The lumen (XLM) airdrop scheme, set up by secure messaging service Keybase and the Stellar Foundation – who are behind the Stellar decentralized protocol to transfer cryptocurrency to fiat money – is coming to an end.
Announced in September, the airdrop was worth 2 billion XML (Stellar’s cryptocurrency) – or about $120 million – and supposed to run for 20 months.
But the project has been cut short and will be over at the end of the year, while registration has already been closed.
In an announcement, Keybase also pledged to give out the 100 million lumens allocated in November – but only to “legit, registered and qualified members.”
This remark points to the problem faced by the plan, that eventually caused its failure – what Keybase has described as “a large influx of fake people into the platform,” one that it had no means to counter.
The airdrop’s beneficiaries were meant to be Keybase users, of whom there had been about 300,000 worldwide in September. To grow the adoption of lumens and grow the messaging platform’s userbase, the plan was devised to essentially give out free money in the form of lumen “airdrops.”
“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,” Keybase said back in September.
Keybase users were given the initial lumen airdrop worth approximately $20, then those who joined the platform and connected their GitHub or HackerNews accounts were given twice that amount, with airdrops continuing each subsequent month.
But this is where the wheels quickly started to fall off the scheme, as it started attracting more and more scammers and spammers.
“HackerNews was under a pretty heavy attack by people who wanted to brute-force steal accounts and gain karma through crappy comments. We are no longer qualifying new users based on old HN accounts,” Stellar announced on Reddit in September, quickly adding that this also applied to GitHub accounts.
Now, announcing the end of the airdrop, known as “The Stellar Space Drop” – Keybase said:
“While this giveaway mostly worked, it’s clear that there will be decreasing returns and massively increased effort required.”
“Starting in the last week or so, hordes of fake people were beginning to come in, far beyond the capacity of Keybase or SDF to filter,” the post said. “It’s not in the Stellar network’s interest to reward those people; it is also not in Keybase’s interest to have them as Keybase users.”