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What Is Stacks (STX)?

UTC by John Caroline · 6 min read
What Is Stacks (STX)?
Photo: Depositphotos

Here is a guide provided for our readers to understand all there is to know about Stacks, a Bitcoin-integrated platform which seeks to curtail the scalability issues faced with BTC.

Bitcoin (BTC) being the first and most successful of all cryptocurrencies has won the hearts of users through the exclusive features it possesses. The coin has become the king of cryptocurrencies, considering the efficiency in its economical ability. However, there are still some loopholes with the network that many blockchain projects have proposed to tackle. One of the notable limitations faced with the Bitcoin network is the scalability issues it possesses. These major defects have geared concerns among blockchain projects and have raised innovations to curtail these issues. Stacks (STX), a layer 1 blockchain project, tackles the scalability challenges Bitcoin faces.

Stacks is a platform that facilitates the use of smart contracts and decentralized applications on the network. The blockchain platform generates its power from Bitcoin as it depends on it for security and the execution of transactions.

In other words, the Bitcoin network acts as the finality and security layer for the smart contracts contained and executed in the Stack Blockchain. Meanwhile, it is possible through the Proof of Transfer mechanism the platform adopts.

The connection between stacks blockchain and Bitcoin enables execution of transactions on the stack network as well as verification on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Stacks’ Team

The evolution of Stacks began in 2013. It initially aimed to provide a better internet system. The project was created by the founders of Blockstack – Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea.

Years later, the project began to receive support from capital funds like Combinator, Digital Currency Group, and Winklevoss.

Thereafter, the project enjoyed further development. Some of the members of its team include leading researchers from MIT, Princeton, and Stanford.

Proof-of-Transfer

Unlike other blockchain projects that utilize the proof-of-work and proof-of-stake mechanism to secure their network, Stacks has developed a new consensus algorithm that is perfectly suitable for its operation and to secure the network. The mechanism is deduced from the Proof-of-Burn concept. Known as Proof of Transfer (PoX), it has marked the first consensus mechanism to use two blockchains. This concept ensures that already mined and existing cryptocurrencies of an existing and verified blockchain are not burnt. Instead, they secure the new blockchain.

The Proof of Transfer mechanism eliminates the system of burning cryptocurrencies. It requires that mined cryptocurrencies are transferred to other participants within the ecosystem.

The new Proof of Transfer consensus mechanism helps the network to facilitate its reward protocol. More interestingly, the system allows the network participants to receive rewards as well as transaction payouts in existing and stable cryptocurrencies. It gives these participants the opportunity to participate in the new blockchain at the same time.

This system allows Stacks to eliminate challenges that users experience with new blockchains. Thus, new users feel confident about joining the network.

Moreso, since the network is basically integrated with already existing blockchain (Bitcoin), it uses an already extremely secure blockchain to secure new chains without the need to require new Proof-of-Work chains and cryptocurrencies.

Clarity Programming Language

As said earlier, the Stacks Blockchain provides support for smart contracts, decentralized applications. It also enhances the creation of flexible virtual assets that are easily transferable.

In a bid to provide support for these smart contracts, the network uses the Clarity programming language to secure these activities.

Clarity programming language is a predictable programming language that uses no compiler. Stacks has deployed this programming language to help it bring smart contracts to Bitcoin.

More precisely, the programming language uses predictable source code for executing smart contracts while publishing them on the blockchain nodes.

The system, therefore, utilizes this tool in facilitating the security of the Stack ecosystem via the decidable programming language.

Stacks and Bitcoin

Stacks and Bitcoin are basically two interconnected blockchain networks that work hand in hand. It is quite interesting that both blockchain networks do not depend on each other. They are independent networks connected through the Proof-of-Transfer consensus mechanism.

Via this system, miners can transfer new cryptocurrencies as well as smart contracts on Bitcoin to other participants of the Stack network.

Stacks 2.0

Stacks 2.0 is an upgraded innovation from the Stack team to bring secure apps and smart contracts to Bitcoin.

The Stacks 2.0 mainnet launch allows developers to utilize the Stacks protocol to build a user-owned internet on Bitcoin. The platform allows users to earn Bitcoins.

STX Token

The STX token is the proprietary token of the Stacks Blockchain. Activities performed on the network rely on STX tokens.

STX tokens basically foster the execution of smart contracts on the Stacks network. The token functions as a tool to publish new smart contracts to the blockchain. It is also used for transaction processes such as paying fees and receiving rewards. The token follows the same successful trail with its blockchain network. It has attracted the interest of a significant number of users, especially users who crave Clarity smart contracts.

The token is available for trade at legal and leading cryptocurrency exchange companies.

Stacks’ Use Cases

Stacks (STX) has offered amazing functionality to its ecosystem,  especially to the Bitcoin network. It proposes new features to the Bitcoin network since Bitcoin is static and not flexible for adjustments. Through its integration with Bitcoin, users can initiate new features to the network without having to change Bitcoin itself.

Moreso, a major challenge for the Bitcoin network is scalability. Thus, Stacks blockchain seeks to solve the scaling issues with Bitcoin. Stacks extends the Bitcoin transaction capacity since Bitcoin has limited space for transactions.

Besides, Stacks adopts Bitcoin’s efficient security and finality to protect transactions conducted within the ecosystem. The network uses Bitcoin to settle transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain for each block generated.

Advantages of Stacks

Stacks is very beneficial to crypto users, especially members of the Stacks community.  The Stacks blockchain has offered users the advantage of enjoying combined features of two independent blockchains on every activity.

Members of the DeFi space can enjoy the extended features of Bitcoin while executing smart contracts.

Moreso, Stacks gives members the opportunity to earn Bitcoins. Certain reward programs the network provides are usually offered with Bitcoin. Stakers of the Stacks blockchain have the opportunity to earn their rewards in Bitcoin instead of any other token that would require them to later convert to Bitcoin.

Conclusion

Stacks (STX) with its unique features is a big addition to the blockchain industry. Since it allows users the benefits of merging smart contracts with Bitcoin’s functionality, it is correct to say that Stacks’ services will boost the adoption and use of Bitcoin in the crypto industry.

The outstanding functionality of the Stack blockchain makes it possible to predict a successful future for the network in the industry.

The avenue it gives users to be able to earn BTC by merely participating in the network is also a point of attraction towards the network.

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FAQ

What is Stacks?

Stacks is a bitcoin integrated blockchain platform that facilitates the use of smart contracts and decentralized applications on the network.

Who founded Stacks?

Stacks was founded by the founders at Blockstack, Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea.

What is Proof-of-Transfer?

Proof of Transfer is a consensus algorithm deployed by Stacks to ensure that already mined and existing cryptocurrencies of an existing and verified blockchain are not burnt but are instead used to secure the new blockchain.

What is special about Stacks 2.0?

Stacks 2.0 is a new innovation from the Stacks team that enables developers to utilize the Stacks protocol to build a user-owned internet on Bitcoin while earning with Bitcoin. 

How are Stacks and Bitcoin connected?

Stacks and Bitcoin are connected through the Proof of Transfer mechanism which allows miners to transfer new cryptocurrencies as well as smart contracts on Bitcoin to other participants of the Stacks network. 

How is the Stacks network secured?

Stacks network is secured through the Proof of Transfer mechanism it adopts. With this, users are made to transfer the base currency (Bitcoin) to mine STX. This system bootstraps the security of the Stacks blockchain via BTC.

How to use STX token?

The STX token is used for transactions on the Stacks ecosystem and is available for trade at prominent cryptocurrency exchange companies. 

What are the advantages of Stacks?

The Stack blockchain has offered users the advantage of enjoying combined features of two independent blockchains on every transaction. The blockchains involved are Stacks and Bitcoin. 

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