Stacks : The Sleeping Giant?

Stacks is a layer-1 blockchain. The Proof of Transfer connects it to Bitcoin with a 1:1 block ratio. The Stacks’ blockchain is even more flexible than Bitcoin’s blockchain enabling smart contracts, digital assets, and decentralized apps all connected back to Bitcoin.¹

Stacks is the first ever blockchain that wants to unlock the full potential of the Bitcoin blockchain. The Stacks blockchain brings predictable smart contract on Bitcoin known as Clarity in addition to decentralized apps. Bitcoin is minimal by design and is not meant to change. The Stacks extends the design of Bitcoin to enable smart contracts and apps without modifying Bitcoin and with minimal transaction load on Bitcoin.²

Stacks uses microblocks that result in near-instant confirmation on the Stacks blockchain for the sake of work around Bitcoin’s limited speed since the Bitcoin blockchain time for each new blocks to be created is too slow to support decentralized apps. At the rate of Bitcoin block time, the blocks will settle from Stacks to Bitcoin to provide finality and security of Bitcoin.

With the scaling independently of Bitcoin ensures that Stacks transactions are fast enough for decentralized apps, while benefitting from Bitcoin’s security and settlement.

Clarity is a safe and predictable language for smart contracts. Clarity smart contracts have visibility into Bitcoin state and can be include Bitcoin-based logic.³

Clarity is the next level improvement to the existing smart contract languages that are rife with features that cause harm than the good side. There are large-scale of irreversible harm cause by bugs or malice in smart contracts. However, with Clarity it reduces the surface area for the bugs which makes it difficult to write a dangerous code and easier for developers ranging from expert to newbie to start coding with ease.

In addition, Clarity enables familiar web 2.0 user experience for non-technical users without relying trust. Users could see the UI exactly on what’s going on Clarity smart contract will do before running it.

  • Source code is interpreted on chain. What you see is what you get
  • Decidable and turing-incomplete. Users will know certainty what the code will do before running Clarity contract.
  • Users protect their assets with post conditions, conditions that must be true when the Clarity smart contract finishes running.
  • One programming language. No compiler, no assembly and no bytecode.

Stacks Token

A limited edition NFT of Stacks 2.0 Launch representing STX Token⁴

Stacks Token (STX) is the native asset on the Stacks blockchain.

A single hash from Bitcoin’s blockchain represents thousands of Stacks transactions including the Stacks microblocks which offer fast confirmation of streaming blocks. STX is used for fueling smart contracts execution, transactions and digital asset registration in minting of new Tokens. Another unique feature that can be used with Stacks besides smart contracts is the Stacks can be locked by STX holders to actively participate in consensus and earn Bitcoin rewards.

Proof Of Transfer

Proof of Transfer also known as (PoX) is the consensus mechanism between Stacks and Bitcoin.⁵

Proof of Transfer is a mining mechanism that provides a new take on consensus, allowing for a Proof of Work chain such as Bitcoin to be leveraged and extended in important new ways. All of the Stacks transactions settle on Bitcoin, which this enables Stacks transactions to benefit from Bitcoin’s security. Every single Bitcoin’s block are all the Stacks transactions being batched and hashes onto the Bitcoin Blockchain.⁶

Since Bitcoin uses Proof of Work that involves in computing powers to create a new ledger on every block that is being made. Proof of Transfer is an upgrade to Proof of Work. With PoX, miners are not converting electricity and computing power to earn block rewards and transaction fees. Instead, they transfer Bitcoin, a Proof of Work currency, to holders of Stacks Token. This enables holders of Stacks Token to earn Bitcoin from the PoX consensus⁷

Stacks protocol in stacking flow of actions

The process of locking STX to earn BTC rewards from the protocol is called stacking. You can stack alone in your own Stacks non custodial wallet by having the certain minimum amount of Stacks based on every cycle’s minimum. However, you can delegate your Stacks if you do not meet the requirement of stacking alone. You can use a pool address for delegation and can set the amount of cycle wanting to lock your Stacks. This creates a smart contract without the need to sending your Stacks by locking your Stacks into the pool but your Stacks still remain secure inside your wallet.

A new Stacks block may be mined once per Bitcoin block. To be considered for mining a block, a miner must have a block commit included in a Bitcoin block.⁸

Miners receive coinbase rewards for blocks they mine. These rewards are shared proportional to the amount committed to with a user burn support operations that support the block.

  • 1000 STX per block are released in the first 4 years of mining
  • 500 STX per block are released during the following 4 years
  • 250 STX per block are released during the following 4 years
  • 125 STX per block are released from then on indefinitely.

Miners also received STX fees for transactions mined in any block they produced. For transactions mined in microblocks, the miner that produces the microblock receives 40% of the fees, while the miner that confirms the microblock receives 60% of the fees.

Stacks is open source and structured in layers, it is aim to bring trustless nature of the blockchain to all ofthe Internet. Instead of relying centralized third party servers, Stacks will remove those trust points by giving them back to the users via blockchain.⁹

Because of apps and services store data in central locations, it is prone to easily get targeted by hackers gathering useful personal information. The domain names and security are entrusted by third parties issuing certificates that can be compromised. The key authenticating on platforms are owned by companies that control the services and apps, not the user’s priviledge to do anything.

Stacks solves the problem by every users’ data in the Stacks internet by storing locally on the device. The data is encrypted before being backup into a cloud storage system. Digital properties could be bind by the blockchain without the need of third parties.

The world is converging on Bitcoin, demand for use cases around Bitcoin is exponentially increasing. Instead of competing or hard forking Bitcoin’s underlying protocol, Stacks builds on and extends Bitcoin infinitely. This enables Stacks to grow alongside with Bitcoin’s capital, security and network.

Unstoppable!

  • Once decentralized apps are deployed on Stacks and settled on Bitcoin, the codes can’t be taken down. It is essential for critical Internet infrastructure.¹⁰

Open to anyone

  • Anyone all over the world with an internet can connect into the Stacks to use or build Stacks app

Modular

  • Decentralized apps are open and connected by default. This enables developers to build on top of each other’s apps and prevent users from getting locked in.

New business models

  • Creation of Tokens enable developers monetize open-source protocols, incentivize contribution and come up with business models that were not possible before.

The very best of Bitcoin

  • All Stacks transactions settled on Bitcoin blockchain, making the apps and transactions as secure as a Bitcoin transaction. Apps on Stacks can include Bitcoin-based logic.

Conclusion

Stacks have successfully developed many potentials for the Defi in the Bitcoin’s blockchain such as the Clarity smart contracts, Decentralized apps, Digital properties and many more. The Clarity contracts surpassed other smart contracts native to different blockchain in terms user friendliness, versatility, secure and reliable smart contracts. There are other huge development in the Stacks ecosystem which is Auction place for NFT arts. Stacks is the jack of all trades in most issues that users are currently facing. I believe Stacks is a Sleeping Giant in the blockchain space as the Stacks inherit Bitcoin’s security and settlement, Bitcoin on-Chain data state and there are more room for the Stacks ecosystem to grow.

[1]: Stacks. The Technology Behind Stacks https://www.stacks.co/technology

[2]: Ali, M. (2020, December). Stacks 2.0 Apps and Smart Contracts for Bitcoin. Gaia. https://gaia.blockstack.org/hub/1AxyPunHHAHiEffXWESKfbvmBpGQv138Fp/stacks.pdf

[3]: Clarity. Clarity Language https://clarity-lang.org/

[4]: Boom Wallet. https://boom.money/

[5]: What is Stacking?. https://stacking.club/learn

[6]: Blockstack PBC. (2020, May). Proof of Transfer Whitepaper v1.0. Ssl. https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/5fcf9ac604d37418aa70a5ab/60072dbb32d416d6b3806935_5f1596b12bcc0800f3dcadcd_pox.pdf

[7]: Stacks. Proof of Transfer, Understand the Proof-of-Transfer consensus mechanism https://docs.blockstack.org/understand-stacks/proof-of-transfer

[8]: Stacks. Understanding Mining, A guide to mining on Stacks 2.0 https://docs.blockstack.org/understand-stacks/mining

[9]: A. (2018, August 6). Blockstack : A decentralized naming and Storage system using blockchain. Medium. https://medium.com/coinmonks/blockstack-a-decentralized-naming-and-storage-system-using-blockchain-445ff60190f7

[10]: Stacks. Building Blocks For A Better Internet. https://www.stacks.co/what-is-stacks