Photo by gdtography on Unsplash The disruptive nature of crypto currency is self-evident, offering the world an alternative to the existing financial paradigm that has governed the transfer and storage of value for centuries. While libertarian ideologues may focus on cryptocurrencies as an engine of creative destruction that directly challenges incumbent financial infrastructure, it’s possible that distributed ledger technology does not necessarily need to eschew the system it will eventually replace entirely.

The Stellar network is a pragmatic blockchain project that aims to function as a bridge between the opposing worlds of cryptocurrency and traditional centralized financial institutions. Rather than create an entirely new financial model, Stellar is focused integrating within the current financial ecosystem — delivering the benefits offered by blockchain technology while working in coordination with existing banks and payment gateways.

Stellar is notable for its unique consensus method — the Stellar Consensus Protocol, which uses a federated byzantine agreement model that is wholly unique in the blockchain ecosystem and defies definition as a “blockchain” in a traditional sense. The Stellar project is a divisive subject within the blockchain community — opponents of the platform argue that the architecture of Stellar is not truly decentralized, and thus the project is antithetical to the core axioms of distributed ledger technology.

Proponents, however, highlight the impressive transaction capacity of the network, its strong partnerships, and the potential Stellar shows for furthering cryptocurrency adoption. The Stellar network is an extensive, complicated system, however.

To develop a nuanced perspective on Stellar, it’s necessary to cut through the technical complexity of the project and understand how Stellar does what it does, and why. Stellar is a blockchain platform that is primarily focused on integrating distributed ledger technology into existing financial infrastructure. Read more from…

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