The Stacks Ecosystem: The Future of the User-Owned Internet

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Avatar for MarKlar
3 years ago

My intention with this piece is simple: To convince you of the possibilities of the future and explain how you could easily be a part of that.


It won’t be technical because I’m not a tech person. It won’t be a sales pitch because I’ve nothing to sell. Most importantly, it won’t be long because the internet has destroyed your attention span.


By now I’m sure you’ve at least heard of bitcoin and the cryptocurrency revolution gradually taking hold all over the world. If you haven’t, I’d advise you start learning now. This piece is not here to educate about Bitcoin- that has been done many times over by far more capable people than me. Perhaps like me you’ve bemoaned your inability to have had the foresight to invest in bitcoin in its infancy or even just a year or two ago. The good news is the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is still very much in its infancy. There are and will be many more opportunities in this space.


Arguably the most vital opportunity before us right now is to reclaim the internet. The majority of us are serfs on the internet plantation. Power is still very much centralised and concentrated in the hands of an elite. Perhaps some new players have entered the game but the rules have largely stayed the same. Centralisation stifles innovation and development. Companies and websites once seen as subversive or innovative now own your data and use it to manipulate you in a way that pre-internet media outlets could only dream of. The algorithm decides what you see and hear. The likes of Youtube, Facebook and Twitter have become the arbiters of truth. One side believes communists are knocking on the door. The other side believes its Nazis. The likely truth is it’s just your neighbour, you have more in common than you realise and you’re being manipulated for profit. It’s time to reclaim our data, our privacy and indeed our reality. To innovate again and develop the internet in a way that creates the maximum amount of opportunity and wealth for society as a whole.


One such opportunity to build a truly user owned internet has been developed by Blockstack and The Stacks Ecosystem and the innovative Stacks Token (STX) which introduces the concepts of Proof of Transfer (PoX) and ‘Stacking’.


Many use the analogy of ‘digital gold’ to explain bitcoin. If bitcoin is digital gold, The Stacks Ecosystem has the potential to unlock the economy created by harnessing the power of that scarce commodity. I promised not to get technical and I won’t. But just know that mining bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) requires Proof of Work (PoW) which takes an immense amount of energy and computing power and is reserved for developers and programmers who are highly technical. Through the concepts of ‘Proof of Transfer’ (PoX) and ‘Stacking’, Blockstack intends to harness the energy and power of the already established Bitcoin blockchain. While the Bitcoin chain is effective, it is limited in scope. The Stacks chain intends to harness the powe rof the Bitcoin network in order to open up the possibilities of a user owned internet.


PoX essentially opens the door for anyone to become a miner of the Stacks Token (STX). No special hardware or computing power is necessary. All you need is some bitcoin (BTC). By forwarding BTC to the STX network you become eligible to mine STX token. These tokens have real value and utility on a user owned internet and those who mine them should eventually reap the rewards of this. Conversely, there is ‘Stacking’. Stacking is where holders of the STX token commit to lock up their STX tokens for a certain period for which they receive BTC in return (this is the bitcoin committed by people mining STX). Through the combined mechanism of PoX and Stacking, developers will be able to innovate on the Bitcoin Blockchain and unlock the true potential of a user-owned internet. Once this potential is unlocked I believe we are going to see a change as dramatic as the initial adoption of the internet was in the late 90s/early 2000s.


At the time of writing, The Stacks Ecosystem is in the late development stage. I found some aspects slightly technical for me right now but I was able to receive some STX testnet tokens and transfer them to another address. Soon you will be able to mine or stack STX Tokens with an interface as easy as any app or website that you are already used to. If you’re someone who regrets not getting into bitcoin in its infancy, why not try this in its infancy? Go to the Stacks homepage (blockstack.org), join the Discord community, follow the developers on Twitter. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. If it is, come next year it will be taking off and you can be one of those first passengers on board. Do your own due diligence and research and decide what works for you.


Like I said before, I’m not here to sell you anything. I’m not here to convince you either. Anyone in the crypto space will probably tell you the same thing: no one can show you, you need to learn yourself. Everyone’s journey is different, everyone learns at a different pace and everyone gets something different out of it.


But just think. Wouldn’t it be nice one day when the user-owned internet is fully realised and you’re able to say “I was there when it started.”

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Avatar for MarKlar
3 years ago

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