Nakamoto: A New Era of Enhanced Security for Stacks
by Claire Topalian on January 11, 2024
As Nakamoto gets closer and closer, we’re covering some of the exciting enhancements that you can expect with the launch of the public testnet and mainnet upgrades. Stay tuned for more posts on various enhancements and check out the technical milestones here.
While security has always been a priority of the blockchain, the upcoming Nakamoto upgrade is taking things to a whole new level. Let’s explore how Nakamoto is fortifying the Stacks network.
Bitcoin Finality: The Gold Standard
In the realm of blockchain, the concept of finality holds immense significance. It signifies the point at which transactions become irreversible, a crucial aspect of trust in the system. Before the Nakamoto release, Stacks operated under its own security budget and Stacks transactions were only considered final according to the history of the Stacks chain itself. Although block history was recorded to Bitcoin, Stacks could fork, meaning an attacker could rewrite the history of the chain by only outspending Stacks miners. With Nakamoto, Stacks does not fork on its own and miners are required to build on top of the true chain tip at the protocol level, so there is no way to change the history of confirmed Stacks blocks without changing the history of Bitcoin blocks themselves. And, with Nakamoto, after a mere 2-block time period, Stacks transactions will become as final and irreversible as Bitcoin transactions themselves.
Stronger Security Guarantees with Collaboration
Nodes are the guardians of blockchain security, and the Nakamoto update empowers them with enhanced defenses against malicious activities. By aligning Stacks transactions more closely with Bitcoin finality, nodes become part of the robust security framework established by the Bitcoin network. This integration allows Stacks to resist reorganizations effectively, ensuring the integrity of transactions. Stackers who now actively participate in consensus with their nodes help to ensure forks and reorgs do not happen.
The Nakamoto upgrade’s strategic alignment with Bitcoin's security principles fortifies the long-term viability and security of the Stacks network. With transactions now enjoying the robust protection of Bitcoin's finality, Stacks can offer an unprecedented level of transaction irreversibility and trustworthiness. This enhanced security creates a resilient environment, resilient against rogue attacks and malicious actors, making Stacks even more attractive to developers and users.

This upgrade isn't just about faster block times and efficient transactions; it's a major leap in security for the Stacks network. The integration with Bitcoin's finality guarantees that once a Stacks transaction is confirmed, reversing it becomes as challenging as reversing a Bitcoin transaction – an incredible feat in blockchain security.
Learn more and get involved
With Nakamoto just around the corner, there are countless ways for you to jump in and be part of this exciting journey. Reach out and be a part of the action.