This Week in sBTC

Week of December 22, 2023


This past week has been one of the most fun in recent memory. Bitcoin builders are fully in control as we head into 2024. There’s been a lot happening in the Stacks ecosystem, so let’s dive in.

🤯 STX20 Protocol: Innovating Inscriptions on Stacks

What is it?: The STX20 protocol is a community-led initiative to create digital artifacts on Stacks. Inspired by BRC20s, the protocol works by embedding information in the memo field of a Stacks transaction. The protocol is fair mint, meaning anyone is able to deploy new inscriptions. The first official token launched was STXS, which minted out its 21M supply limit in just under a couple hours.

Why it matters: STX20s are driving meaningful new activity on the Stacks network. What started as a group chat with a few degens, resulted in 120,000+ transactions with average daily transactions up over 700% month over month. Despite some minor congestion around the launch, the Stacks network handled the increased traffic with ease, thanks to the work of Stacks core engineers to optimize the mempool.

How builders responded:

Concluding thoughts: Degens are going to degen

STX20 tokens are objectively hilarious — not only for the memes, but because Stacks already has a fungible token standard called SIP10. While some may dismiss this on the surface, it simply shows that degens are going to degen. I certainly won’t be fading this new protocol. And in case you were wondering, yes, STX20s will trade against sBTC in the future.

💸 StackingDAO launches on Mainnet

Congratulations to the StackingDAO team on their mainnet launch.

StackingDAO is a new liquid stacking protocol on Stacks. It combines the benefits of earning native BTC rewards with the flexibility to deploy STX in DeFi and Web3 protocols.

The work to bring this functionality to the Stacks ecosystem started in May 2023 with a Stacks critical bounty. The initial goal was to “provide a streamlined stacking process for users and offer rewards for securing the network while maintaining liquidity.”

This is a big achievement for the ecosystem:

  • It unlocks $500M of STX capital which can be used in DeFi and other use cases.

  • Stacks holders can continue to earn yield, without waiting two weeks to unlock their STX (the duration of a Proof-of-Transfer cycle).

  • After the Nakamoto upgrade, Stacking providers will be required to run a Signer node in order to receive protocol rewards. This means that StackingDAO could become a preferred solution given the easy user experience.

Liquid Staking is now a $20bn+ industry with clear demand in other ecosystems. Importantly, if StackingDAO is successful, they could become one of the larger signers for sBTC, contributing to the decentralization of the protocol. I’m thrilled that this capability is live on Stacks and look forward to the ecosystem extending support for stSTX.

🌐 Tim Draper is “pretty excited” about Stacks.

In case you missed it, legendary investor Tim Draper is “pretty excited” about Stacks. He compared Stacks and applications built on Bitcoin to what Microsoft enabled during the internet boom. Welcome to the community, Tim.

🌍 Around the Ecosystem:

"sBTC represents a fundamental piece of infrastructure for developing scalable, native DeFi on Bitcoin. sBTC is vital to Velar's roadmap, particularly for Velar V2 Artha, where sBTC acts as collateral. This enables a historic first: using Bitcoin holdings as collateral for leveraged trading of tokens on native Bitcoin DeFi."

Mithil Thakore — CEO, Velar

Finally, this will be the last issue of 2023. I am looking forward to Season 2 of Bitcoin Writes starting in January. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and look forward to building on all of this momentum in 2024.