Stellar has no owner; if anything it’s owned by the public. The software runs across a decentralized, open network and handles millions of transactions each day. Like Bitcoin and Ethereum , Stellar relies on blockchain to keep the network in sync, but the end-user experience is more like cash—Stellar is much faster, cheaper, and more energy-efficient than typical blockchain-based systems.
Stellar was made to support digital representations of any currency, but it also has its own built-in token, called the lumen, created to fill a special role in the network. By design, Stellar requires that each account hold a small number of lumens at all times.
A unique algorithm, called the Stellar Consensus Protocol ( SCP ), keeps everything in sync. There are many ways to get agreement across a decentralized system—Bitcoin's visionary proof-of-work method was the first and is still the most famous. But, like many first drafts, proof-of-work left room for improvement. SCP strives to be better by being configurable, fast, and highly energy efficient. If you’re interested in the deep details, you can read the peer-reviewed paper, published by SOSP, the oldest and most prestigious systems conference, for complete technical details.