Working Group Session - 03/30/20

Table of Contents

  • Video Recording
  • Intro
  • Sprint-style Agenda
  • Shared Observations
  • The Pre-Hackathon
  • Action Items
  • Presentation from Hank
    • Key Points
    • Questions & Answers
    • Resources & Links

Video Recording

Business Model Lab 2020/03/30


During the Business Lab Meeting on 2020/03/30 we discussed adopting a sprint-style agenda as well as a new structure for meetings moving forward, we saw a demo from Hank regarding early testing of smart contracts, and we discussed the idea and implementation of a mini-tutorial-hackathon leading up to the Clarity hackathon.

Sprint-style Agenda

@jrmith asked a good question last week about the different working groups, their purpose, and a way to measure the results from each.

To embrace this idea, we are going to open every meeting with a question designed to be answered like a quick stand-up, including either a success story or a major blocker the team should be aware of.

Are we making money on Blockstack yet?

As the meetings continue we can measure ourselves by this metric, hear stories about what is working so far, and identify any difficulties along the way as a group.

There was nothing shared today but we look forward to leaving space for this agenda item as well as encouraging more open discussion around what is working and what is not.

Shared Observations

Last Thursday we had an Evangelist community meeting in which I summed up the past meetings of the Business Models group, and there were a few observations from that meeting I’d like to share.

  • thank you everyone who participated in the survey and RICE scoring
  • everyone is looking to implement action items, we have a list now
  • everyone is looking for educational materials
  • one way to proceed is making sure we have the tools we need for smart contracts
  • we wanted to share current status from PBC, and where we might be able to go from here

The Pre-Hackathon

After seeing the results of the survey, RICE scoring, and reviewing our list of ideas, we would like to propose the idea of a mini-tutorial-creation-hackathon focused on Clarity and smart contracts leading up to the Clarity Hackathon on 2020/04/21. The goal would be to develop and expand educational materials around the subject.

Action Items

Presentation from @Hank

Hank provided a demonstration of the “kitchen sink app” used internally for testing by PBC, as well as walked us through creating and executing a smart contract on the local testnet. The big takeway - it is possible to test, verify, and prepare for testnet launch TODAY.

Key Points

Below are a few key points from the presentation:

  • the kitchen sink app is designed around more than smart contracts, including auth and storage
  • the status contract card uses a smart contract to save a string into the contract state
  • the status of any contract can be fetched for any given address
  • the code uses a built-in Clarity function map-set with a key for the author
  • the UI is still a WIP and designed for developers this time and outputs raw JSON
  • the testnet will display contract source code when tx is processed in the mempool
  • the PBC team is working on a RPC API served by the node
  • the PBC team is working on the ability to broadcast transactions instead of having to copy/paste and convert to hex
  • not ready for production, but ready for testing and development
  • blockstack-cli can be used to check syntax for Clarity
  • clarity-js-sdk package best place for writing tests
  • while app chains will unlock future functionality, plenty to get started with today using smart contracts

If you are interested in smart contract development or if you are experiencing blockers, please reach out to the PBC team in Discord. There was also discussion of creating a dedicated channel in Discord for devlopers and clarity smart contracts.

Questions & Answers

After the presentation, Hank stayed on to answer some questions from the group and I did my best to note them below.


  • Q: Is the basic setup working, can we execute and interact with a web app?
  • A: Yes, not ready for deployment or involving other users, but apps can be tested now and prepared for the public testnet launch. The actual stacks blockchain that handles clarity and state updates is very much ready and should be pretty stable.


  • Q: What are the first steps to take toward a verifiable reputation registry, or a certificate authority?
  • A: A great question that highlights an important problem. Look into other reputation-related academic literature, including papers on reputation systems, how to structure data, and how you can use that data to construct a reputation for an individual or a connection. Find something interesting and turn it into an on-chain component. Is it possible? 100%. There are good examples from other blockchain communities around trying this out.


  • Q: Is it possible to simulate STX transfers?
  • A: There are a few ways, when running the testnet locally you can have the genesis block giv ethe address unlimited STX (i.e. “10M STX”) and use that account to send to other people. There is not an auth UI for sending STX at this time like there is for contract call, but it is being worked on. Those type of transactions can be achieved with blockstack-cli and if anyone is interested, please let the PBC team know so they can tailor documentation and fixes to help.


  • Q: In terms of building a basic smart contract, what is the effort required? Could someone start on and see progress with this week?
  • A: The contract shared in the example is very simple, took about an hour to write including getting up to speed with Clarity’s syntax.

Resources & Links

Action Items

Working Group Action Items (repeated from middle of post for those quick scrollers :wink:)

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