IN NEED OF FEEDBACK: Stacks Primer

Hi all, some of us are working on copy to help explain the user owned internet and Stacking to the average person. I know this is something that the community has often requested in the past so we could really use your feedback/contributions to get this draft to the final stage!

Full copy has been pasted below and is also linked here.


So Stacks enables a user owned internet…what exactly does that mean?

In short, it means that users can get compensated for the value they create.

To fully understand the impact of this, let’s take a look at the model of the current web:

On the current web, users create value for apps in various ways:

  • They create and share original content that attracts more users and engagement (think what Twitter would be like without tweets)
  • Refer new users, click ads, and view sponsored content (think what Facebook would be like without friends)
  • Volunteer valuable data that apps sell to advertising companies (this is how Google makes its money off your search terms)

But users are hardly compensated for the value that they create. Sure, certain influencers, like those on YouTube or Instagram can monetize their content, but whether these users are “influential” enough is decided by the apps and advertising companies—not by the users themselves.

For example, YouTube insists that you need at least 1,000 subscribers before you can start monetizing your account through their ads program. This implies that your account does not generate enough value until you reach that 1,000 subscriber mark.

But this is not true. You create value as soon as you start using their platform. Your views let YouTube know which videos are popular, and therefore, which videos can make money. And your uploads supply YouTube with the content needed to draw in more users, resulting in even more views, more opportunities to monetize, and so on and so forth.

Basically, YouTube could not profit or even exist without its users, so why aren’t users compensated for the work that they do?

On the user owned internet, this model is completely flipped. Users make apps and platforms and the network itself possible, so users are compensated by default.

Take the Stacking mechanism, for example, which rewards users in Bitcoin just for holding Stacks (STX) tokens. Holding STX may seem like a simple task, but in reality, it is immensely helpful to the Stacks network.

When users participate in Stacking, they temporarily lock some amount of their STX tokens, which helps the Stacks network reach consensus, stay secure, and process transactions. In return for supporting the Stacks network, Stackers earn Bitcoin rewards.

Stacking, which is part of the Proof of Transfer (PoX) consensus mechanism, can be extended to web apps as well. To illustrate this possibility, let’s imagine a streaming platform on Stacks called ‘StacksTube’.

StacksTube is built on the Stacks blockchain, so it is anchored to Stacks, but it also has its own token called “Tube Coin” or TBC. StacksTube users can provide direct financial support to the app by buying TBC, or send a strong message of support by Stacking TBC. Stacking TBC would be like saying:

“I am willing to buy AND hold TBC for the long term because I believe that StacksTube will become more valuable over time.”

In other words, Stacking TBC creates value for StacksTube by strengthening, signal boosting, and driving new users to the app. In return for this valuable work, Stackers are rewarded in the more established base currency of STX (which they are free to liquidate or even further Stack for BTC rewards).

If, one day, users no longer want to support StacksTube, they can simply unlock and sell their TBC and move on to the next app. Unlike apps on the current web, which can hold onto your data and even your funds for any number of reasons, apps on the user owned internet have no control over your assets unless you say so.

This model, which is driven by users and user ownership, forces apps to do a couple of things:

  1. Provide the best experience possible in order to retain users
  2. Recognize and compensate users for the value that they create

So what does this tell us? It tells us that users are intrinsically valuable. On the user owned internet, their value can and should be translated into personal wealth.

3 Likes

Really good point!

Well done. Very clear.

1 Like

Love this & scared to suggest changes to much when considering the audience it is intended for :slight_smile: Briefly thought about including data security along with wealth but the needed context may take away from concise description of Stacking. Think this great as is for most folks. Ty all involved for thinking it out carefully.

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I really love the first half of this. It inspires users by articulating what many already feel: our value is being extracted by these companies. I do, however, think the second half moves too quickly into stacking.

From my experience, the average person has heard of bitcoin as this crazy way to make (or lose) money. Few have heard of Ethereum or web 3.0. Fewer still would understand what a “token” is. Especially seeing how this is a primer, a really solid explanation of what a token is would be necessary for a new user, definitely before jumping into stacking.

I also think that stacking would not usually be the first mechanism where a user would add value to a system. A user would likely be rewarded with a token first by making a contribution to an app in the form of a comment, reaction, share, content-creation, etc. before making a contribution by stacking that token. Since the previous section explains how intrinsic user-value-adds aren’t credited in current apps, we should in this section explain that with stacks, user-value-add is reflected in a token.

Then, once the user is comfortable with the idea of a token and how it represents added value, we can explain how stacking makes the whole system stronger and shows support for an app.

@jrmith

What I would like to see in this piece is the benefits that a user-owned internet has over transparency and honesty of the current (Web 2.0) user experience. By decoupling the user identity from the app/service a lot of issues currently existing on market places, social networks etc can be mitigated because user-owned identities can be enriched and valued by adding things like attestations and zero knowledge proofs. This can make it much easier for users on the web to choose to communicate/do business with users that have a high level of trust.

The blockstack browser at the time supported multiple identities and it was possible to increase the level of trust by using third-party platforms. I think these are key benefits for Web 3.0 and i hope to see them materialize one day.

It is most definitely worth pointing out that ones apps, platforms, posts and messages can’t be de-platformed or suppressed. Also, if one is not happy with what they may have posted, it is possible to “erase” it by withdrawing the right of others to see/access it.