Stacks, formerly Blockstack – an open-source network for building decentralized applications – has an ambitious vision to bring smart contracts and decentralized funding to the Bitcoin Network (BTC).
On Thursday, the developer community celebrated the launch of Stacks 2.0, a bridging toolkit that allows developers to build on Bitcoin.
Stacks 2.0 is described as a layer one blockchain with a native bridge to Bitcoin. The toolkit is based on the Clarity smart contract language, a common open-source protocol supported by Blockstack and Algorand.
From an industry perspective, the launch of Stacks 2.0 is important for several reasons. On the one hand, it extends Bitcoin’s scripting language, allowing developers to create smart contracts and other innovative tools in addition to blockchain. By bringing more use cases to Bitcoin, Stacks 2.0 could potentially dilute the value proposition of competing chains. This could secure Bitcoin’s already dominant position as the world’s largest blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Muneeb Ali, co-founder of Stacks and CEO of Hiro PBC, told TBEN that optimizing the Bitcoin network does not necessarily mean the end of other smart contract platforms, but rather “provides more options.”
“Like anything, different tools for different purposes,” he said. “Those with certain goals will likely choose Bitcoin, those with different goals or who operate in a different way or in a different environment may choose others.”
Blockstack told TBEN it was celebrating the launch with a one-day virtual event featured by several industry partners including Foundry, OKCoin, Staked, Blockchain.com, Blockfolio, Floating Point Group and Blockdaemon.
“The launch of Stacks 2.0 marks a future that many didn’t think was possible, a future where people can build on Bitcoin and bring their innovative ideas to the Bitcoin network, unlocking its full potential.”
The unveiling of Stacks 2.0 follows many months of testing and auditing focused on Proof of Forwarding, or PoX, the protocol’s new consensus mechanism. As a new mining system, PoX uses proof of work consensus to create new blockchains rooted in Bitcoin’s security.
Ali said that PoX “has the potential to enable an economy around Bitcoin and in fact secure the future of the internet on the Bitcoin blockchain.”
Stacks 2.0 attempts to close the loop on Bitcoin. As a flagship cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has secured a market cap of $ 700 billion based almost entirely on its store of value characteristics. Along the way, countless projects have been launched to fill the perceived void left by Bitcoin – namely, smart contracts, DApps, and most recently DeFi.
Blockstack believes its innovation can help activate the hundreds of billions locked in Bitcoin passive capital:
“In the future, this massive amount of cash can be used to build native Bitcoin DeFi applications rooted in Bitcoin’s security and in a language (Clarity) designed to be predictable and secure, two advantages over current DeFi tools. “
Ali explained that most of the capital on the Bitcoin network is “just sitting in wallets or in a cold room.” On networks like Ethereum, capital is used, especially in DeFi. He added:
“We believe the tools available in Stacks 2.0 will give developers the ability to create more things that people can use with the capital they have stored on BTC and don’t want to move it around to do so.”
Although Bitcoin has crafted a strong narrative as digital gold, the Stacks 2.0 vision attempts to bring more utility to the original cryptocurrency, which could expand its use case beyond a simple store of value.
“I think it can improve the Bitcoin narrative,” Ali said. In addition to making Bitcoin more valuable, Stacks 2.0 helps Bitcoin to “go beyond just being seen as digital gold or a reserve currency and rather as something that can be the basis of a better Internet”.