Stacks Wallet Update: BTC Stacking Rewards and Minimum Thresholds

Published January 26, 2021

Stacks 2.0 is humming along and we’re excited for the first Stacking cycle with bitcoin rewards to be kicked off later this week. As of Tues Jan 26th there are over 14M STX locked in the consensus protocol. We appreciate all the feedback and enthusiasm we’ve received from the community thus far as we continue to make improvements in Stacking access and tools.


As a new part of a novel consensus mechanism, there are some complexities to Stacking. It’s a dynamic system with a lot of inputs, so we wanted to highlight some information for those of you participating in early Stacking via the Stacks wallet.


Minimum thresholds for stacking:

As of right now, we anticipate less than 25% of liquid STX supply will be participating in native Stacking for the first cycle. This means the minimum amount to participate in Stacking rewards via the Stacks wallet is 70k STX.


Note: this is different from the 50k STX number that was reflected in the Stacks wallet and API earlier.


The wallet and docs have been relying on information from a specific API endpoint that has been sharing information on the amount of stacks required to be locked by the stacking protocol, but not the minimum amount to obtain a stacking rewards slot. This was a bug in API that has been fixed.


In practice, this means folks that may have locked what was reflected in the Stacks wallet as the minimum threshold of ~50k STX will not be eligible for stacking rewards until they have added the difference to lock 70k STX. (The 70k minimum might increase if participation levels increase to a high enough number, but it will not decrease.) The wallet and API have been updated to reflect the latest info.


Users can’t re-stack from the same STX address but can either add more STX via a separate address, or wait until locking periods are over and re-stack. See details to add STX to a Stacking address here.


If you’re a Stacks wallet user that has locked less than 70k STX, please reach out via wallet@hiro.so.


Given the changing and dynamic nature for Stacking we strongly encourage users to stack for less cycles, like 2-3, than the maximum of 12 so that they can better adjust to dynamic participation based minimums.


Stacking cycles and participation:

A single unique Stacks address can submit a single transaction to participate in Stacking for 12 continuous cycles (roughly 6 months). After this transaction expires, the Stacks address would be able to issue another transaction to participate in Stacking again. There are some plans in the community to propose improvements to Stacking and it’s possible that there might be upgrades to how Stacking works. One detail to note is that in the current implementation users cannot re-stack immediately in the subsequent cycle. For example, if you were stacking for 2 cycles and wanted to stack again for 2 cycles, you will miss one cycle in the middle in which your STX will first unlock and then you will send a new Stacking transaction.


Rewards cycles and prepare phases overlap, so if a user was to participate in 12 cycles of stacking, they would not be able to participate in a 13th stacking cycle from the same address, however they could easily re-enroll in Stacking for the following 14th cycle.


Timeline:

In order to be eligible for the first cycle of BTC rewards, you’ll need to ensure you have reached Stacking thresholds before the “prepare” phase of Stacking cycle two, which will happen at Bitcoin block 668050 anticipated roughly sometime Wednesday Jan 27th evening or early morning Thursday Jan 28th morning.  


It’s still early days for Stacks 2.0 and the Proof-of-Transfer consensus mechanism; we can’t wait to see Stacking rewards come to life. We’ve yet to see what plays out given various network participants, but we’ve seen roughly 23.4 BTC sent to the network to mine STX over these first couple of weeks. There’s a possibility early BTC rewards could be earned at an annualized rate of 15% or more for early stackers, but again this depends on a number of factors. We encourage everyone to see the Stacking rewards model for more info. Happy Stacking!