Stellar Lumens work by utilizing “Public Ledger” on Blockchain. The differences from other currencies are : Stellar is using an “Anchor” as the middleman who bridges between currencies and XLM (for example Banks). Trusted Anchor will hold the sender money & issued the sender a “Credit”. After sent through the network, The receiver can withdraw from the Anchor at their end.
Stellar is using Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP) and implementing Federated Byzantine Agreement. Stellar can handle more than 1,000 transactions at the same time, each transaction takes less than 5 seconds to process with very low transaction cost (lower than $0.01) for anti-spam purpose.