Many readers will be very familiar with bitcoin by now and probably even ethereum and Ripple's XRP, but one increasingly popular cryptocurrency that might have escaped them is Stellar Lumens (XLM).
Stellar, the company behind Stellar Lumens, has created a distributed, hybrid blockchain that is fully open-source.
The infrastructure was launched in 2014 to facilitate cross-asset transfers of value, including payments.
Essentially, the technology can move money across the globe quickly, reliably, and for just fractions of a cent using its crypto-asset called Lumens, or XLM, as a bridge.
Whilst bitcoin can accomplish the same thing, its archaic technology means that it takes considerable time for a transaction to complete. If this doesn't improve in the future, then it isn't hard to see why users would favour XLM or XRP instead.
Cryptocurrency traders certainly appear to be betting big on XLM in the future. The XLM price has risen by a massive 30% in the last 24 hours to reach 61.9 U.S. cents.
This gives the alt-coin a market capitalisation of over US$11 billion, roughly equal to that of insurance giant QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE).
Whilst this makes it one of the larger cryptocurrencies out there, it still pales in comparison to bitcoin, ethereum, and XRP.
These three have market capitalisations of approximately US$231 billion, US$117 billion, and US$81 billion, respectively, at the time of writing.
Should you buy Stellar Lumens?
I have been impressed with the technology behind XLM and believe it is vastly superior to that of bitcoin.
However, I feel it is near impossible at this stage to place a value on it. As a result, traders may be better off watching on with a keen interest rather than putting any hard earned money into it.