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Blockstack seeks to power a new kind of decentralized internet, one that gives users more control over their data and makes it harder for content to be censored.
It has properties such as built-in Privacy, where data in Blockstack apps, such as photos, messages, health records, are encrypted by default. Apps will not be able to see, access, or track your activity. All data is owned to 100% by the user instead of the apps. Furthermore, users are free to move their data and to trade and transfer your assets — no permission from any app or company required.
Blockstack's smart contracts, based on their programming language Clarity, enable new kinds of digital assets, such as tokens and digital collectibles, to be created, owned, and traded. By using Blockstack apps, creators can also have a share of the value that they help create.
Besides regularly storing a hash of the Stacks blockchain on Bitcoin's, many of the node participants in the blockchain will receive rewards in BTC, a more reliable source of value than rewards in a Stacks' native token, STX.
PoX uses miners and stackers. Miners log transactions, much as miners on the Bitcoin or Ethereum blockchains do, while stackers keep a copy of the blockchain, signaling which fork to mine on. Miners earn new STX from inflation and they pay to participate in BTC. That BTC gets distributed to stackers who have to stake STX.
1. What is Blockstack (STX)?
Blockstack's mission is to enable a "fair and open internet that puts users in control of their data".
Blockstack makes building decentralized applications as easy as cloud applications. Developers use simple libraries that abstract away the blockchain complexity, and there is no new coding language to learn.
Users get a universal login that works everywhere without passwords, and an encrypted home drive that allows them to take their data to any app they want. Furthermore, these apps can run on user devices, and data sharing requires explicit user opt-in.
Tunable Proofs: the Stacks blockchain uses a Tunable Proofs mechanism that combines the native Proof of Work consensus mechanism with the reuse of hashpower.
An highly scalable decentralized storage: Gaia is a decentralized storage network built on Blockstack to enforce a user's control over their data.
Ease of development: Blockstack makes Web3 apps as easy to build as cloud apps. Developers use simple libraries to build apps that abstract away the blockchain complexity.
Developer traction: strong developer adoption with over 250 independent applications currently built on top of Blockstack's technology, serving a variety of use cases.
The Blockstack decentralized computing network aims to provide a friendly development environment for dApp developers, as well as universal IDs for users to easily use applications within the Blockstack ecosystem.
Token overview and use-cases
Stack (STX), the native token of the Blockstack network, is consumed when users register blockchain-based identities and solidify new business models and protocols that can be used across all 250+ Blockstack apps. Stack tokens will also be consumed when users and developers interact with Clarity smart contracts.
The use cases intended for STX tokens include but are not limited to:
Registering Blockchain-Based Digital Assets: STX tokens are destroyed in order to register human readable, blockchain-based usernames, domains, and other types of digital assets.
Clarity Smart Contracts: STX tokens will be used as fuel for developers to publish contracts and users to execute these contracts.
Mining Rewards: STX tokens will be paid to miners that host Blockstack nodes and secure the network.
2. Products and blockchain
2.1 Products and metrics
There are currently 271 independent projects built on top of Blockstack. A complete list can be seen here.
The top 10 independent applications by number of installations are as follows.
There are currently 155,669 names (identities) registered on top of Blockstack.
2.2 Blockchain description
Blockstack uses a single-leader election protocol. To participate in the block race, each miner submits a "tunable proof" encoded as a transaction on an existing blockchain (the "burn chain") that provably destroys some of the burn chain currency, and encodes some proof-of-work score. The amount work and currency destroyed are used to calculate a probability distribution over the set of next blocks. The more currency destroyed and/or more work put into the block, the higher the chance a miner has of winning. Along with their tunable proof, each miner submits the hash of their block, and a verifiable random function ("VRF") output calculated over a shared plaintext (i.e., the result of the previous sortition).
The block winner is picked using cryptographic sortition. The VRF output from the last non-empty sortition is hashed with the sequence of burn chain block headers between its record on the burn chain and this new sortition, and the resulting hash is used to deterministically sample the block candidates with a probability proportional to their miners' tunable proof scores. The winning block is independently and deterministically calculated by all miners, and the hash used to sample it serves as the input to the VRF in the next sortition.
The Stacks blockchain tolerates forks in order to survive failed miners or invalid blocks. To do so, it selects the fork with the most non-empty cryptographic sortitions. This ensures that the chain with the most time spent working on it is the longest chain.
There are two types of transactions in the Stacks chain, namely: anchored transactions and streamed transactions. The detail is as follows:
Anchored transactions are represented by the block hash that gets written to the burn chain. They have the same latency and confirmation time as the underlying burn chain blocks, and the same resistance to reorganization as the burn chain.
Streamed transactions are mined and appended to the anchored transactions as part of the same Stacks block for the duration of the block time. Streamed transactions are replicated in batches as microblocks, which are appended to the anchored block in real-time, or as soon as they arrive in the winning miner's mempool. However, the lower latency comes at a security trade-off.
The next miner may commit to an earlier microblock in the stream than the current miner realizes, causing some later microblocks to be accidentally orphaned. To encourage miners to include as many microblocks as possible, the transaction fees for streamed transactions are shared 40/60% between the current miner and next miner.
3. Economics and supply
Reg. D Sale Allocation
~30% of total token supply
Reg. D Sale Token Price
Reg. D Sale Date
11/01/2017 to 02/28/2018
Amount Raised Reg. D Sale
$47.5 million USD
Reg. A & S Sales Allocation
~8% of total token supply
Reg. A Sale Price
Reg. S Sale Price
Reg. A Sale Dates
11/07/2019 to 09/09/2019
Reg. S Sale Dates
01/06/2019 to 09/09/2019
Amount Raised Reg. A & S Sales
$23.0 million USD
Initial Circ. Supply
321,731,995 STX (15.70%)
3.1 Token supply distribution
The token supply distribution is as follows:
Long-term Treasury tokens comprise 5.37% of the total token supply.
Short-term Treasury tokens comprise 14.31% of the total token supply.
Founder Distribution tokens comprise 8.72% of the total token supply.
Employee Distribution tokens comprise 3.64% of the total token supply.
Equity Investor Distribution tokens comprise 5.30% of the total token supply.
Reg DToken Sales tokens comprise 19.29% of the total token supply.
Reg A & SToken Sales tokens comprise 5.86% of the total token supply.
Reg A App Mining tokens comprise 1.95% of the total token supply.
Mining Tokens tokens comprise 27.77% of the total token supply.
App Mining Tokens tokens comprise 5.86% of the total token supply.
User Incentives tokens comprise 1.95% of the total token supply.
Regulation D Sale overview
Conducted between 11/01/2017 and 02/28/2018 for 682,318,559 Stacks Tokens and raised a total of ~$47.5 million at ~$0.12 per token, selling 30% of the total token supply.
Regulation A/S Sale overview
Conducted on 11/07/2019 for 105,536,266 STX (~$23 million) at ~$0.25-0.30 per token, selling 8% of the total token supply.
3.2 Token governance and use of funds
Blockstack's cryptocurrency holdings are held in cold-storage with a multi-signature private key set up aside from small reserves for operational purposes. Any transfer of cryptocurrency requires the use of at least two private keys that are separately controlled and secured by executive officers or directors of Blockstack PBC.
A similar policy is in place with respect to Blockstack's holdings of 110 million Stacks Tokens in its own treasury. A single executive officer or director is unable, on his or her own, to transfer any of Blockstack's cryptocurrency. Blockstack may also introduce a cold-storage setup where a subset of private keys is kept with a third-party custodial service. Blockstack has policies and procedures in place in case of death or disability on the part of one or more of these executive officers and directors that vest control of the private keys in Blockstack PBC's Board of Directors, including the safekeeping of a backup private key.
As of October 2019, Blockstack has raised an additional $23MM in their 2019 token offering and plans to use those proceeds in the allocations below:
30% Research and Development.
40% Operations & Cash Reserves.
STX token distribution (%)
The following chart represents the number and breakdown of all STX that are to be released into circulation on a monthly basis. The Mining Tokens will continue to be released until August 2051.
Alpha release of new Blockstack authenticator with improved UX and in-app transaction signing.
Distribute Stacks tokens to 2019 investors via hardfork.
Complete security audit on Stacks Blockchain V2.
Release beta for Clarity smart contract language.
Complete Stacks V2 hardfork with new consensus algorithm, simple client verification, higher throughput, smart contracts, and app specific tokens.
Release of Clarity on mainnet allowing fully-featured smart contracts and in-app financial services.
Grow to first million users on the Blockstack network.
Q2 & Q3 2020:
Release of anonymous analytics API to report on app usage, growth, and retention.
Launch of iOS and Android apps for Blockstack authentication.
Launch ability to publish apps via Blockstack Naming System vs. DNS.
Release of Stacks Wallet V4 with faster, cheaper transactions.
4.3 Commercial partnerships and business development progress
Lambda School: Lambda is an education platform offering online classes taught by live instructors and one-on-one mentoring. This partnership aims to help students building blockchain software applications.
Blockchain.com: partnership with Blockchain.com to integrate STX token into its Blockchain Wallet and Blockchain Explorer, and to educate users about Web 3 apps.
Spartan Group: the Spartan Group specializes in advising crypto start-ups in their expansion in the Asia region. Blockstack works closely with the Spartan Group to explore potential markets.
5. Project team
Rreceived Ph.D. and Masters from Princeton University, specializing in distributed systems
Head of Growth
Former BD Specialist at Earnest, founder and CEO of Ellison Sunglasses, and analyst at Typhon Capital Management
Head of Product
Former CPO and cofounder of Signal, Product Design Coach at Capital One, Founding Member of Design Founders
Head of Engineering
Former Eng. Lead for Machine Learning at Dropbox, Director of Eng. at Magintics
Head of Legal and Finance
Former Senior Director of Operations at Everwise
Ph.D. and Masters in Computer Science from Princeton University
6. Blockstack's activity and community overview
6.1 Development activity
6.2 Social and community activity
Blockstack has generated strong developer adoption, especially in the US, Canadian, and European markets. To date there are over 250 independent applications built on top of Blockstack, serving a variety of use cases.
The next phase of community growth will focus on pulling in end users, with a stated goal of hitting 1 million users total on the network in Q1 2020. This will be facilitated by Blockstack's partnership with Blockchain.com, as well as upcoming initiatives to be announced before the end of Q4 2019.
Current community growth strategies of Blockstack include: