The price of Stellar's XLM token has decreased by 0.16% over the past hour to $0.1200 as of August 31, 2023. Though a minor hourly decline, this dip comes amid a broader multi-day slide for XLM, which has fallen 2.08% in the past 24 hours. Over the past week, XLM has lost 5.22% of its value. Zooming out further, the declines become even more pronounced, with XLM down 22.64% over the past month.
With a current market capitalization of $3.30 billion, Stellar remains one of the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap. However, its ranking has slipped over the past year as upstart challengers like Solana and Avalanche have charged up the leaderboard. Trading volume over the past 24 hours stands at $58.82 million, which is on the lower end of averages for Stellar.
What's Behind the Recent XLM Slide?
Stellar's multi-week declines largely mirror the broader weakness across the cryptocurrency complex. Bitcoin has shed 15% over the past month, while Ethereum has plunged 27% over the same timeframe. Macroeconomic headwinds like rising interest rates have sapped risk appetite among crypto investors. Additionally, the meltdown of major crypto lenders like Celsius Network and BlockFi have put tremendous selling pressure on digital assets.
However, Stellar faces some token-specific struggles as well. As a payments-focused network, Stellar competes with numerous layer-1 chains that offer faster transaction speeds and lower costs. Networks like Solana and Avalanche have lured developers away from Stellar with promises of greater scalability and more robust security. Questions linger regarding whether Stellar can keep pace with innovation across the blockchain ecosystem.
XLM Price Prediction for the Rest of 2023
Despite Stellar's lackluster price action in recent weeks, the long-term investment case remains intact. As a pioneer in the payments space, Stellar boasts an impressive list of partners, including IBM, Franklin Templeton, and Ukraine's central bank. The network processes over 6 million transactions per day, reflecting strong real-world usage.
Upgrades like CAP-35 promise to significantly expand Stellar's scalability and functionality. Together with a top-notch development team, Stellar appears well-positioned to capitalize on the growth of decentralized finance and blockchain payments.
As such, XLM could potentially double or triple in value over the next 6 to 12 months. Assuming the broader crypto market cap expands, Stellar could reach $0.30 by mid-2024. Much will depend on how quickly Stellar can roll out planned improvements and further expand adoption among institutions. But with a solid base of operations, partnerships, and use cases, the project seems ready to rebound strongly once macro conditions stabilize.
Will Rising Interest Rates Continue Weighing on XLM?
The Federal Reserve has embarked on an aggressive tightening cycle in 2022, already lifting interest rates by 225 basis points this year. With inflation still running near 40-year highs, the central bank has signaled its intention to continue hiking rates into 2023. This monetary policy shift has broadly strengthened the U.S. dollar while draining liquidity from risk assets like stocks and crypto.
Higher rates make it more expensive for companies and consumers to borrow money, slowing economic growth. With less disposable income available, retail investors may continue paring back speculation in volatile assets like XLM. Crypto-centric companies that rely on cheap financing also face challenges in a higher rate environment.
However, once the Fed completes its rate hike cycle and pauses for breath, cryptocurrencies could catch a bid. Investor focus may shift from monetary policy to adoption metrics, where networks like Stellar continue making steady progress. In the long run, adoption should trump macro forces in driving XLM's price.
Will Web3 Payments Drive Future XLM Growth?
Stellar aims to be the payments infrastructure for Web3. By leveraging fast, inexpensive transactions, Stellar facilitates fiat onboarding, cross-border remittances, micropayments, and other financial applications. With decentralized apps and metaverse platforms gaining users, Stellar appears well-positioned to power payments for virtual worlds.
Additionally, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) pose a potential opportunity for Stellar. Given its existing relationships with financial institutions, Stellar could help build the payment rails and user interfaces for CBDCs issued by central banks. By seamlessly connecting CBDCs with its network, Stellar may see transaction volumes and adoption dramatically expand.
However, competition in the Web3 payments space remains fierce. Stellar must continually enhance its technology to retain an edge. Key will be building partnerships and launching pilot projects to demonstrate Stellar's capabilities for next-generation payments. The protocol must also ensure it offers a great user experience to gain mindshare among consumers. With sound execution, Stellar can thrive as the infrastructure underpinning the future of finance.