A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft from the 437th Air Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., airdrops pallets of water and food to Mirebalais, Haiti, Jan. 21, 2010. Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.

On Monday, messaging service Keybase and the Stellar Development Foundation revealed a 2 billion XLM airdrop. With value of approximately $120 million, this is actually the largest airdrop in the foundation’s existence.

According to Keybase they have 300,000 active users over all their various services and everybody can await monthly airdrops of 100 million XLM over the next 20 months. Judging by a shared draft blog post, the conditions for the airdrop are rather ‘simple’:

“All you have to do is have an authenticated Keybase account, and your XLM will appear in your wallet – automatically, every month, for as long as the airdrop continues,”

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Keybase stated that every user has guaranteed three months of airdrops and the extension of the program depends on reaching some “basic success metrics”.

Stellar Development Foundation’s big plans

Denelle Dixon, Stellar Development Foundation’s CEO, explained that Keybase is an important part of Stellar’s adoption strategy:  

“The foundation’s mandate is to deliver lumens [XLM] into the world. This is part of that plan. The up to 2 billion is a really great way. And we will have checks along the way.”

The first time when Keybase and Stellar ‘partnered’ was in March 2018, when Stellar’s investment basically closed Keybase’s Series B funding round. Dixon mentioned that this airdrop is not only an investment in Keybase users but is also the type of project that advocates their vision. He made it even clearer:

“The number seems much more rational when looked at over a 20-month period… It demonstrates that we think this is a valuable opportunity for users of Keybase to get to know us. They aren’t crypto-first.”

Keybase and the competition

Since being adopted by Stellar in May 2019 Keybase released several feature upgrades. For example, Keybase users can transfer Stellar to users and phone numbers, even if they don’t have a Keybase account. Some of the upcoming features in the pipeline are XLM-based payment possibilities across the web and on- and off-ramps.

This airdrop comes at a moment when another messaging app is building up its own cryptocurrency effort. Telegram plans to launch its highly expected Telegram Open Network (TON) some time next month. Even now Telegram’s 300 million users can send cryptocurrencies via various methods.

Of course, compared to Facebook and their 2.7 billion potential users (including WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger) Telegram’s user base is quite minor. As the release of Libra is still yet the come, we can only guess what effect will it have on the market and whole community.

Keybase on the other hand is taking a different direction – not developing its own cryptocurrency but working with an existing one – much like Twitter.         

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