Introducing the sBTC Developer Release: Try programming Bitcoin on the Leading L2
by Rick Bartelink & Mitchell Cuevas on September 21, 2023
Stacks is the leading L2 for Bitcoin, providing smart contracts and scalability options to Bitcoin builders. sBTC will be introduced in an upcoming upgrade to enable smooth movement of Bitcoin between layers and unlock Bitcoin as a fully programmable asset.

The Stacks ecosystem is gearing up for the sBTC Developer Release, allowing select developers to build and test with an early version of sBTC, a 1:1 backed version of BTC on the Stacks layer. The testnet for sBTC will allow users to start testing the deposit and withdrawal flows for sBTC, while developers in the Bitcoin L2 ecosystem can start integrating those deposit and withdrawal flows into their applications by using a simple API and wallets like Leather and Xverse.
Based on the current estimates, the sBTC working group expects to deliver the developer release the week of October 18th. In anticipation of this release, applications for the incentivized testnet program are currently open.
sBTC Developer Release Overview
The sBTC Developer Release will include a front-end application, providing an easy interface for testing the deposit and withdraw transactions for sBTC. In addition to this, an API will be deployed which developers can call directly from their applications. This tooling will allow developers to test key sBTC functionality and potentially get a headstart on building sBTC-powered applications. On top of the tooling itself, in-depth documentation, tutorials, and sample apps will be provided to ensure developers can get up and running quickly and easily.
"The focus for this release will be ensuring we have good developer documentation, tutorials, and user testing. It’s an exciting opportunity for developers to get their hands on an early version and provide key feedback to core contributors".
— Andre Serrano, sBTC Product Lead
Apply for the Testnet Program
You can apply for the testnet program by going to the sBTC Developer Release landing page. The 150 most qualified developers and users will be included in the program.
The Stacks Foundation has set up a prize pool of up to $50,000 to reward active testers who complete tasks and submit bounties during the feedback window. This is optional and only applicable to the applicants willing to pass KYC. Developers are also welcome to go their own route using the testnet documentation and tutorials provided.
Next Milestone: Nakamoto Testnet
After the sBTC Developer Release, the next milestone will be to deploy the Nakamoto testnet, which will allow developers and users to start testing the new consensus rules designed to improve the security of the Stacks chain and also reduce transaction times to around 5 seconds.