Stellar to Give Away 2 Billion XLM Valued at $120 Million Today

Keybase users can expect monthly XLM airdrops, adding up to 2 billion XLM over the next 20 months.

AccessTimeIconSep 9, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:25 a.m. UTC

Chat with your friends – and get paid to do it.

The Stellar Development Foundation and messaging service Keybase announced Monday a 2 billion XLM airdrop, the largest in Stellar’s five-year history, worth roughly $120 million. Over the next 20 months, Keybase users can expect monthly airdrops of 100 million XLM.

Keybase currently has 300,000 active users across its various services, according to the company.

"All you have to do is have an authenticated Keybase account, and your XLM will appear in your wallet – automatically, every month, for as long as the airdrop continues," according to a draft blog post shared with CoinDesk.

Three months of airdrops are guaranteed, the company says, with the program's continuation beyond that dependent on hitting "basic success metrics."

The Stellar way

Stellar Development Foundation CEO Denelle Dixon tells CoinDesk that Keybase is a key part of its larger adoption strategy:

“The foundation's mandate is to deliver lumens [XLM] into the world. This is part of that plan. The up to 2 billion is a really great way. And we will have checks along the way."

Stellar and Keybase have worked together for quite some time, beginning with a March 2018 investment from Stellar large enough to close Keybase's Series B funding round.

Dixon said the airdrop is an investment not only in Keybase users but the kind of projects the company says upholds its vision. Keybase's 300,000-strong user base shares a lot in common with crypto, Dixon said.

“The number seems much more rational when looked at over a 20-month period,” Dixon said of the airdrop. “It demonstrates that we think this is a valuable opportunity for users of Keybase to get to know us. They aren’t crypto-first.”

Social scramble

The airdrop coincides with multiple Keybase feature upgrades since its adoption of Stellar in May 2019.

On Keybase, users can send Stellar to different users and phone numbers – including those without a Keybase account – or even make inline bets with friends. A spokesperson says Keybase is adding more features in the coming months, including on- and off-ramps and XLM-based payment functionality across the web.

The airdrop partnership comes as other messaging apps ramp up their own cryptocurrency efforts.

, which claims to serve some 300 million users, plans on launching its hotly anticipated Telegram Open Network (TON) next month. As of now, multiple methods of sending cryptocurrencies already exist on the application as well through independent development.

Facebook, of course, is also in the mix. The company's WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger services dwarf Telegram’s user count with some 2.7 billion potential users. An early goal for Libra is that the stablecoin will be compatible with Facebook-owned messaging platforms.

Keybase, it would seem, is taking a lesson from Twitter: working with an existing cryptocurrency instead of developing one in house.

"Keybase believes Stellar can fulfill bitcoin's original goal of fast, cheap, worldwide payments," said a Stellar spokesperson.

Stellar co-founder Jed McCaleb image via CoinDesk archives


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