A Major Milestone For Programmable Bitcoin: sBTC Developer Release Launch
by Rick Bartelink & Mitchell Cuevas on October 19, 2023
Stacks is the leading Bitcoin L2, providing smart contracts and scalability options to Bitcoin builders. sBTC will be introduced in an upcoming upgrade to enable smooth movement of Bitcoin between layers and unlock Bitcoin as a fully programmable asset.

The sBTC Working Group recently shared the sBTC Developer Release, marking the initial milestone towards unlocking a more expansive Bitcoin economy through BTC on a layer 2. The release will allow developers to build and test with an early version of sBTC, a trust-minimized solution designed to move Bitcoin between the Bitcoin L1 and the Stacks L2 with as little counterparty risk as possible. The first people to get their hands on sBTC will be the developers selected for the sBTC Testnet Program and the developers accepted to attend the EasyA Hackathon during Bitcoin Unleashed in London.
sBTC Developer Release Overview
The sBTC Developer Release will include a localized devnet version of the sBTC system that developers can install and run locally on their machines, providing an easy interface for testing the deposit and withdraw transactions for sBTC. In addition to this, a JavaScript library, available via NPM, will be released which developers can use in their applications. This tooling will allow developers to test key sBTC functionality and potentially get a headstart on building sBTC-powered applications. On top of the tooling itself, in-depth documentation, tutorials, and sample apps will be provided to ensure developers can get up and running quickly and easily.
“With the sBTC Developer Release, developers are able to experience a test version of sBTC on a local developer environment. For developers, this release is the perfect first step to prepare for the sBTC release, as you can experience how it would be like when sBTC is launched, and it will be simple to port over your application to the real release."
— Kenny Rogers, Stacks Developer Advocate
The First Developers to Use sBTC
The Stacks Foundation has setup an incentivized sBTC Testnet Program where a select group of 150 users and developers test the first version of sBTC in a safe environment to make sure the sBTC working group receives feedback that will optimize and polish the sBTC experience once it launches to a broader audience. Furthermore, following the Bitcoin Unleashed event in London, a select group of 200 developers will attend the EasyA x Stacks hackathon in London on October 21st to October 22nd to try out sBTC. Together with the sBTC Testnet Program developers, these developers will be the first to get their hands on sBTC and start building applications to begin unlocking the Bitcoin economy.