Spammers force Keybase to stop Stellar Space Drop cryptocurrency handouts

A rush of new fake accounts has forced Keybase to rethink its free Lumen drops.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Keybase has announced the closure of its free Lumens (XLM) cryptocurrency drop scheme due to an influx of spam accounts. 

In a notice posted to users of Keybase, an end-to-end encrypted messaging and chat application, the developers said that the week starting 15 December will mark the end of the Stellar Space Drop. 

The Stellar Space Drop is a giveaway of XLM to registered users that have also set up a cryptocurrency wallet, an inbuilt feature which permits the acceptance and transfer of cryptocurrencies. 

Several drops have already taken place, but now, the final 100 million Lumens available will be sent out to users, bringing the overall giveaway to 300 million Lumens, valued by Keybase at roughly $16 million.

According to Keybase, in the last few weeks, a tsunami of account signups which include spammers and fake users has swamped the app, "far beyond the capacity" of Keybase to handle. 

The trend is suspected to be a response to the token giveaway, and so Keybase has now closed registrations and will end the project early. 

"It's not in the Stellar network's interest to reward those people; it is also not in Keybase's interest to have them as Keybase users," the developers said. 

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Legitimate users can expect to receive their XLM over the next week. 

Stellar Space Drop's closure comes on the heels of a recent Keybase update which noted a rise in spam experienced by users, and while the influx is not what the developers call "dire," they said they needed to "act quickly" to get on top of the problem. 

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To do so, an app update has been released to give spammers a rapid send-off and an easy way for users to report fake profiles with a click. 

Another update planned for release in the next month or so is a feature that allows users to go "nuclear." User feedback and requests led to the development of a new option in chat settings to create a "walled garden," shutting down all messages, team additions, and followers unless a user follows them, is already in a team with the member, or there is a connection through a third-party. 

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Keybase hopes this will further deter spammers and reduce the volume of fake profiles and followers now disrupting the ecosystem. 

"This is a cat-and-mouse game, and Internet spammers are the cat feces," the developers added. "They'll harden with time, and we'll keep burying them."

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