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Stacks Blockchain

Reference implementation of the Stacks blockchain in Rust.

Stacks is a layer-2 blockchain that uses Bitcoin as a base layer for security and enables decentralized apps and predictable smart contracts using the Clarity language. Stacks implements Proof of Transfer (PoX) mining that anchors to Bitcoin security. Leader election happens at the Bitcoin blockchain and Stacks (STX) miners write new blocks on the separate Stacks blockchain. With PoX there is no need to modify Bitcoin to enable smart contracts and decentralized apps.

License: GPL v3 Release Build Status Discord Chat


1. Download and install Rust

For building on Windows, follow the rustup installer instructions at

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | sh
source $HOME/.cargo/env
rustup component add rustfmt
  • When building the master branch, ensure you are using the latest stable release:
rustup update

2. Clone the source repository:

git clone --depth=1
cd stacks-core

3. Build the project

# Fully optimized release build
cargo build --release
# Faster but less optimized build. Necessary if < 16 GB RAM
cargo build --profile release-lite

Note on building: you may set RUSTFLAGS to build binaries for your native cpu:


or uncomment these lines in ./cargo/config:

# [build]
# rustflags = ["-Ctarget-cpu=native"]


Run the tests:

cargo test testnet  -- --test-threads=1

Run all unit tests in parallel using nextest:

Warning, this typically takes a few minutes

cargo nextest run

Run the testnet

You can observe the state machine in action locally by running:

cd testnet/stacks-node
cargo run --bin stacks-node -- start --config ./conf/testnet-follower-conf.toml

On Windows, many tests will fail if the line endings aren't LF. Please ensure that you are have git's core.autocrlf set to input when you clone the repository to avoid any potential issues. This is due to the Clarity language currently being sensitive to line endings.

Additional testnet documentation is available here and here

Release Process

The release process for the stacks blockchain is defined here

Further Reading

You can learn more by visiting the Stacks Website and checking out the documentation:

You can also read the technical papers:

Copyright and License

The code and documentation copyright are attributed to

This code is released under the GPL v3 license, and the docs are released under the Creative Commons license.