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Q3 Recap: Stacks Foundation Board Meeting and Performance Report
by Mitchell Cuevas on October 22, 2021
Stackers, another epic quarter is now in the books! After each quarter, we provide visibility into the latest Stacks Foundation board meeting and our team's performance against previously shared objectives. Below, you'll find summarized sections for quicker reading, but we also opt to share all the material as part of our ongoing commitment to operating transparently and in the interest of encouraging active communication in our decentralized ecosystem.
If you are looking for a broader Stacks Ecosystem update, please check out the latest quarterly newsletter covering wins, news, and more.
The Stacks Foundation board assists in corporate governance, provides support on navigating priorities and challenges, and serves the nonprofit’s mission which serves the larger ecosystem and community. The Q3 board meeting took place October 7th, 2021 at 2:30pm ET and included the following attendees:

  • Brittany Laughlin - Executive Director, Stacks Foundation [Board Member]
  • Mitchell Cuevas - Head of Growth, Stacks Foundation
  • Rodolfo Gonzalez - Partner, Foundation Capital [Board Member]
  • Zavain Dar - Partner, Lux Capital [Board Member]
  • Meltem Demirors - Chief Strategy Officer, CoinShares [Board Member]
  • Juliet Oberding - Community Board Representative [Board Observer]
  • Jenny Mith - Ecosystem Development Lead, Stacks Foundation
  • Jude Nelson - Research Scientist, Stacks Foundation
The Board Deck
Below you’ll find the deck as it was presented to the board with only a few redacted pieces. We’ve been advised against sharing unaudited financials, but plan to make these available when we have comprehensive reporting in place. The summary on Slide 9 provides insight into the financials of the Stacks Foundation at a high level.
Takeaways:
  • Q3 was remarkable for the Stacks Foundation. Many projects that were started earlier in the year started to show their impact: The Stacks Accelerator hosted the first demo day and teams have raised their own capital, grant applications surged, Clarity University kicked off, more access to the STX token opened internationally, growth of Stacks Chapters led to new community and partnerships, and builders have started to flex their might in recent launches. The board was excited to see that the investment in evergreen programs are supporting the growing scale of the ecosystem.
  • In Q3 we made the decision to pivot out of some objectives in order to match community demand/needs, particularly when congestion issues came up. Pushing back other OKRs to adjust to unexpected and immediate needs is a focus of the team. Reprioritizing is key.
  • "Building on and around Bitcoin" narrative is taking hold. NFTs and DeFi are leading the way and its recommended and roundly agreed on to continue championing this narrative, and the teams building here.
  • Stacking continues to be a popular use case for Stacks. We will continue working to increase access to Stacking services and the STX asset.
  • The Stacks Foundation will continue to assist in figuring out how to resource ecosystem needs through grants, other forms of funding, matchmaking, and education.
Performance Against Objectives and Key Results - Q3
If you’re not familiar, the Stacks Foundation works off the OKR model (Objectives and Key Results). These are meant to be ambitious and difficult to achieve in the time allotted; completing ~50% of the total work is considered successful in this model.

In general, there were several efforts we didn’t anticipate work on in Q3 that took time away from some of our original OKRs:

  • Work to address congestion on the network and support communication/collaboration among various entities and core devs
  • Work to support Stacks teams looking for liquidity options.
  • Allocated more time for auditing and audit matchmaking to account for teams that needed some review, but did not need a formal 3rd party review by an external firm.

We’re pleased with the decisions to pivot, believe this work is greatly benefitting the ecosystem, and have rolled over any work that was impacted into Q4 and beyond.

As a team, we also reflected on the way we set OKRs this past quarter and realized we over-corrected to include likely too much specificity. The intent was to make sure work was captured and shared with all of you very transparently and in advance, but in reality many efforts evolve as work begins, so checking these off didn’t necessarily look how we initially imagined anyway.

Next quarter, we plan to dramatically simplify the KRs and capture related projects, campaigns, etc. under each major Objective instead of making them all a KR line item. We believe this will make it easier for everyone to follow as well as leave more wiggle room in terms of how we end up approaching moving the needle on these efforts.

In the continued interest of transparency, we’ve shared details about ALL of the OKR-related work below. We realize this is a lot of information, but opt to share for those that want it and believe this is an important exercise to go through as one citizen in a much larger decentralized ecosystem. We look forward to reading similar updates from other Stacks entities, organizations, and individuals as we all seek to best collaborate openly.

For those looking for something quickly digestible, you’ll find this quick overview helpful:
⚡ Objective

❤️ Result

Accelerate broader adoption of core Stacks technology
Massive progress was made here as we launched Clarity Universe, hosted the initial Clarity Camp cohort, partnered with Codecademy, and saw a big push from NFT projects. 
Accelerate broader access to and holding of the STX asset
A new US listing as well as Coinbase Custody came online in the last quarter. And, thanks to efforts from Stacks Chapters, new listings arrived in key geographies.
Maintain a healthy and active community of builders
This quarter saw a rise in high-quality grants, upgrades to the grant and payments portal, and saw through a hiring process that will place a new full-time grants PM in the first weeks of Q4.
Ensure the Stacks Blockchain and key adjacent systems are reliable and consistently improving
Work quickly pivoted to addressing scalability solutions when demand for the Stacks blockchain when it started to hit congestion issues earlier than anticipated. Shout out to our incredible builders driving this growth and a thank you for your patience and contributions as everyone works to improve the network.
Empower global community to operate autonomously
The Stacks Residents program will prove a major boon for future autonomy, extending the Grants program to enable an exciting new way for folks to contribute to Stacks while clearing the way for key community members to go full-time on major governance efforts going forward.
Strengthen and amplify the Stacks narrative
Patience and perseverance appear to be paying off as Bitcoin-forward messaging is catching on throughout the community and in crypto. We saw massive social growth and engagement increases in Q3 that seem to be accelerating thanks to new contributors and processes setup in early Q3.
Accelerate broader adoption of core Stacks technology

Massive progress was made here as we launched Clarity Universe, hosted the initial Clarity Camp cohort, partnered with Codecademy, and saw a big push from NFT projects.

Accelerate broader access to and holding of the STX asset

A new US listing as well as Coinbase Custody came online in the last quarter. And, thanks to efforts from Stacks Chapters, new listings arrived in key geographies.

Maintain a healthy and active community of builders

This quarter saw a rise in high-quality grants, upgrades to the grant and payments portal, and saw through a hiring process that will place a new full-time grants PM in the first weeks of Q4.

Ensure the Stacks Blockchain and key adjacent systems are reliable, improving

Work quickly pivoted to addressing scalability solutions when demand for the Stacks blockchain when it started to hit congestion issues earlier than anticipated. Shout out to our incredible builders driving this growth and a thank you for your patience and contributions as everyone works to improve the network.

Empower global community to operate autonomously

The Stacks Residents program will prove a major boon for future autonomy, extending the Grants program to enable an exciting new way for folks to contribute to Stacks while clearing the way for key community members to go full-time on major governance efforts going forward.

Strengthen and amplify the Stacks narrative

Patience and perseverance appear to be paying off as Bitcoin-forward messaging is catching on throughout the community and in crypto. We saw massive social growth and engagement increases in Q3 that seem to be accelerating thanks to new contributors and processes setup in early Q3.

OKRs Line-by-Line

✅ - Completed

➕ - 'Rolling over' into Q4 in some form

⏳ - Expected to complete very soon

⏹ - Paused until other priorities clear

❌ - Not completed, no longer plan to
1.0
Accelerate broader adoption of core Stacks technology
⭐Establish Legitimacy for Clarity Language
300 unique repositories on GitHub that contain at least one .clar file
~170, Github's API limits to the latest 1,000 files. On track to wrap up via work already in progress.
300 smart contracts deployed on mainnet
There are now over 1,330 smart contracts deployed on mainnet.
Train 150 new developers in the Clarity Smart contract language
The inaugural cohort of Clarity Camp completed their six-week training course, graduating approximately 60, while another 200 are assigned seats in Codecademy at various points in the course. There are now 700 on the waiting list for the next cohort.
Support the filling of 10 full-time Clarity jobs by EOQ
We mainly ended up focusing on Clarity Universe, which just graduated the first cohort, so we will likely see this complete in another month or so. We are in the latter stages of releasing a talent portal with HireVibes to support this matchmaking more directly AND trained several agencies that have put full, or near full-time employees on to serve the demand for Clarity and Stacks.
Enable language support for Clarity on GitHub.
Will happen once 300 repos from above contain a .clar. Expected to wrap up with work that's already in progress.
Onboard at least one external Clarity smart contract auditor.
Fully onboarded three Clarity smart contract auditors: Least Authority, NCC, and CoinFabrik with more in training.
Publish a fully interactive Clarity course
Launched Clarity Universe, have a partnership with Codecademy to provide the material in self-guided and guided formats, and published the Clarity book.
Clarinet is available on all popular package managers, at least one per major operating system
Clarinet is available on Homebrew and Winget, it now just needs to be added to at least one Linux package manager.
At least one external party is teaching the Clarity Universe course
We were fortunate to debut much of the initial Clarity content with HKUST, have the Clarity course material ready to public consumption on Codecademy, and have several conversations going to disseminate through various technical schools and chapters. A full-time resident position has also been proposed to provide additional support for these programs.
Identify a Clarity instructor/evangelist for every Stacks Chapter
With the demand for Clarity Universe exceeding expectations, we simply didn't get to this one. Our goal is now to complete this early in Q4 and are working out onboarding plans for interested Stacks Chapters.
Establish 5 core instructors with track-record teaching Clarity
As noted above, Clarity Universe requirements took priority - we'll spend efforts in Q4 to start backfilling channels and teachers that can bring the material to more people, but now hope this will be led by the Resident proposed here.
⭐ Roadmap and/or Atlas
Create clarity for community and the general public about upcoming features and technical improvements on the Stacks Blockchain
While this hasn't manifested in a single roadmap, we were able to publish opportune blog posts driving clarity around important blockchain-related updates and issues. Notably, we covered Stacks 2.1 and covered upcoming scaling solutions. Behind the scenes, we've also laid the groundwork for a new release of stacks.co featuring a roadmap and update area open to community contributions.
Document at least 95% of Stacks entities and their key objectives and publish in a public forum
What we believe is the vast majority of known Stacks entities have been captured along with their general purpose, known URLs, etc., but this work has not been published yet. This index will be released on a new version of Stacks.co in Q4 and include a way for folks to update/add entries.
⭐ Technical Community Growth
Explore hiring a Head of Open Source or similar
This manifested in the Stacks Resident program, an open position there will fulfill this need.
Initial research for Stacks Token Launchpad
Initial research is here. Alex and LucidDefi are now doing their own token launchpads via grants.
Increase new developer contributions to core Stacks repos by 25%
We quickly learned we weren't prepared to measure this easily and all extra bandwidth was applied to Clarity Universe and addressing congestion on the network anyway. The same or similar objective will find its way into Q4 efforts.
2.0
Accelerate broader access to and holding of the STX asset
Support Stacking growth (~368M STX to 700M STX)
Stacking TVL just crossed $1B with well over 430M STX, so signs are good. However, key wallet and custody integrations were expected earlier in Q3, but took longer to complete so we now expect this goal to be more reachable in Q1 2022.
Grow unique addresses on network from 350K to 500K
We were not able to apply enough resources to specific campaigns that might have impacted this more, however, we've been directly supporting teams, such as NFT projects and others, that will generate new wallet addresses as they continue gaining momentum. We also plan to explore ways exchange partners can provide individual STX wallets (vs. thousands sharing one exchange address) to Stackers so they can seamlessly access all the network has to offer with one address. This is a metric that will continue to be part of OKRs going forward in some fashion.
Identify and onboard 3 most in-demand STX market pairs
In the past quarter, BTCTurkPro added TRY, WazirX added INR, and Binance added BUSD. Other pairs were also added and can be found here.
Create or partner for one additional fiat onramp for Stacks token
Work to list and integrate with Transak is complete, giving developers an easy fiat onramp, widget, and set of APIs for use in their Stacks applications. We're also in the process of supporting further integrations like this in Q4.
Create high-profile content for Stacking
We worked with Okcoin on the largest single Stacking campaign yet, resulting in the largest new money surge into Stacking since the mainnet launch. We have also put together a large-scale campaign with two organizations targeting new crypto users that will be announced in the coming weeks.
Embed Stacking in a non-exchange app or experience with more than 1M users
Largely held back by integration timelines with key custody integrations, this will roll-over into next quarter and Q1 2022.
Support an additional US-based exchange with a Stacks integration
We provided technical advice and supported communication related to Blockchain.com's listing of Stacks.
Educational campaign for STX holders to begin Stacking
Individual outreach to large Stacks holders is underway, much of this work was waiting on final testing with key custody and Stacking integrations. With that work complete, we will ramp up these efforts further in Q4
3.0
Maintain a healthy and active community of builders
⭐ Grants
Grant Program NPS averages 9 or above
Since we workshopped a bunch of key changes to the program in Q3 and are also hiring a Grants PM, it makes more sense to tackle this KR in Q4.
Generate 12 new high-quality grants per quarter (with 2 being new grantees)
  • 15 applications in Q3
  • 12 high quality (relevant to Stacks/seriously set out to leverage Stacks technology)
  • 9 new applicants
  • 6 approved
Ensure 90% of grantees receive payment in STX
~86% of the total amount rewarded were paid in STX this quarter.
Develop a streamlined process for processing grant leads, supporting grantees through their milestones, and recognizing grantee work upon completion
Major updates were shipped to the grants platform giving us a significant start on this in Q3. We'll be continuing to improve and streamline the process through software and integrations in Q4 in partnership with the soon-to-be-hired Grants PM.
Secure 2 grant program partnerships that serve to bolster the grantee pipeline
We are putting the final touches on two partnerships here that will be announced in Q4.
Hire a full-time Grants Program Manager
We'll be finalizing this hiring process, which saw over 100 applications come in, by the end of October.
Work with Comms Lead to launch weekly grant content
Our new comms lead (Caitlin Eckvahl) has joined the team and helped place several grant and accelerator teams content. We have also onboarded additional contract writers to support additional content covering the grants program.
Ship key improvements to the Stacks Grant payment flow
A payment converter and simple, but powerful updates to how various grants flow through Github and the Grants portal were shipped. This ongoing effort will continue in Q4.
Explore different payment structures to maximize grantee take-home
We explored the best way to provide this to builders and learned that tax-related and financial advice is something we should work through a 3rd-party to provide vs. providing directly. We're engaging with accounting experts to produce general guidance by way of common resources and have onboarded legal resources that have been made available to grantees and Stacks Accelerator teams.
Put together a landing page with a "starter kit" for all current and prospective community builders
Talked to many, many builders this quarter to better understand their needs, particularly the needs of DeFi and NFT builders applying for grants. Along with our 3rd-party experts from above, and pro-tips collected from other grantees, we plan to release an early version of this kit in Q4.
4.0
Ensure the Stacks Blockchain and key adjacent systems are reliable, improving
Ensure 90% uptime for Foundation run seed nodes and testnet miner
Nodes were stable and the miner performed as expected.
No forks deeper than 6 blocks arise on the Stacks blockchain
Check!
Support 99% uptime of the Stacks Explorer and Stacks Blockchain API
Likely met, the Stacks Explorer from Hiro and API endpoints didn't go down (but they did get slow sometimes). Thanks to teams like PlanBetter and Syvita, there are new places to access the Explorer, however further work is needed to make it easier for more entities to host copies of the API that developers can smartly route to in their apps if one is down.
Stacks 2.1 is ready to activate
This series has been postponed in favor of working on scalability solutions as outlined here.
All Stacks 2.1 issues on the blockchain repo are closed
This series has been postponed in favor of working on scalability solutions as outlined here.
All Stacks 2.1 SIPs are written and in "Recommended" status
This series has been postponed in favor of working on scalability solutions as outlined here.
Vote-to-upgrade smart contract is live on mainnet
This has been picked up by Hiro PBC while Jude and other core devs focus on scalability options such as App Chains and Subnets.
Work toward and establish resources to help prevent key libraries falling out of date
We chose to solve this by proposing a Stacks Resident that would own this effort and stay up to date on the documentation and code.
The live blockchain remains healthy
Despite congestion, the chain continues to chug along solidly and securely. This is an ongoing priority for us and thus, is never complete and will rollover to Q4.
Blockchain point-releases at most every 5 weeks
Check!
5.0
Empower global community to operate autonomously
Grow actively rewarded Stacks Advocates to 100
Key improvements were made to the program before opening applications and more STX were added to the shared Stacking pool. Work to onboard and reward Advocates can now begin and will be a priority in Q4.
Onboard 4 new chapters in Q3
Work completed for 3 new chapters, but announcements are pending. Look forward to new chapters being revealed in the first half of Q4 and review this blog post covering how Stacks Chapters have been moving the ecosystem forward.
Ensure 60% of Stackers vote in 2.1 upgrade
Will be postponed until Stacks 2.1 work restarts following the scalability solutions core devs have pivoted to focus on.
2 Stacks Chapters are committed to self-sustainability plan
China & Korea are now committed to self-sustainability plans.
Garner 25 nominations for the Stacks Resident Program
We received 11 applications and have not yet broadly announced the program - we anticipate this finishing up early in Q4
Launch a community-driven governance lab
This manifested as Stacks Residents dedicated to governance (vs. a 'lab') and applications from long-time community leaders are in.
⭐Governance process becomes self-running
Governance CAB approves one SIP (e.g. SIP 011, a 2.1-series SIP)
The Governance Cab was recently formed and is currently reviewing SIP 011. Once finalized, their processes for cab formation and SIP review will be replicated across other CABs. Follow their progress on SIP 011.
Technical CAB approves at least one SIP (e.g. Stacks DID SIP, a 2.1-series SIP)
The Technical Cab is still under formation. If you are interested in joining, please volunteer to do so here.
Ethics CAB approves the Code of Conduct

The Ethics cab is still under formation. You can read and follow progress on the Code of Conduct here.

Establish a more hands-off approach/process for advising Stacks Chapter Leads
Shifted to weekly office hours vs. 1:1s with each chapter and created Notion-based Workspace for chapter leads.
Train up current leads to become mentors for incoming Chapter leads
We won't revisit this model until all Stacks Chapters are comfortable and set with their self-sustainability plans.
Publish a Stacks Governance roadmap
This is soon to be published by the governance-focused Stacks Residents, you can find the draft here.
Confirm a representative and process for the Community Board Seat
Current Community Board Representative, Juliet Oberding, attended the last two board meetings and has committed to sharing a process proposal in the first weeks of Q4.
Launch a research initiative to support key areas of ecosystem development including (Governance, Stacking research, crypto business models on Stacks)
This responsibility will now be picked up by Stacks Residents as part of their ongoing role. Early work is underway, you can follow their progress here for now, a new repo is likely coming soon.
Move Stacks Advocates Server and pool efforts to public Stacks server
This is done, the Stacks Advocates channel can be found here.
Diversify the Stacks Foundation treasury by leveraging expert advice to ensure long-term sustainability of funds that are available to work for the community’s future efforts and interests
This is an ongoing effort spanning multiple quarters. Major progress was made to diversify the treasury in Q3 via new Stacking options, continued ecosystem development, and partnerships.
6.0
Strengthen and amplify the Stacks narrative
Consistent STX galaxy LunarCRUSH score at 60
We are at 66-70.5 average. Remember that this is a logarithmic scale. Big win here and of late, have been the top or top 10 altcoin. 🔥
Successfully amplify builders by increasing community engagement on social channels
We formed a new social team to help support all builders in the ecosystem and increase their distribution and reach. In terms of frequency, we blast product updates, protocol upgrades, etc., from builders to drive the growth of their product early on. See
Master STX Social Team Content Schedule Database.
Reddit: 2,621 Redditors up by 100% → 5,242 Redditors
Reddit grew by 40.25% (1055 Redditors) this Quarter. Steady organic growth is on track for Q4.
Youtube: 44,791 community engagement up by 50% → 67,186.5
Youtube engagement was down by 22% so we've responded by adding a dedicated YouTuber and are budgeting for new video production.
Telegram: 1,197,578 community engagement up by 20% → 1,437,093.6
Telegram community engagement was increased by 1% to 1,219,201. A lot of focus was put on establishing the flow for the newly onboarded social team which should set up growth in Q4.
Kick-off research for and creation of a shared Stacks messaging framework that other entities can leverage as needed.
We held early sessions on the team, polled key advisors, the board, and community as we mulled the broader perception of Stacks. Patience with the Bitcoin-forward messaging seems to be paying off, any suggested alterations to the Stacks narrative would be minimal at this point. Further engagement with branding experts is expected in Q4 or Q1.
3 pieces of evergreen content that demonstrate the technical, financial, and community merits of building on Stacks
There have been several featured pieces highlighting the value of building on Stacks, primarily through the lense of teams building exciting products.
Establish at least two new distribution channels to help builders successfully introduce their products or services to the mass market.
This took the form of several deeper press relationships at outlets not previously covering Stacks, a full-time content hire, and a bump in capacity with our PR firm. Next quarter, we may look to extend into other outlets, ad spaces, and so forth.
Establish events strategy for remainder of 2021 and into 2022 as Covid situation evolves
Our new Events Lead, Shannon Voight, joined in September and is hard at work creating an exciting slate of in-person and virtual events in Q4 and 2022. We plan to share more solidified events in the coming weeks, so get excited and ready to book plane tickets.
Explore Stacks-related content aggregator that automatically captures best news and articles from the ecosystem
This was done and work to ship this is actually already underway. It will be released with an updated version of stacks.co in Q4.
Onboard resource to manage and improve stacks.co
Done, we've hired two fantastic contractors that are hard at work on a site refresh and key new features and information.
Thank you
Once again, thank you to each of you out there in the community, including a rapidly increasing number of you that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet. We’re honored to be working to support you, this ecosystem, and everything it stands for. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have questions about these updates, want to get involved, or just want to say hello.
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Mitchell Cuevas leads growth and marketing efforts at Stacks Foundation. He's spent the last decade working in community-driven high-growth startups.