Stellar Lumens (XLM)–Despite Coinbase providing ample wiggle room over the five announced cryptocurrencies under “exploration,” there are few contenders that have emerged from the bunch. While Cardano’s ADA currency checks a lot of the boxes for what Coinbase is looking for in its next addition, including the presence of strong figurehead Charles Hoskinson and relationship to Ethereum, Stellar Lumens XLM appears to be in the front running for addition–an expectation reflected in the market’s price.
In the weeks following the Coinbase announcement, which outlined five new currencies under exploration and being considered for listing on the U.S.-based exchange, the price of Stellar nearly doubled. While all five of the currencies saw price appreciation in the aftermath, XLM was the overwhelming beneficiary, seeing the coin go from $0.18 pre-announcement to a relative high of $0.33 (the price has sense settled to $0.27 as of writing).
There are a litany of reasons why Coinbase would find Stellar Lumens to be an attractive addition to their 13+ million customer exchange:
Low Price Per Coin. While most in the industry realize that the divisibility of all cryptocurrencies makes the individual price per unit a moot point, it does hold a psychological pull for investors, particularly the more casual kind that has yet to venture past the user-friendly, app-based exchange on Coinbase. Consider the current selection the exchange offers: Bitcoin ($7700), Bitcoin Cash ($770), Ethereum ($430), Litecoin ($78). Enter XLM, which will likely be listed at a price well below one dollar (even more likely to be less than half a dollar). In addition to having a strong development and potential for adoption, XLM is going to give the majority of Coinbase investors the opportunity to buy into a high max supply, low priced coin. Particularly for the crowd on Coinbase looking to purchase crypto for actual use, or tech hobbyists dabbling in the field, being able to purchase a bag of coins is appealing for that extent.
High Max Supply. For many of the reasons listed above, the high supply of circulating XLM will keep the price of the coin low relative to Bitcoin regardless of how the market performs. While BTC, BCH, ETH, and LTC are all measured in tens of millions of coins, XLM has a supply in the billions. Again, it appeals to the investor looking to own a large quantity of coins, for whatever the reason, that is very difficult to achieve at this price point with the other currencies offered.
History in the Crypto Space. While some will draw a line between Coinbase supporting XLM and thereby detracting from XRP, Stellar has had a long history in the crypto space no thanks in part to founder Jed McCaleb. In addition to starting the infamous exchange Mt. Gox (McCaleb had sold the exchange prior to the hack), and XRP parent company Ripple, McCaleb has had a hand in the development of the non-profit Stellar Lumens Organization which produced XLM. While not explicit criteria, Coinbase has made a point to promote coins that provide a strong representation of decentralization and the benefits of cryptocurrency, a point that is hard to contend with for Stellar given the company’s non-profit roots.
Growing Recognition. As much as Coinbase may hold an interest in some of the other coins listed in the announcement, Stellar and Cardano are the only two that provide for a high profile addition. By market cap alone: ZCash (#20), 0x (#23), Basic Attention Token (#41). While each of these currencies can provide novelty to Coinbase in their own way, and still hold a chance of addition, it’s Stellar that provides the most by way of brand name. Stellar has been a consistent cryptocurrency in the top ten of market capitalization throughout the year, and has managed a high profile relationship with IBM. It benefits Coinbase to add a coin that not only carries the aforementioned features, but is also instantly recognisable to investors in the crypto space.