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Q4 2018 Ecosystem Update 

Q4 2018 was marked by the launch of our Stacks blockchain, unlocking $25M in capital upon reaching Milestone 1 and delivering on the technology we outlined in our 2017 token offering. Blockstack apps more than doubled last quarter, going from 17 to 46 - a trend we’re seeing continue into Q1.

 

Please find the detailed updates below, along with a slide deck. These updates are public and can be shared with anyone.

 

The world is slowly waking up to the ugly underbelly of data silos. This TIME cover story does a good job of explaining some of the problems. The work we’re doing to enable realistic decentralized alternatives is becoming more important than ever.

 

Thank you for your continued support of the Blockstack ecosystem. In Q1 2019, we’re focusing on improving the quality assurance of our developer platform (given 50+ apps rely on it now), continuing our work on a legal framework for token distribution to thousands of voucher holders, and making improvements to the App Mining program. The best way to help the project in this quarter is by referring top talent for the Head of Engineering and Head of Open Source roles.

Looking forward to another fruitful quarter. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions!

 

Muneeb Ali
CEO, Blockstack PBC

Highlights and Important News

Stacks Blockchain Launch
We successfully upgraded the network and launched the Stacks blockchain v1. The genesis block of the Stacks blockchain distributed Stacks tokens to the respective purchasers who participated in our 2017 token offering. The Stacks blockchain replaces Bitcoin as the placeholder token and now all network operations, like registering digital assets and smart contracts on the blockchain, require the consumption of Stacks tokens as fuel.

Blockstack PBC Unlocked ~$25 million in Funding
We announced the independent Advisory Board for the Blockstack Token fund. This Advisory Board offers checks and balances for the use of funds and oversees self-imposed investor protection mechanisms such as milestones. The advisory board met in September and determined that the project met Milestone 1 by launching the Stacks blockchain, unlocking approximately $25 million from our 2017 token offering.

App Mining Mechanism
We’ve broadened the definition of “mining”. On the Stacks blockchain, in addition to miners receiving incentives for contributing compute resources to the network, developers can receive appropriate distributions based on the quality/rank of the apps they publish--currently paid in Bitcoin during the pilot phase. We worked with Princeton and NYU game theorists to design this app ranking mechanism and are continually improving it month over month.

App Growth
With the App Mining pilot funding app developers, the Blockstack apps saw 100% growth over the quarter. September saw 17 apps registered for App Mining, December grew to 33, and by January 1st had 46. ~$225,000 in total has been awarded to date.

Independent App Reviewers
As part of building out the App Mining Mechanism, we brought in 3 independent App Reviewers to assess and rank App Mining teams on a monthly basis - these rankings determine developer payouts. Product Hunt, Democracy Earth, and TryMyUI also provide valuable feedback to apps.

Launch of the Zero to Dapp Tutorial
More than a simple tutorial, the Zero to Dapp tutorial is becoming an important entry point for developers to the world of decentralized applications. In roughly 60 minutes, developers learn how to build a dapp and how to start App Mining.

Decentralizing the World Tour
This past September, Blockstack embarked on a global speaker and Meetup series entitled the “Decentralizing the World Tour.” Over 2,400+ attendees in cities across the world discussed decentralization, governance, the new internet, dapps, censorship, to token economies, and more.

JP Singh and Saurabh Pathak join Blockstack PBC
The Blockstack PBC team added further experience to the project by bringing on Prof. JP Singh (Princeton) to the Blockstack PBC Board of Directors and adding Saurabh Pathak (CFO, BlackRock Canada and Controller BlackRock Americas) to the Blockstack PBC team.

Stacks Wallet Release
December saw the release of the official Stacks Wallet for macOS and Windows. This release enables holders of Stacks Tokens with unlocked balances to send and receive tokens. Current token holders can get more information here.

Developer release of user-owned Gaia storage hubs
Developers can now enable functionality for new users to use their own Gaia storage hubs instead of the default one provided by Blockstack PBC. This is a huge step forward for users taking back ownership of their own data.

In Case You Missed It:
  • How this Blockstack Maker quit his job and made his side projects profitable in 1 year → Read on Product Hunt
  • App Mining Algorithm Explainer → Read More
  • Decentralizing Art: The Hype and Hope of Blockchain → Read More
  • Recap: Decentralized AMA with Democracy Earth → Read More
  • Internet 3.0 Podcast: Bram Cohen, creator or BitTorrent on building a better Bitcoin with Chia → Listen Now
  • Blockchains and Consensus Protocols: Liveness and Correctness are Inseparable → Read More
  • Nick Grossman on Tensions Inherent to Building on Blockchains → Watch

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