Blockchain, the Luxembourg-based crypto startup, has announced its first ever airdrop. The company has partnered with the Stellar Development Foundation to distribute US$125 million worth of Stellar lumens (XLM) to its users in what is said to be the the largest airdrop in the history of crypto, and potentially the largest consumer giveaway ever.
Stellar is Blockchain’s first airdrop partner following the launch of its Airdrops Guiding Principles framework last month. “We were looking for a protocol and network built for scalability, with an active and rapidly growing ecosystem,” said Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain. “Stellar was a clear frontrunner and we’re excited to be working with their world-class team.”
Blockchain said the planned Stellar airdrop will be the first of many. The company added that it sees airdrops as an important next step to strengthening the wider ecosystem of crypto through decentralization and network effects. Additionally, the relative ease and zero-expense nature of airdrops makes them a key vehicle to reaching potentially millions of people and provide them with access to the digital asset ecosystem.
“Providing exclusive access to the next generation of cryptoassets allows new and existing users alike to test, try, trade, and transact with new, trusted cryptoassets in a safe and easy way,” Smith said.
“We’re empowering our users with private keys, which allow them to go beyond just storing their crypto to actually using them. In turn, we can help build a bigger and more engaged crypto community, and drive network effects that make the ecosystem more useful and valuable for the many rather than the few.”
Founded in 2011, Blockchain provides one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency wallets, with over US$200 billion transacted through more than 29 million wallets created. Recently, the crypto startup unveiled Lockbox, a hardware wallet developed in partnership with hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger.
Free lumens will be accessible to all Blockchain Wallet users, with the first batch of recipients to receive tokens this week.
Lumens are the native asset of the Stellar network and contribute to the ability to move money and conduct transactions through the network. They serve as a bridge asset between pairs of different currencies.
Stellar is an open source, distributed ledger network built for scalability initially released in 2014. The Stellar protocol allows any currency or asset to be digitally issued, transferred, and exchanged over the Internet. Transactions on Stellar are validated by decentralized nodes.
The Stellar protocol is supported by nonprofit the Stellar Development Foundation.
“We believe that airdrops are central to creating a more inclusive digital economy,” said Jed McCaleb, co-founder of the Stellar Development Foundation.
“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 30 million wallets, we will increase the network’s utility by many orders of magnitude.”
As part of the Stellar airdrop, Blockchain has also partnered with a number of organizations including charity: water, Code.org, Network for Good, and the Stanford d.school‘s emerging tech initiative. The startup will reveal the specific details of each initiative in the coming weeks.
The announcement of the Stellar giveaway follows Blockchain’s acquisition of Stratagem, a London-based startup. Stratagem has developed a machine learning software to understand the highly volatile nascent market of sports betting. The technology will be applied to Blockchain’s execution services platform, smart order router, machine trading platform and more, to further “ensure we’re offering best execution to both our retail and institutional customers,” the company said last week.