MIRI 2014 Summer Matching Challenge and one-off opportunity to donate *for free*

by KnaveOfAllTrades1 min read3rd Aug 201438 comments

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Edit: This post is obsoleted by this post; please see that one instead.

MIRI are currently holding a donation-matching challenge, until Friday 15th August. You can donate and track its progress by going to the Donations page.

Also, to quote the MIRI Facebook page:

Stellar, a long awaited new cryptocurrency and distributed payment network, made by the founder of Mt. Gox and Ripple, just launched.

You can support MIRI for free by signing up. Every new Stellar user gets 6000 STR, and can send an additional 1000 STR to another user for FREE!

Our Stellar username is “miri”.

This is an awesome opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an exciting and promising new digital currency project while also supporting MIRI.

Registering for Stellar requires just a username and password, no e-mail or verification required. To get the free Stellar, you have to have Facebook Platform turned on (see the first setting on this page) and allow the Stellar App to temporarily integrate with your account. Send 1000 STR to 'miri' or their address (gHhshpzDcfRsie2qxjjHqrsTRe3JSCaUeN), and you will get back the 1000 STR. Once you receive back the 1000 STR, you can then remove the Stellar app like any other in your Facebook settings.

Edit: The promotion seems to have been reduced. See these two comments.

Edit2: The promotion seems more-or-less gone now; consider the part of this post about Stellar irrelevant.

I did this and it took me maybe three minutes (including time to take notes). The Stellar website is self-explanatory. If you encounter difficulties at any point in the process, or if I've forgotten some part of the process, feel free to comment on this post to that effect.

To track follow-up on threads like this: If you donate because of this thread, please indicate that in this comment (you can do so anonymously there if you prefer), and feel free to state that you have donated as a reply to that comment.

(If you're thinking free cryptocurrency is too good to be true, and wondering what the founders get out of it: My understanding is the reason this works is that early investment in a cryptocurrency bolsters it, so that giving away some for free at the start is actually a smart thing to do at first for the founders. No gimmicks or tricks about it asking for card details or anything dodgy like that.)

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I just donated $2,000. Keep up the good work!

Awesome, thanks!

(Note to everyone: a cross-posted version of the matching drive pitch will be posted to LW in the next few days.)

6450 stellar sent. For some reason, it took several days to receive the stellar, and I did not receive the 1000 free stellar, instead I got 6500.

If you donated because of this post, please choose the relevant option, and feel free to reply to this comment for upvotes. Note that if you prefer you can answer this poll anonymously.

[pollid:747]

(I'm interested in how much of the iceberg of donations is below the surface, since it helps get a better idea of the value of threads like this.)

I've voted, but for sake of clear feedback- I just made my first donation ($100) to MIRI, directly as a result of both this thread and the donation-matching. This thread alone would not have been enough, but I would not have found out about the donation-matching without this thread. I had no negative feelings from having this thread in my recent posts list.

Consider this a positive pattern reinforced :)

In order to receive the free Stellar, you need to have a Facebook account. That sucks, because I don't. And I don't want to join Facebook.

From the FAQ:

Why do I need to authenticate with Facebook to receive my stellars?

In short, Facebook was the easiest way for us to get started with stellar distribution — it gives us an easy way to avoid people claiming their stellar many times. We know not everyone has a Facebook account, and over time, we hope to add additional channels. Please see our mandate for additional details.

Yep, this is a deal-breaker for me, too.

Also, the Stellar folks should seriously consider the risk that much of their userbase can be instantly and permanently removed if Facebook is compelled to remove it by political or legal pressure — or decides they just don't want to be in thu business of providing authentication for currency schemes. (The same applies to tying to any other proprietary platform, of course; and Facebook may be less whimsical in this regard than, say, Apple.)

I think Facebook currently requires that Facebook game makers only use Facebook Credits for in-app purchases - hopefully Stellar's lawyers checked that they're not violating anything in the Facebook terms of service.

Thanks for replying. It sounds like you went to the trouble of signing up and were then disappointed to find this out. Sorry about that. Note that the post currently says (and has said since I first submitted it, I think; certainly I haven't yet edited it since seeing your comment):

To get back the 1000 STR, you will need to allow Stellar to interact with your Facebook account, but you can then remove the Stellar app like any other in your Facebook settings after you get back the 1000 STR.

What should I conclude from that, and your comment? Do I need to make it clearer? Might other people overlook that, or do you think it was rare that you overlooked it (assuming you did)?

So I did read that line. I understood that you need to make it interact with Facebook in order to get 1000 STR back after donating it to MIRI. What I didn't understand was that you also need to make it interact with Facebook in order to get the free 6000 STR that you get for signing up -- as claimed on MIRI's Facebook page.

What confuses me is that cryptocurrencies are supposed to support anonymity. Facebook is the anti-thesis of anonymity.

Requiring Facebook is a good way for them to stop people from creating numerous fake accounts to get the free 6000 units on each account.

It doesn't get you your time back, but that is my fault and I do apologise. I have edited the post to try to make this clear. If you take a look and find my explanation still lacking, feel free to let me know.

Very straight forward and easy to use. However, I was only promised 4400 (400 for email, 4000 for fb integration, of which 500 now, 3500 later). Aside from that, the send STR and receive them back for free offer was only for 100 STR instead of 1000 STR.

Thanks for letting me know. Given that the most recent comment after yours had something similar, I would guess they're winding down the promotion. I shall update the post.

[My original question: Ok, registered with Stellar, they only gave 500 units. How much can I send to MIRI and still get a full refund?]

Answer: Ok, Stellar added 400 for me giving them email, then allowed me to send 800 to miri, receiving 800 back.

Update: Stellar only gave me 100 back.

So:

Got 500 for sign-up + FB login

Got 400 for email

Gave 800 to miri expecting 800 back per Stellar suggestion

Only got 100 back (guess bug report is in order?)

Final acct. 200 S.

Thanks for your stellar donation!

Thanks for letting me know. See my reply to this comment

Donating "for free" is now down to 25 STR, about a nickel. (Sent to MIRI.)

Also, your Facebook account is only considered valid if you allow Stellar access to your photos.

Thanks. I've edited the post pointing to lukeprog's more recent post about the matching drive, since I'd consider this one fully obsolete now the Stellar offer is so low.

Are cryptocurrencies not named Bitcoin ever actually used in legal commerce? It seems to me like most of the demand for cryptocurrencies is coming from speculators intending to sell them to a greater fool...

I do not know enough about them to be able to give you good answers.

But the policy question of whether to bother collecting or donating any free Stellar seems obvious to me; this opportunity is monetarily zero risk and takes minimal time. Even if one has lots of reasons to avoid jumping into actively managing a portfolio of cryptocurrencies, this policy decision is extremely one-sided, which is why I'm posting it.

Someone who puts zero probability on 'cashing out' the Stellar in future for themself should still donate because there is a reasonable probability that MIRI will be able to make use of them. (In fact, such a person should just donate all their Stellar, but I'm not sure how many people really would be that confident that they wouldn't cash out themself.)

A depressing number of people on Facebook, where I've seen the MIRI FB post link Shared, have posted in the comments ranting their two cents about cryptocurrencies and why cryptocurrency sucks and Ripple sucks and Stellar is doomed and bla bla bla. All these complaints share the property of being irrelevant to the policy decision of whether to actually follow up on this specific opportunity.

I'm not saying this is necessarily what you're doing, but if you are, cut it out, and if not, be aware of how it comes across, and that regardless of intention, it can derail and discourage others from bothering. I'm not trying to be hostile, but I am upset, because it seems like a predictable consequence of your comment (regardless of intent) is that people hastily pattern-match this post to 'Haha cryptocurrencies haha pyramid scheme' and close the tab feeling cynically good about themself rather than just doing the damn thing. So long as your comment is at the top of this thread and reads as it does, I think it is doing more harm than good, though hopefully this comment will serve to mitigate that effect.

CRYPTOCURRENCIES ARE HARD MODE

True. At worst, this is a waste of a small amount of time and electricity.

::signs up, sends all the Stellar he can::

I still think the most useful digital currency is the Magic Online Event Ticket. ;)

Do you think this is also true of normal fiat money like dollars? If lots of people come to value Stellars then they will have legitimate value.

If lots of people come to value Stellars then they will have legitimate value.

The "if" is the stumbling block. Bitcoin is valued because of the anonymous transactions it makes possible. Dollars are valued because the US government buys and sells in dollars, and similarly for other state-run currencies. Is there any example of a currency which no longer has any such tie to anything outside itself that gives it value, and is accepted only because people accept it?

Gold comes close, although admittedly it has a few practical uses.

Fiat currency has a built-in demand because the issuing government accepts it for payment of taxes. Other than that, well... it is kind of hard to spend Euros in the United States...

you have to [...] allow the Stellar App to temporarily integrate with your account

Then this is, in fact, very far from "for free".

To get back the 1000 STR, you will need to allow Stellar to interact with your Facebook account

It was unable to do so when I tried. How motivated should I be to give this any more of my attention?

Also, why does Stellar want access to my Facebook account? Is there any danger of it spamming everyone on my friends list with ads for Stellar?

Also, why does Stellar want access to my Facebook account?

I am guessing it wants your information. Personal data is valuable -- Stellar is willing to give you some of its funny money to acquire yours.

It was unable to do so when I tried. How motivated should I be to give this any more of my attention?

I haven't heard of anybody else having this problem in this case (but also not of anybody else explicitly doing this part).

The only thing I can immediately think of is that you might have some general setting to do with Apps disabled. If you don't have any Apps on your account, then there's a good chance this is the problem, and I think you should be motivated to try temporarily turning on Platform by turning on Apps on the first setting on this page. Otherwise, I'd say it's your call. Thanks for trying, any which way.

Also, why does Stellar want access to my Facebook account?

I do not know. But when I recentishly turned on Platform to allow an App to integrate, I concluded (as someone who is inclined to be somewhat conservative about such things) that there was nothing to worry about if it was temporary and there was no immediate damage while the App was permitted. (If it does something like post embarrassing things to your timeline or someone else's, it would show up in your Facebook Activity Log. (Mine hasn't shown anything for when the Stellar app was integrated.)

Is there any danger of it spamming everyone on my friends list with ads for Stellar?

Nobody who reported back on Facebook saying they'd done it complained of anything untoward happening. It's conceivable that integrating the app even temporarily could mean that your friends see slightly more Stellar apps (if such things even exist) instead of the usual types of ads they see, if the ad algorithm took it into account or something? But I'm guessing that's not what you mean, that you meant more like Stellar making posts or sending messages via your account to friends, which doesn't seem to have happened to anybody who claimed the Stellar.

Thanks for your comment; I shall update the post with my advice about Platform in case it helps anybody else.

Most of the effects of allowing an app access are permanent insofar as most of the effects are them scraping your data, which they have no reason not to keep.

The only thing I can immediately think of is that you might have some general setting to do with Apps disabled. If you don't have any Apps on your account, then there's a good chance this is the problem, and I think you should be motivated to try temporarily turning on Platform by turning on Apps on the first setting on this page.

On looking on Facebook, I see it has managed to add the Stellar app. But still, when I try to "connect with Facebook" it opens a popup window which immediately goes away, and it reports "Oops! Please verify your Facebook account and try again." Which I have done ("verifying" apparently means "tell Facebook your mobile number") but with no change. Well, maybe I'll contact Stellar about that.

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