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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’

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The Independent Tech

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.

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Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

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A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

Shape
Created with Sketch.

Bitcoin’s volatile history in pictures

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

1/8 Satoshi Nakamoto creates the first bitcoin block in 2009

On 3 January, 2009, the genesis block of bitcoin appeared. It came less than a year after the pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto detailed the cryptocurrency in a paper titled ‘Bitcoin: A peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’

Reuters

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

2/8 Bitcoin is used as a currency for the first time

On 22 May, 2010, the first ever real-world bitcoin transaction took place. Lazlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins – the equivalent of $90 million at today’s prices

Lazlo Hanyecz

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

3/8 Silk Road opens for business

Bitcoin soon gained notoriety for its use on the dark web. The Silk Road marketplace, established in 2011, was the first of hundreds of sites to offer illegal drugs and services in exchange for bitcoin

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

4/8 The first bitcoin ATM appears

On 29 October, 2013, the first ever bitcoin ATM was installed in a coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. The machine allowed people to exchange bitcoins for cash

REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

5/8 The fall of MtGox

The world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, MtGox, filed for bankruptcy in February 2014 after losing almost 750,000 of its customers bitcoins. At the time, this was around 7 per cent of all bitcoins and the market inevitably crashed

Getty Images

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

6/8 Would the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up

In 2015, Australian police raided the home of Craig Wright after the entrepreneur claimed he was Satoshi Nakamoto. He later rescinded the claim

Getty Images

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

7/8 Bitcoin’s big split

On 1 August, 2017, an unresolvable dispute within the bitcoin community saw the network split. The fork of bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology spawned a new cryptocurrency: Bitcoin cash

REUTERS

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

8/8 Bitcoin’s price sky rockets

Towards the end of 2017, the price of bitcoin surged to almost $20,000. This represented a 1,300 per cent increase from its price at the start of the year

Reuters

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

1/8 Satoshi Nakamoto creates the first bitcoin block in 2009

On 3 January, 2009, the genesis block of bitcoin appeared. It came less than a year after the pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto detailed the cryptocurrency in a paper titled ‘Bitcoin: A peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’

Reuters

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

2/8 Bitcoin is used as a currency for the first time

On 22 May, 2010, the first ever real-world bitcoin transaction took place. Lazlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins – the equivalent of $90 million at today’s prices

Lazlo Hanyecz

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

3/8 Silk Road opens for business

Bitcoin soon gained notoriety for its use on the dark web. The Silk Road marketplace, established in 2011, was the first of hundreds of sites to offer illegal drugs and services in exchange for bitcoin

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

4/8 The first bitcoin ATM appears

On 29 October, 2013, the first ever bitcoin ATM was installed in a coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. The machine allowed people to exchange bitcoins for cash

REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

5/8 The fall of MtGox

The world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, MtGox, filed for bankruptcy in February 2014 after losing almost 750,000 of its customers bitcoins. At the time, this was around 7 per cent of all bitcoins and the market inevitably crashed

Getty Images

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

6/8 Would the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up

In 2015, Australian police raided the home of Craig Wright after the entrepreneur claimed he was Satoshi Nakamoto. He later rescinded the claim

Getty Images

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

7/8 Bitcoin’s big split

On 1 August, 2017, an unresolvable dispute within the bitcoin community saw the network split. The fork of bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology spawned a new cryptocurrency: Bitcoin cash

REUTERS

A bitcoin wallet is giving away $125m of cryptocurrency to help bring it to the masses

8/8 Bitcoin’s price sky rockets

Towards the end of 2017, the price of bitcoin surged to almost $20,000. This represented a 1,300 per cent increase from its price at the start of the year

Reuters

“[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.

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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.”

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