Stellar glossary


An account, otherwise known as an address, is used to store your funds and send and receive payments. Every account has a public key and a secret, private key. Learn more about public and private keys here.


An airdrop, also sometimes called a giveaway, is a free distribution (usually on a large scale) of a cryptocurrency token or coin to a deterministic set of users. This article goes into greater detail.


Anchors are entities on the Stellar network that users trust to hold their funds and issue credits in return for deposits. All non-XLM transactions on the Stellar network pass through anchors, who act as a bridge between other currencies (including fiat) and the Stellar network.


Stellar uses a different protocol than the other cryptocurrencies supported by the Blockchain wallet for determining the validity of transactions and adding them to the global ledger, called consensus. Every participant (called a node) who helps add Stellar transactions to the global ledger chooses its own mini-network of other trusted participants that it agrees with. As long as these mini-networks (called quorum slices) overlap, the overall Stellar network can reach agreement about which transactions are valid and can be added to the ledger very quickly. You can read about how Stellar’s consensus mechanism works in greater detail in this article.


Short for Stellar federation protocol, Federation is an optional aspect of Stellar that maps addresses to more information about a user. Unlike regular cryptocurrency addresses, which are long strings of alphanumeric characters, Federation addresses look rather like email addresses. The Blockchain wallet does not support Federation addresses at this time.


Where Bitcoin has blocks, Stellar has ledgers. A Stellar ledger represents the state of the network at any given point in time, and is comprised of accounts and balances, orders in the distributed exchange, and any other data that may have been included with transactions. The very first ledger in the history of the network was called the genesis ledger, and all of the ledgers together make up a chain of ledgers, each cryptographically linked to the one before it.


The lumen (pl. lumens, also XLM) is the native asset of Stellar. It is the cryptocurrency that powers the Stellar network and decentralized exchange. users can send, receive, exchange, and store XLM within their web or hardware wallets.


A memo is a message included with a transaction. This optional feature of Stellar allows users to communicate with each other on the global public ledger. Learn more about memos here.


Any computer that is connected to the network is called a node. A full node is one that keeps the entire history of the network and verifies the network rules, checking every transaction and ledger against the rules of consensus. Those interested in a more technical explanation and description of different types of Stellar nodes can find it here.

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