Stellar bets on Keybase with a $120M XLM airdrop

Stellar is attempting to reimagine airdrops, in announcing that it will distribute (up to) $120 million XLM in collaboration with the encrypted messenger app Keybase.

Keybase is a free messaging and file transfer application focusing sternly on end-to-end encryption and user privacy and identity.

Per the company’s announcement, over the next 20 months, Keybase’s roughly 300,000-strong user base can expect monthly airdrops of 100 million XLM - or about $5.97M as of today.

Stellar has invested an undisclosed amount in Keybase back in May 2018 - enough to stop the company from pursuing a Series B funding round altogether. At the moment, Keybase users can already send Stellar to different users and phone numbers – including those without a Keybase account.

As such, the airdrop feels like a win-win scenario for Stellar: a way to grow Keybase’s user base while also shining a lasting spotlight on XLM.

There is another catch, however, that makes this airdrop different from most: in an attempt to curb bot farming, you need(ed) to have a Keybase account before yesterday’s announcement in order to participate in the drop, which hasn't set well with everyone:

Alternately, if you’re brand new to the app, you must connect your new Keybase account to a pre-existing Github or HackerNews account, registered before Sept. 9.

The Keybase airdrop will run for a minimum of three months, following which the Stellar Development Foundation will assess if the campaign has hit “basic success metrics”.

For the most part, the Stellar community welcomed the news, as evidenced by multiple ‘how do I get in on this’ threads in the project’s subreddit:

And while some found the Airdrop rules to be counterintuitive:

Many praised the alternative distribution system and its perceived advantages to traditional airdrops:


For the moment, Stellar’s price action remains wholly indifferent to the airdrop news: after a short lived break over $0.06, the coin has continued to trade sideways in the 0.057-0.059 range.

For now, the 4-month downtrend continues for the 12th biggest digital asset:

Stellar's 6-month price action

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