Nakamoto Update: Launch Window Announced
The Nakamoto launch will start between April 15 - 29, 2024.
by Mitchell Cuevas on December 8, 2023
This post has been updated to reflect the updated rollout and activation plan.
If you’ve been furiously refreshing your favorite Bitcoin halving countdown page with Nakamoto in mind, this post is for you. In the past two weeks, Working Groups, core developers, and integration partners have come together to add further certainty to the Nakamoto release date.

Thanks to steady progress, we’re now able to share that the window within which the Nakamoto upgrade will begin rolling out has been narrowed to April 15 - 29, 2024.

This window was chosen to align with the ongoing goal to launch Nakamoto before the Bitcoin halving. The challenge, of course, is that the Bitcoin halving projection continuously moves based on Bitcoin block activity. We’ve observed the projection ranging widely from as early as the beginning of April all the way through mid-May (just within the past two weeks).

Since we can’t predict with certainty the exact date of the Bitcoin halving, Working Groups and other lead contributors felt it was important to select a tighter window for the launch to better align key vendors and contributors, schedule launch events, and provide the community with clear and consistent updates.

Importantly, the additional fidelity of the launch window enables network Signers such as Copper, Figment, and many others to prioritize their work on the Nakamoto testnet in the weeks leading up to the window so that they can be ready for the final launch date. The tighter window also provides clarity to the auditors and testers as to when they will need to be wrapped up ahead of rollout.
Today's Halving projection from Nicehash
What is the launch window?
Quite simply, it means these are the dates within which the core developers will select a Bitcoin block height for the first step of the rollout to go live, kicking off a process by which Signers onboard and Nakamoto rules eventually go live. Learn more in this post.

We can expect them to provide a specific block height as we continue to progress through milestones and that will give an even closer indication of the date, then hour, we would see the new consensus rules go live on the network.

Of course, the Nakamoto SIP must be approved by the community first - so be sure to prepare to vote!
Once Nakamoto is released…
Nakamoto marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of the Stacks layer, one that will see the limitation of Bitcoin blocks times removed, mitigation of certain Bitcoin MEV and orphaning behaviors, and 100% Bitcoin finality for transactions.

Further, this upgrade sets the stage for continuous performance boosts and optimizations to throughput. Once the initial Nakamoto upgrade is complete, builders can not only look forward to the much-improved layer, but also ongoing enhancements that can happen via simple node upgrades that do not require hardforks.
Nakamoto: What to expect
For those who might be new to Nakamoto or need a refresher, here’s a quick look at the why and the what behind this launch.

First, BTC is the pristine asset – it’s Bitcoin's rails that can be improved and will continue to evolve. With the launch of Nakamoto, we can expect significant enhancements for Stacks, including:

  1. L2 support for faster and more cost-effective transactions
  2. 100% Bitcoin finality for enhanced security
  3. An established foundation for fully programmable BTC on L2

To gain a deeper understanding of what’s coming, be sure to explore the comprehensive Nakamoto Study Guide and our recent post on Bitcoin finality.
Looking ahead
On the immediate horizon, there are quite a few ways to learn more and get involved in the Nakamoto launch:
  • Voting: In order for Nakamoto to pass, 80% of votes must be cast in favor of the upgrade. Check out the Nakamoto voting guide to better understand the entire voting process, key milestones, and specifics on how to cast your vote.
  • Bitcoin Unleashed: Layer 2s, DeFi apps, and more are making the Bitcoin economy click. Hear from the people leading the way at this virtual event with top-flight speakers and sessions. Exciting announcements that pertain to Nakamoto are expected!
  • N21: For you startup teams and founders out there, be sure to check out the N21 program which is designed to help you prepare to make the most of the Nakamoto launch including technical advice, fundraising guidance, GTM and amplification support, and more.
  • This is a single page for all things Nakamoto including technical updates, news, event details, and plenty more.