Stellar Lumens or XLM tokens are becoming a favorite for traders globally. Stellar is a decentralized network for payment processing, which is praised for providing speedy transactions with some of the lowest fees in the industry.
In this guide, we will walk you through a detailed process on how to buy and store Stellar Lumens.
Before we get into detail, here’s a short summary of the process:
- Get a Stellar Lumens wallet – Ledger or Atomic are good choices
- Note your XLM wallet address
- Find an exchange, which offers XLM trading pairs – Coinbase and Bitpanda are great choices
- Buy Lumens tokens on the exchange
- Send your Lumens to your wallet address for storage
Below we will provide you with a detailed description of how to buy and store XLM securely. This is a three-step process, and you can see the individual steps here:
Step 1 – Choose a cryptocurrency wallet
In order to buy XLM, you need a place to store it. In this section, we will take a look at two different wallet options for storing your Lumens.
- The first option is a hardware wallet called Ledger, which is a remote device, you can carry anywhere you go.
- The second option is Atomic – a desktop and mobile wallet, which is software-based.
Pros: extremely secure, as it has virtually no touch with online environments
Cons: there is a physical device you have to carry around
Ledger is a hardware cryptocurrency wallet, which looks very much like a USB flash drive. However, it performs complex functions and stores all your cryptocurrency assets. Getting yourself a Ledger is very easy. You can purchase a device here. There are currently three types of Ledger devices.
In order to start using the Ledger wallet, you have to download the desktop or mobile version of Ledger Live. It is the software, which facilitates the use of your Ledger wallet. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will be using the mobile version of Ledger Live, as it is easier to set up.
Here is the step by step process for setting up your Ledger Live application:
- Chose the device you are using
2. Follow the instructions to set up a PIN code for your device
3. Choose a recovery phrase, and make sure to remember it – it is the only way to retrieve your profile and funds if you forget your PIN code.
4. Pair your Ledger device to your mobile phone via Bluetooth (or via USB connection if you are using the desktop application).
Once you successfully pair your device, you will be all set to store cryptocurrency on it. Take a note of the wallet address once you complete the pairing, as this is where you will be sending your funds.
Ledger Live is available for all computer and mobile operating systems.
Pros: Easy to set up and use from your computer or mobile
Cons: Does not have the added layer of security of a hardware wallet
Atomic is a software-based cryptocurrency wallet, which is often advertised for its support for the Lumens token. Other than XLM, you can store more than 300 other cryptocurrencies in Atomic. In order to use the wallet, you have to visit the Atomic website or download the app straight from your mobile application store. We are going to be using the mobile version for this tutorial.
Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up your Atomic wallet:
- Save and install the Atomic app on your mobile
- Click on create new wallet once the app loads
3. Choose a password for accessing your wallet
4. The next screen is very important – it shows you a 12-word backup phrase, which will be used in case you forget your password. As you can see the words have no meaning and were randomly selected for the sake of security. Make a note of this sequence of words, as it is your only backup option.
5. After writing down your backup passphrase, you will be redirected to the main menu, where you can see all the available cryptocurrencies and your wallet address for each one of them.
Probably the most significant advantage of the Atomic wallet is that it allows you to swap between currency balances in-app, or in other words, without the necessity to go through a cryptocurrency exchange.
N.B! Regardless of the wallet service you choose, you should make a note of your XLM wallet address – this is the most important piece of information you are going to receive from your cryptocurrency wallet. Lumens wallet addresses always start with a G, which is followed by a long string of letters and numbers.
Here is an example of a Lumens wallet address:
Step 2 – Chose a cryptocurrency exchange
In order to buy Lumens with fiat money (either a credit card, debit card, or bank transfer) you have to use the services of a cryptocurrency exchange. Below you can see a detailed guide on how to sign up and purchase Lumens on several trusted cryptocurrency exchanges. Note that it is a common practice to first purchase one of the more established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ether, and then exchange it for XLM. (With Atomic you can do this directly in your wallet.)
Coinbase is one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, and one of the most trusted ones. They support a ton of different currencies, and the signup process is fast, easy and secure.
Briefly about the process:
- Get started by stating your name email and choosing a password
- Verify your email
- Set up your phone number for two-step verification
- Upload identity documents and proof of address
- Link your credit or debit card and top up with fiat currency
Pros: Coinbase is well-established and secure. It also comes with an integrated cryptocurrency wallet.
Cons: The verification process takes a bit longer than other exchanges – approximately two hours.
Here is a step by step guide to signing up and purchasing XLM on Coinbase:
- Create an account and fill in your login information
2. Provide your phone number, in order to go through the two-step verification and authenticate your account via a code sent to you through SMS
3. Fill in your personal information, and the purpose for your use of Coinbase
4. Verify your identity via passport, driver’s license, or personal ID
5. You can choose between three different ways to upload your personal documents
6. We chose the recommended upload method, which is through your mobile phone camera
7. The final step of the verification process will take you to a page asking for a recent document (past three months) which has your address on it – this is done to verify that you live at the address you state a few steps back.
8. Once you submit all necessary documents, you will get verified, and you will be redirected to the Coinbase home page.
9. By clicking the Trade button you will be redirected to the purchasing page, where you can deposit fiat currency into your account
10. Once you deposit funds in your account, you will be able to exchange them for cryptocurrency
11. Coinbase does not support direct purchases of XLM, so a good choice for you would be to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum, and send it to your Atomic wallet, where you can convert it to Lumens.
While Coinbase does not allow you to purchase Lumens directly, it is one of the most trusted exchanges out there, which is why it is featured in this guide. If you wish to purchase XLM without the need for additional conversions, you can move on to our second suggestion – Bitpanda.
Bitpanda is another trusted cryptocurrency exchange, targeting customers in the euro area. Some of its biggest advantages include the easy verification process, and the ability to purchase XLM directly from the exchange.
Pros: Easy to use, automated platform, full wallet integration
Cons: Available only to customers in the euro area
Briefly about the process:
- Register on the platform and confirm your email address
- Verify your account by indicating your personal information
- Deposit fiat currency (US, EUR, etc.) and buy Bitpandas’ supported cryptocurrencies
Here is a step by step guide on how to purchase XLM on Bitpanda:
- Fill in your name and email address – the signup process takes only about a minute.
- Once signed up and logged in you will see all currencies available for purchase, however, before you can get some Lumens, you will have to verify your account.
3. Clicking on Verify Now will take you to the first screen of the verification process, which gives you two options – a light or a full verification. To keep things simple we will go through the light version.
4. Next, you will have to fill in your personal information, your ID information and submit a biometric data sample (a selfie). This whole process happens on-site, without the need to upload any documents. You just have to show your ID to your computer or mobile camera.
5. Once you show both sides of your ID and your face, your verification will enter the pending phase. It usually just takes several minutes for the Bitpanda team to verify your account.
6. Once your account is verified you will be able to deposit fiat funds to it. Bitpanda accepts deposits in EUR, USD, CHF and GBP.
7. After depositing the desired amount of fiat currency, you will be able to trade it for Stellar Lumens by clicking the bubble of the cryptocurrency on the homepage.
Bitpanda is a very suitable option for people who want to buy Stellar Lumens directly, as their verification process takes no more than fifteen minutes and the exchange supports direct purchases of the cryptocurrency.
Step 3 – Move your XLM from the exchange to your wallet
You might wonder why you need to move your assets, as you already have them stored on the exchange. While this is true, storing your assets on an exchange is never recommended as you are exposed to malpractices like theft and fraud.
Remember that Nota bene remark we mentioned earlier? Your wallet address comes into play at this step.
Both Coinbase and Bitpanda support withdraws to external wallets. In essence, your wallet address (the long string of letters and numbers) lets the exchange now where to send the funds, much like an email address lets you receive your mail.
Moving your assets to an external wallet protects you, as storing your XLM on an exchange leaves you vulnerable to hacks.
If you are looking for a more extensive process description, read on and this guide will help you get Lumens in no time.
What is Stellar?
Stellar is a payment network, developed on the principles of Ripple, thus being a fork of the latter. While Ripple is a company aimed at making a profit, Stellar was created in order to provide an easier and more affordable payment network.
In this aspect, Stellar is much closer to Bitcoin as an idea, than it is to its foundation cryptocurrency Ripple.
With the initiation of the Stellar project, around one hundred billion Lumens were mined. Currently, only about twenty billion are in circulation, while the rest are being held by the Stellar Foundation.
In order to purchase Lumens, customers have to go through two separate anchors, or in other words, trusted asset handlers. The first anchor receives fiat currency and transfers it into digital assets, while the second anchor exchanges these digital assets into XLM.
What is the purpose behind XLM?
XLM was created with the idea to provide trustworthy access to the Stellar network. In order to become a part of the network, you need to have some XLM in your possession.
Lumens also have the purpose of authenticating accounts on the Stellar network. To open an account, each user has to deposit a minimum amount of half an XLM (0.5 XLM), in order to authenticate their identity.
XLM is also used to deduct a small transaction fee for every action utilized through the network. Each transaction costs about one-millionth of an XLM (0.000001 XLM).
Generally, Lumens are not regarded as an investment token, but rather one used for facilitating transactions on the Stellar network.
Updates/Developments – 21 Nov 2019
- The Wirex platform now supports XLM tokens allowing users to transact XLM with Wirex Visa card at over 40 million locations globally. Swift and SEPA can also be used to trade XLM.
- As of November 2019, 55 billion XLM has been burned by the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) in order to realign their development strategy. The Stellar Enterprise Fund will include 8 billion lumens that will help transform the Stellar ecosystem with suitable acquisitions.
- In November 2019, the Stellar Protocol 12 upgrade was completed successfully to counter inflation. Besides cutting down inflation, the upgrade can help regulate the XLM transactions related to international transactions.
Hopefully, you will find this guide useful if you are just starting out and exploring the option of buying XLM for the first time. Some essential notes:
- Keep in mind that nowadays, there are numerous alternatives to the wallets and exchanges we mentioned above, but these are our trusted and tested choices.
- You can stick to our suggestions, or go exploring the vastness of options available; however, we would always recommend choosing a trustworthy wallet and exchange, to better safeguard your assets.
- XLM is getting traction with each passing day as the Stellar network becomes more popular. While XLM is usually not regarded as an investment token, it might come in handy if you decide to take advantage of Stellar’s payment network.
- Don’t hesitate and visit the wallets and exchanges we mentioned here, and get your hands on some XLM.