It was another eventful and fruitful quarter for the Blockstack ecosystem. As we do quarterly, we recently shared some high-level updates about the ecosystem. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into developer experience specific updates from Q4. This covers developer tools, but also extends to the Stacks Blockchain, platform reliability, app funding, education, and community building. As developers building apps that ‘Can’t Be Evil’, you are the center of our universe.
Each quarter we reassess our strategy, priorities, and incorporate developer feedback. Based on your feedback from our Q3 survey we:
- Continued foundational work on Stacks 2.0.
- Continued improving first user experience and Blockstack authentication.
- Decided to prioritize the Blockstack explorer for external integrations with wallets and exchanges.
- Decided to take official ownership over Radiks which has significant usage and bugs.
- Explored technical solutions for privacy preserving analytics that could be used in App Mining.
- Hit significant milestone towards Stacks 2.0: a barebones “local testnet” that’s able to process blocks and execute Clarity smart contracts and process transactions.
- Successfully executed hard-fork on October 18, 2019 to materialize token allocations from our SEC-qualified token sale.
- Performance and reliability improvements to subdomain registrar to support 10x more load. At peak, registering 10s of thousands of names every hour!
- New intrinsics for buffers and lists, to make smart contracts simpler and more expressive (e.g. iterating over a string)
- “Timeshift Evaluation” at specified block height: This enables, among other items, easier implementation of contract forks, voting and staking protocols, which require that votes have been acquired or placed prior to specific blocks.
- More compact value serialization to further optimize the cost of storing Clarity contracts on the blockchain
- Assertions to allow programmers to express and enforce safety constraints in smart contracts
User Experience: Authentication and Onboarding
- We completely redesigned onboarding for new users into Blockstack apps, prioritizing simplicity and privacy to ensure a fast and engaging experience.
- We began testing this new design extensively with a variety of apps and user types to validate its performance. In parallel, we’ve rebuilt the Blockstack Browser with this new onboarding and to lay the groundwork for smart contact signing. Developer preview coming soon!
- Made concurrent writes safer in Gaia storage operations using E-Tags
- Switched to w3c crypto APIs, resulting in up to 5x speed-up in our testing on mobile.
- Released guides for configuring a Gaia hub on Digial Ocean and deploying Blockstack apps.
- Patched several bugs in the Blockstack explorer that were blocking integrations with external wallets and exchanges.
- Added more dimensions to the “Can’t Be Evil” App Reviewer, New Internet Labs.
- Removed Product Hunt as an App Reviewer based on community feedback.
- Increased payouts to a total pool of $400k in combined BTC and STX (STX at a $0.30) price.
- We held our 4th annual Blockstack Summit in San Francisco at the SFJazz Center to over 500 of you. Special guests included New York Times Bestselling Author Neal Stephenson, angel investor Naval Ravikant, Andreas Antonopoulos, Dave Morin (Path, Facebook), Meltem Demirors (Chief Strategy Officer, CoinShares), Balaji Srinivasan (Nakamator, Cofounder of Earn, Counsyl, Teleport, Coin Center), Jaron Lanier (Scientist, Author, Musician and Artist) and many more.
- Blockstack participated in 70+ events worldwide in Q4, which included meetups, hackathons, conferences, webinars and AMA’s. Highlights included: Internet Identity Workshop XXVIX, DevCon in Osaka, SF Blockchain Week, Web Summit, HackPrinceton, and DevRelCon in London among many others. We had another great quarter, with over 40 new Blockstack Evangelists joining us the community. Locations covered Turkey, Mangalore, Jaipur, Los Angeles to Brooklyn and beyond.
- We saw over 1,000+ new members join Blockstack’s Meetup group this quarter and had over 30 meetups in placed all over the world.
Come meet the Blockstack PBC team at these upcoming events and webinars.
- Q4 resulted in over 100 new apps being added to the ecoystem, following Q3 which also saw 100. At the end of Q4, there were approximately 360 total, with near 390 today. Some of the newest apps were built during the Can’t Be Evil: Part 3 contest. You can meet the winners here.
- As noted in our broader Q4 updates, awareness of Blockstack continued to be strong, dipping slightly in Q4, but resulting in a 30x increase of our Reach (as defined by Awario) from 2018 to 2019. In Q4 we also crossed 10,000 subscribers on YouTube.
- We on-boarded 41 new Blockstack Evangelists from Melbourne to Kampala and we’re excited to work with each of them!
All the credit goes to our Engineering, Product, Design, and Growth teams—I’m honored to highlight their great work for you, our developer community. As always, we welcome your feedback.
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 here. 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.