Disclaimer: This guide is not Buy recommendation.
In this post I’ll take you step-by-step through how to buy Stellar in NZ from a reputable broker and your different payment and storage options.
What is Stellar?
The Stellar Network is a low-cost global transaction network. The goal of the network is to combat poverty and exclusion by creating a world class, low cost financial system that includes all classes of global society.
Stellar believes people should be able to send any currency to anyone in the world affordably. The Stellar Network makes this possible with its native token, the lumen. When people send lumens to each other, the Stellar network will change it into the recipient’s desired currency at a fair rate, using entities known as anchors.
The Stellar Network is “free” to use – they charge a nominal fee (less than one cent) per transaction for anti-spam purposes. Fees are paid in lumens.
The development team is headed by Jed McCaleb, the co-founder of Stellar and a household name in the crypto community.
Prior to founding Stellar, he co-founded Ripple, the company behind XRP, and prior to that, Mt Gox, the first mainstream Bitcoin exchange.
The Stellar Network is based on a decentralised network of servers.
Anybody can run a server. These servers sync with each other to reach a consensus on the state of the network, similar to how nodes work on Bitcoin. A new consensus is reached every 2-5 seconds.
You can read the whitepaper on the Stellar Consensus Protocol here.
The interesting thing about servers on Stellar is there is no monetary incentive to run a server. This is contrary to most blockchains, where securing the network provides some kind of reward, such as the staking rewards on NEO or newly mined coins on Bitcoin. With Stellar, the incentive to securing the Stellar network is…securing the Stellar network. Entities who become servers most likely will have a vested interest in the network being secure, i.e. they use the network in their business operations. Obvious entities who may want to become servers are banks, remittance companies, credit unions etc.
Transactions on the Stellar network are run through anchors.
Anchors are defined by Stellar as trusted entities. These could be banks, co-operatives, businesses, or any kind of entity. Anchors take your payments and issue credits in the Stellar Network. Stellar likens anchors to Paypal – when using Paypal you deposit money into Paypal and they credit your Paypal account with dollars that you can use on their platform. However with Stellar, because all anchors are connected to the Stellar network, it’s like having many Paypals connected together so they can easily transact with one another. A list of Stellar’s key anchors can be found on their website.
Stellar has the lowest transaction fees of all the major networks, and transaction speed is most likely second only to Ripple. This puts it in a prime position to achieve its goal of becoming a global payment network as adoption grows.
Stellar plans to address scalability by eventually adopting the Lightning Network – the off-chain protocol originally designed for Bitcoin.
How To Buy Stellar In NZ
The option I recommend right now is EasyCrypto.
They are a full-service crypto and Bitcoin brokerage owned and operated in NZ.
Here is why it’s my top recommendation:
- Orders are filled quickly at market prices.
- Very low fees.
- Excellent customer service.
- Over 100 other cryptocurrencies available.
- They are a registered NZ Financial Services Provider and FDRS member.
- Pay by bank deposit, credit or debit card, Poli or Account2Account.
How to buy Stellar on EasyCrypto
The reason I like EasyCrypto is that the process is quick, and everything is done in NZD.
To buy Stellar, there are six simple steps.
Step 1: Open an EasyCrypto account
First, click here to head to their website and open an account:
You can sign up with your socials or an email address just like any other online service.
You now have a crypto brokerage account giving you access to hundreds of cryptocurrencies.
Step 2: Verify your account
As a registered Financial Services Provider in NZ, they need to verify your identity.
This might feel like a nuisance, but try to remember it is actually to protect you.
Don’t buy Bitcoin or crypto from anyone who isn’t registered in New Zealand, especially if you’re new to the market.
People get scammed daily trying to get a deal from obscure sellers.
Verification should only take you a few minutes and only requires a driver’s license or passport:
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to buy!
Step 3: Choose your coins and quantity
For this example, I’m going to walk you through buying $200 of Stellar.
Head to the homepage after you’ve signed up and you should see a page with all the coins you can buy:
Click “Buy”, then click “Stellar” and then click “$200” as I’ve shown in the screenshot above.
The prices are all in NZD.
Step 4: Choose your Stellar address
On the next page, you’ll get asked to enter your Stellar address.
This is where your Stellar will be sent to.
Stellar addresses work exactly the same as Bitcoin addresses.
If you don’t have one, you have two options.
You can click the “I don’t have a Stellar address” button and EasyCrypto will help you set up a private wallet.
I also have a guide that will help you set up a private wallet here.
However, for beginners, my advice is to forgo a private wallet and set up an address at an exchange instead.
This goes contrary to the popular advice, which is to always keep your coins in a private wallet, but personally, I think beginners who are just buying their first few hundred dollars of crypto are not yet ready for private wallets.
However, be aware that carrying crypto on an exchange contains risk! Your funds can be locked or lost in the event the exchange is compromised. However, carrying crypto in a private wallet also contains risk. Personally, if this is your first purchase, and if it’s only for a small amount of crypto (say, a few hundred dollars), I think an exchange contains less risk. You can read more about my reasoning and why I recommend exchanges for beginners here.
When you start building your crypto portfolio to higher levels (say, past $1,000) then I would suggest looking into more secure options such as private wallets and hardware wallets. If that sounds like you, check out my guide on private wallets here.
If you’re happy to start with an exchange wallet, the exchange I recommend people start with is Binance.
It’s the exchange I’ve been using since I first got into crypto.
Head to their homepage and register an account.
Once you’ve registered, head to the menu in the top right and click “Wallet”.
Then click “Fiat/Spot Deposit/Withdraw”
Then in the top right, click Deposit:
This should take you to the deposit page where you can find your address.
Where it says “Coin”, choose Stellar.
Where it says “Network”, choose Stellar.
This should display a string of characters.
This is your Stellar address.
Remember – when depositing XLM you must add a memo.
A deposit without a memo will likely get lost and you’ll lose your funds.
Again – you must add a memo.
The memo that is required is shown on Binance with your deposit address (see the green highlight in the screenshot above).
Copy/paste both your memo and address, then go back to your EasyCrypto order and paste it into the address and memo fields:
Note: To add a memo you will need to click the “Add memo” option at the bottom of the screen.
Step 5: Choose a payment option
The next screen will give you your payment options.
I always use bank deposit because it’s free, but choose whichever is most convenient for you:
Step 6: Make payment and wait for your Stellar to arrive
EasyCrypto will then give you payment instructions.
If you choose card, Poli or Account2Account, your order will execute immediately.
Your Stellar should arrive within a few minutes.
If you chose bank deposit, your order will execute whenever your bank deposit clears.
You’re now the proud owner of Stellar.
You will see it in the “Fiat/Spot” Wallet section in your Binance account.
Earn Interest On Your Stellar:
It is possible for you to stake your Stellar.
If you have your Stellar in a private wallet, you can stake it directly through Adalite.
You will then receive staking rewards regularly for holding ADA and participating in the network.
Note: This contains third-party risk. Stake at your own risk.
If you’re holding your ADA on Binance, you can also stake it through Binance’s Earn section.
To earn interest on your Stellar, follow these steps:
First, click “Earn” in the menu.
This will take you to the Binance Earn page.
Select Stellar as your coin, and you will see the staking/deposit options that will allow you to earn yield:
Your deposit will show in your Binance Earn dashboard, and at the end of your subscription term, your interest will get paid into your Spot wallet.
As you can see, yields are quite low on Stellar.
As I mentioned earlier, there is not much financial incentive to hold or be a validator for Stellar.
However, it’s still possible to earn a small yield.
Warning: Depositing your Stellar/crypto for yield contains risk. Make sure you read the product disclosures and understand the risks before depositing.
Who should use this method to buy Stellar in NZ?
In my opinion, EasyCrypto combined with an exchange wallet is going to be the best option for 95% of first-time buyers, and for people who are new to crypto.
When it comes to crypto, most people are interested in buying $200 or $500 or maybe a few thousand dollars as an investment to begin with.
EasyCrypto is absolutely perfect for this and you won’t find a service better suited for it. You are not required to do any foreign exchange, and it’s fully regulated in NZ for your safety.
As you get more involved and educated about crypto, increasing your portfolio and adding other coins, you will need to start looking at moving your assets to a private wallet.
I talk about private wallets in this post.
The software wallet I currently use is Exodus which is compatible with Stellar.
The hardware wallet I currently use is a Trezor which is compatible with Stellar.
A private wallet is the safest way to store and access your Stellar, but does come with a learning curve, and still contains risk if you don’t manage/backup your wallets properly.
Once crypto starts to become a significant part of your portfolio, start educating yourself on private wallets and moving your Stellar to a private wallet like Exodus or Trezor.