The Blockstack PBC team is relentlessly focused on helping developers make high-quality decentralized apps. This focus naturally covers developer tools, but also extends to the Stacks blockchain, platform reliability, app funding, education, and community building. In short—you guys are the center of our universe, and we want to get better and better at making you successful.
Prioritizing work and measuring our progress against that goal has several inputs:
- Platform reliability: Over the holidays a browser release led to some critical bugs.
- App Mining program: When the January App Mining results were released, many of you voiced concerns around errors and potential design flaws in the program.
- Surveys: You might remember a survey in December that included satisfaction and NPS metrics along with questions related to App Mining.
- Interviews: Back in Oct and Nov, you might have participated in feature prioritization interviews with Jude (Core Engineer), Mark (PM), or Jeff (Head of Product).
- Platform upgrades: We have a long list of platform improvements that are at various stages of planning and development. For example: Data collections and Smart Contracts.
I wanted to share some progress in these areas from the last three months:
Improving our testing and release process was a major priority for Q1. Ken Liao outlines the progress and next steps in this post: Q1 Blockstack QA Process Improvements. Additionally, blockstack.js 18.3.0 was released and alleviated most protocol handling issues, making Blockstack much more seamless across different browsers.
App Mining program
App Mining has been a powerful, yet challenging, program to design. This quarter we created a Github repo to manage community input on policies, reviewers, and process: App Mining repo. Additionally, based on the top feedback from App Miners, a ‘Digital Rights’ App Reviewer focused on Blockstack Auth and Gaia implementation was introduced.
Gaia hub location choice
From our interviews in Oct and Nov, the most requested platform upgrade was allowing users to setup and select their own Gaia hub. Mark Hendrickson outlines our progress here: User choice of Gaia hub now available during onboarding and Gaia AMIs for EC2 and Gaia documentation
Storing user data in a decentralized manner can make simple functionality, like search, pretty challenging. From our interviews, data indexing was our second most requested platform upgrade. Hank Stoever led the charge on our solution and outlines our progress here: Introducing Radiks
For many apps, user retention is about reconnecting with users via some channel—in-app notifications, email, or text, for example. For this reason, social notifications was our third most requested platform upgrade. We opted to leverage Radiks and created a proof-of-concept app, Banter, for real-time updates and email based notifications: Radiks in action: Try Banter, a Blockstack app with real-time updates, social notifications, and more
Plans for the next iteration of the Stacks blockchain have been in the works this quarter. SIPs (Stacks Improvement Proposals) describing Proof-of-Burn Leader Election and the Smart Contracting Language were published. Work on the implementing of proof-of-burn mining and the new VM for the smart contracting language is ongoing, and can be tracked via the
develop branch of blockstack-core.
All the credit for this progress goes to our Engineering, Product, and Growth teams—I’m honored to highlight their great work for you, our developer community.
As always, we welcome your feedback. It would be incredibly helpful if you could complete the survey below. This is the primary way we measure our progress and your answers directly feed into our priorities for next quarter. Thanks!
Complete the survey to be entered for a chance to win a Blockstack hoodie!