A major airdrop campaign is coming in a bid to expand the Stellar community.
On September 9th, the Stellar Development Foundation — the non-profit organization started in 2014 to help foster the Stellar network — announced it would be giving away up to 2 billion Stellar lumens (XLM) over the next 20 months to users of Keybase, the popular key directory website where people can link their public identities to encryption keys.
The campaign, which will run for a minimum of three months depending on user interest, is set to automatically dispense 100 million XLM — a sum worth roughly $6 million USD at press time — on a monthly basis during the offering to anyone who maintained a verified Keybase account before the airdrop’s announcement.
Why Stellar and Why Now?
In the past, Keybase had initially supported Bitcoin and Zcash addresses. In March 2018, Keybase announced that the Stellar Development Foundation had begun funding the company and that it would “release something big involving Stellar” imminently.
One year later, Keybase unfurled Stellar wallet support within its ecosystem, allowing users to receive and send XLM easily within the company’s encrypted chat system. Now, the newly announced airdrop is the latest meld between the fledgling Stellar community and Keybase, which itself currently boasts more than 300,000 users.
But it’s not just the Keybase audience that the Stellar Development Foundation wants to reach — Keybase also has a bot system that will open up new use cases for XLM, the non-profit said in its Monday announcement:
“Keybase also has a bot-making framework that, combined with the speed and efficiency of Stellar, makes for a lot of awesome possibilities. Recently, a Keybase user made an XLM-based bot called @smsbot. If you send just a tiny bit of XLM to @smsbot, it will reply with a throwaway phone number you can use to receive SMS messages for a short period of time. It’s a really cool example of micropayments in action, and it’s exactly the kind of thing we hope to inspire and enable with this airdrop.”
To this end, Keybase and the Stellar Development Foundation are set to help one another grow for the foreseeable future.
“They’ve gone above and beyond integrating Stellar into their wallet, and their userbase would represent a big step up in usage and adoption for the network,” the non-profit said of Keybase on the news.
Keybase Likes Stellar’s Environmentally-Friendly Design
Last spring, Keybase said it was keen on the Stellar project because its digital currency didn’t require massive amounts of energy to power. Notably, the project relies on the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP), which doesn’t use energy-intensive proof-of-work “mining” to secure its network.
Highlighting how they were “disturbed by Bitcoin’s energy consumption” at the time, the company said one of the reasons they liked Stellar was because it could help avert regulatory backlash tied to environmental concerns in the future:
“It’s very likely the world is at great risk right now, and as cryptocurrency scales, the share of blame it shoulders for climate change will scale, too. You should fear a backlash. There may be social and legal opposition to any cryptocurrencies which haven’t switched away from proof-of-work.”
Expanding the Reach of Stellar
The Stellar Development Foundation has recently been making strides to expand its namesake project’s horizons.
For example, back in February the foundation gave crypto payments startup SatoshiPay a grant worth “seven figures” to bring micropayments to the Axel Spring SE brand, a German publishing powerhouse, according to SatoshiPay chief executive officer Meinhard Benn.
Moreover, last fall the foundation-backed Lightyear Corporation acquired private distributed ledger company Chain from VISA and rebranded it to Interstellar, which was then set to working on integrating private blockchains to work with Stellar.