I'm vaguely familiar with Bitcoin's UTXO-based transaction structure and Ethereum's account-based/gas-including transaction structure.

What does a Stellar transaction contain?

1 Answer 1


Transaction is a unit of work on the Stellar ledger. It contains a set of operations that either complete entirety or have no effect if any of them fails. Each operation is an individual command that mutates the ledger.

From the official docs:

Among other things, Transactions are used to send payments, enter orders into the distributed exchange, change settings on accounts, and authorize another account to hold your currency. If you think of the ledger as a database, then transactions are SQL commands.

Ledger (think of it as a Bitcoin/Ethereum block) may contain zero or more transactions and indicates the state of the Stellar Network at a particular point in time, including Network meta-properties (protocol version, max transaction per ledger limit, base fee, fee pool size etc). Ledgers are stored in the XDR binary format.

More info:

Stellar developer guide is the recommended resource for beginners, it covers all basic concepts and contains references to the available APIs and SDKs.

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