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There’s a new hottest cryptocurrency of 2018 so far: Stellar
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There’s a new hottest cryptocurrency of 2018 so far: Stellar

In the last few days, stellar rose into the ranks of the 10 largest digital currencies and was eighth largest on Tuesday. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap at $232 billion, has lost its upward momentum over the last two weeks. Digital currency ethereum soars 17.5 percent Tuesday to an all-time high, while litecoin rallies 14 percent.

The hottest digital coin as 2018 kicks off is stellar, which has climbed more than 65 percent since Friday into the 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. By Tuesday, stellar had a market cap of $10 billion as the eighth-largest digital currency, according to CoinMarketCap. The digital coin traded 17.5 percent higher on the day near 56.4 cents, the website showed.

Stellar operates a network with the blockchain technology behind bitcoin. But unlike the popular digital currency, Stellar’s transactions settle in 2 to 5 seconds and allows users to quickly exchange government-backed currencies, such as turning U.S. dollars into euros, according to its website. Stellar’s coins are officially called lumens, or XLM.

Notably, IBM is using Stellar’s network to develop a cross-border payments system with some large banks. Consulting firm Deloitte is also a partner. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap at $232 billion, has lost its upward momentum over the last two weeks. The digital currency traded slightly higher Tuesday near $13,880, down 12 percent over the last week, according to Coinbase.

While bitcoin has grabbed the most attention over the last 12 months, briefly soaring about 1,900 percent, 2017 was the year of ripple on a percentage-change basis. Stellar is already making headlines this year in the cryptocurrency world.

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