Bitcoin wallet Blockchain to give away $125m of cryptocurrency to encourage mass adoption
Around 30 million people will receive a cut of the Stellar 'airdrop'
The world's most popular bitcoin wallet is giving away $125 million worth of the cryptocurrency Stellar as part of a major initiative to encourage its use as a mainstream form of payment.
Blockchain, which is named after the technology behind bitcoin, will offer $25 of Stellar lumens (XLM) for free to its 30 million users starting this week, making it the largest cryptocurrency giveaway in history.
The reason for giving away stellar rather than other popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or ethereum, Blockchain explained in a blog post, is because its network is well suited to large-scale usage.
Join Independent Minds
For exclusive articles, events and an advertising-free read for just £5.99 €6.99 $9.99 a month
Get the best of The Independent
With an Independent Minds subscription for just £5.99 €6.99 $9.99 a month
"[Stellar's] token, XLM, enables quick, low cost, worldwide transactions, even when millions of people are using it at once," Blockchain CEO Peter Smith wrote.
"We're excited to add an entirely new way for users to get their first crypto... By growing the Blockchain community, we can help more people own and control their financial future."
As part of the giveaway, or 'airdrop', Blockchain is partnering with organisations to help build up the crypto community, including Code.org and the Stanford d.school's emerging tech initiative.
It is hoped these partnerships will help drive user adoption by increasing the availability and usability of Stellar in both developing and developed countries.
"By working with Blockchain to increase the availability and active use of lumens on the network, leveraging their almost 30 million wallets, we will increase the network's utility by many orders of magnitude," said Jed McCaleb, co-founder of Stellar Development Foundation.
The price of Stellar has largely mirrored that of bitcoin, having experienced massive growth in late 2017 before seeing significant losses in 2018. In recent months, its price has been relatively stable and is currently trading at around $0.26 (£0.20), however Stellar's current transaction volume is less than 2 per cent of bitcoin's.
Speaking at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon on Tuesday, 6 November, Blockchain CEO Peter Smith explained his vision for spreading awareness and usage of cryptocurrency.
"We're doing this because we want you to truly understand crypto," he told the audience. "And the only way to truly understand it is to use it."