Blog Article

We’re Distributing 16 Billion Lumens to Bitcoin Holders


Stellar Development Foundation

Publishing date

Last October we concluded our first lumen distribution program for bitcoin holders as part of’s commitment to reserve 19% of the initial lumens—19% of the initial lumens—a total of 19 billion lumens—for people who hold bitcoin.

Today, we are announcing that for the next round, we are distributing up to 16 BILLION lumens to bitcoin holders or 16% of the initial lumens. On June 27th, 2017 , we will make available these lumens to any bitcoin holder who wants them, including those that received lumens during the first giveaway round.

If this is new to you, you may ask why are we doing this? When we were first 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.

How will it work?

June 26, 2017 : We took a snapshot of the blockchain at the first block mined after midnight on June 26th (UTC/GMT). This snapshot will record the coin balances of all bitcoin accounts at that time. You can find the snapshot here.

June 27, 2017 : We’ll publish a claim page at 11AM (PDT), allowing bitcoin holders to verify that they control a given bitcoin address. We will then send that address’s share of lumens to the provided Stellar account.

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

At time of snapshot 16,215,950 bitcoins in existence Rachel owns 10 bitcoins Rachel can claim 16,000,000,000 * (10/16,215,950) = 9,866.83 lumens Calculation Rachel owns .00006167% of the bitcoins in existence at the time of the snapshot. Her 9,866.83 lumens therefore equals .00006167% of lumens given away.

August 27th, 2017 : The bitcoin lumen program will conclude. If there are unclaimed lumens, they’ll go to’s operational fund and to the Build Challenge.

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 June 27th : we will provide a link to the claim page, where you will need to complete this simple process:

  1. Authenticate with Facebook.
  2. Enter your Stellar account ID.
  3. Enter your Bitcoin address. For P2SH (multisig) addresses, you will be asked for a redeem script.
  4. Sign a displayed message. For P2PKH (normal bitcoin address) only one signature is required. For P2SH (multisig) addresses you need to provide as many signatures as required to release the funds from a P2SH address.
  5. If signatures are correct, lumens will be sent to your Stellar account.

Most bitcoin wallets support this, including:

  • Bitcoind
  • Bitcoin-qt
  • Electrum
  • Mycelium
  • Trezor
  • Nano

Please note, if your bitcoins are with Coinbase you won't be able to claim your lumens.

Why Facebook? 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.

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

If your bitcoins are located on any of the above exchanges there is no action for you to take. They will handle the process of automatically crediting your account with the appropriate amount of lumens. If your exchange is not on the above list then you can ask them to participate. They will have until August 27th to claim lumens for their users.

Claim lumens: Exchanges and businesses

Before June 27 : 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.

Claim lumens: XRP holders

In addition to distributing lumens to bitcoin holders, we have also reserved 1% of the initial lumens (1 billion) to holders of XRP. For XRP, we took a snapshot of the ripple ledger 6,762,000 (a ledger occurring May 22nd 2014). Any ripple account holder with less than 7.5 million XRP (~$50,000 USD at that time) in their account at that ledger qualifies for the giveaway. Every qualified XRP holder can participate in either one of two ways:

  1. Pro-rata: Similar to the bitcoin holders, eligible XRP holders may receive their pro-rata share of lumens allocated to this giveaway (10:1) and be credited for up to 1.5 million XRP.
  2. Donation: Eligible XRP holders may also donate up to 1.5M XRP to a selection of charities and receive an equal amount of lumens in return.

For example: Sam had 1 million XRP as of ledger 6,762,000. He could choose to donate his XRP to a charity listed in the program and get 1 million lumens from the bitcoin program. Or he could choose to claim his pro-rata (10:1) share of lumens allocated to this giveaway.

On June 27th we will provide a link to the claim page, which will walk you through this simple process:

  • Authenticate with Facebook.
  • Enter your Stellar public key or generate a new one.
  • Send a small amount of XRP (even 1 drop is OK) to the provided Ripple address with a displayed destination tag. Please note that we will not be able to send your XRP back!
  • After receiving a payment to the provided Ripple address, lumens will be sent to your Stellar account.

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 very inflationary during the first several years eventually settling to a near fixed supply, while the supply of lumens increases at a fixed rate of 1% per year.

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 June 27th!