Coming Soon
February 4th, 2021
Meet the Stacks Grantees: Gaideo & the STX Mining Bot
Emily Patel
Communications Associate
Welcome to the second blog of this series, dedicated to getting to know some of the grantees from the Stacks Grant Program.
This week, we spoke to Steve Hardeman, founder of Gaideo and Xan Ditkoff, founder of Daemon Technologies, who received a grant for the STX mining bot initiative. Read on to learn about their progress since receiving a Stacks grant.
Steve on Gaideo
What is Gaideo?

Gaideo is a decentralized media streaming site. At first, it enabled video sharing but it has since evolved to allow sharing of other content like photos and music. All content on Gaideo is encrypted unless users decide to share their posts publicly.

The Gaideo project started soon after I discovered the Stacks community and Stacks technology. At the time, I found myself dissatisfied with the centralized internet and wanted to contribute to one completely owned by users. With Stacks, I was able to connect with a project and community that values decentralization and ownership. As the only developer on this project, it’s been amazing to have such a supportive community guiding me and answering my questions throughout this process.

How has Gaideo progressed since you received a Stacks grant?

Since receiving the grant, Gaideo has added the ability to share music, a wonderful suggestion from the community. I’ve also developed an improved playlist feature for videos and songs that makes it much easier to create a playlist.

What kind of impact does Gaideo have on users?

The mission of this Gaideo is to incorporate all the positive things about social media, like creativity, learning, and community, and eradicate the negative aspects such as exploitation, greed, and censorship. This can give people a more positive experience of social media overall.

Gaideo also allows users to own their data. We use a storage system that encrypts user data, built on the Stacks open source blockchain, called Gaia. This allows users to control how their data is shared (such as the content and location of their data, at any time). Encrypting the content is beneficial for privacy because it ensures that only users can see their data. Without encryption, users’ media content can be viewed without their consent since anyone on the internet can access data in Gaia storage anonymously.

Other social media services like Facebook and YouTube are free but the catch is that these sites get to own users’ data and share it with advertisers. With Gaideo, you can enjoy its features free of charge and your data will not be used for business purposes. Moreover, I, as the owner of the site, can’t access anyone’s data (and I wouldn’t want to!).

What are your future plans for Gaideo?
Currently, Gaideo works on desktop and Android, but not on iPhones. I want to eventually develop an app for iPhones so that Gaideo reaches an even wider audience. Expanding Gaideo’s mobile experience will definitely make it more accessible to users.

Interested in creating a Gaideo account for yourself? Sign up for a Blockstack ID and try it out here.
Xan on the STX Mining Bot
What is the STX mining bot?

The STX mining bot aims to make mining STX more accessible through an open source app with a simple user interface. It can be difficult to mine if you don’t have a technical background and it’s also highly competitive, so we wanted to create a tool that would address these specific challenges. 

How has the STX mining bot progressed since you received a Stacks grant?

The grant has definitely helped us reduce the financial burden of developing the bot! Funding from the grant went towards hiring a contractor to help our fantastic Head of Engineering, Gavin Gao, and together they’ve made significant progress. Our research has also advanced. We’ve learned that to mine STX in a way that is profitable, you need to have enough Bitcoin to commit over a longer period of time, so that you get the Law of Large Numbers on your side.

In terms of the mining bot app, we released an alpha and beta version for people to test on the Stacks 2.0 testnet. Thanks to the grant and our recent work, we’ll be able to release the mainnet version in the next few weeks!
 
What kind of impact does the STX mining bot have on users?

The STX mining bot enables more people to get involved with mining through the provision of an easier mining experience. For example, users can mine without using the command line. Not being from an engineering background myself, I think this is a huge plus. (I’ve tried mining using the default documentation and software, and the experience was manageable but difficult.) Additionally, the mining bot gives miners a view into what other miners are doing, which offers a sense of community, collaboration, and guidance that you don’t necessarily get when you mine the traditional way.

Another issue that we address with the mining bot is the competitive nature of mining. Right now, there is an excess of profitability in mining. There are three or four top miners who own almost three quarters of the whole market in terms of winning and we would like that wealth to be distributed. Basically, the market is waiting for more people to join. By providing helpful tools to mine, e.g. the mining bot, we can get more people involved.

What are your future plans for the STX mining bot?
 
Regarding the short-term future, we will very soon release a mainnet version of the bot that anyone can use. We’ll then gather feedback on the mainnet release, which we’ll use to determine whether the bot needs any further improvement.

Thinking ahead, we plan to develop a desktop app for the bot that can be installed without a command line interface. (Currently, the bot can only be accessed in your browser via command line.) We’re also looking at helping other institutions stand up private versions of the mining bot so that they too can get in on STX Mining. Ultimately, our main goals are to continue identifying underserved opportunities around mining and to build new mining tools that benefit the entire ecosystem.

Want to learn more about Daemon Technologies and get involved with mining? Check out their website here.
Thank you to Steve and Xan for taking the time to update us on Gaideo and the STX mining bot. By creating an ad-free social media experience and offering an easier way to mine, these projects are making an incredibly positive impact on the ecosystem and beyond. Stay tuned for more grantee updates over the coming weeks!

Until then, find out more about the Stacks Grants Program and consider applying at https://stacks.org/grants
Emily Patel is the Stacks Foundation's Communications Associate. You can catch her writing blogs or posting tweets about all the latest happenings around the Stacks ecosystem. Reach out to her at @emilypatel16 on Discord if there’s anything you’d like her to share about the Stacks community!

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