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Launch HN: Stacks (YC S14) – The first SEC-qualified crypto token offering
134 points by muneeb 6 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 67 comments
I'm Muneeb, CEO & Co-founder of Blockstack PBC (YC S14). Blockstack is a decentralized computing network. We currently have 165+ apps built on top (https://blockstack.org). Today we're launching Stacks to the public, the first SEC-qualified crypto token offering.

First, a little about our journey: I grew up in Pakistan with a single state-controlled TV channel. I've been obsessed with the internet since the dial-up days of the late 90s. I researched computer networks as a grad student. I took a leave from Princeton in 2013 to start Blockstack with my co-founder. Our rather ambitious goal was to build a better internet. We went through YC in 2014 and have raised $50M in capital so far.

We believe that the "traditional internet" became dependent on a handful of companies. We want to take the internet back to its decentralized roots. We've done 4+ years of R&D and infrastructure building. We're focusing on giving developers the right tools to build decentralized apps. The big difference between these and traditional internet apps is that: (1) apps mostly run client-side (no servers or databases), (2) users are in control of their data with encrypted private data lockers, and (3) users have universal cryptographic logins without any third-party providers.

Blockstack PBC is a public benefit corporation. We build the core protocols and developer tools for decentralized computing. Developers use our open-source reference implementations and SDKs to build decentralized apps. These include Graphite (decentralized Google docs), Dmail (encrypted email), BitPatron (decentralized Patreon), and others (https://app.co/blockstack). The Blockstack software stack gives developers decentralized solutions for auth and storage. Further, developers can program smart contracts.

The Stacks blockchain is a foundational layer of our architecture. It executes smart contracts and enables our decentralized auth and storage to work without centralized operators. Users register their usernames on the Stacks blockchain and link their storage credentials. Technical details of our full decentralized computing stack are at https://blockstack.org/whitepaper.pdf.

Stacks is the native crypto token of Blockstack. Stacks are used as "fuel" to register digital assets and execute smart contracts. Compared to other decentralized app platforms like Ethereum or EOS, we: (1) keep on-chain logic to a minimum, (2) scale apps by localizing state changes, and (3) enable developers to write general-purpose apps, not just smart contracts.

Our regulatory approach is also very different from typical “ICOs” you may have seen. For distributing Stacks to the general public, we decided to work with US regulators. We wanted to open up the US market to our offering instead of blocking US investors. Yesterday, we received qualification from the SEC. The SEC has never qualified any token offering until now.

Regulation A is often compared to a “mini IPO.” Our filing has fully-audited financials and seeks to provide fully transparent disclosures. There were a lot of legal and accounting treatment questions that we had to work on with the SEC. It’s new territory for everyone. It took us almost ten months to reach this stage and we spent close to 2M USD in legal fees and other expenses. I joked at a recent event that I consider our expenditures a donation to the rest of the crypto industry. Other projects now have a legal framework for regulated crypto-token offerings.

I know that many on HN are skeptical of the cryptocurrency market, which has become over-hyped with many bad actors. We share a lot of those feelings. We want to build on solid scientific foundations and give developers the right tools for scalable decentralized apps. Alternatives to centralized big tech monopolies can and will, eventually, exist. The SEC-qualified token offering is our effort to help mature this industry.

You can find our SEC offering circular link at https://stackstoken.com. We'd love to get feedback from the HN community on our regulatory framework and tech design. Thanks!

P.S: Given the regulated nature of this offering, I need to give disclaimers. Realize it’s not typical HN culture :-)

— Muneeb

Important disclaimer The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has qualified the offering statement that we have filed with the SEC. The information in that offering statement is more complete than the information we are providing now, and could differ in important ways. You must read the documents filed with the SEC before investing. The offering is being made only by means of its offering statement. This document shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

An indication of interest involves no obligation or commitment of any kind. Any person interested in investing in any offering of Stacks tokens should review our disclosures and the publicly filed offering statement and the final offering circular that is part of that offering statement at stackstoken.com/circular. Blockstack is not registered, licensed or supervised as a broker dealer or investment adviser by the SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or any other financial regulatory authority or licensed to provide any financial advice or services.

Forward-looking statements This communication contains forward-looking statements that are based on our beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to us. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the following words: “will,” “expect,” “would,” “intend,” “believe,” or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements in this document include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans for developing the platform and future utility for the Stacks token, our Reg A+ offering and launch of our network, and collaborations and partnerships. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different. More information on the factors, risks and uncertainties that could cause or contribute to such differences is included in our filings with the SEC, including in the “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion & Analysis” sections of our offering statement on Form 1-A. We cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. We disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Boggles my mind that the SEC would give the tick to an ICO with heavily discounted tokens. You gave founders, employees and investors tokens at $0.00012. Then you sold discounted tokens at $0.12. Now you're pumping the pyramid scheme further with a public sale at $0.30.

It's a nice way to pump a 2500x return for yourself and investors before any exchange listing. Can't wait for the SEC to endorse that behavior across the ecosystem. /sarcasm

Thanks for pointing this out. From direct text from our FAQ:

"Why were Stacks Tokens valued/sold at $0.00012 prior to the 2017 accredited sale at $0.12? Founders and early employees of Blockstack PBC received tokens at $0.00012 per token in October 2017 based on an independent valuation from Foresight Valuation Group, LLC when the Stacks Token was still in its earliest stage of development and before the publication of the token white paper at the end of that month. This grant was subject to a three-year time lock commencing upon the introduction of the genesis block to the Blockstack network in November 2018, and the nominal price reflected the early, high-risk support of founders and early employees.

Holders of Blockstack's Series A convertible preferred stock who had invested a total of $5.1 million as of late 2016 and funded Blockstack's early growth and development before the decision to create a token, or the drafting or publication of any white papers—were also provided an opportunity to purchase tokens at the $0.00012 per token price. This opportunity to participate at a nominal price was given in return for their early support and in proportion to their equity ownership, and it was based on their reasonable expectation as early investors that they would receive tokens if Blockstack ever decided to create a digital token. These tokens are subject to a three-year time lock, commencing upon the introduction of the genesis block to the Blockstack network in November 2018."

Now more context here:

I purchased my shares in Blockstack PBC in 2013 for $42, as does any other startup founder. Will I get a 23809x return if I sell my shares for 1,000,000? No, I'm earning these by the 5+ years of work and no reasonable person would assume that it's a 23809x return. The grant is "free" or at "$0" and the $42 number (standard practice in startups) is there for a tax cost basis.

Exact same logic applies to founder/employee token grants, as we structured our token grants after equity grants.

We did not sell "discounted tokens" at $0.12. That was the price the market was able to bear in Fall 2017. If you consider that a "Series A" price. A 2.5x multiple for a "Series B" is, again, totally standard and rather at the low end for traditional startups. Same thing applies here.

Finally, we are disclosing all this information so investors can make informed decisions. Not the standard practice in other token offerings. I believe disclosures and transparency is a good thing and that's why we took this approach and worked with regulators.

My one request would be to view this from a "what would it look like in a traditional startup?" angle vs. a "how is this project trying to scam me with a pyramid scheme?" angle. Thank you!

> Finally, we are disclosing all this information so investors can make informed decisions.

This is great, and I plaud that. I also think you guys are genuinely trying to be honest here.

Unfortunately, a sane level of skepticism (and sarcasm) has to be expected, in general, especially here on Hacker News.


  To applaud.
  n. Claim to applause; plaudit; applause.
  transitive verb To applaud.

Typical crypto "transparency"? What was neglected to be mentioned:

1. The $.00012 token kickers constitute 1/4th of the entire supply. That's a 2500x return when sold at the .30c price or even more going by the current OTC price.

2. The market was in a full blown mania in fall 2017 so a market barely out of a crushing crypto winter can somehow support a higher .30c price now vs .12c back then?

How is that different/worse than a startup? Early founders/employees get stock at a lower price, and then the price goes up if the company makes progress. There's only a return if the market values it.

That's the case for equity. Tokens here don't represent equity in the company.

So if an unregulated ICO does it, it's bad. But if a regulated ICO does it, that's cool, just regular startup scene behavior. Pump and dump those return multiples on unsophisticated public investors. The VC leeches will love this new short-cycle SEC-endorsed wealth channel.

Please don't post in the flamewar style to Hacker News. We're trying for something a bit better than internet-usual here, and I'm sure you can make your substantive points without it.


Not an expert, but they basically could have listed on the stock market at the same cost and with similar parameters. At this point you’re just raging against securities and investment as a category.

It gets better; there's something like 130M tokens sold to founders & other insiders that have no transfer or time lock associated with them. Guess which ones will be the first traded at full pop?

If by this you mean tokens that were locked for 1 year under Reg D and then unlock monthly since the launch of the Stacks blockchain in Nov 2018, then yes there is a subset of tokens that are unlocked following the unlocking procedures that other holders also follow.

Union Square Ventures, myself, and my co-founder are one of the largest holders of such tokens. We have restrictions from the SEC on selling these on the open market (given >5% ownership of Blockstack PBC). Restrictions which are also disclosed in the offering circular. Happens all the time with IPOs.

Happens all the time with IPOs so it's totes fine, right?

Your greed is showing, Muneeb.

Plenty of posters in this thread talk about "following you" since the beginning and having lovely things to say about your product. Truth is: There is nothing your product does that other decentralized services didn't already do, for free. Your ID service is a less-secure Sovrin and your storage is a gated IPFS.

You just saw what Ethereum did and wanted a piece of the pie for yourself.

Personal attacks are not ok on HN. Please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and do not post like this here, regardless of who you're attacking.

Understand your skepticism.

"Happens all the time with IPOs" refers to restrictions on significant holders and company affiliates to sell. Which I believe is a good thing.

Blockstack pre-dates Ethereum and is the exact opposite of Ethereum in terms of tech design. This is a regulated token offering which is very different from what Ethereum did. Doing what Ethereum did i.e., "ICO", in my view, is a much easier but legally risky path.

Love what Sovrin is doing. Blockstack pre-dates Sovrin by a couple of years. We've worked on the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) with them.

I don't understand your IPFS comment, can you please elaborate? Gaia provides blockchain-pointers to private data lockers, IPFS is p2p storage. You can actually plugin IPFS as a storage option with Gaia, driver here: https://github.com/blockstack/gaia/pull/129/files

I've been tracking BlockStack for a time, and love the technology. I particularly like how you have supported Decentralized Identifiers by specifying a DID method for use with BlockStack. I think decentralized data and identity is one of the killer blockchain apps, or at least I hope so.

I've been part of the community for 2 years and I have to say I appreciate the diligence and hard work in pushing this through. Plus, I love having access to all of the different apps with a single login, and _not_ having to pass all my usage patterns/data to a google or facebook.

I've been following your company on hn for awhile. I'm still iffy on whether crypto will really change the world but if it does I'd rather see your offering beat out libre. FB et al shouldn't be creating a coin but join with companies like yours who have a solid footing and create new stuff within existing ecosystems.

> FB et al shouldn't be creating a coin but join with companies like yours who have a solid footing and create new stuff within existing ecosystems.

Its easy to say that while completely ignoring the lopsided economic incentives of launching your own thing

If there is a single 1 incompatible thing then the team and network wont let you launch on their network, wont give you any of the partner tokens or subsidies

And you did all that when you could have just used your clout to launch your own thing collecting literally 8, 9 or 10 figures of USD and the majority ownership of a precreated asset you granted yourself.

50 years of salary, taxed way lower, for any software engineering founder.

If you’re ignoring this just because “crypto”, while working on someone else’s adtech has-been, you are doing yourself a disservice.

The issuer side of all markets is heavily misunderstood. But especially in crypto markets. People view the whole concept from the speculator’s side.

I agree with you that the crypto industry in general over-hypes, and everything is a "revolution." The scalable infrastructure and developers tools still require a lot of work and getting "killer apps" is a whole new phase of traction.

With that said, I'm optimistic as all signs seem to point to the fact that security and privacy are going to become more and more critical. Facebook Libra is a great example. Even FB wants to enter this space and rightly so. They have the userbase and are trying to build a decentralized (well federated really) network. Blockstack is open vs. permissioned (Libra). We've done 4+ years of R&D work and are now in the developer traction phase. We want thousands of experiments to happen and organic usage of apps to emerge.

Will you be opening your documentation and legals (where possible), so that others might follow a similar regulatory path with the SEC?


Yep, the filing is already public and available through the SEC Edgar website. See also https://stackstoken.com/circular

Our hope is that the work we've done (and the $1.8M legal and accounting fees that we've paid!) helps other projects as well. That would take some sting out of the legal/accounting costs of doing this :-)

Fantastic, thanks for your efforts and also for taking the time to reply.

If these are registered securities they will need to trade on regulated exchanges where the company knows all the token holders only and thus cannot be used in decentralized applications by normal people. Which seems to defeat the purpose in the first place. Or..?

This is a very good (and interesting!) question.

Regulation A+ is technically an exemption from registration requirements. Although in practice it works closer to a fully registered offering. Just pointing it out because the Stacks tokens are not "registered".

Transfers can take place between users/peers and do not need to be registered. Trading in the US needs to be on a regulated securities exchange while the token is treated as a security. See our FAQ question on exchanges: https://stackstoken.com/faq/

Trading in international jurisdictions depend on appropriate local law.

Finally, this is decentralized open-source technology and Blockstack PBC cannot control activities on the network.

The idea is that the tokens won't be securities in the future. A security can eventually become a non-security.

Pretty intrigued by this, especially because of Clarity (Lispy) and the storage system (I can save stuff on S3, not "on the chain". Pretty awesome, I might build a social network on top of this, just what I wanted/needed.

I didn't get into Clarity in my summary above but really into the decidable smart contract language design. The reason I didn't mention Clarity is because most programs on Blockstack are not smart contracts. We think that smart contracts are only a subset of use-cases and should only be used when needed vs. making smart contracts the only way to program decentralized apps.

For any readers that are intrigued by what is Clarity, it's Blockstack's smart contract language that is different in two mains ways:

a) Clarity is a decidable language i.e., it is intentionally Turing-incomplete. This allows for complete static analysis of the entire call graph of smart contracts.

b) Clarity is interpreted. The contract source code itself is published and executed by blockchain nodes i.e., no compiler.

More details on Clarity are here: https://blog.blockstack.org/introducing-clarity-the-language...

> We think that smart contracts are only a subset of use-cases and should only be used when needed vs. making smart contracts the only way to program decentralized apps

Totally agree.

Great job with blockstack, the APIs seem real easy to use - only thing I'm worried about is that the mobile SDK's are just JS wrappers so the JS bridge might be a speed bottleneck in mobile apps. Also, are there plans for a Flutter SDK (pretty easy to make a wrapper for both platform SDK's)?

Oh the mobile SDKs need a lot of attention and love. We're putting it on our roadmap: https://blockstack.org/roadmap

I develop a proof of concept for flutter:https://github.com/friedger/flutterblockstackplugin

Again, this is just a wrapper for blockstack.js. I think the more apps it use the better the SDKs will become.

Most apps should work as PWAs anyway, I think.

Hi Muneeb, curious to take your take on the following: (1) main reason dapps haven't found an audience yet (2) if you see a way forward through 'hybrid' architectures, say like coinbase but for non-financial applications?

I think that the industry needs to move from infrastructure phase, to developer traction phase, to user traction phase. Not in discrete steps but in general.

By the 2017 "crypto mania" the infrastructure was barely there. Imagine that even a single app/smart-contract on Ethereum could not scale beyond 500K users without choking the entire network. Cryptokitties comes to mind.

Just building infrastructure is not a magic solution. You need to iterate over developer tools, give developers the right tools, have educational resources, raise awareness around why decentralized apps are important etc. That's generally the developer traction phase where I believe Blockstack is now (we've had 170 independent apps/startups built on top -- most in the last 6 months).

With an active community of developers organically building decentralized apps and playing around with tools, you can see a lot of experiments but can still end up with a graveyard of apps that no one uses. That's the user traction phase which I do not think we're in yet for Web 3 / decentralized apps. I remain confident that as the UX of these apps gets better and as security/privacy becomes more and more imp, we'll start seeing "killer apps". Some of these will be "crypto native" meaning they are not just "decentralized X" but they'll have some crypto native functionality that was simply not possible in web 2.0 and the traditional client/server model.

Thanks. I think the best metaphor I can think of is how you can't convince a meaningful number of people to give up meat and buy the new vegetarian imitation meats by telling them it's better for the larger good; the only way is to make it better than actual meat (also like the Tesla approach). Other than some financial applications, do you have a favorite current dapp you think is fundamentally better than it's centralized equivalent?

Several companies have tried to create blockchain-based products using offline mesh networks, but there's the problem of there not being a ledger, and thus transactions not being able to be confirmed. Do you think blockchain-centric companies could integrate technologies like, say, Bridgefy to enable their mobile products to work without Internet and thus become more decentralized?

I propose a simple "smell test" for "new internet" projects. A project would need at least one of the following two (not necessarily both given the maturity lifecycle):

1. Would the core platform developers work on it for "free"? As in, develop it because they really genuinely believe in it, not because they're trying to get rich quick through some high-tech blockchain-based multi-level marketing scheme, and not because they've convinced themselves they believe in it in a cult-like way by listening to "lies told a thousand times".

2. Would any real non-technical users want to use it without any strings attached? As in, use it because it delivers some genuine benefit to them, without them having to pay for it in some insidious way, and not because they're being paid to use it.

That's a good test.

I worked on this for free until we could raise venture capital to support the open-source development. Without venture capital, I'd probably be working on it in academia but I think that'd be less impactful given limited resources. Developers have been building apps on Blockstack since 2017, the App Mining program was introduced in late-2018. There is a genuine community of developers who'd work on this for free because they believe in the mission.

Users don't have any strings attached. There is a free username registration service for them (the default method) and the apps on https://app.co/blockstack provide real utlity while hiding blockchain-complexity. I don't think most users even realize that there is any blockchain involved.

Finally, no user is being paid to use any app. The App Mining program for developers is the only component in the ecosystem where any incentives/payments are involved. Apple had developer incentive programs for iOS for example. When launching a new platform you have the chicken & egg problem of users and apps. We're trying to get enough high-quality apps so users can get real utility. The App Mining program stops after the initial years.

Core platform developer here (for 4+ years). Would absolutely work on this project in my spare time if I wasn't already employed at Blockstack PBC. You can also check our various projects' contributor graphs on Github (all under https://github.com/blockstack) if you want to gauge developer interest.

EDIT: providing more context below:

The reason Blockstack appeals to me is because I think it is one of the few projects with a reasonable, sustainable architecture for ensuring that users own all their data. In particular, Blockstack apps with the same performance characteristics as traditional Web applications _while also_ ensuring that users (1) don't have to run their own servers if they don't want to, and (2) don't have to keep their personal devices online 24/7. The storage layer, Gaia, achieves this by leveraging any/all existing storage media for hosting and serving the data, including commodity cloud storage and CDNs.

Because users provide the primary replicas of their data, they retain control and ownership of it even if the application goes away, or if they switch applications. Indexes and aggregations of user data -- such as the notions of a Twitter feed or a comment thread -- are treated as downstream, soft-state replicas derived from user data, and can be independently reconstructed by anyone. Blockstack apps nevertheless can easily create such indexes and aggregations with Radiks -- https://github.com/blockstack-radiks.

The blockchain component is buried deep in the stack, and is used today for user discovery: user A can discover user B's public key and URLs to their data. By running a Blockstack node, you learn every user's public keys and URLs. This enables Blockstack apps to encrypt data end-to-end so only its intended recipients can see it (Gaia and its underlying storage media only see ciphertext). Users don't directly interact with the blockchain; this is all handled through the user's Blockstack authenticator (https://github.com/blockstack/blockstack-browser) and through blockstack.js.

The system can handle a large number of users today. Most user registration is handled through a batching mechanism, whereby ~160 name/pubkey/URL triples are announced and replicated to the Blockstack peer network per blockchain transaction. At 8 transactions/block, this yields over 180,000 registrations/day.

The reason to introduce a token is to implement smart contracts, which in turn are meant to allow applications to implement small programs to manage a small amount of global state without needing a dedicated, trusted server. Not all applications will need smart contracts -- in fact, all Blockstack apps today that I know of (see https://app.co/blockstack) get along just fine without them. However, there are a few cases where having a small amount of global state is useful -- for example, if you were to build Reddit on Blockstack, you might have a smart contract that lists a directory of all subreddits and the list of admins who curate them.

A lot of thought, time, and energy has gone into the design and implementation of Blockstack's software stack prior to this sale, and the system has been running successfully in production for 3+ years.

Front-end Chinese developer based on Shenzhen city,China. I love this project because it is open source like Nginx,docker,mariadb, etc. More and more devs contribute their time on it( you can find them on forum.blockstack.org and slack).I still remember the first time I used hello world and todo list sites programmed by Larry. At that time, There are no 170 apps like now , and no xordrive.io,bitpatron.co these kinds of websites. Now,devs can find docs and seek support from support easily from forum.blockstack.org. One week ago, I realized how important open-sourced blockstack auth is,because I use vpn in China,gmail blocked my email account without a reasonable reason and forced me find a Phone number to verify it.I use that gmail address for daily works. Suddenly I cannot use it for many websites. I realized ,They(google,github) can block any users as they like. I reduce my use of google drive and gmail now. For general users, use open source software as possible as we can.If even some core developers(Jude,Aran,Ali ) died or did evil things that other devs cannot accept(not offend),other devs can also fork a new project like blockstack, you know that Linux have many versions,Firefox also have many versions in China.

Blockstack Auth pros and cons:

1. You don’t need a phone number to verify your account and worry your phone number leak. 2. You don’t need time to write traditional codes about user registration and finding password. And you don’t need to buy or deploy a mail server like mailgun and sendgrid. 3. No one can block your accounts (blockstack id )like google did it for me,currently. 4. No one can sell your data to others, I don’t how it going for data business in USA , but in China, Alibaba and baidu , every day, they sell data of users to their paid merchants without our permissions. 5.No cost for image storage in Gaiahub now

Cons: 1. No server nodes in Asia, it is really slow to use graphite and xordrive, I mean, most blockstack sites load pages slower than trational websites. It’s time to deploy Asia servers ! 2. No 100% decentralized, actually , I wanna say that blockstack websites and apps also based on ip protocols. China government firewall can easily blocked these domains. If some blockstack websites use Twitter,react Facebook js cdn, we have to use vpn to use these sites normally.

Awesome work! Excited to see all the apps popping up based on Blockstack.

Your trailblazing with the SEC is impressive, thank you. I’m unfamiliar with Reg A — after the one year lock, can I transfer Blockstack tokens freely to someone else?

Do you see a future where Blockstack tokens are no longer considered a security?

Thank you! It took 10 months so not sure if qualifies as trailblazing. The legal and accounting treatment was new for everyone, so can expect it to take some time.

There is no one year lock on the Reg A. The Reg D offering (which we did earlier in 2017) and which is limited to Accredited Investors has a year and a day lock. We do have a monthly unlock over 2-years but that was our design decision, not a regulation.

Really interesting question about no longer being considered a security. We spent a lot of time on this. There is an entire discussion about decentralization in the offering circular. Our stance is that this is a utility token and due to an abundance of caution we're complying with securities regulations. However, upon further decentralization of the network (and we discuss certain metrics for this) the Stacks token may no longer be considered a security.

Pasting relevant info from the offering circular:

"Blockstack’s long-term strategy is to decentralize development and governance of the Blockstack network such that no single entity, including Blockstack, is in control of the network. At some point when this decentralization process is complete and there is a healthy ecosystem of applications and users on the network, Blockstack PBC expects to develop new business models, which may include the development and commercialization of premium versions of open-source software, enterprise licensing for blockchain technology, and development of new applications for the network. Blockstack may also dissolve Blockstack PBC and distribute the Stacks Tokens in Blockstack PBC’s treasury to Blockstack PBC’s stockholders. We do however intend to continue operating for a minimum of two to three years and likely until one of the following occurs: the Stacks Tokens are no longer deemed to be securities, we are no longer deemed to be the issuer of the tokens, or the Stacks blockchain undergoes a hard fork without Blockstack’s consent that effectively results in Blockstack no longer driving the governance of the network. Blockstack also intends during this time to encourage independent entities to contribute to the development of Blockstack Core, the core open-source software governing the network as well as contribute to the growth of the eco-system."

Calling it a utility token doesn't really square with the deflationary monetary policy created by capped supply. This is basically a "number go up" dog whistle. I appreciate the attempt at volatility dampening in the new mining algorithm, though.

There is no cap on the total no. of Stacks. There is a set inflation rate per year (described in the forum post).

Yep, you're right, volatility reduction is certainly one of our goals. Making yearly supply linked to network growth (even if we can only measure a subset of growth metrics) is the basic idea.

The more blockstack and the ecosystem is decentralized the less the tokens are a security.

Can you explain the business model behind the payouts you make as part of app mining, please? (https://app.co/mining)

In simple terms; I'm trying to get my head around what Blockstack gets in return for paying developers to use Blockstack Auth ?

Also, you may want to investigate the rounding of Dmail's figures shown on that URL ^^

At the time of writing the page shows a lifetime payout to Dmail of $19,999 yet last month it shows they earned $20,000. Surely "lifetime" earnings must always be >= last month's figure, as last month is part of "lifetime" ?


There is no business model behind App Mining payouts for Blockstack. It's a developer incentive program, meant to incentivize developers to build high-quality applications on the network, especially in the initial years.

You can argue that the developers make the Blockstack ecosystem more valuable by spending their time and effort to build apps for it in return for newly minted Stacks tokens. Kind of similar to how Bitcoin mining works where miners provide computing resources to the network and do some "work" and earn newly minted tokens.

Thanks for the Dmail feedback, we'll look into it!

I've been intrigued by Blockstack, but cautious about the token sale. Am I correct that the tokens that go on sale will also be later mined at a yet-undecided-upon formula?

Yes, tokens will be mined, for the latest plans see https://forum.blockstack.org/t/improved-mining-algorithm-min...

Thanks for the link to the forum post!

We conducted an economic audit and as a result of that study made certain changes to future supply of tokens. Details are in the forum post linked above.

The token economics 2.0 paper is not published yet but the bulk of the details are in that post. We outline the open challenges in the "adaptive mint/burn" mechanism for future token supply there as well. Basically researching optimal values for the "evaluation window" and if we should have a maximum cap on mints i.e., tokens that re-enter supply after being burned/used.

Has the BlockStack Proof-of-Work been chosen yet?

See the "Tunable Proofs" discussion in Seciton 2 of the whitepaper 2.0 https://blockstack.org/whitepaper.pdf

Initially, we rely heavily on proof-of-burn when the native hashpower on the network is lower. We're currently looking at memory-hard hash functions for the native PoW part.

> memory-hard hash functions

You may want to look at asymmetric memory-hard PoW as well (instant memoryless verification)

They are selling 180K tokens.

The question is, how many tokens have been pre-mined/created on a non-mined basis (if any).

Who owns these pre-mined / created tokens.

Half the time these blockchain scammers have the public only get access to 10% of the actual tokens, resulting in totally crazy valuations for the premined token's they are sitting on. Someone should be able to run the numbers.

Ie, pre-mined tokens not offered * offer valuation per token = supposed value they've created with platform.

If only there were some sort of centralized disclosure document to address all of these questions...

Their Economics 2.0 paper showing how new tokens will be issued / mined / grow and the expected modeling isn't out yet - or do you have a pointer to it?

Good luck Muneeb! It's always nice to see a fellow Pakistani doing great things.

I particularly have to give you props on all the effort and investment required to be the first SEC qualified token offering. The vertical has been dominated by bad headlines and bad players, so this legitimacy is a great step forward, and you guys are trailblazing here. Highly commendable.

Mujhay bhee Pakistani logon sey mil kar achaa lagta haay

(That's Urdu in case anyone is wondering.)

Appreciate your support! Crypto is generally a wild west and we're trying to help mature this industry.

joins fellow desis

This looks amazing @muneeb, behtareen!

Kudos to you guys for not being afraid of the SEC and instead working with them to figure out a way to make it happen.

Having a regulated token offering means hopefully that not only traders and hodlrs will buy the tokens but also real users, all the real users who use already the decentralized blockstack apps and all the users who will use them because they want to be in control of their data.

In what way are the apps decentralised?

I bought some, but when are the tokens going to be distributed ?

Tokens will be distributed 30 days after close of sale. The sale runs by default for 60 days. See https://stackstoken.com/faq/ for details and the circular https://stackstoken.com/circular is the source of truth.

Is it possible to use WebRTC on your blockchain?

it's really ridiculous, cannot see any value, but want huge money first

Then don't buy any

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