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Making Blockchain Technology Real: Why We're Giving Away Lumens
Everyone in digital currency wants to see the promise of blockchain technology realized with applications that are accessible to the world.
From conferences subtitled “Making Blockchain Real” to banks that want to build prototypes, to social good enterprises eager to measure blockchain innovation’s impact on poverty, there’s a push to move from abstraction to products and applications.
We’re eager as well. As part of our larger program for giving away lumens, Stellar.org set aside a portion for bitcoin holders. This post will talk about why, and what we expect to happen as a result.
The bitcoin-lumen program will test Stellar.org’s hypothesis: there are people in the bitcoin community who will realize the potential of distributed ledgers. As early adopters, bitcoin holders understand how digital currency works for problems as diverse as voting, land titles, collaborative budgeting, and new forms of digital rights management.
Our roadmap consists of three phases:
- Technology : Building the Stellar network
- Integrators : Driving integration by financial institutions and service providers that plug into the network
- End-user Programs : Designing programs to expand access to financial services for end beneficiaries
We're currently in phase 2, which means our focus is on building partnerships and developing a smooth integration process for organizations to get started with the network.
The kind of integrator that is crucial to our roadmap is an anchor. Usually financial institutions licensed as money services providers, anchors are trusted to accept deposits and honor withdrawals. To facilitate low-cost services such as remittances on the network, each country needs an anchor integration. In phase 3, anchors connected to the network will be able to open their APIs for entrepreneurs and developers to build new financial services.
Giving away lumens to people who own bitcoin encourages anchors to integrate by:
- Incentivizing people to build on the network. We hope that lumens act as an invitation for communities to design the services they need.
- Increasing liquidity inside the network. With more people holding lumens and transacting on the network, the network itself will become more useful to those who build low-cost services on it.
Often referred to as a "Theory of Change" these are the results we predict our interventions will have.
The lumens that are left over from the bitcoin-lumen program (bitcoin holders will have until August 27th to claim) will go back to the community through a series of initiatives.
At this stage, the most important thing we can do for the Stellar ecosystem is seed it with use cases that will make a real impact on the global economy: savings, credit, and payments products for the 2 billion people without access to traditional finance. We have a long road ahead, but we’re excited to begin this leg of the journey.
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