One of the major differentiating factors between Stellar and Bitcoin is that the former requires trust, while the latter does not. If you’re using an intermediary like Coinbase, Circle, or an exchange, you are trusting them, but that’s not ultimately necessary in order to use Bitcoin. This requirement of trust might seem trivial, but it’s actually a huge differentiator. Unlike Bitcoin, which is asset-based, Stellar (like its precursor Ripple) is a debt-based network, meaning that while Stellar is an asset, the other currencies on the network are issued as debt instruments, and exist as balances. Stellar users have to trust the gateway cold wallet, which is how they receive funds. You can choose the amount of trust you place in a given gateway, denominated in the balance you hold with it. Still, you have to trust that when the gateway tells you it will allow you to withdraw a certain amount of money in a given currency in exchange for your credits, it will actually do so. If not, it’s completely irrational to use the system in the first place. The network’s ability to operate is a function of whether this kind of trust is present.