The Not So Stellar Launch

stellar launch

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NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — Much has been written about the launch of the nonprofit startup Stellar. Unfortunately, getting Stellar off the ground has been a bumpy ride.

Early adopters are supposed to receive $10 in stellar when they sign up for an account. This is part of the strategy put forth to donate 47.5 billion stellar to users who sign up with Facebook. However, users are still experiencing delays in receiving their funds. Tikhon Bernstam tweeted, “Stellar is already grappling with the problems of distributing pre-mined coins. Look at the delays they have right now.”

The newly opened Stellar forum on Reddit has users weighing in on how they’ve been granted acceptance, but are still seeing no stellar in their accounts. Because each Facebook account has to be manually reviewed, some members are not being immediately granted the funds. According to threads on StellarTalk.org, there are requirements for a person’s Facebook to be granted acceptance — including having an account before July 31, having a profile with at least one picture, and in some cases, a certain number of friends.

These arbitrary rules have some disappointed. Jamiehere on Reddit said, “I’m just an ordinary guy, with an account since Facebook came out, 400 friends, 1k pictures.” Even three days after signing up, he still didn’t have his stellar.

But growing pains are to be expected and Stellar does have a rollout strategy to ensure they can handle it:

  • Month 1: 10k people
  • Month 2: 20k people
  • Month 3: 50k people
  • Month 4-12: 100k people per month
  • Month 12+: capped only by technical constraints

However, there’s also the issue of people gaming the system to increase the amount of stellar they have. Everett Forth wrote on Medium about how he was able to amass a sum of over 2-million stellar in a matter of 24 hours. How? The simple answer was that he utilized Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to do it. Because Stellar had just launched, for some time, he was the only person working the system in that manner.

Forth claims he was paying people anywhere from $1-$2 for 5,000 stellar. In less than 24 hours, he had been able to amass over 2,000,000 stellar. When comparing it to the exchange of STR/BTC, he made more than 8 bitcoin. If he had spent $2 for every 5,000 stellar, he would have invested about $800 for his efforts —  significantly less than the over $4,000 in stellar he now owns.

But Everett did offer a couple of suggestions on how Stellar could prevent this from occurring.

“There could be a significant delay (perhaps 24 hours) before giving the reward. This would prevent people from paying for a transaction that only takes 3-minutes in total,” he wrote.  In essence, by increasing the delay, many would not be interested in signing up, then selling, just to receive $2.00.

The final concern is whether Stellar is fair. One person on Twitter offered his opinion regarding the biggest problem for Stellar. Dan Romero said, “I think the biggest challenge for Stellar is the distribution model. Mining might be wasteful, but it’s fair.”

Part of the way funding works is with participatory budgeting to combat lost stellar. This 1% annual increase in stellar will be distributed weekly. According to Stellar.org, “Every account is able to select another account as its nominee for new currency. Voting will be weighted according to how many stellars the voter has in his or her account. For instance, if you have 120 stellars and you vote for Jane as the recipient, that will be counted as 120 votes for Jane.

In spite of the early glitches, there is already a thriving community of people buying and selling stellar. And for Everett, he now has a potential fortune in stellar.

Written by Jacob Cohen Donnelly

Photo credit: makelessnoise via photopin cc

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