Learning how to buy Stellar lumens is a must for anyone new to crypto.
Bitcoin and Ethereum have their uses, but the real world potential of the Stellar network and its xlm coin are unmatched. It’s our best option for creating a truly global economy.
After reading this step-by-step guide, you’ll know exactly how to exchange your dollars (USD) for lumens (XLM). From there it’s up to you to dig deeper into the xlm coin, learning what you can from the awesome Stellar reddit community or through your own research.
Since this guide focuses on XLM and how to buy stellar lumens with USD (although you can buy lumens with any currency), we’ll first do a quick dive into the background of Stellar and why it’s unique.
Why Stellar? What are Lumens?
All cryptocurrency networks are built on the blockchain, but they each have different functions. We’re seeing now that each network is best suited to solve certain types of problems.
Bitcoin is being used more as an investment asset. Ethereum’s main value is in smart contracts. Zcash is great for privacy.
And then there’s Stellar.
In the words of Jed McCaleb, founder and CTO of Stellar, they are creating “a worldwide financial network open to anyone.”
Fast, cheap, and reliable transactions, regardless of geography or economic level.
Stellar is best suited to streamline global payments — to connect people and financial institutions across the entire world. Stellar’s near-instant transactions and nominal fees give it a big advantage, especially in underserved areas.
Stellar’s partnership with IBM and KlickEx was a huge step in showing the real world utility of the network, and gave a glimpse into the future potential of cross-border payments.
Lumens (XLM) are the digital asset used to transfer value on the Stellar network. Owning the xlm coin makes it easier to facilitate trades between currencies that are less liquid.
The Importance of Anchors
Stellar bridges existing currencies with their network using “anchors.” Anchors are entities trusted to hold deposits and issue credits into the Stellar network.
Stellar is the technology that powers the next generation of financial organizations and Stronghold is helping set the foundation.
If you want to buy Stellar lumens, Stronghold is where you do it.
How to Buy Stellar Lumens
Once you’ve created a Stronghold account, exchanging your dollars for lumens is a pretty straight forward process. It happens in two parts: USD to BTC/ETH, and then BTC/ETCH to XLM.
If you already have BTC or ETH, skip down to part 2 (BTC TO XLM). Exchanging for the xlm coin is the same process for both Bitcoin and Ethereum.
If you don’t, and want to know how to buy stellar lumens with USD (or another fiat currency), this is how you do it from the very beginning:
Part 1: USD to BTC
1. First you’ll need to exchange your dollars for Bitcoin or ether. The most widely used fiat to crypto on ramp is Coinbase. Go to Coinbase to create your free account.
2. Add a payment method. You can choose to link to your PayPal account, US bank account or a credit/debit card. Note that each payment method has its own fees, limits, and wait times.
3. Coinbase will then ask you to fill out an “Identity Verification” form. Once that is complete (it may take a few days to verify your bank account) your wallets will be active, and you’ll be ready to buy your first cryptocurrency.
Coinbase lets you to create unique wallets for BTC,ETH, LTC and BCH (click “Accounts” to see each wallet).
As mentioned before, you can buy stellar lumens on Stronghold with either BTC or ETH. In this example we’ll use BTC.
4. From your dashboard, click the “Buy/Sell” tab, and then click “Buy Bitcoin.” Set your payment method, how much BTC you want to buy, and click “Buy Bitcoin” once you confirm your information.
If you’re completely new to crypto, we recommend starting with a small amount (like $100) to get a feel for the process.
And with that, you’re in the game.
Your bitcoin will become available in your wallet in 5 days. You should get an email notification when the purchase is made and when the funds become available. Waiting 5 days can seem like forever, so if you want instant BTC, pay using a Debit card. Just remember the fees will be higher.
Once your BTC is in available, you can use it to buy Stellar lumens. Part 2 of this guide will show you how with Stronghold.
Part 2: BTC to XLM
5. Login to your Stronghold account and click ‘Balances’ to go to your wallet. (Set up your free account if you haven’t already)
In this example, you will see how to buy Stellar lumens (XLM) with bitcoin (BTC), but you can follow the same steps to buy xlm coin with ether (ETH).
6. Click ‘Receive’ by the asset you want to transfer over (in this case, BTC) to bring up your QR code and address. Copy your address (or scan the QR code if you’re on mobile) to transfer funds from your Bitcoin wallet. The minimum deposit is 0.001 Bitcoin.
7. Go back to your Coinbase account and click ‘Send.’ Here you can now paste your Stronghold BTC wallet receiving address. After you click ‘Continue’ and confirm the transaction information again, your BTC will be on its way to your Stronghold account.
One issue with the BTC and ETH networks is that they can become slow and transactions can be delayed (usually no more than an hour). You won’t have this problem once you have XLM (transactions are near-instant), but it can’t be avoided when making your initial transfer.
8. Once your Stronghold account is funded with BTC, go back to your Stronghold dashboard and click ‘Trade’ near the top of the screen. You will see a screen like this:
Click the “XLM/BTC” market to buy Lumens with Bitcoin (Use XLM/ETH for ether) and fill out the order form on the right.
Here is a sample to buy 100 lumens:
Click the green ‘Buy’ button to push your order live. After your order is placed, you will see it in ‘Open Orders’ on your trade page. All orders made on Stronghold are limit orders.
What are Limit Orders?
Limit orders mean the trade will only execute if someone is willing to sell at that ask (price) according to the order book, found on your account’s ‘Trade’ page.
Here’s what the order book looks like for our example:
A quick glance shows the lowest ask (lowest price someone is willing to sell lumens) is 0.000001150 BTC. This leaves two options:
1) Place an order at the desired price and hope it gets filled.
2) Raise your selling price to the lowest ask.
If you’re set on the price you want to buy at and believe that it will be met, you can wait for it to get filled. A bit risky, but allows you to get in at your desired price. If you want your order to execute immediately, raise your price to the lowest ask.
Your order will remain in ‘Open Orders’ (found on your trade page) there until it is filled. Once filled, the funds will appear in your wallet.
You can always view your recent orders under “My Recent Trade History” on the “Trade” page.
Remember, if your order remains open and does not get filled, you may need to adjust your price.
And that’s it! That’s how you buy Stellar lumens. You now have XLM in your Stronghold account. Remember to always keep your Two-Factor Authentication on for added security.
Stellar’s Bigger Picture
Stellar is playing a huge part in connecting the world financially. We recommend looking over the Stellar Foundation’s official mandate to learn about their direct-signup program for individuals and see what they’re doing to drive institutional adoption.
Remember, everyone started off as a beginner. If you’re really interested, dig deep and learn as much as you can about all the networks, not just Stellar. Here’s a great resource to get you started.Stellar Trading