There are several Bitcoin-based DeFi and smart contract platforms that have made headway similar to Stacks. Bitcoin has all the properties that decentralized apps and smart contracts need: the security, the settlement assurances, the capital, and the network effects.
Stacks is a blockchain linked to Bitcoin by its consensus mechanism that spans the two chains, called Proof of Transfer. This enables Stacks to leverage Bitcoin’s security and enables apps Stacks apps to use Bitcoin’s state, despite being a separate blockchain.
Although individual blockchains can’t scale, networks most certainly can. Imagine a future where the Stacks network is not one chain, but where one underlying chain serves as something of a backend to many chains on top. These chains all anchor back to Stacks and therefore to Bitcoin, but they can have everything from their own block sizes, miners, and incentives structures.
Stacks Improvement Proposals (SIPs) describe the design, implementation, and governance of the Stacks 2.0 blockchain. The SIP process (SIP-000) describes how to make a SIP and get it ratified. Anyone in the Stacks community may submit a SIP.
Clarity is a programming language for writing smart contracts on the Stacks 2.0 blockchain. It is an open-source project that gives developers a safe way to build complex smart contracts.
Proof-of-Transfer is a new proposed mining mechanism (introduced in SIP-007) that uses the proof-of-work cryptocurrency of an established blockchain to secure a new blockchain. To participate in the consensus algorithm of a public blockchain, one must commit computational or financial resources. Mining mechanisms specify how resources are committed. For example, on a Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain, participants known as miners do some “work” that requires significant computing power and, in turn, are rewarded with that blockchain’s newly minted cryptocurrency. On a PoX blockchain, rather than committing computational resources, miners commit financial resources by transferring the PoW cryptocurrency of the more established blockchain to some other participant in the network. In turn, these miners are rewarded the new blockchain’s cryptocurrency.
Stacks (STX) tokens are the native tokens on the Stacks 2.0 blockchain. STX enable smart contracts and apps for Bitcoin and allows holders to earn BTC by 'Stacking'. Stacks are used as fuel for smart contract execution, transaction processing, and digital asset registrations on the Stacks 2.0 blockchain and was the first cryptocurrency to receive SEC qualification for a sale in the United States.
Stacking, a critical part of the Stacks network, is locking your STX temporarily to support the network’s security and consensus. This helps Stacks reach consensus, stay secure, and process transactions. As a reward, you’ll earn the Bitcoin that miners transfer as part of the Proof of Transfer consensus mechanism.
Stacks is an open-source network of decentralized apps and smart contracts built on Bitcoin. Stacks unleashes Bitcoin’s full potential as a programmable base layer.
Apps built with the Stacks blockchain give users control over their digital identities, assets, and data. Smart contracts and apps developed on the Stacks platform are natively integrated with the security, stability, and economic power of Bitcoin. Unlike most cloud-based apps, they are "decentralized" since they don't depend on any centralized platform, server, or database to function. Rather, they use the Stacks blockchain to authenticate users and facilitate read and write requests for them without any single point of failure or trust.
The Stacks blockchain is a layer-1 blockchain, which uses a novel and unique mining protocol called proof-of-transfer (PoX). A PoX blockchain runs in parallel to another blockchain (Bitcoin in Stacks’ case), which it uses as a reliable broadcast medium for its block headers.
The Stacks Ecosystem is not one single entity, rather it is an ensemble of entities with distinct missions that contribute to the growth of the ecosystem. By design, no one entity is in control of the other, but collectively these entities participate in a governance process to develop, vote on, and implement strategies. This entity formation approach is one of the most understated innovations in the blockchain space.
Learn about the Stacks technology: Proof of Transfer, Clarity smart contracts, DeFi on Bitcoin, and more
Expand your knowledge with recommended videos, articles, podcasts, and SIPs
Need help? Ask and join the thousands of Stackers from all around the world