Since the beginning I wanted to write something about the Stellar network that is related to my personal experience using it. As I read about the integration processes for developers, Stellar’s business model, the network structure I found myself more and more involved with this decentralized network.
Some parts were very technical to be understood completely by a law student and marketing manager like me. However, I think the idea of an open source software that allows anchors to make financial transactions for their clients following a trusting base relation with lower costs and efficiency is brilliant. Also, the social concern that Stellar foundation shows by providing free cost financial transactions to people that can’t afford to pay for each operation is inspiring.
I could spend hours talking about my feelings and thoughts related to those foundation and network but for now I decided to talk about my experience with the wallets that provide to any users the possibility to send and receive XLM or other currencies with almost free cost.
In order to share this experience better, I'll talk briefly about each wallet I used. I hope my impressions can be helpful and enlightening to other people that, like me, are interested in Stellar but are still beginners in this platform. Even more, I want those impressions to help developers improve the current tools to users and design other useful ones.
First experience: testing Centaurus, Stargazer and Lobstr
I asked for a friend’s opinion about which wallet he thought is better, as he uses Stellar for longer time, and he told me I should download Centaurus . It is a wallet for Android only and was the first one available on google store. This wallet has really basic design and features, just the minimum.
I tested it by first receiving 500 XLM that were sent from this friend Centaurus account. By clicking the “receive” button, the wallet gives you a Stellar address that you can share with the person that will send the currency and a QR code that this person can scan instead. The problem is that if the receiver is not in the same place as the one who sends, which is more likely, he/she needs to insert the receiver’s public address that the wallet creates with a lot of letters and numbers.
What I noticed is that the Centaurus wallet saves the accounts that made transactions with you as contacts automatically. This is already different than the Stargazer wallet, which gives the option to add as contact accounts that had activities with yours, and even write comments about each activity.
This experience with Centaurus was, in general, positive. The currency value that my account received appeared a few seconds later in my wallet, after refreshing the application. It is important to quote that this wallet has other languages options than English: French, German, Japanese and Dutch. It also shows all your recent transactions in the history, receiving and sending currencies.
I decided to download other two wallets that are available for Android, Stargazer and Lobstr. However, I wanted to send some XLM from my Centaurus account to those other wallets and check if it would also work fine.
Stargazer has also a very basic design, not appealing at all, and gave me the possibility to create multiple accounts, personal or shared, on the same application. It also gave me the option to change the language from English to eight different languages, which is a nice feature considering that Stellar is internationally known and used, even though it doesn’t have the option to be used in Portuguese yet. Lastly, it allows the user to create a federated name to use instead of the pre-configured address, so the user can make it easier and more personalized.
Having the option to create a federated name is great, as long as the users transfer and receive money between Stargazer accounts. I tried to receive some Lumens in Stargazer from my Centaurus account, as it needed minimum value of 20 XLM to be activated, and when I sent my federated address to Centaurus it didn’t recognize it as a valid destination address.
I couldn't erase my federated name, just change to a different one, so I created another personal account and tried to receive Lumens from the Centaurus account only with the Stellar address given. Stargazer didn't give me the option to share my Stellar address with another account as Centaurus gave and I also couldn't copy it directly. This is a problem I didn't find a solution, how to receive Lumens in Stargazer from a different wallet.
After this first try, I did the opposite operation: shared my account from Centaurus to Stargazer in order to send Lumens from this wallet to that one. This operation worked because I could share the exact address from Centaurus to Stargazer, even though it came with some words indicating the Centaurus wallet that I had to erase.
To finish those first experiences with wallets, I tried to use my Lobstr account. Unlike the other two wallets, Lobstr didn’t open automatically an account to be used on the Android. It gave me options to create a new wallet with any name I wish or link an existing wallet to this one. Yet, when I tried to create one, it gave me a message that it’s not possible to create any new wallets for now. Until this problem is fixed, I can’t give a feedback about Lobstr.
In conclusion, between Centaurus, Stargazer and Lobstr, I would choose Centaurus as an android wallet simply because it was easier to use and it gave me the option to share directly my Stellar address instead of just QR code to scan. Stargazer has just a few more features and language options but both are very similar in simple design and reliable use. I intend to test more wallets, this time web or Windows, and give more feedback about them in my next article.