Stellar, the non-profit cryptography protocol to connect financial institutions, is awarding large amounts of its native currency, lumens, to the winners of the Stellar Build Challenge. In order to foster creativity within its ecosystem, Stellar said it would grant awards in the following four categories: Anchors, Applications, Exchanges and first time submissions.
Anchors are either banks, licensed money-service providers or mobile money operators that accept deposits, issue credits, and honour withdrawals on the Stellar network – vital to the success of the Stellar network.
The conditions for qualifying as an anchor or as an exchange and the amount of lumens being distributed for each challenge are listed in this blogpost.
Stellar CEO Jed McCaleb told IBTimes: "We are hoping to kickstart the Stellar ecosystem and it seems like awarding people with the lumens is a good option. We want people building on Stellar who are stakeholders, who are participating on the network.
"This way the lumens will go to the people who are actually building stuff, which I think will ultimately benefit the whole ecosystem down the line much more than just people that have a bunch of money.
"Stellar is this brand new platform and there are all kinds of things that will be built that we don't yet anticipate. Obviously there are exchanges and anchors and wallets, but beyond that I think there are a lot of innovative applications that we just haven't even thought of. It does enable a lot of use cases that were just not possible before."
McCaleb pointed out that this is a large community and the awards amount to quite a bit of money – two or three billion lumens is in the millions of dollars.
The lumens for first time submissions (originally dubbed Community Benefit awards) will be funded by any unclaimed lumens from the Bitcoin-Lumen Program. This aims to find ways to develop services that are fair, affordable, and community-driven, and at the same time drive uptake of the Stellar network to maximise efficiency and reach.
McCaleb added: "The idea is, that I think it is unlikely Satoshi will claim his lumens. So there will be a lot of lumens that are unclaimed with that, so rather than just putting them all back into Stellar.org, we thought it would be cool to do this novel thing. And if it's interesting to people, we will just kind of keep it going."
The first round of winners will be announced on 1 October 1 2016.