Ampleforth Is Giving Governance Tokens to Every Wallet That Ever Held AMPL

Project leads estimate over 75,000 users will be eligible to claim the new FORTH governance token.

Apr 21, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:44 p.m. UTC

Rebasing cryptocurrency protocol Ampleforth is launching a governance token that all past and present users of its price-elastic AMPL token are able to claim.

Project leads told CoinDesk any wallet that has ever “touched” AMPL – 75,743 wallets at press time – will be eligible to collect its portion of the new FORTH tokens through the next year. Active participants in the protocol should expect a higher share, they said.

The FORTH airdrop is set to be Ampleforth’s first step in decentralizing the decision-making process that keeps its uncollateralized token, which has a market cap of around $460 million, more or less orbiting $1. Coinbase Pro listed FORTH Wednesday, shortly after the token's reveal.

Ethereum-based Ampleforth bills itself as a building block for decentralized finance (DeFi) projects that want to do business in a stablecoin-esque crypto. Think of a token with the “censorship resistant” attributes of bitcoin (minus the volatility) and the relative stability of a tether (minus the dollar reserve), explained Ampleforth CEO Evan Kuo. 

While nowhere near as volatile as bitcoin, AMPL, which has no reserves, is hardly as stable as the U.S. dollar. At press time the coin was trading around $1.50, up from 86 cents at the beginning of April. 

The protocol trades price volatility for fluctuations in supply, he said. When the token climbs too high above target the protocol automatically adds units to holders’ wallets. This extra supply helps deflate prices. 

Ampleforth sets its price target from the buying power of 2019 dollars and adjusts that target by regularly pulling consumer price index data from government-issued sources. 

“The introduction of that oracle means we do need a little bit of governance,” Kuo said, explaining the team did not know if its semi-stable model would work prior to Ampleforth’s 2019 launch. 

But it has – generally. Apart from a period of crazed volatility during the DeFi summer, AMPL has more or less wobbled between 75 cents and $1.75 for much of the year, according to CoinGecko. Kuo said he and his fellow creators are “just glad that we’ve stabilized” the coin with “parameters that work today.”

“We don't want to be modifying these parameters forever,” he said. “We don't want that responsibility; we need some way of kind of progressively decentralizing the governance of this oracle whitelist.”

Kuo said 67% of FORTH tokens will be distributed to the community through April 21 of next year, with over 80,000 wallets eligible. Unclaimed tokens will be moved to a dapp, he said. 

Users who are more deeply invested in AMPL should expect to receive more FORTH than those who have simply held the token at some point. Providing liquidity, holding through negative rebases count toward greater shares, Kuo said.

“We just want this to be distributed as broadly as possible, to those who have a vested interest in the success of the AMPL network,” he said.

UPDATE (April 21, 17:16 UTC): Adds new information about Coinbase Pro listing the FORTH token.

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