Founded in 2013, Blockstack represents a decentralized platform based on a blockchain, where users entirely control and own their information. Blockstack offers an alternative to traditional cloud computing as all decentralized apps of this network run locally. A compatible browser is enough for getting access to all the options of the platform.
Blockstack enables its users to share their information with other users without uploading it to external websites and apps (e.g. Facebook, or WhatsApp). In other words, project developers aim to replace the third-party servers and provide their users with direct access to the data through blockchains.
Blockstack consists of the following elements.
Stacks Blockchain: initially running on Bitcoin’s blockchain, the company has later developed its own system. Gaia: the key component of the platform’s architecture, a highly scalable decentralized storage system. Blockstack Authentication: an authentication system. To access the platform each user gets his or her unique username, which can be suitable for any application. Blockstack Libraries and SDK: a set of tools for developers. The project depends on the community, that is why all the users are encouraged to create their apps. SDK is created to facilitate the process for them.
The Blockstack ecosystem offers two open-source projects which enable users’ interaction with the network: Blockstack Browser and Blockstack CLI.
Blockstack token STX
The Stacks Token (STX) is an Ethereum-based ERC-20 native utility token of the Blockstack ecosystem. The Stacks Tokens enable a number of basic operations on the Blockstack network. Among them are the following: registration of blockchain-based identities and digital assets such as usernames, domain names, podcasts, software licenses, etc.; smart contracts registration and execution; transaction fees payments for including a transaction in the Stacks blockchain.
This list is not exhaustive, because Blockstack undergoes rapid growth at the time of writing, so other uses for the Stacks tokens can be expected.
Blockstack received first-ever approval from the SEC to conduct the sale of bitcoin-like tokens under Regulation A+. 1,32 billion tokens were initially introduced in November 2018 with the launch of the genesis block. 866,827,880 Stacks tokens were allocated to previous purchasers, while 453,172,120 remained unallocated. On the whole, between November 2017 and February 2018, there were sold the rights to 682,318,559 Stacks tokens through several sales. Assignation of all of the tokens sold during the sales mentioned above took place in November 2018, immediately following the genesis block launch. During 2019, there were two token sales.
Token holders will not receive an interest in the profits, and may not vote on any matters relating to Blockstack. The profit-making is represented in a way that should improve the level of users’ activity.
Stacks token is minable, though at the time of writing this option is unavailable. It is expected that mining will be introduced in 2020. The concept of mining was extended at the Blockstack platform, and the app developers gain an opportunity to “mine” Stacks tokens by publishing quality apps on the blockchain. This method, referred to as “App Mining”, is intended to increase the number of high-quality applications because it attracts new users’ attention to the network and proves its effectivity.
Blockstack token can be purchased on such cryptocurrency exchanges as Binance and Hashkey Pro. STX can be stored on the official Stacks wallet or hardware wallets such as Ledger Nano S or Trezor.
Blockstack Team and Partners
The company is headquartered in New York, and it was created by a couple of Princeton University-trained computer professionals – Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea.
Muneeb Ali is the CEO and co-founder of Blockstack PBC. He specializes in distributed systems. He defended his PhD thesis at Princeton University in 2017.
Jeff Domke is a Head of Product. He is a former CPO and co-founder of Signal, Product Design Coach at Capital One, Founding Member of Design Founders. Patrick Stanley is a Head of Growth. He is a former Senior Director of Operations at Everwise.
The Blockstack team partners actively with various companies to increase their experience. For example, they cooperate with Internet Labs, Product Hunt, TryMyUI, and Awario, four independent companies, to rate apps of the platform.
Another Blockcstack’s partner Lambda School is an education platform offering online classes, and this partnership is meant to encourage students to build software applications on the blockchain. Also, the cooperation with Blockchain.com is necessary to integrate STX token into its Blockchain Wallet and Blockchain Explorer.
Another partner, the Spartan Group, specializes in advising crypto start-ups in their expansion in the Asian region. They help Blockstack to study potential markets.