So today I decided to throw my hat into the ring and bought some stellar lumen coins. Since bittrex is not currently accepting new accounts I decided to go with poloniex.

Poloniex doesnt offer lumen in their etherum market so I had to buy it with bitcoin, is there a difference when buying (any currency/token) with bitcoin or etherum?

I am still very new to the Cryptocurrency scene so any information would be greatful

2 Answers 2


..is there a difference when buying (any currency/token) with bitcoin or etherum?

Not insofar as the outcome is concerned: you'll own whatever crypto you traded for. Whether you traded btc, eth, or your old socks for the stellar lumens, the result is the same: you now own stellar lumens.

Of course, as you've discovered, owning a certain coin may give you more access to people willing to trade for other coins. In this case, there is a difference between eth and btc, in that you cannot trade eth for stellar lumens on Poloniex (and if you wanted to trade your old socks, it would probably be even more difficult to find a counterparty to your trade).


The only difference could be with rounding depending on precision of coins with relation to value to each other. I think most exchanges are governed by law to not steal fractions of pennies but it's always an uncertain point sometimes and so I can not say you aren't in some cases losing fractions of coins.

Also some times on inefficient markets crypto currencies may differ in prices across different currencies. This is an opportunity for arbitrage and typically doesn't exist. This may be caused by sudden changes in the market and usually temporary barriers. Like for example etc goes up rapidly, and LTC had been struggling, there may be a shortage of LTC and so there might be a temporary profit margin through LTC to etc then to btc. But usually the market players will balance things out quickly. It basically the speed of crypto currencies type thing like a ripple in a pond and probably a better topic for forex trading on economics or finance se.

from a math point of view crypto currencies maybe analyzed with linear algebra where your portfolio is a coordinates of vector and basis is the currency to base currency exchange rate. Then redistributing the portfolio amounts to a linear transformation.

  • Also an example with most economic models for self generating wealth portfolios, a basic assumption is that there is no arbitrage or that markets are perfectly efficient. This is for various reasons, some for the linear algebra to work out and transformations to be invertible, others based on typical real marketss were there is really no arbitrage. But basically these models use more complex levels of arbitrage like with options and Delta neutral hedging. So it is through completely different securities and derivatives, not directly through exchange rates. Dec 18, 2017 at 11:03
  • Also typically short term arbitrage strategies under perform long term growth. (Short term usually utilizes margin trading/leveraged capital (which can be risky practice and heavily regulated in u.s. after lessons learned from pre great depression era)). Example refer to LTCM from late 90s and Russian bond default. Dec 18, 2017 at 11:10

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