Q4 2023 Highlights
Here are the major updates we shipped in the final quarter of 2023:
- Contributed to Neon testnet launch: We supported the public blockchain working groups on shipping 2 controlled testnets for the Neon milestone. This is a major step towards the Nakamoto Release, a hard fork of the Stacks blockchain coming in April 2024. We also made all of Hiro products Neon-ready, so developers can use our tools to interact with these controlled testnet environments.
- Added new functionalities in the Hiro Platform: We brought devnet to the cloud, unlocking rapid iteration through an immediate feedback loop in devnet’s local environment. We launched SSH support, enabling you to use your local editor with the Hiro Platform as well as use Git to collaborate with your team. You can also now import smart contracts from the Stacks Explorer directly to the platform. Alongside these features, we also released a number of performance and stability improvements.
- Battle tested the Stacks API: We’ve invested a lot of resources into making sure our API is performance and scalable, and in Q4, we saw that work pay off: the Stacks Blockchain API handled 1.1B requests in Q4 (!), a 110% increase from Q3. We also reduced block ingestion time by 50-75% for the Stacks API, another big performance improvement.
- Released the API toolkit: We launched an open source API toolkit to streamline API development and improve code quality with convenient and reusable modules.
- Gave the Stacks Explorer a makeover: We revamped the Explorer in Q4 and released major UI improvements to tighten colors, spaces and typography. Under the hood, we also upgraded to Next.js 14, and in that process removed 10K lines of code and improved performance.
- Shipped Jubilee support in the Ordinals API: We added support for the Ordinals Jubilee and contributed to work on ALEX’s BRC-20 “indexer of indexers”. In Q4, we handled 172M requests to the Ordinals API. To handle that scale, we made a 20x speed improvement to block processing and improved the accuracy of tracking ordinals transfers.
- Supported Pyth on Stacks: In Q4, Pyth price feeds became fully supported on Stacks, bringing reliable, accurate data from over 400 chains to Stacks.
- Launched Hiro Hacks: We successfully launched Hiro Hacks in December, a series of coding challenges to push our developer community and encourage them to get creative, and we gave out 12M sats in prizes.
Q1 Focus Areas
We are hoping to kick off 2024 with a bang. Here’s a few of our priorities:
- Readying for the Nakamoto release: The hard fork of the Stacks blockchain is coming in April 2024, bringing faster blocks, Bitcoin finality, and paving the way for sBTC (which will follow in a second fork a few months after Nakamoto). In the next few months, there’s a lot of work to be done in preparation for Nakamoto. Namely, we will support work on a release codenamed Argon that includes block proposal, block validation, and PoX-4 Clarity features, work that will later culminate in the launch of public testnet scheduled for the beginning of March.
- Hiro product readiness: In addition to contributing to Nakamoto's Argon release milestone, we are also tracking and prepping to support the Argon release for all of Hiro's products, including Clarinet, the Stacks Blockchain API, the Ordinals API, the Stacks Explorer, Stacks.js, and the Hiro Platform.
- Tightening the dev experience on the Hiro Platform: We plan to ship a number of improvements to the Hiro Platform in Q1, including workstreams like revised onboarding to reduce user friction, adding immersive learning paths to teach devs, and adding an API portal so devs can generate and self-manage their API keys from the Hiro Platform.
Get in Touch
On top of the priorities mentioned above, we will continue to support all of our products and the needs of the developers in the Stacks community. If you have any questions or feedback for us, please reach out to us on the HIRO DEVELOPER TOOLS channels on Discord.