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How to Buy Stellar Lumens (XLM) in 2024

Eric Huffman
Last updated: | 12 min read
buy stellar lumens

The Stellar (XLM) blockchain was launched in 2014 as a fork of the well-known XRP project. Both projects share some common goals, including efficient cross-border transactions. Each Stellar account must hold a small amount of lumens, the network’s native token. The maximum supply is capped at just 50 billion. In this guide, we’ll explain how to buy XLM and where to buy Stellar lumens safely.

While similar to XRP at inception, Stellar also focuses on decentralized finance (DeFi), empowering network users to interact with financial applications without intermediaries. The network also brings greater decentralization compared to XRP and its deep links to Ripple. Let’s learn how the Stellar network works, what you can do with XLM tokens, and where to buy XLM if you think it’s a fit for your portfolio.

Stellar Lumens (XLM) Coin Overview


Stellar Lumens (XLM) is the native token of the Stellar blockchain network. The project launched as a fork of the XRP Ledger, and Stellar operates as a decentralized alternative to XRP’s tightly controlled validator network and Ripple-centric XRP supply. Like XRP, XLM enables fast and affordable payments, with typical transaction costs of a fraction of a penny.

Partnerships with worldwide payment providers like MoneyGram illustrate the utility of Stellar’s network and the real-world application of blockchain technology as a more efficient alternative to legacy payment rails. Franklin Templeton now also uses the Stellar blockchain to record transactions for its money market fund.

Stellar was co-founded by Jed McCaleb, a blockchain industry icon who also founded Mt Gox and co-founded Ripple. Fellow co-founders David Mazières and Joyce Kim helped launch the project as a protocol to send currency pairs and tokenize assets on the blockchain. The network uses proof of agreement (PoA) as its consensus mechanism, allowing anyone to set up a node and participate in network security.

How to Buy Stellar (XLM) in 2024


For this walkthrough on how to buy XLM, we’ll use Coinbase, which lets you buy Stellar Lumen instantly after you set up your account. The Coinbase platform is the world’s largest publicly traded crypto exchange and supports trading in more than 100 countries worldwide. If you are still unsure, check out our XLM price prediction article to find out more about Stellar’s potential price trajectory.

3) Create a Coinbase account

Visit Coinbase to open an account if you don’t already have one. A basic account is free, but you’ll have to add a funding method, which we’ll cover in a later section.

coinbase signup

Coinbase will ask for your email address, after which you’ll need to provide your name, address, and other basic information.

During setup, you can also set up two-factor authentication (2FA). By default, Coinbase uses SMS to verify transactions, but you can also use the Coinbase mobile app and your email address to secure your account.

2) Verify Your Identity

Most crypto exchanges also require proof of identity to comply with regional Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. You’ll need to upload a clear and complete picture of your driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued ID.

coinbase id examples

Coinbase makes the process easy, and ID verification can take as little as 10 minutes. However, Coinbase advises new customers to allow up to two days.

3) Add a Funding Source

Next, you’ll need to add a funding source. Payment options vary depending on where you are in the world. However, Coinbase supports bank deposits in many countries as well as debit card transactions in many areas.

coinbase add payment method

PayPal is available for purchases in the US, although PayPal can only be used for withdrawals in some countries.

Connecting your bank account is the least expensive way to trade on Coinbase and many other exchanges. Bank-funded deposits are free in the US. By contrast, debit card and PayPal transactions come with additional fees. You’ll pay about 2% to deposit via PayPal and a variable fee for debit cards that’s combined with a trading fee.

Note: Debit cards can only be used for instant purchases. To deposit a balance to use later, you need to use a bank transfer, PayPal, or a similar supported account funding method.

4) Buy XLM

Once your account is funded, you’re ready to buy XLM.

We can use Coinbase Simple Trade for this example, which is easy to use and well-suited to new investors. Coinbase also offers advanced trading and lower fees with Coinbase Advanced.

Let’s learn how to buy XLM with Coinbase Simple Trade for now.

coinbase buy XLM select order amount

  1. Tap the Buy and Sell button.
  2. Choose a purchase amount.
  3. Choose the cryptocurrency you want to purchase. By default, Coinbase may display Bitcoin or Ethereum. Tap the arrow to search for and select XLM.
  4. Verify your payment method. If you have already funded your account, Coinbase defaults to your cash balance.
  5. Review your order details.

coinbase order preview

In this example, trading fees are zero because the account is using Coinbase One, a subscription service for frequent traders. Without this service, the trade costs $1.49. Larger trades bring lower fees as a percentage of the trade. Coinbase Advanced reduces fees further by enabling limit and market orders.

If everything looks right, tap the Buy Now button to complete your XLM purchase.

coinbase successful xlm purchase

5) Move Your XLM to a Self-Custody Wallet (Optional)

Coinbase can store your XLM in a custodial wallet on the exchange. This storage is free. However, many crypto investors prefer to store their crypto with a self-custody wallet. Many active Stellar users choose the Lobstr Wallet, a powerful mobile app for Android and iOS.

Trust Wallet, a crypto wallet backed by Binance, also supports XLM. Exodus Wallet and Atomic Wallet offer two additional multi-chain crypto wallets that support Stellar Lumens.

Download your chosen wallet from a trusted source and follow the instructions to complete the setup.

Let’s learn how to send your XLM to a self-custody wallet address.

coinbase send xlm to self custody

  1. Tap the My Assets button and select XLM.
  2. Choose the Transfer button.
  3. Select an amount of XLM to transfer.
  4. Verify you’ve chosen the correct cryptocurrency.
  5. Tap the arrow and paste the address from your self-custody wallet.

Where to Buy Stellar (XLM) in 2024?


XLM launched in 2014, so a number of major crypto exchanges now enable users to buy XLM instantly. Exchanges like Coinbase cater to new investors while also providing advanced trading tools. Binance and Kraken also offer XLM, with Binance known for low fees and Kraken noted for its transparency in the industry.

For some investors, ease of use trumps all. However, others may want advanced trading tools. Fortunately, XLM is widely available, so there’s an exchange option for every type of trader or investor. Let’s look at some of the best places to buy XLM.

Coinbase: Best For New Crypto Buyers

coinbase homepage

As the world’s largest publicly traded crypto exchange, Coinbase is also among the most regulated and trusted. This beginner-friendly exchange offers more than 200 cryptocurrencies, including XLM, as well as popular options like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Fees on Coinbase can be higher than those of its competitors, with Simple Trades costing nearly 4% for a $100 trade funded by debit card or PayPal. However, Coinbase’s Advanced Trade is easier to use than many competing platforms, giving traders a more affordable way to buy XLM and other digital assets without a steep learning curve. Coinbase Advanced trading fees range from 0.0% to 1.00%.

Feature Benefit
Direct Deposit Convert all or part of your pay to cryptocurrency automatically.
Automatic Purchases Tame market volatility by using automatic purchases to dollar-cost average your position.
USDC Yields Earn up to 5.5% on USDC held with Coinbase in between trades.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly platform
  • Regarded as one of the safest crypto exchanges
  • Wide selection of cryptocurrencies to diversify your portfolio

Cons

  • Higher than average fees for advanced trades
  • 7-day waiting period to withdraw bank-funded transactions

Visit Coinbase

Binance: Best for Low Trading Fees

binance homepage

Low fees and a myriad of advanced trading features have helped Binance become the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume. While Binance can seem overwhelming to newer users initially, a yellow buy button enables Instant Buy, an easy-to-use widget that does what it says on the tin. Fees for Instant Buy compare well with Coinbase’s Simple Trade, combining affordable trades with a clean UI. Trading fees for Instant Buy typically cost about 0.5% in addition to a spread to lock in quotes.

Binance Advanced Trade brings even lower-cost trades, with fees for occasional traders as low as 0.1%. Volume discounts are also available, and Binance offers a 25% discount when paying fees with BNB, the exchange’s native token. Choose from over 300 cryptocurrencies and leverage powerful trading tools, including trading bots, copy trading, futures trading, and much more.

Feature Benefit
Low-cost Instant Buys Binance’s easy-to-use Instant Buy brings lower fees compared to similar beginner-friendly widgets.
Advanced Trading Tools Binance offers leverage trading, trading bots, and perpetual futures, giving traders more ways to trade.
Copy Trading Follow the moves of successful traders on the platform.

Pros

  • Low fees for both simple and advanced trades
  • Wide selection of 350+ cryptocurrencies
  • More ways to trade compared to simpler platforms like Coinbase and Kraken

Cons

  • Not available in the US or Canada
  • Binance and its CEO pled guilty to US criminal charges in 2023

Visit Binance

Kraken: Best for Transparency

kraken homepage

Founded in 201, just two years after Bitcoin’s launch, Kraken is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges and has become known for its transparency in the industry. Kraken was among the first exchanges to provide proof of reserves, a third-party audited way to prove the exchange has the crypto it says it has.

This time-tested exchange offers more than 200 cryptocurrencies, including XLM, in addition to popular options like BTC, ETH, SOL, and others. Trading fees for Kraken Pro, Kraken’s advanced trading platform, compare well against Coinbase Advanced. Accounts with up to $10,000 in monthly trading volume pay just 0.25% for limit orders and 0.40% for market orders. However, Kraken’s simpler trading interface uses a variable fee paired with a spread that can be costlier.

Feature Benefit
Easy-to-Use Advanced Trading Kraken Pro provides lower trading fees with a well-designed advanced trading platform.
Proof of Reserves (PoR) Regular snapshots let you compare your balance against the exchange’s holdings using an audited process.
Futures and Margin Trading Kraken Pro delivers advanced trading features with an intuitive interface and safety-focused leverage limits for qualified accounts.

Pros

  • Large selection of popular cryptocurrencies
  • Competitive trading fees for Kraken Pro
  • Proof of Reserves to verify exchange holdings

Cons

  • Higher fees for basic trades
  • Not available in all US states

Visit Kraken

What Can You Do With Stellar Lumens (XLM) Tokens?


Many XLM investors buy Lumens as a speculative investment. The token’s fixed cap of 50 billion tokens combined with the requirement that each account hold a minimum amount of XLM suggests supply pressure could push the future XLM price higher. However, XLM is meant to be used in the Stellar ecosystem, acting as fuel for the network. Let’s examine the role of Stellar Lumens on the Stellar blockchain.

Cross-Border Payments

Stellar offers an ideal solution for cross-border payments with instant settlement. The network boasts more than 300,000 payment centers that provide onramps and offramps for crypto payments. Stellar’s low transaction fees make it well-suited to businesses with large numbers of transactions, such as international payroll or paying suppliers. Stellar’s network of anchors and payment service providers help ensure KYC compliance.

Micropayments

Basic transactions such as sending XLM cost just 0.00001 XLM, or about $0.00000099 at current XLM prices. This low cost makes Stellar well-suited to payments of any size, including micropayments of less than $1 or even just a few pennies. By comparison, the average Ethereum transaction fee is $1.42, and the average Bitcoin transaction costs $4.60. Each of these estimates can also spike with higher network usage, making them a less efficient way to send payments compared to Stellar.

Staking XLM

Stellar doesn’t use proof of stake (PoS) to validate network transactions, so there is no “staking” in the traditional sense. However, protocols like Ultra Capital allow you to earn a yield on Stellar lumens by exchanging XLM for yXLM. These yield-bearing tokens provide crypto passive income while also giving you a liquid asset you can hold, sell, send, or redeem for XLM at any time.

Trade on the Built-In DEX

stellar x dex

The Stellar blockchain offers tokens for hundreds of crypto assets, including well-known cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH, as well as stablecoins like USDC and the aforementioned yield-bearing yXLM. Using a decentralized exchange like Stellar X or an XLM wallet like Lobstr, you can swap one asset for another to rebalance your portfolio or for use in other decentralized applications (dApps).

By design, Stellar swaps are fast with negligible transaction costs.

Conclusion


In this guide, we discussed how to buy XLM and where to buy Stellar Lumens. Well-established crypto exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken allow you to buy Stellar Lumens XLM instantly and also offer the option to move your XLM to a self-custody wallet. From your wallet, you use XLM in your everyday transactions with friends who also hold XLM or put your XLM to work in the growing Stellar ecosystem.

FAQs

How can you buy XLM directly?

Coinbase and Kraken both support buying and selling XLM. To get started, open an account and connect a funding source. Then, decide how much XLM you want to buy and place an order using the Buy button on either platform.

What is the safest way to buy XLM?

Coinbase and Kraken are both considered to be among the safest crypto exchanges, and both trading platforms support XLM trading.

Is XLM on Coinbase?

Yes. Coinbase offers XLM alongside more than 200 other cryptocurrencies.

How can you buy Stellar Lumens instantly?

Sign up for an account with Coinbase, Kraken, or Binance. Each of these platforms allows you to buy Stellar Lumens instantly by connecting your bank account or debit card.

Can you buy XLM with a credit card?

Fewer exchanges support crypto purchases with a credit or debit card now. However, Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance all support debit card purchases in many leading markets. Kraken also supports credit card purchases in some markets. You’ll be able to use these exchanges to purchase Stellar Lumens.

References

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