar Team claims to have fixed some issues in the Ripple coin, blockchain, and protocol. But we at CryptoDetail see more of a new "business model"; than a change of protocol and code. So, let's review those two business models to see exactly what it was about Ripple that made Jed decide a hard fork (which is a fairly drastic step here in the cryptosphere) was necessary.
Differences in the Business Models
Stellar Lumens were created mainly to expand the influence and user base of Ripple. The Stellar Project is registered as a nonprofit organization; while the Ripple Project is a for-profit corporation. The Stellar Organization is focused on the social good; creating wealth and prosperity for those in need. While Ripple, like most other corporations, is focused solely on profit. And, since Ripple has aimed their sites at partnering with the banking industry, "social good" simply is not on their agenda.
Stellar (both the coin and the platform) is a completely open source (like we like it here in the cryptosphere). However, Ripple is a closed source ledger system; not really that different from the outdated and fraud-ridden MERS mortgage transfer software. In short, the Stellar employees are paid to write open source code that will benefit every future project built by any coder who chooses to access their Github account. And, Ripple employees are paid to hide what is actually a very brilliant code; but, in reality, it is simply another vehicle for banking fraud as we all know the traditional banks will use any tool to further their profits even by a penny.
Being open source, in the Stellar network, everyone has equal access whether they are paid employees, volunteers, curious XLM users, researchers or coders. The same is not true with the closed environment and code of Ripple. So, there is the one HUGE problem we see with Ripple; lack of transparency. That lack of transparency in the fiat world is what led Satoshi to create Bitcoin.
Stellar is much more decentralized than Ripple. When the founder of both these projects left Ripple his funds were "frozen"; proving the control that the Ripple project has over the money it holds, allegedly for its users. This "frozen asset" possibility, along with the aforementioned lack of transparency, leads us to believe that Ripple may actually be an "anti-bitcoin" created by the fiat institutions we seek to avoid.
Regardless of the truth of that near-conspiracy theory; the truth of the matter is that Ripple is NOT a true blockchain project if it is so centralized it has the power to "freeze" assets. Although the project leader, Brad Garlinghouse, denied such allegations on Quora: “Ripple is not centralized. To be clear, if Ripple disappeared today XRP would continue to function. To us, that is the most important measure of whether something is decentralized.”.
Unfortunately for Mr. Garlinghouse, we in the cryptosphere do NOT define decentralization as the ability of a coin to outlive the project contributors. Decentralization is the very core of the freedom we seek in the cryptosphere. Decentralization is very literally a lack of any centralized entity controlling any portion of our money and how we choose to transfer it. If we in the cryptosphere wanted to fear waking up to find our assets had been "frozen" we would have left our money in Wells Fargo and PayPal. But, we didn't; we chose the safety of the cryptosphere. We chose the security that comes from the complete transparency of public blockchains over the covert, hidden nature of the fiat world we came to crypto to escape.
When it comes to the question of "what was wrong with Ripple that caused the creation of Stellar?" we see several things "wrong" (from a blockchain viewpoint) with Ripple.
1) The lack of transparency in Ripple is a huge red flag. Hiding your ledger in a secure cloud, out of the view of your users and the general public is not only shady, it is entirely insecure.
2) The fact that Ripple is so centralized that it can "freeze" (STEAL) our assets is enough to make us flee in fright, removing our money to more secure and trustworthy coins and tokens.
3) The social consciousness of these two projects is completely converse. The "big bank" mindset of Ripple again makes us here at CryptoDetail want to stay as far away from this project as possible.
.. is that Satoshi gave us blockchain to free us from all three of those things. Fraud in the fiat banking world is rampant. That fraud comes from the ability of those institutions to hide their illegal and immoral banking practices. Ripple allows them to continue that process.
All in all; we think that the new socially away Stellar project outshines Ripple when compared at their core. Between the two Stellar is the one most in line with the vision of Satoshi. The vision we in the cryptosphere share.
Thanks for joining us in this exploration. Good luck on your crypto journey. And happy HODLing!!!