$125 Million: Wallet Provider Blockchain Launching ‘Largest Airdrop in the History of Crypto’

Siamak Masnavi

On Tuesday (6 November 2018), crypto wallet provider Blockchain announced that it is launching the "largest airdrop in the history of crypto", with $125 million in Stellar Lumens (XLM), to be distributed to Blockchain wallet users.

XLM is the cryptoasset with the sixth highest market cap; according to data from CryptoCompare, at press time, one lumen is worth $0.2538 (up 5.05% in the past 24-hour period).

Here is how Peter Smith, the CEO of Blockchain, announced the news on Twitter:

Blockchain's blog post says the reason for the XLM giveaway is to thank the company's "30M (and counting!) Wallet users" and to celebrate the addition of "full support for XLM in the Blockchain Wallet":

"Starting today, in celebration of adding full support for XLM in the Blockchain Wallet, we’ll begin giving away $125,000,000 of Stellar (XLM) to YOU, our users. With nearly 30M Blockchain Wallets to date, we’re excited to add an entirely new way for users to get their first crypto. And just as Blockchain never charges listing fees to join our platform, we aren’t keeping a single XLM for ourselves. We’re giving them all away. That’s a lot of 0s to distribute. In fact, this is the largest airdrop in the history of crypto and likely the largest consumer giveaway ever."

In a blog post on 17 October 2017, the Blockchain Team explained why they believe that blockchain airdrops are great for the crypto space:

  • "Blockchain Airdrops are great for network creators whether they’re looking to drive decentralization for new networks or amplify the reach of existing networks. More importantly an airdrop directly to addresses controlled by users can ensure the power of a network rests in the hands of many, rather than just a few. This is particularly important as protocols increasingly shift to proof-of-stake security models. A properly targeted airdrop can even achieve regulatory goals: a decentralized network is less likely to make its issuer a money transmitter, and less likely to create risks under the securities laws."
  • "Airdrops are good for the crypto ecosystem, too. They serve a discovery function, driving exposure for new assets and creating a testing ground for network participants. They also encourage new and existing users to experiment with new cryptoassets and build awareness of the power of decentralized networks."
  • "Finally, airdrops are great for users, who get crypto without having to buy it, mine it, or work for it. Buying crypto on an exchange can be difficult, time consuming, and expensive. Mining, even more so. In a Blockchain Airdrop, getting crypto is free and easy for everyone. Even better, since Blockchain users self-custody, they have immediate control, ownership and use of their newly-airdropped crypto. They can participate directly in the network without going through a cumbersome intermediary."

Here are Blockchain's reasons for choosing Stellar for this giveaway: 

"We’re starting with Stellar because its network is built for scalability. Its token, XLM, enables quick, low cost, worldwide transactions, even when millions of people are using it at once. Stellar can even create custom tokens representing real-world or virtual goods and services. Lastly, Stellar has a world class development community and a vibrant, functioning ecosystem."

According to a report in Fortune published today, in this airdrop, each recipient will get about $25 worth of XLM. The report says that, according to Smith, "the distribution process will take place over a period of several months, and that the amount of Stellar users will receive will vary somewhat based on geography"; also, Smith added that "existing Blockchain wallet holders will get priority in the distribution, and that the company is reserving the right to modify the terms of the arrangement going forward."

The report also includes this quote from Jed McCaleb, co-founder and CTO of Stellar Development Foundation:

“We believe that airdrops are central to creating a more inclusive digital economy. Giving away lumens [XLM] for free is an invitation to communities to design the services they need. Our hope is to eventually have global citizens own and use lumens, in both developing and developed economies. By working with Blockchain to increase the availability and active use of lumens on the network, leveraging their almost 30m wallets, we will increase the network’s utility by many orders of magnitude.”

The Blockchain website's support pages have been updated such that there is now a new "Crypto Giveaway" section. It says that that here is what you need to do to participate in the XLM giveaway:

For the first time ever, we are giving away a total of $125,000,000 to our users in the form of XLM. All Blockchain users need to do is log in to their wallets (or sign up if you don’t yet have a Blockchain Wallet) and verify their identities. Once a user’s identity has been verified, they will be added to the waitlist to receive XLM in one of our weekly giveaways. If you’re not a Blockchain user, you can still sign up for the waitlist. Once chosen, you’ll be prompted to create a Blockchain Wallet and verify your identity to claim your XLM.

And here is how they explain why identify verification is required:

In the spirit of making this giveaway as widespread as we can and putting XLM in as many different people’s hands as possible, we set a limit of one XLM distribution per person. That is, a single person can only take advantage of our XLM giveaway one time. Identity verification will allow us to ensure we put XLM in the hands of as many people as possible by preventing people from claiming XLM more than once. Identity verification is not required to use the Blockchain wallet. It is only required for becoming eligible to claim XLM and for exchanging between cryptocurrencies within the wallet.

 

Featured Image Courtesy of Blockchain

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Amazon Could Pull off Launching Libra, ‘Bitcoin Billionaires’ Author Argues

Ben Mezrich, the author of the “Bitcoin Billionaires” book, has argued that Amazon would be better than Facebook to launch the Libra cryptocurrency, as it’s more trusted than the social media giant.

Speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Mezrich argued the project is “all about trust” as there “can’t be a new currency without people trusting it if you’re going to sit in the middle of it, and people don’t trust Facebook.”

The author, who also wrote “Accidental Billionaires,” a book that served as the bases to the movie “The Social Network,” argued it would make more sense for Amazon to be leading its own cryptocurrency project. He was quoted as saying:

I think that Amazon could pull this off because for whatever reason we all trust Amazon. We put our credit cards in there everyday.

Facebook has announced last month that it’s developing its own cryptocurrency, and that’ll it be launched next year. The cryptocurrency, Libra, is set to be backed by a basket of fiat currencies and U.S. Treasury securities.

The cryptocurrency itself will be managed by the Libra Association, a nonprofit based in Switzerland with various large companies represented in it. As covered, U.S. Congressman Warren Davidson recently implied the Libra is a shitcoin because it has a central entity behind it, unlike decentralized cryptos like bitcoin.

This month David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s team working on Libra, testified before Congress for two days, and received requests to halt the project until the government can look into it and regulate it. Marcus had to answer various tough questions during the hearings, including whether he would accept his salary in Libra.

Speaking to CNBC Mezrich noted he believes Amazon would be subject to less scrutiny than Facebook. Per his words regulators would be on top of Amazon’s plans, but “it wouldn’t be like this.”

The author added that Libra won’t be a true cryptocurrency because it’ll involve financial mediators. It could, he said, serve as an “on ramp” to bitcoin, helping those unfamiliar with the cryptocurrency ecosystem look into the flagship cryptocurrency.