Nakamoto Update: New Instantiation Block
April 11, 2024
Hey Stackers, the core developers have just shared they have chosen a new block for the Instantiation step of Nakamoto. Remember, Nakamoto rolls out in two steps, you can learn more about this here. The change will offer Stacking pools, node operators, and exchanges additional time to upgrade and not miss Stacking cycles.

The new Instantiation block is Bitcoin block 840,360 and is expected ~April 22nd, approximately 1 week later than the previously chosen block. This does not affect the timeline for the Activation step of the Nakamoto rollout which is still expected between May 15 and 29.
Why the change?
During the ongoing testing process (which was upgraded ahead of Nakamoto with additional tooling and personnel) core developers identified a handful of bugs that were important enough to address before a mainnet release to ensure a smooth experience. Developers have already addressed the bugs and are now preparing the new Release Candidate which is expected in the next 24-48 hours. As always, core developers are committed to rigorous testing, a process that will continue even after Nakamoto is fully live.

If the RC is ready in 24-48 hours, why select a block one week later?
Great question. If the chosen block was simply selected 24-48 hours later, that would leave almost not time for node providers to upgrade before Cycle 83. What was already a tight turnaround became even tighter. Coupling that with feedback from Stacking Pools and exchanges this week about wanting more time, the decision to push a week means that the chosen block falls right at the beginning of Cycle 83, meaning that if they want to have their pools ready for Cycle 84, they have a 2 week period (1 cycle) to do so. As it turns out, this is a big advantage over the 3-day turnaround pools had with the previous Instantiation block and also makes it much less likely Stackers will miss any cycles.
Key Dates: Stacking
The TL;DR on this change for Stackers is good news. You will no longer have a tight turnaround to re-Stack. Instead, you will have all of Cycle 83 to initiate Stacking for Cycle 84. Check out these docs for Stackers to be prepared for the upgrade!
Impact and next steps
The impact to the live network is zero, this change only impacts when instantiation for Nakamoto occurs. In terms of impact on key network participants, the timing of the new block is advantageous:

  • Stackers: Stackers, this simplifies things for you. You’ll have all of Cycle 83 to Stack for Cycle 84. Your STX will be unlocked just as before, but this will occur a week later at the new instantiation block of 840,360. Though you will be unlocked, you will STILL earn rewards for Cycle 83. This change also means you should have more options for Stacking pools come Cycle 84 because there will be a whole cycle for them to upgrade.
  • Stacking pools: Related, the new block was selected with a strong consideration for pools whom core developers have been in touch with this week about the previous turnaround. This change allows more time to upgrade their services without missing a cycle (if they so choose).
  • Signers: Signers will simply have additional time to work with their setups, they will continue to refine them through to Activation at which point the network will need their Signers online.
  • Exchanges: No significant impact, it will allow more time to work with the Release Candidate and plan ahead for the upgrade.
Dive into the docs: