Starknet Foundation Showers STRK Tokens on Contributors, Though They're Not Trading Yet

The foundation, formed in November 2022 after the initial developer StarkWare minted 10 billion STRK tokens, is now awarding early contributors to the Ethereum layer-2 network – even though they're locked for trading at least until next April.

AccessTimeIconOct 30, 2023 at 7:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 30, 2023 at 8:11 p.m. UTC
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The STRK tokens from Starknet, a so-called layer-2 blockchain atop Ethereum, aren't even trading – and in fact they're locked up at least through next April.

But a foundation devoted to supporting Starknet is already allocating the tokens to early developers and other contributors, as incentives for them to help build out the network.

The 11-month-old Starknet Foundation announced Monday that it had allocated some 50 million STRK tokens to a new Early Community Member Program, or ECMP for short.

According to a blog post, the program's focus is on individual contributors, including those who have:

  • "significantly contributed to technical discourse."
  • are involved with key projects in the ecosystem.
  • organized events such as meetups, conferences and workshops.
  • "Regularly published Starknet-branded content."

The application process runs through Nov. 19, with decisions made by Dec. 29.

The Starknet Foundation's tokens come from its original grant of 50.1% of the initial minted supply of 10 billion STRK, so that works out to a hoard of about 5 billion STRK.

Since the tokens aren't trading, there's no easy way to estimate the value – especially with any potential payday still many months away.

But the awards could help Starknet grow and retain its community, especially during the current "crypto winter" where resources are tight – and as rival projects including Arbitrum, the biggest layer-2 blockchain atop Ethereum, move forward with their own incentive programs.

"The Starknet Foundation recognizes the pivotal role played by the Starknet community," according to the blog post.

Starknet is the sixth-biggest layer-2 blockchain, with $143 million of deposits or "total value locked," according to the website L2Beat.

Initially developed by the crypto startup StarkWare, certain responsibilities for the network were turned over to the foundation after it was launched in November 2022 with the mission of "supporting a thriving Starknet."

Mandates for the foundation, which is overseen by a seven-member board that includes StarkWare co-founder and President Eli Ben-Sasson, include "fostering the community of Starknet users, developers and researchers" along with "overseeing the continued development of the network and advancing research," according to a blog post at the time.

The initial supply of the 10 billion tokens was "minted off-chain by StarkWare," with some 17% earmarked for its own investors, 32.9% to "core contributors" including StarkWare employees and consultants and 50.1% to the foundation.

Edited by Aoyon Ashraf.


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Bradley Keoun

Bradley Keoun is the managing editor of CoinDesk's Tech & Protocols team. He owns less than $1,000 each of several cryptocurrencies.

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