JANUARY 13, 2021
Stacks Plus Skynet:
Collaborating To Give Developers New Storage Options
by Mitchell Cuevas on January 13, 2020
The Skynet and Stacks community are no strangers, with developers from both communities often mingling and combining different aspects of each protocol in their projects. Notably, the winner of a recent hackathon hosted by Skynet was a project that combined Skynet and Stacks technology. Now, Hiro PBC and Skynet Labs are teaming up to support more bridges between the Stacks and Skynet protocols in an effort to give developers new options as they build decentralized apps and work with smart contracts.

Skip to the bounty
Hiro and Skynet are starting the collaboration by sponsoring a bounty for the best tutorial educating developers on how to use Skynet to create pointers in Clarity smart contracts to data that is too large to store on-chain. Powered by the Sia blockchain, Skynet provides provides a compelling solution for developers who need to store, or allow their users to store data in a decentralized manner without sacrificing performance or reliability.

Developers from the Stacks community that have long rallied under the notion of 'Can't Be Evil', will recognize similar elements in Skynet's storage tools. Billed as the "storage foundation for a decentralized internet", Skynet and the underlying Sia blockchain, offer features like:

  • Accessible Data: Retrieve data from anywhere and across applications.
  • Decentralization: A robust network of decentralized portals and hosts ensures persistent access to Skynet.
  • Affordable Performance: Storage on Skynet costs 10x less than centralized providers and bandwidth costs are 100x lower – without sacrificing performance or reliability.
  • Programmability: Skynet includes SDKs for popular programming languages and APIs that integrate seamlessly with existing apps.

With Gaia being a great option for users to store their own encrypted data and being somewhat optimized for that private use-case, Skynet fits nicely alongside it to give developers a strong option for globally accessible data storage. When it comes to social apps or those that require reliable and fast public access to data between many users, this connection will be extremely valuable.

Both teams and communities share an uncommon commitment to decentralization and to Bitcoin. In one of the first posts ever from Sia and Skynet Founder and CEO, David Vorick said the following:
Sia (and Skynet's) core goal is to bring [the same level of decentralization as Bitcoin] to data storage. We want anyone to be able to store their data such that the uploader fully and exclusively has control over the data."
David Vorick, Founder and CEO at Skynet
David added in his Skynet blog post that "Remaining true to decentralization means anyone should be able to access Skynet even when others wish to interrupt that access. Skynet transforms the web from a fragmented series of corporate owned pools of data to a unified archive of human knowledge and interaction"

With Clarity going live on Stacks 2.0 tomorrow, the possibility really opens up for developers to build applications and services that can benefit from the best possible security, unique incentive structures, and direct access to the state of Bitcoin. Combined with the globally accessible, decentralized storage that Skynet offers, the possibilities are almost limitless. Future bounties may focus on deeper integrations between the networks, storage drivers, developer tooling, and possible features for dapp users.

Going forward, both teams are open to ideas and contributions that bring the two projects closer together and give developers, and ultimately users, more choice on the user-owned internet.
Developer Bounty
Bounty runs from Jan 13th to Feb 10th

Prize: Best tutorial wins $2000 in cash. All eligible tutorials will receive a participation prize of $200 in cash.

We're looking for you to produce a comprehensive tutorial that builds a simple web application with @stacks/connect to integrate Skynet and a Clarity smart contract. This basic tutorial is likely to include a guide for building an app that can:

The type of application you build is up to you—for example, a simple social media feed of text posts and/or images that leverages both Skynet and Clarity. The goal of the tutorial should be to educate developers on the technology - not to build a production-ready web application.

In the future, there may also be bounties for drivers and other tooling that will make it easy for Stacks developers to offer Skynet as a seamless storage option in Stacks apps.

→ Submit
Mitchell Cuevas
Head of Growth, Hiro PBC
Mitchell is Blockstack PBC's Head of Growth. He previously led Marketing at UP Global (Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, Startup Week) before joining the Product team at Techstars.