Stellar was launched on July 31, 2014 by Jed McCaleb who had previously worked on the Ripple blockchain. In fact, the Stellar codebase was forked from that of Ripple’s.
While Ripple was headed in a direction towards adoption by incumbents in legacy finance, Stellar sought to break down the barriers to financial inclusion by creating easier ways for p2p remittance and payments that citizens in developing nations could utilize without the need to sign up at a traditional bank.
The native XLM token is primarily used as the liquidity provider that allows for these cross border transactions between any two currencies being exchanged.
XLM is one of the few currencies supported on the encrypted messaging platform, Keybase.