2018 is quite rightly the year of airdrops. Last week, the crypto wallet company Blockchain distributed Stellar Lumens worth as much as USD 125 million amongst the larger crypto community. The massive giveaway of XLM has us thinking whether airdrops really serve the purpose of the promotion of a Blockchain ecosystem or whether they are just self-enrichment schemes.
Quite rightly the community does play a big role in the development of Blockchain ecosystem, and they should gain enough from these airdrops in order for them to be legitimate community building exercises.
As per the CEO of Blockchain, Peter Smith, the airdrop pf XML would enable users to test and transact with the scalable crypto asset, XLM. The Co-founder of of the Stellar Development Foundation held similar views as he added that such airdrops would enhance the reach of Stellar as a tool for communities upon which they can design new models of value exchange.
Many critics are not buying this. Some of them have viewed this airdrop as a way for the wallet provider to expand its operations by way of phishing for personalized information through the KYC procedures. We won’t deny this, as certainly the wallet provider will be able to create a huge data pool that it can market its services to.
Currencies get their value from their widespread use, and hence we can’t deny that the airdrops serve as a way to increase the adoption of a digital currency. At the same time marketing is required to enhance such adoption. Hence we can arrive at the conclusion that marketing and airdrops are correlated.
The price of any currency depends on how well those who have an interest in its success are able to promote the crypto as a store of value or medium of exchange. Governments promote their currencies in a similar manner through indirect marketing processes such as proclaiming the strength of their economies.
Hence, even though the wallet provider Blockchain may have used the airdrop of Stellar as a way to promote its services, in hindsight we cannot deny the fact that airdrops serve as means to promote currency through members who believe in the value of the crypto as a medium of transaction.