Blockchain Announces $125 Million ‘Airdrop’ of Stellar Cryptocurrency
The crypto wallet provider Blockchain on Tuesday said it will distribute cryptocurrency to millions of its users in what appears to be the largest such giveaway of its kind.
The giveaway—known in crypto parlance as an “airdrop”—will see recipients each get about $25 worth of the cryptocurrency commonly known as Stellar as part of an overall distribution worth $125 million.
Stellar is currently the sixth largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of around $5 billion.
“Accessible to anyone with a Blockchain Wallet, the first batch of recipients will receive their lumens, Stellar’s native digital currency this week – for free,” said the company in a statement.
Blockchain CEO Peter Smith, who will describe further details of the airdrop onstage today at the Web Summit event in Portugal, told Fortune the company is working with Stellar in part because he believes it represents a superior blockchain capable of massive transaction volumes.
Stellar is the brainchild of Jed McCaleb, a famous figure in the crypto world, known for his role in creating the cryptocurrency company Ripple, as well as the now-defunct online exchange Mt. Gox.
Stellar, which is positioning itself as a rival to Ripple and the number two cryptocurrency, Ethereum, has also been working with corporate partners like IBM on facilitating real world currency transactions in several countries. The company also recently acquired Chain, a well-regarded blockchain service backed by Visa and others.
As for the giveaway announced on Tuesday, Blockchain says it is not paying anything for the arrangement, but rather that Stellar is using its platform as a vehicle to distribute the lumen currency.
Smith says the distribution process will take place over a period of several months, and that the amount of Stellar users will receive will vary somewhat based on geography. He added that existing Blockchain wallet holders will get priority in the distribution, and that the company is reserving the right to modify the terms of the arrangement going forward.
In a statement, McCaleb described the arrangement this way: “We believe that airdrops are central to creating a more inclusive digital economy. 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 30m wallets, we will increase the network’s utility by many orders of magnitude.”