Creating an independent entity with its own leadership and mandate is an important step in ensuring that the ecosystem is effectively decentralized. Plans for a foundation were laid out in Blockstack's Path to Decentralization
two years ago. Since then, the Stacks 1.0 blockchain was launched and grew to more than 400 apps and 300K+ STX holders on the network. The launch of Stacks 2.0 with native mining will further decentralize the ecosystem where independent miners will operate the network and accept or reject protocol upgrades that can be proposed by anyone.
The Stacks blockchain empowers developers to build an internet where people own their connections and creations and can benefit from the value they create. The foundation will operate on three basic pillars to support the stability and growth of the Stacks ecosystem:
Initial Team and Board of Directors:
- Developer and user education: Education is a critical step in giving users more options for privacy preserving technology as well as true internet ownership.
- Research and development: Continued research and development will ensure that the Stacks blockchain will become a more robust tool for internet ownership.
- Protocol upgrade coordination: It's important that the ecosystem can effectively cooperate on protocol upgrades to maintain stability and momentum as the technology evolves.
The Stacks Foundation aims to attract leaders and scientists from the crypto industry, open-source software, and internet infrastructure. The initial team and board members include:
Brittany Laughlin, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Blockstack PBC, is leaving PBC to become the Executive Director at the Stacks Foundation. Her work at PBC included leading STX token relations for Blockstack PBC's SEC-qualified token offering, growing the ecosystem in Asia, and creating liquidity for STX tokens through exchange partnerships. A long-time supporter of the project, she has been involved with Blockstack starting in 2014 through USV, and participated in Blockstack's 2017 token sale through Lattice ventures, her own VC firm. Brittany will lead Foundation initiatives focused on grants, education, and coordination of protocol upgrades.
Jude Nelson, a 6-year veteran of Blockstack PBC and a core developer of the Stacks Blockchain will leave PBC to join the Stacks Foundation as a Research Scientist. Jude received his PhD in distributed systems from Princeton University where he worked on PlanetLab, the world's first and largest cloud testbed. As part of his new role, he will contribute to the maintenance of Stacks 2.0 blockchain software, serve on the Technical Advisory Committee, which includes oversight of Stacks Improvement Proposals (SIPs) and pursue long-term research with academia and industry partners on network protocols and systems for a user owned internet.
Zavain Dar, Partner at Lux Capital, and Rodolfo Gonzalez, Partner at Foundation Capital, will serve as the Stacks Foundation's first board members. Nominations are now open to the community for additional board members. The Foundation is looking for experienced operators in open-source software, blockchain development, economics, governance mechanisms/architecture, or political science. The Stacks Foundation also plans to search for a foundation chair in the coming months. Brittany Laughlin will be the interim chair initially. Initial Funding:
Blockstack PBC is providing initial working capital along with a separate donation of 100M STX treasury for the foundation. The STX treasury transfer includes 30M STX allocated for App Mining rewards. The working capital provided to the foundation should allow for an operating budget for at least 18 months and, following that, the foundation may use part of its STX treasury to fund future operations. The foundation plans to limit sales of STX in any given calendar year and will publish further details. Funding for future operations could come from nonprofit fundraising activities and R&D grants, and the foundation may decide to participate in Stacking to earn Bitcoin rewards using its STX treasury at some point in the future.
The Stacks Foundation was created in collaboration with the community through the Governance Working Group
, independent research by Lane Rettig, previously of the Ethereum Foundation, and generous advice from peers and non-profit foundations in the blockchain and open source industries.
We appreciate the community feedback to date and know this is only the beginning. We are building for the next 50 years+ and look forward to shaping the future together. Subscribe to our newsletter at stacks.org, join the #governance community on discord (https://community.blockstack.org/discord), and follow us on Twitter (@stacksorg).