XLM benefits from a Ukraine government partnership and becomes the latest addition to 2021's new alt season.

Stellar is winning the battle of the blockchain payment networks against Ripple this week as sentiment flips in its favor.

Data from monitoring resource The Tie confirms that long-term sentiment toward Stellar's Lumen (XLM) is now higher than toward XRP, the altcoin in which the embattled Ripple is the largest stakeholder.

XLM sentiment beats out XRP

The figures serve as the latest warning to XRP investors, who have looked on in dismay as legal problems for Ripple in the United States have caused its value to dive by over 60%.

XLM/XRP line chart. Source: CoinGecko

As of Jan. 5, the long-term sentiment score collated by The Tie stood at 70 for XLM but under 70 for XRP. Before the legal action, XRP sentiment was at an all-time high.

XLM vs. XRP daily and long-term sentiment score chart. Source: The Tie

Ukraine deal sees XLM join 2021 alt season

Stellar received a boost this week in the form of a high-profile partnership with the government of Ukraine, under which it will help lawmakers digitize the national fiat currency, the hryvnia. 

XLM/USD subsequently began rising, adding 30% to hit $0.176 on Tuesday — approaching its highest since November 2018. Transaction numbers last week hit new record highs.

XLM/USD 1-day candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

While it remains unclear as to what extent the XLM token will feature in the Ukraine solutions, Stellar executives have confirmed that the payment system will form a major part of the deal.

"We look forward to working with the Ministry and other stakeholders to digitize the hryvnia, to bring Stellar-based tools and services to the people and businesses of Ukraine, and to introduce new partnership opportunities in Ukraine to businesses in the Stellar ecosystem," Denelle Dixon, CEO and executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation, commented in an accompanying press release.

XLM's gains compound a burgeoning altcoin resurgence that has fast become a calling card for 2021. 

As Cointelegraph reported, various large-cap altcoins have seen weekly gains top 40%, with some seeing price levels return after a three-year hiatus.

The moves come in tandem with a slowdown for Bitcoin (BTC), which came off its own all-time highs of $34,800 to briefly dive to $27,700 on Monday. A consolidation period is key to allow altcoins to flourish, Cointelegraph Markets analyst Michaël van de Poppe has explained.

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