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Lumens (XLM)

Lumens (XLM) are the native currency of the Stellar network. The lumen is the only token that doesn’t require an issuer or trustline, and it is used to pay all transaction fees and rent, and to cover minimum balance requirements on the network.

To read up on the basics of lumens, head over to our Stellar Learn site: Stellar Learn: Lumens

Transaction fees

Stellar requires a small fee for all transactions to prevent ledger spam and prioritize transactions during surge pricing. Transaction fees are paid in lumens.

To learn about fees on Stellar, see our Fees section.

Smart contract transactions on Stellar employ a different fee structure based on an inclusion fee and resource consumption (which includes rent). Read more in the Fees and Metering section.

Base reserves

A unit of measurement used to calculate an account’s minimum balance. One base reserve is currently 0.5 XLM.

Validators can vote to change the base reserve, but that’s uncommon and should only happen every few years.

Minimum balance

Stellar accounts must maintain a minimum balance to exist, which is calculated using the base reserve. An account must always maintain a minimum balance of two base reserves (currently 1 XLM). Every subentry after that requires an additional base reserve (currently 0.5 XLM) and increases the account’s minimum balance. Subentries include trustlines (for both traditional assets and pool shares), offers, signers, and data entries. An account cannot have more than 1,000 subentries.

Data also lives on the ledger as ledger entries. Ledger entries include claimable balances (which require a base reserve per claimant) and liquidity pool deposits and withdrawals.

For example, an account with one trustline, two offers, and a claimable balance with one claimant has a minimum balance of:

2 base reserves (1 XLM) + 3 subentries/base reserves (1.5 XLM) + 1 ledger entry/base reserve (1 XLM) = 3.5 XLM

When you close a subentry, the associated base reserve will be added to your available balance. An account must always pay its own minimum balance unless a subentry is being sponsored by another account. For information about this, see our Sponsored Reserves Encyclopedia Entry.

Rent

Smart contract data does not require any base reserves in order to live on the ledger, so every smart contract entry must pay rent instead. The rent charged for an entry to exist on the ledger is based on how big the entry is and how long the it should be live on the ledger before being archived. There are different rent requirements for each storage type Persistent, Temporary, and Instance, which you can read about in the State Archival section.

Lumen Supply Metrics

This section explains how lumen supply metrics are calculated and made available via API. This information can be useful for products and services that track the distribution of XLM, including market cap aggregators and some exchanges, or to anyone who wants to investigate the distribution of XLM defined by the SDF mandate.

Unlike many other blockchains, the native network currency is not created through mining- all XLM that has ever existed and will ever exist was created when the Stellar network went live.

SDF’s Dashboard API endpoint will always have the live totals for the essential numbers around lumens. This guide explains important supply metrics like Original Supply, Total Supply, and Circulating Supply entailed in that data.

Please reference our Ecosystem Horizon API Providers to access more Stellar network data via Horizon.

Dashboard API

As of May 28th, 2024, the Dashboard API shows:

{
"updatedAt": "2024-05-28T16:11:14.622Z",
"originalSupply": "100000000000",
"inflationLumens": "5443902087.3472865",
"burnedLumens": "55442115112.9537534",
"totalSupply": "50001786974.3935331",
"upgradeReserve": "259580243.9842749",
"feePool": "4690537.8610771",
"sdfMandate": "20761482987.7713113",
"circulatingSupply": "28976033204.7768698",
"_details": "https://www.stellar.org/developers/guides/lumen-supply-metrics.html"
}

Definitions

originalSupply One hundred billion lumens were created when the Stellar network went live. That’s the Original Supply for the network.

inflationLumens For the first five or so years of Stellar’s existence, the supply of lumens increased by 1% annually. This “network inflation” was ended by validator vote on October 28, 2019. The total number of lumens generated by inflation was 5,443,902,087.3472865.

Adding this number to the Original Supply, you get the total lumens that have ever existed: 105,443,902,087.3472865. This number is visible on the List All Ledgers Horizon API endpoint as _embedded.records.total_coins. See all Stellar Mainnet Horizon data providers here.

burnedLumens These are all the lumens sent to accounts with no signers, meaning the funds are inaccessible and have been removed forever from Stellar’s lumen supply.

While any address with no signers is counted here, the vast majority of the lumens in this sum are in a single locked address. On November 4, 2019, SDF reduced its lumen holdings to better reflect its mission and the growth of the Stellar ecosystem. To do so, the Foundation sent 55,442,095,285.7418 lumens to GALA…LUTO.

totalSupply The Total Supply is the number of lumens now in existence: 50,001,803,905.97172. The Total Supply includes four major categories of lumens, which the API treats in detail.

upgradeReserve The Upgrade Reserve is a special address that’s neither circulating nor a part of SDF’s mandate. When Stellar changed its consensus algorithm in 2015 and relaunched the network these lumens were set aside, to be claimed, one-for-one, by holders of the old network tokens. The Upgrade Reserve account is essentially an escrow, and we don’t expect many claimants to come and pull those lumens into the circulating supply at this point.

feePool The Fee Pool is where network fees collect. The lumens do not belong to any particular account. No one has access to the fee pool, so these lumens are non-circulating. Network validators could theoretically vote for a protocol change that would affect the fee pool, so we include it n the total supply. Stellar’s transaction fees are extremely low so the fee pool grows very slowly. The Fee Pool is tracked by the protocol itself, and the current number is visible on the List All Ledgers Horizon API endpoint as _embedded.records.fee_pool. See all Stellar Mainnet Horizon data providers here.

sdfMandate The SDF Mandate is described in detail here. The Foundation was funded by lumens generated at Stellar’s inception; all of those lumens will eventually be spent or distributed to enhance and promote Stellar. Here is a complete list of the addresses currently associated with the SDF Mandate:

circulatingSupply The Circulating Supply is lumens in the hands of individuals and independent companies. These are lumens out in the world, used to pay network fees and fund Stellar accounts. They are also used as a general medium of exchange. We expect Stellar’s Circulating Supply to grow steadily as SDF spends and distributes lumens according to its mandate. Lumens in the Total Supply, but not in the SDF Mandate, Upgrade Reserve, or Fee Pool are assumed to be circulating.