Stellar airdrop on Keybase comes to an end early due to spammers

An airdrop in cryptocurrency occurs when a protocol or company distributes its token to some internet users that they believe will promote the brand. Because cryptocurrencies are replaceable and easily exchangeable, this is really like giving money. There was a major shift towards airdrops in early 2018 until regulatory concerns delayed practice, especially in the US.

Stellar, one of the leading cryptocurrencies, has been hosting its 20-month airdrop campaign. The campaign, conducted on Keybase, is described as a messaging platform where you can write secure encrypted messages to any Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, GitHub, and Hacker News users.

Airdrop is scheduled to start on the 15th of every month. The previous months, although having some minor problems, were successful. However, the December period came earlier. The cause comes from spammers. They appeared shortly after Stellar announced the organization of a massive airdrop. However, by December, the situation became much worse.

Recently there has been a discussion of a serious increase in spam on the Keybase chat side. This is entirely due to the partnership between Keybase and Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) to organize the airdrop of 2 billion XLM for app users over a 20-month period.

At a certain point, costs start to outweigh benefits. Keybase acknowledged when the program statement was about to end abruptly. The third and final XLM airdrop begins on December 13.

The last 100 million Lumens will be divided equally among 282,000 mostly real & living, or at least undead, human people, bringing the total number of tokens issued to 300 million XLM (~ $ 16 million), much less than 2 billion XLM (~ $ 120 million) as advertised, according to a Keybase blog post.

Stellar airdrop

Image via keybase.io

Keybase users can get tens of dollars worth of XLM for every airdrop. In November, malicious usage was a serious problem. Finally, the airdrop on Keybase has attracted a huge number of spammers, which is no longer worth trying to continue.

The number of cryptocurrencies offered is too small for some people to care about, but for someone who is capable of running a bot farm, it is highly profitable. If a crook can get hundreds or even thousands of bots through Keybase’s checks, then it certainly has become worthwhile, CEO Keybase said.

The goal of both companies is to attract new and new ones who have done well.
Because of this goal, the subsequent airdrops have expanded the recipient range a bit, any new accounts verified on Hacker News or GitHub will be allowed to participate in the airdrop. This has attracted spammers on these two services. Bot farms have access to millions of user IDs and passwords that have been compromised over the years. Accordingly, it can activate a long-forgotten GitHub account, and that means bypassing Keybase’s filter. As a result, it has caused stress for both services.

Since November, Keybase has decided to use a combination of SMS verification and private filters to show human-like behavior. Until before December 13, Keybase abandoned accepting new registrations to receive airdrops and recently added a powerful blocking feature to its application.

Despite the problems that led to an early end, the campaign received positive feedback from the community.

“Thank you to the people at SDF and Keybase for their hard work and dedication to trying to do this work for weeks! Your respective mission is noble and inspiring,” Reddit user Krakerjaak said.

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“I applaud the effort of Stellar and Keybase to try and keep the airdrop alive. It took the form of several iterations and also fast-tracked much-needed abuse mechanisms within Keybase,” Reddit user Jqueryin said.

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