As promised by the creators of Auroracoin, last night saw its inaugural “Airdrop”, intended for roughly 330,000 Icelanders.
Out of a total 21 million coins (same # as Bitcoin), the first 50% (10.5 million) were pre-mined and have been trading on several exchanges, while the remaining were reserved for Airdrop. Out of these, thus far around 24,000 coins, 0.23% of the total, have been claimed in the Airdrop.
At the time of the Airdrop, which was 12:00 Iceland time, one Auroracoin was worth around $11.50 based on its traded price with Bitcoin, making for a total haul of about $360 per person. This amounts to over $276,000 worth of coins distributed thus far.
The plan is for the current Airdrop to continue for 4 months. Remaining coins unclaimed by the end of this period will be divided evenly into 330,000 portions for yet another Airdrop. The process is then repeated a third time for a final Airdrop. If there are still in excess of 630,000 unclaimed coins, this excess will be “destroyed” and any remainder of 630,000 or less will be split between an Auroracoin development fund/foundation and charities decided upon by Auroracoin holders.
Icelanders are able to claim their coins in one of two ways: As 80% of Icelanders use Facebook, they can log in through gateway and provide their Facebook info. This is then matched against their ID number (some report electronic ID’s can somehow be obtained by third parties via islykill, although this remains unclear). Alternatively, people can receive an SMS, and their cell # is matched with their ID.
The majority of users on Aurarcoin’s reddit are still highly skeptical about the whole scheme- from the whole notion of this cryptocurrency to the method of how it’s being distributed. Several though did confirm that they in fact received their coins. One commented: “Got mine too. Gonna sell them soon. I will also collect on behalf of many many others and sell them. Lol at the westerners bag holders who are buying them from me.”
The traded price of Auroracoin on Cryptsy has not changed significantly in response to the Airdrop, although there were some brief bouts of buying in and around Airdrop time. Prices oscillated between 20 and 22 mBTC for several hours, but moves of 10% are more or less in line with prior levels of volatility.
The coming weeks will determine if Icelanders will be motivated to preserve their coins for genuine use as currency, or cash out on the world wide web. In the latter scenario, one may expect steep price declines as holders race to get whatever value they can out of the gift. However, it appears that the market will not be flooded with Auroracoins as the Airdrop appears to be progressing quite gradually. The amounts entering the market will be but a trickle relative to the 10.5 million already in circulation, so any further drop in value may occur gradually over time, if at all.