Blog Article

We’re Giving Away 3 Billion Lumens to Bitcoin Holders


Stellar Development Foundation

Publishing date

When we were designing Stellar, Bitcoin acted as a profound inspiration. The Bitcoin network was the first to show that it's possible for a group of untrusted parties to agree on a common database, and the Bitcoin community still influences our understanding of this technology's impact.

With all that in mind, has reserved 19% of the initial lumens—a total of 19 billion lumens—for people who hold bitcoin. On July 5th we’ll make available these lumens to any bitcoin holder who wants them.

How will it work?

We'll give away the 19 billion lumens in several rounds. The first round will include 3 billion lumens, and will work like this:

July 4, 2016 : We'll take a snapshot of the blockchain at the first block mined with a timestamp on July 4th (UTC/GMT). This snapshot will record the coin balances of all bitcoin accounts at that time.

July 5, 2016 : We'll publish a claim page, allowing bitcoin holders to verify that they control a given bitcoin address and send that address's share of lumens to a Stellar account.

To get a sense of the giveaway math, take Rachel as an example:

At time of snapshot

  • 15,692,500 bitcoins in existence
  • Rachel owns 10 bitcoins

Rachel can claim

  • 3,000,000,000 * (10/15,692,500) = 1,911.72 lumens


  • Rachel owns .0000649% of the bitcoins in existence at the time of the snapshot.
  • Her 1,911.72 lumens therefore equals .0000649% of lumens given away.

October 5, 2016 : The first round of the lumen giveaway to bitcoin holders will conclude. If there are unclaimed lumens, they'll go to’s operational fund.

Due to regulatory restrictions, this program is closed to residents of the U.S. states of New York, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Connecticut as well as the nations of Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and other countries subject to sanctions by the United States. These restrictions are subject to change to account for changes in regulatory posture.

Members and board members of will not participate in the bitcoin-lumen program or claim any lumens from it.

Claim lumens: Individuals

On July 5 : Visit the claim page, which will walk you through the simple process. If you have an account on an exchange, check with your exchange to see if they're planning to participate and how to claim lumens through them.

Participating exchanges (we'll update this list as exchanges contact us):

Now for the part we're less excited about.

If you're not using an exchange, then law requires us to ensure you're not on the U.S. sanctions list or located in any of the restricted jurisdictions listed above. We're using Facebook account verification to complete this check.

We know this kind of sucks. Privacy is a top concern for the Bitcoin ecosystem. won’t use your Facebook data for any other purposes and will never post to your account. If you’d rather not share your Facebook information, you can still go through a participating exchange.

Claim lumens: Exchanges and businesses

Before July 5 : If you’re an exchange or other business that holds a pool of bitcoins for customers, email [email protected] from your business email. Include your hot wallet Bitcoin address, and we'll ensure that the lumens given to that address are sent only to you.

After you receive lumens, we encourage you to give them to each of your customers proportionately. Email [email protected] with questions or to discuss options.

How does Stellar compare to Bitcoin and other networks?

The Stellar network is inspired by Bitcoin—we’ve taken lessons from it and added the ability to tolerate non-rational actors in an environment with low computing power. There are a few other key differences between Stellar and Bitcoin:

  • In Bitcoin, nodes that work to confirm transactions mine bitcoin, distributing the currency slowly over time to miners. Stellar doesn't have mining: 100 billion lumens were automatically created at the start of the network. 95% of these lumens will be available to the world.
  • Stellar operates on a new consensus algorithm, the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP), which uses federated Byzantine agreement. Stellar transactions confirm in a few seconds and nodes use fewer computational resources.
  • Bitcoin is non-inflationary, while the supply of lumens increases at a fixed rate of 1% per year.

When will the second giveaway round take place?

The date and amount of the next giveaway round will depend on what we learn from this initial round. To be the first to know when we announce the next round, sign up for updates on the bitcoin-lumen program.

Find out more

We believe in community-based ownership of the Stellar network and want early digital currency enthusiasts like bitcoin holders to feel at home in the Stellar community. Feel free to ask us questions about the bitcoin-lumen program:

And if you're a developer interested in building applications on Stellar, explore our documentation.

See you on July 5th!