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User Activity on the Blockstack Network

On Wed Jan 29th, Blockstack PBC announced that we successfully met Milestone 2 for initial network growth. There have been some questions regarding username registrations vs. active users. In this post I will shed more light on the initial network growth and measurement limitations on the network.

Per our announcement, Blockstack PBC has on-boarded over 1 million registered usernames through a mix of collaborations, partnerships, marketing efforts, app growth driven by independent developers, and more. That being said, registered usernames are not the same as daily active users, nor have they ever been presented as such. Back in 2017, when we were setting up the legal definition of users in the self-imposed milestone, we precisely defined a user as a registered username on the blockchain (not active user). The milestone was intended to introduce people to the Blockstack network. We’ve achieved this goal through various channels. Blockstack PBC is not claiming to have a million active users on the Blockstack network.

The privacy focus of our network makes it nearly impossible to measure active users, so by design, there is no way to collect activity data. Given our focus on privacy, most network apps do not include trackers. If an app includes an analytics tracker, Blockstack PBC has no access to that data. The open nature of our network means anyone can register a username. Given these conditions, we designed to measure initial user contact with Blockstack, not recurring use.

In the absence of recurring activity data, username registration serves as a proxy for broader network growth. Username registrations are also very broad and include new STX owners, traffic from various apps, partnerships, and marketing experiments. We acknowledge that we’ve encountered bad actors. We’ve had to fight spam, and we’re proud of the measures we’ve taken, including IP rate limits for our registrar, social verifications, and phone verifications. We restricted phone verifications from Twilio to trusted jurisdictions and carriers, and used KYC processes like the one requires for their “Gold-level status”. Spam attacks are technically complex to handle for walled-garden networks like Facebook and Twitter; these challenges are significantly harder to solve for open networks like Blockstack.

In conclusion, we don’t claim to have a million active users, nor do we deny the existence of spam registrations on the network. Milestone 2 had a narrowly defined legal definition tailored to the Blockstack network’s specification, and we successfully met that requirement. We’re proud to have introduced a broader audience to privacy apps, to Stacks cryptocurrency, and to a user-owned internet. But a Milestone, even one as significant as this one, is not the end of a journey. Much work remains to be done: The Blockstack ecosystem needs to increase recurring use of apps, grow users, and fight the spam attacks that any successful network must face.

We look forward to what the successful completion of this initial phase will enable Blockstack to do. Stacks 2.0 launch will mark a new chapter for Blockstack. We’re just getting started!


Important disclaimer

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has qualified the offering statement that we have filed with the SEC under Regulation A for our offering of certain of our Stacks Tokens. 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.

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 Clarity smart contracting language, and potential mining operations. 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.

Muneeb Ali

Muneeb Ali

Dr. Muneeb Ali is the founder of Stacks, a decentralized network that brings apps and smart contracts to Bitcoin. He serves as the CEO of Hiro PBC, a Public Benefit Corp that builds developer tools for the Stacks blockchain. He has raised $75 million USD in funding from investors like Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator, Lux Capital, Winklevoss Capital, and others. Hiro (formerly Blockstack PBC) was featured in the CNBC's list of 100 promising startups to watch. Muneeb received his Ph.D. and Masters in Computer Science from Princeton University. His Ph.D. thesis was nominated for the ACM SIGCOMM dissertation award by Princeton University. Muneeb gives guest lectures on cloud computing at Princeton and his research publications have over 1,300 citations. He is one of the main characters in George Gilder's book Life After Google and was a technical advisor to the HBO show Silicon Valley.