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25.03.2021
An Update on STX Mining Rewards
Xan Ditkoff
Founder of Daemon Technologies
The Stacks blockchain recently passed 10,000 bitcoin blocks, and over 8,400 Stacks blocks, ending the early Stacks mining bonus period. Daemon wanted to provide some comments and resources related to Stacks mining and the finish of the early bonus period.

The Stacks blockchain follows the bitcoin blockchain 1-1, but Stacks blocks can lag behind BTC blocks for a number of reasons: e.g. flash blocks occur or if no miner wins sortition in a block, and there would be no corresponding Stacks block. The first burnchain block for Stacks 2.0 was BTC block 666051, the initial mining bonus window was 10,000 BTC blocks, and accordingly the bonus ended at BTC block 676051.

The Stacks blockchain has always been on track to provide the following reward schedule, also moving in tandem with the Bitcoin blockchain and halvings. See the following excerpt from the Stacks docs:

Miners receive coinbase rewards for blocks they mine. The reward amounts are:
  • 1000 STX per block are released in the first 4 years of mining
  • 500 STX per block are released during the following 4 years
  • 250 STX per block are released during the following 4 years
  • 125 STX per block are released from then on indefinitely.

The Stacks "early mining bonus" was introduced to provide incentive to early STX miners who were taking on the most risk in the earliest days of mining by allocating their resources to the Stacks network. The limited mining bonus that gave early miners 1466 additional STX/block in the early weeks of the system, bringing their mining rewards to 2466 Stacks per block won. Stacks coinbase rewards are now 1000 STX per block. See the post where the early mining bonus was introduced here.

We have yet to see the impacts of the shift to the normal Stacks mining schedule, but wanted to share a couple things we might expect from the Daemon side:
  • Reduction in miner rewards — Stacking APY might decrease.
  • Potential reduction in sell pressure from Miners as well — in some ways STX are becoming more scarce with the decrease of coinbase rewards.
  • Lowering the barrier to mining — in some instances, mining may become more competitive and sustainable for smaller players who might look to allocate in the range of $25-30k to mine and see a profit vs. the ranges we saw with the early mining bonus closer to $50k

We're looking forward to helping the Stacks miner ecosystem continue to thrive from the developer tools and apps perspective, and welcome feedback from others as well.

More information on early mining observations can be found in the following two posts:

Xan is the Founder and CEO of Daemon Technologies. He first joined Blockstack PBC as one of the first 10 team members in 2017. Xan tweets at @Xanditkoff
Xan Ditkoff
Founder, Daemon Technologies