On November 6th, the Stellar Foundation announced the largest ever organised airdrop in crypto – a give-away of 500m XLM, equivalent to roughly $125 million dollars at current XLM prices, distributed to what could eventually amount to 50 million users.
The announcement aroused so much surprise that many in the crypto-community initially assumed that the move was simply an elaborate scam.
“We believe that airdrops are central to creating a more inclusive digital economy, and giving away Lumens for free is an indication to communities to design the services they need,” stated Jed McCaleb, one of the Stellar project’s original co-founders.
Concerns on Risky Strategy
Whilst there has been an evident increase in the Stellar brand – crypto trends tracking tool Solume has estimated a 200% increase in social media activity around Stellar – some elements within the Stellar community itself are now calling into question the efficacy of such a strategy.
“Isn’t this implicitly bribing?” one Reddit commentator asked on the Stellar subreddit. “Not really, more focused on adoption,” was the reply, reflecting a wider assumption within the Stellar community that such an airdrop will drive up adoption of XLM.
“Struggling to see the advantages here for Stellar apart from an increase in visibility of the project. But for $125m, I’m not exactly convinced that the Stellar Foundation is getting good bang for buck. This might end up qualifying as the most expensive marketing failure of all time,” another Reddit contributor stated.
To qualify for a free airdrop of 100 XLM, individuals need to perform KYC to subscribe – a tactic that has been introduced by organisers to avoid multiple claimants – as well as install a Blockchain Wallet.