Distinct in its approach, Stellar, underpinned by the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP) crafted by David Mazières in 2015, opts for a shared, partially trusted model. This sets it apart from its counterparts which launched as trustless but many of which are veering towards semi-trusted models. Whether it's the trust placed in token holders in Proof of Stake systems or the reliance on the stability of channels in Bitcoin's Lightning network, the landscape is evolving.
Historically, Stellar has been perceived as a secondary player, akin to silver to Ripple's gold, with a focus on money transfer companies as opposed to Ripple's bank-centric approach. Notably, Stellar has been strategic in not inflating the XLM price, a move that helped dodge the regulatory hurdles with the SEC that tripped up others in the blockchain space.
But now, Stellar's smart contract system Soroban is entering the scene. Technically better than competing systems - Our tests indicate that transaction fees on Soroban can accumulate rapidly, potentially reaching 0.8 XLM per transaction for Oracle updates. These 'burned' fees, reminiscent of Ethereum's approach, might lead to a dwindling supply of XLM.
The question then arises: does Stellar's grant system yield more benefits than it costs? Is it a venture capitalist for the Stellar ecosystem? The conjecture is that the combination of top-tier technology and judicious funding could foster projects that add more value to the Stellar blockchain than they consume in XLM. This could ignite a Stellar ecosystem boom, potentially putting it on par with blockchains like Solana or Avalanche. Should this scenario unfold, we might see Stellar's market cap surge from $3.6 billion to an impressive $14 billion, catapulting the XLM price fourfold to an estimated $0.48.
In summary, Stellar's unique position and strategic moves, particularly with the advent of Soroban, could very well set the stage for surge in 2024.
Please note: do not take this as investing advice.