Stacks x SatoshiClub AMA from 07 January
We are very pleased when the projects return to Satoshi Club with incredible achievements and news. And today we would like to tell you about the AMA session with our friends from Stacks. The AMA took place on January 7 and our guests were Rohan Ӿ and Stacks Joe.
The total reward pool was 200$ and has been splitted in 2 parts.
In this AMA Recap we will try to summarise the most interesting points for you.
Part 1 — introduction and questions from the Telegram&Bitcointalk community
Mary | Satoshi Club: Hello Satoshi Club! We are happy to announce our AMA session with Stacks! welcome to Satoshi Club
D. | Satoshi Club: hello everyone!
Rohan Ӿ: Hi everyone! It’s great to be here
Mary | Satoshi Club: And we are happy to see Stacks back to Satoshi Club
Stacks Joe: Hi there, Everyone! Pleasure to be here!
D. | Satoshi Club: i bet you have plenty of news since the last visit in our club?
Stacks Joe: You know it! SO much goin on
Mary | Satoshi Club: Tell us, please
Rohan Ӿ: 7 days till Stacks 2.0 mainnet launch. Don’t forget to RSVP: https://stacks2.com/register we have great speakers such as Pomp, Meltem, Muneeb, etc.
Stacks Joe: Yup! Right now it’s heads down til the mainnet launch! Stacks 2.0 blockchain is a layer-1 blockchain that uses the Bitcoin blockchain as a secure base-layer to bring predictable smart contracts and decentralized apps to Bitcoin. Bitcoin is minimal by design and is meant to not change, but Stacks extends the capability of Bitcoin to enable smart contracts and apps without modifying Bitcoin and with minimal transaction load on Bitcoin. Thousands of Stacks transactions result in a single hash at the Bitcoin blockchain, and Stacks microblocks offer fast confirmations of streaming blocks.
Some of the speakers
Mary | Satoshi Club: A lot of famous names! Guys, you rock! Btw, i remember you like Blockctack
can you also tell us about this changes)
Stacks Joe: Yeah! So recently Blockstack PBC became Hiro Systems PBC, or just Hiro (pronounced he·ro), and our primary focus will narrow to providing developers the tools they need to build this new internet on Bitcoin. This change comes as our work on the Stacks 2.0 public infrastructure winds down and the Stacks ecosystem continues to decentralize and grow. The Blockstack PBC, soon Hiro, team has long believed that developers are the key to our mission and upon Stacks 2.0 launch, we’re excited to focus on their needs as they build apps and smart contracts on Stacks 2.0.
D. | Satoshi Club: sounds awesome! smart contracts on Bitcoin, just wow!
Stacks Joe: So so excited for the launch event. Gonna be jam-packed with great speakers, announcements, and prizes!
Mary | Satoshi Club: I will definitely follow this event!
D. | Satoshi Club: we can’t miss this! :+1:
Q1 from Telegram username @forwards123
You are a layer 1 blockchain. One of the pioneers. Now I see that it will or possible to build apps and smart contracts on Bitcoin. Why on Bitcoin? It is a slow blockchain for this kind of things
Stacks Joe: Great question! Bitcoin is the original innovation that started the entire crypto industry. It has some of the most sophisticated core developers. There are many projects that are reckless and don’t understand why Bitcoin developers make certain design decisions and they wrongly thing that Bitcoin’s limited scripting language or smaller blocksize are technical disadvantages. These are actually very sophisticated technical decisions that will ensure stability and durability for Bitcoin while other potential competitors fumble. There already is hashpower consolidation for Bitcoin and there might be more consolidation in the future. After 10+ years of production it’s quite clear that we have a winner for the reserve cryptocurrency and settlement layer for the entire crypto industry and it’s Bitcoin. No other system even comes close. So with that in mind, we want to further expand the Bitcoin ecosystem and innovate around the Bitcoin ecosystem for Web 3 and smart contracts instead of starting separate competing networks.
Our proof of transfer consensus mechanism extends the security of existing PoW chains like Bitcoin, and allows a new network to anchor to an existing PoW network. In the case of Blockstack, this gives the Stacks network similar security properties to Bitcoin from Day 1, while still allowing us to offer developer tools like Smart Contracts, without modifying BTC’s protocol.
We are VERY pro BTC…and so is our community. You can think of us as a giant gear attached to BTC that utilizes its power, we believe we’ll be the first of many.
Mary | Satoshi Club: Yes, you made a lot for BTC!) Does anyone ever said you’re not BTC believers?)
Stacks Joe: Haha, no not at all! But like our friend @forwards123 mentioned, there is skepticism that Bitcoin can scale and support a global payment infrastructure. Stacks 2.0 lays out the blueprint for how it’s actually possible using the proof of transfer consensus mechanism!
Mary | Satoshi Club: Oh, i heard about this many times) but for me BTC is still a king! Thank you for what you are doing!
D. | Satoshi Club: so we won’t need Ethereum in the future with its crazy fees?
or developers will be able to build something different on Bitcoin by using your tools and smart contracts?
Stacks Joe: Many people compare Blockstack with Ethereum. You can think of Ethereum as a heavy blockchain that puts everything on chain, which makes it slow with a lot of traffic. Blockstack puts minimal logic into a blockchain and handles scalability outside of the blockchain by re-using existing internet infrastructure: which allows for better scalability and security. Our architectural design uses long established principles of distributed systems design: push all complexity to the edges. We use a blockchain only for what it is best at doing: establishing global state of the network, registering and confirming digital assets, and executing smart contracts
Mary | Satoshi Club: So, everything will be fast with Stacks?
Stacks Joe: Absolutely! Every Stacks block is in lockstep with Bitcoin blocks. But the Stacks chain allows for microblocks, enabling much high transaction throughput before settling up on the Bitcoin chain. Kind of like state channels if you have heard of that concept before!
Q2 from Telegram Username @JesusFre1tes
OKCoin plans to include STX in the US and serve as a Stack 2.0 launch partner. What will be the key role OKCoin will play in helping $STX complete its historic compliance journey? Will OKCoin also facilitate user participation in the innovative stacking feature? What completely new way to earn bitcoins safely will it bring?
Stacks Joe: Yeah that was some really promising news that came out early December! The Stacks ecosystem and OKCoin share a deep commitment to compliance, protecting users, and maturing the overall industry. OKCoin is giving U.S. based purchasers secondary-market access to STX for the first time. Along with some of the lowest fees in the industry and direct fiat-to-crypto options for traders, OKCoin will also make it seamless for users to participate in the novel Stacking function.
OKCoin is one of the largest and most trusted fiat-to-crypto trading platforms in the world. Founded in 2013, OKCoin offers cutting-edge features for professional, high-volume traders and crypto beginners alike, enabling users in 184 countries worldwide to easily, quickly and securely exchange US dollars and the euro for numerous cryptocurrencies. We’re optimistic that getting the token in front of more consumers and US-based technologist will only grow excitement around the project, and catalyze the community.
Mary | Satoshi Club: Do you have some new partners, btw? Which is your last partnership?
Stacks Joe: I think something SUPER exciting was our announcement a couple weeks ago that the Stacks Blockchain API now supports Coinbase’s Rosetta Data standard and construction APIs. This gives our devs access to 15 new endpoints. Rosetta Data and Construction APIs. Combined, these APIs provide the ability to read and write information (e.g. blocks, transactions, and balances) to/from the Stacks 2.0 blockchain with a standardized format. It’s so important to support these open industry standards to make blockchain integrations more streamlined and faster.
You can read more about it here: https://blog.blockstack.org/the-stacks-blockchain-api-now-supports-coinbases-rosetta-standard/
Q3 from Telegram username @Antonerem
Your smart contracts will be built using Clarity programming language. Why did you need a “new” programming language and what mainstream programming language is Clarity closer to?
Stacks Joe: Clarity is a new language that brings smart contracts to Bitcoin. It is a decidable language, meaning you can know, with certainty, from the code itself what the program will do. Clarity is interpreted (not compiled) & the source code is published on the blockchain. Clarity gives developers a safe way to build complex smart contracts. The Clarity open-source project is supported by the Stacks ecosystem, Hiro PBC, & Algorand. It doesn’t even allow for a lot of the most high profile attack vectors we have seen around the industry (The DAO hack, Parity multisig exploit, YAM vulnerbility, etc.) As more most similar languages, Clarity is based on LISP. So it will definitely be familiar to a lot of blockchain developers and web2 developers alike!
Rohan Ӿ: Adding to Joe, Clarity is intentionally Turing incomplete as it avoids “Turing complexity.” This allows for complete static analysis of the entire call graph of a given smart contract.
Mary | Satoshi Club: Where developers can learn more about it? Do you have courses?
Stacks Joe: Absolutely! Blockstack has produced a bunch of tutorials, demos, and workshops to help even beginners get started building in our ecosystem. Additionally, our community has stepped up big time and developed a bunch of resources on their own. The Clarity docs have a handful of super basic tutorials that will help you grasp the design principles of the language, such as the classic Hello World. A simple “Blockstack” search in youtube should turn up some great content. Our Discord is also a fantastic place to ask for assistance from more experienced developers. There is a great culture of collaboration, and users are always willing to lend a helping hand. I would start with our documentation though which has a bunch of great tutorials!
D. | Satoshi Club: do you think Clarity will be more and more popular amongst developers in the future?
Stacks Joe: We are hard at work now making the Blockstack ecosystem a great home for developers. The fact that Blockstack is very easy to use matters a lot here. It allows us to target developers who don’t have any blockchain experience. Regular application developers can easily create a blockstack app, and even leverage smart contract based business models. I think that developers are beginning to realize blockchain can be really hard. Builders are tired of waiting around for Eth 2.0 to arrive, or scalability solutions to surface. We know that Bitcoin is safe, secure, and here to stay. Therefore, enabling expressive applications, while leveraging the security of Bitcoin, is a game changer for developers. Blockstack learned lessons from other protocols and made improvements on scalability, privacy, and usability. Our smart contract programming language, Clarity, is approachable and easy to begin tinkering with. We ran a bunch of Hackathons this year that saw devs of all skill levels submitting powerful, robust smart contracts that showed off the potential of Stacks 2.0. We’re constantly hosting hackathons, bounty programs, and even giveaways like this that make joining the Stacks community a rewarding, fun, and collaborative experience.
Mary | Satoshi Club: Super:+1: no hacks with Stacks?)
Stacks Joe: Lol I love that. No Hacks with Stacks :heart_eyes:
Rohan Ӿ: That is
Q4 from Telegram Username @Highpee
Smartcontracts in Bitcoin have been difficult to implement as a result of the limiting factors of Bitcoin scalability (Bitcoin base chain transaction capacity is limited) and Bitcoin scripting language which may not be supported by general smart contracts thereby impacting secure contract design at the base security layer of Bitcoin. You intend to demystify this in stack 2.0 by implementing a unique algorithm that runs through two blockchains, thereby bringing Defi to Bitcoin. How will stack 2.0 implement this successfully without trading -off/compromising Bitcoin core design security and efficiency? How effective will Bitcoin Defi be, when compared to the already widely developed and popular Defi on Etherium?
Stacks Joe: There are two fundamental challenges to building apps and smart contracts on Bitcoin:
1) Scalability: The base Bitcoin blockchain has a limited capacity for transactions.
2) Secure contracts: The Bitcoin blockchain has a limited scripting language and does not allow general smart contracts. This design choice ensures security at the base layer.
The Stacks blockchain addresses the limitations of scalability and secure smart contracts and enables apps and smart contracts for Bitcoin. We do this through a unique consensus algorithm that runs between two blockchains. The Bitcoin blockchain functions as the settlement layer and source of truth while smart contracts execute on the Stacks chain. Enabling scalable smart contracts directly on Bitcoin has been a long-standing bottleneck, and the Stacks blockchain unlocks that functionality. We enable this without modifying Bitcoin, a critical design requirement for enabling such apps and smart contracts.
Mary | Satoshi Club: He knew
Rohan Ӿ: He surely did
Stacks Joe: Totally agree that the explosion of DeFi in the last year or two has been spectacular to see. People finally putting their crypto to work! At Blockstack, we love the cryptoeconomic magic that goes on behind the scenes in DeFi, and are trying to bring that to the Bitcoin ecosystem.
First, I’d almost say that the Stacking process is a sort of DeFi in and of itself! The fact that you can lock up $STX, and receive a base currency like Bitcoin in return, is a pretty cool cryptoeconomic mechanism. Second, the Clarity smart contract language is going to open up a whole world of dApps in the Blockstack ecosystem. Stacks 2.0 is the blueprint for building exciting things on Bitcoin. A trustless token exchange? Minting digital collectibles? Facilitating property rental? It’s all enabled with Clarity, and in a more secure implementation. To answer your question, DeFi is awesome, and it’s on Stacks 2.0
Mary | Satoshi Club: Do you already have some apps?) Or developers who are ready to build? When first Satoshi DeFi on Stacks?
Stacks Joe: Yeah we have been blown away by the developer activity the last year! During our app mining pilot we saw over 400+ dapps on the network: https://www.app.co/
Rohan Ӿ: Discover some of the apps and services built on Stacks, secured by Bitcoin here — https://www.app.co/
Stacks Joe: 2.1 million usernames on the explorer: https://explorer.blockstack.org/
Crossed 10,000 official Meetup.com members. Over 33,000 Telegram members across 24 groups, over 27,000 joined in 2020. So much promising growth!
Mary | Satoshi Club: It’s mind-blowing! But it’s just beginning, i am sure
Q5 from Telegram Username @MaxiVV
How many phases does have Stacks 2.0 Testnet? I’m a little confused because you talked about 4 phases (Neon, Argon, Krypton and Xenon) in your website, but then making mention to a 5th phase. and, What are the differences between them?
Stacks Joe: These were the four testnet phases:
Rohan Ӿ: You can also check more on the testnet phases here:
Stacks Joe: We staggered adding features and functionality so we could rigorously test each component as it was added to the network
Then! As of December 15th, Stacks 2.0 is “feature complete”. By feature complete, we mean that we do not anticipate adding any new features to the Stacks blockchain prior to the mainnet launch. All planned features are now implemented: pull requests are either already merged or are under review. We intend to use the time between now and the mainnet launch on testing, fixing bugs, improving performance, writing documentation and generally polishing any rough edges. We do anticipate some feature work to continue outside of core Stacks blockchain like the Explorer or the Stacks Blockchain API. Basically one last month of kicking tires, dotting i’s, crossing t’s, and making sure the network is 100% ready to go for the launch!
Q6 from Telegram Username @cengizhantekin
SEC has been creating big troubles for crypto world recently, and you already had an experience with them. Can you tell us your story with SEC please?
Rohan Ӿ: In July of 2019, the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved the application of the Reg A+ clause to the block stack to attract investments of up to 28 million dollars.
Blockstack has always taken a careful, well-researched approach to everything, including the R&D and technology but also regulations. We did the first-ever SEC qualified offering, and recent trouble of projects with the SEC (for example Telegram) is an example of why a careful approach is important. Same is true for the technology where we’ve taken a careful well-researched approach vs more experimental designs that may not work.
It helps with transparency and removing information asymmetery between general public and internal project. Also, SEC enforcements can be very problematic for projects (e.g., what we saw with Telegram and others). So doing things in a regulated way can be a healthier long-term strategy.
Yes, you did what many failed to do
Part 2 — live questions from the Telegram community
Q1 from Telegram user @x_Man_H
As you know Covid-19 has a large impact in the crypto Market, So How can your company maintain its project and also the team that are working hard during this pandemic?
Stacks Joe: I joined the team right as the pandemic was accelerating, and was blown away by how unfazed the team’s development process was. We are fully remote at the moment, but with our international team we were already equipped and prepared to not be working in a physical location. Our engineers are heads down on testnet development currently, and I would guess that remote life has even helped with the programming sprints! Blockstack really cares about the safety and mental health of its employees, and has been extremely accommodating in ensuring the team feels comfortable and secure with whatever work modifications.
We’ve also doubled-down on our virtual event lineup. The last few months we have hosted numerous hackathons, workshops, town halls, and digital meetups. Our conference FuturePROOF was a massive success, and we’re planning an awesome Stacks 2.0 mainnet kickoff celebration. Certainly unprecedented times, but we are full steam ahead to Stacks 2.0 mainnet! You can register for the kickoff celebration here: https://stacks2.com/
Q2 from Telegram user @K2ice
I read that Stacks 2.0 implements a new mining mechanism called Proof of Transfer (“PoX”). Can you explain how this new mechanism works and why it is better than Proof of Stake and DPoS? When mining the STX token, what does miners receive/get in return and do all miners get equal share of rewards or rewards are shared based on the amount of STX committed?
Rohan Ӿ: Proof of Transfer is a consensus mechanism design that uses Bitcoin’s Proof of Work (PoW) to launch new blockchains that are anchored in Bitcoin’s security.
Further, PoX can give incentives to participants in such new blockchains in the form of earning Bitcoin. Such Bitcoin rewards were not possible before PoX.
These rewards can potentially be used for use cases like consensus participation, ecosystem developer funds, incentives for specific players, etc.
Proof of Transfer is more similar to Proof of Work based consensus than Proof of Stake. Just like with a Proof of Work network, Proof of Transfer requires spending something valuable in order to mint a new asset. Bitcoin requires miners to spend electricity in order to create BTC. The Stacks Chain and PoX require miners to spend BTC in order to create STX. You only need to go from electricity to digital value once.
Q3 from Telegram user @Pakhi06
Do I need technical expertise to mine stx?
Rohan Ӿ: Mining STX is really easy. Proof of Transfer and STX Mining work the same as Bitcoin, Miners spend something valuable to compete to mint a new digital asset, just in the case of STX Mining, that something valuable is Bitcoin itself instead of electricity. Because of this, all you need to mine STX is Bitcoin. There’s no requirements for special or advanced hardware. Right now on testnet mining is command line based, but that is the most technical it will ever be.
Q4 from Telegram user @leixagarcia
What is the Blockstack naming service? What is its function within Blockstack?
Stacks Joe: We rely on naming systems in everyday life, and they play a critical role in many different applications. BNS is a network system that binds names to off-chain state without relying on any central points of control. The Stacks V1 blockchain implemented BNS through first-order name operations. In Stacks V2, BNS is instead implemented through a smart-contract loaded during the genesis block.
Names in BNS have three properties:
>Names are globally unique. The protocol does not allow name collisions, and all well-behaved nodes resolve a given name to the same state.
>Names are human-meaningful. Each name is chosen by its creator.
>Names are strongly owned. Only the name’s owner can change the state it resolves to. Specifically, a name is owned by one or more ECDSA private keys.
The Stacks blockchain insures that each node’s BNS view is synchronized to all of the other nodes in the world, so queries on one node will be the same on other nodes. Stacks blockchain nodes allow a name’s owner to bind up to 40Kb of off-chain state to their name, which will be replicated to all other Stacks blockchain nodes via a P2P network!
Q5 from Telegram user @niccos96
How STX Trade empower investors, companies, developers, and its users to deliver impactful solutions and bring value to global people?
Rohan Ӿ: At the heart, blockstack is about creating a more secure and private internet, an internet where users can own their own identity and data. The platform has had the capability of supporting these dapps since 2017, and there are a number of examples you can see at app.co. Stacks 2.0 and the STX token really give these dapp developers the power to introduce innovative business models. Involve their users in the early bootstrapping process, and more. I think Stacks 2.0 will provide the final developer tools needed for a dapp to eventually reach wide adoption.
Q6 from Telegram user @idontwannabehornyanymore
What are the main needs that Blockstack PBC has satisfied? And what are the benefits that the bases bring when dividing?
Stacks Joe: There are two core problems we’re trying to solve
(a) a way to scale web 3 apps to hundreds of millions of users and
(b) provide verifiable contracts.
These two are major bottlenecks to Web 3 adoption. Currently Web 3 apps can’t scale to hundreds of millions of users and we were able to solve that problem over years of R&D and systems design. Blockstack creates software for a user owned internet, that enables a new generation of applications where developers and users can interact fairly and securely. Blockstack uses blockchain technology to build protocols and developer tools designed to enable a fair and open Internet that returns digital rights to developers and consumers.
Q7 from Telegram user @BERTA2020
With your new update is there any way for developers to create tools in BlocksTack?
Q8 from Telegram user @hieulaptop
What is a special competitive advantage your project with other competitors?
Stacks Joe: I don’t think that there is any project that is very similar to Blockstack and I’m actually a bit surprised by that. For example, if you look at the list of projects that have (a) WASM as the way to do smart contracts, (b) work on sharding, and © have PoS as consensus. You’ll get a bunch of projects that do all three.
But we don’t support WASM (have specific Clarity language), are not in the PoS camp, and do not look at sharding stuff for scalability. There are aspects of Blockstack where there is overlap, let me give an example:
Clarity as a language has design principles that are seeing more adoption by other projects vs say Solidity. So you can find smart contract languages that are closer to Clarity (not exactly like it but more in the direction of Clarity than Solidity, even FB’s Move language is like this). There are some tools/services in the Ethereum ecosystem that try to simplofy auth and storage similar to Blockstack e.g., 3box.
So if you compare to a project like Polkadot, we think that Bitcoin will be the base/settlement layer for Web 3 vs a newer protocol. And other chains like our Stacks 2.0 chain will interconnect with Bitcoin. So a bet on Blockstack is a bet on Web 3 on Bitcoin and a bet on DeFi on Bitcoin which is quite unique in the current landscape of Web 3 protocols, most of which are trying to build separate disconnected networks.
Q9 from Telegram user @lchongthu
Will there be minimum amount for stacking?
Rohan Ӿ: Here are some numbers on 764M liquid supply:
25% participation at 764M is 38,200 STX, rounds up to 40K
50% participation at 764M is 76,400 STX, rounds up to 80K
100% participation at 764M liquid STX is 152,800 STX, rounds up to 160k
The rounding is currently not coded yet but the default proposal is to only round up. Other options being discussed for rounding.
Q10 from Telegram user @DrCassiterite
Do u need big devices or machines to do stack mining ?
Rohan Ӿ: There’s no requirements for special or advanced hardware. Right now on testnet mining is command line based, but that is the most technical it will ever be.
Q11 from Telegram user @Nickkiii
I noticed you been having aggressive marketing in the last few days, where can I get the full schedule for the Stacks 2.0 mainnet launch event?
Stacks Joe: https://stacks2.com/register#schedule
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