Q1 2020 Blockstack Ecosystem Updates
Being headquartered in the heart of NYC and with team and community spread globally, we’ve shared the concerns and uncertainty surrounding Covid-19. We started working from home in early March and worked with evangelists to keep community efforts safe. Blockstack PBC was fortunate to have raised $23M just six months ago and we continue to execute against our roadmap.
The spread of coronavirus is poised to exacerbate the privacy and ownership issues we all care about. In a strange way, I feel we have become closer than ever as a community. Activity in our community channels has increased during these times, and we’re encouraged by early versions of Blockstack apps to help fight Covid-19 while providing personal privacy.
As the entire world migrates even deeper into the internet, defining internet ownership and enabling user control becomes more important. Together, we can show the world that we don’t have to make trade-offs between public health & privacy. Our mission of building a user owned internet is truly more relevant than ever.
To that end, our work toward the Stacks 2.0 blockchain launch and decentralization framework continues to be our main focus and we’ve made incredible progress towards it. Below are some highlights from Q1 2020:
- Stacks 2.0 testnet is going live later this week with mainnet launch expected in summer 2020.
- Announced Proof of Transfer (PoX), a new mining mechanism that will allow STX holders to earn BTC as part of the Stacks 2.0 blockchain launch.
- Distributed STX to 300K new owners through a partnership with Blockchain.com and scaled initial growth of network registrations.
- 410 apps on the network, up from 360 last quarter. Integrated Blockstack Login with FireChat, a privacy chat app that has been used globally in disaster recovery.
- Started work on a community-driven independent Stacks Foundation for future governance of the Stacks blockchain.
Stay tuned for further details about the Stacks 2.0 Testnet this week and thank you to all of you that have played a role in moving these efforts along. Stay healthy and safe, and keep taking care of each other.
Join the Community Townhall on April 24th to learn more about the anticipated Stacks 2.0 testnet, ask questions, and connect with the global community → RSVP
→ Realizing Web 3.0: Proof of Transfer Mining with Bitcoin
We believe that the next big chapter for crypto is emergence of a user-owned internet on top of blockchains. In early February, we published the (draft) whitepaper proposing a novel mining mechanism called Proof of Transfer or “PoX” that anchors the security of Stacks 2.0 to Bitcoin and enables STX holders to earn BTC rewards. → Read More
→ Blockstack PBC Annual Report for 2019: Enabling A User Owned Internet
Blockstack’s mission is to enable a user owned internet, an internet where users have privacy and complete control of their digital assets. In 2017, we registered as a public benefit corporation to encode this mission in the company. As part of that commitment, we deliver an annual report in which we detail how we’ve worked toward our declared public benefit. → Read the Report
→ Q1 has largely been focused on various aspects of the proposed Stacks 2.0 blockchain and preparation for the Stacks 2.0 public testnet.
Here are some of highlighted blockchain related milestones:
- Released the Proof of Transfer whitepaper draft, outlining mechanism by which to secure Stacks 2.0 blockchain by anchoring to Bitcoin security and bootstrap the creation of new blockchains → View the whitepaper
- Finalized SIP-007: This describes key elements of the Stacks 2.0 blockchain including Proof-of-Transfer (PoX), earning BTC rewards, and delegation process.
- P2P block downloader implementation, as described in SIP-003. This work adds to the ways nodes can gather information about each other to build a view of the peer graph.
- Added several capabilities for testnet launch, including ability to configure genesis block, a testnet faucet for users to obtain testnet STX, and streaming events to RPC servers and explorers.
- Highlights of Clarity smart contract language features include:
- Dynamic traits: Dynamic traits support certain exchange related use cases and provide a mechanism for dynamically calling contracts while maintaining the ability to run static analysis on contracts.
- SIP-006 and SIP-008: Describe run-time cost tracking and static cost analysis for Clarity smart-contracts. Cost-tracking is necessary for the blockchain to accurately enforce block limits and prevent DOS attacks.
- Native support for STX Delegation: Delegation will allow a STX holder to delegate their Stacks to a third party without losing custody of or transferring their STX tokens. Individuals and institutional providers may use this feature to build third-party delegation services for Stacking subject to applicable law.
→ Details on Github
- Stacks Transactions Library released. A library that makes it easy to serialize and deserialize transactions on the Stacks 2.0 blockchain is now ready. This is a key tool for developers building with crypto tokens, interacting with smart contracts, or with the blockchain directly, allowing them to get key information in a readable format → Details on Github
- Several other bug fixes and performance improvements in preparation for the launch of the Stacks 2.0 public testnet.
Developer Tools & User Experience
Outside of work directly related to Stacks 2.0, there have been a number of exciting improvements and releases including:
- Version 2.8 of Gaia was released, offering some improvements to file overwrite handling, better error handling, and fixed a regression issue that could cause 500 server errors in some cases. → Learn more
- Community developers continue to improve both the developer and user experiences on Blockstack including:
- A React Native mobile development SDK for Blockstack applications, led by Mohamed Abdou
- Gaiator: A Gaia tool that makes blockstack.js more integrable with other programming languages & environments on the server/CLI side, created by Talha Bugra
- React package (react-blockstack) that supports Blockstack Connect authentication, facilitating smoother integration into Blockstack apps using React, created by Terje Norderhaug
→ As the world faces Covid-19 together, Blockstack community members are involved with important efforts including Hack Quarantine, where a team of Blockstacker’s led by Anthony Albertorio placed in the top 5% with CoronaTracker.
→ Working groups continue to make progress on key issues within the ecosystem:
- The Business Models group recently brainstormed and RICE scored a list of 30 new business tools, resources, and ideas. They are now gearing up for the upcoming Clarity hackathon, during which they can begin building and testing out their ideas.
- The Governance working group has begun drafting a governance proposal for the Blockstack ecosystem. They are also conducting research on Blockstack’s stakeholders. Join the effort by filling out this survey.
- The PoX working group will be playing a leading role in kickstarting the Stacks 2.0 public testnet through the Testnet Ambassador Program. The Ambassador Program calls on core community members to help improve the technical experience of Stacks 2.0 and make the testnet more accessible to the broader crypto community. Apply to be an ambassador.
→ Many Blockstack applications, including dCrypt, Webby, & Blocksurvey have upgraded their login experience using the new Blockstack Connect authentication.
→ The Blockstack community participated in 53+ events worldwide, which included meetups, hackathons, webinars and AMA’s. Highlights included a NYC DeFi meetup with Blockstack featuring Muneeb Ali and Jude Nelson where they spoke about new concepts addressed in the most recent Blockstack SIP-007 Proposal, like Proof of Transfer (PoX),Stacking, and Clarity Smart Contracts. Another highlight was the Austin Meetup where Muneeb Ali, Balaji Srinivasan and Patrick Stanley discussed building more cooperative crypto communities.
→ 19 new Blockstack Evangelists joined the community from Tel Aviv to Seoul.
→ Bringing ‘Clarity’ to 8 Dangerous Smart Contract Vulnerabilities
This posts highlights 8 of the most common smart contract vulnerabilities and describes how Clarity, the smart contracting language Blockstack engineers are developing, is designed to prevent them. → Read More
→ Evangelist Spotlights: Georgina Mauriño and Harold Davis
Meet these Blockstack community leaders and learn more about the ways they are working to build the ecosystem. → Meet Harold → Meet Georgina
- Blockstack Community Townhall, Virtual, April 24
- Blockstack x Codemotion, Virtual, April 23
- Proof of Transfer ‘PoX’ Meetup Tel Aviv, Virtual, May 1
- DeFi Discussion Summit, Virtual, May 1-4
- Consensus Distributed, Virtual, May 11-15
- CogX, Virtual, June 8-10
Blockstack PBC is not registered, licensed, or supervised as a broker dealer or investment adviser by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), or any other financial regulatory authority or licensed to provide any financial advice or services.
This communication contains forward-looking statements that are based on our beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to us. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the following words: “will,” “expect,” “would,” “intend,” “believe,” or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements in this document include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans for developing the platform and potential mining operations. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different. We cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. We disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.