Incentives to run a Blockstack node


Hi, having skimmed through the paper outlining switch from Namecoin, etc, I’ve a few questions for those who know. What is the incentive to run a node on a virtual chain? I’m assuming Apps can’t talk to each other trustlessly as they are own their own virtual chain?


@murraci there’s a spelling error in your title. just a friendly fyi. :slight_smile:


Fixed :slight_smile:

I have to post 20 characters so…


It depends on what you mean here. Do you mean Blockstack apps? Or apps (more like protocols) developed using the “virtual chain” concept?

If the latter, then it depends on whether the protocols are designed to “talk” to each other.

If the former, then you might be misunderstanding how Blockstack works. Every Blockstack app is built to rely on the Blockstack virtual chain to link names registered on the blockchain with information in the name’s zone file. These apps can “talk” to each other “trustlessly” if a) they are designed to talk to each other, and b) if they are designed to rely on the user’s own trusted Blockstack node exclusively. If any third-party node is relied on, then the design ceases to be “trustless” since there is a trusted third-party involved.

Let me know if I misunderstood your question or if there’s anything else I can clarify.


@guylepage3 you’re a mod/admin…you have omnipotent powers to edit titles and posts :rofl::rofl::rofl:


Couldn’t this get handled with SPV (like Electrum does this for normal Bitcoin transactions)?

I didn’t fully understand how SPV works but I thought with this technique it’s possible to securely verify transactions without needing the whole blockchain history.


Hi @muneeb @ryan and team! I’d love to test drive the alpha browser and saw the code package on github. I know it’s not a priority right now, but is there is how-to for non-coding folks to guide installation?


Thanks so much for you interest @jak ! It is a big priority for us…so much so, I’ll be working on it tomorrow! :smiley:

We want to make sure Blockstack is easy to use for everyone - one way to help us do that is to get the Blockstack Browser into your hands as early & quickly as possible.

Hope to have an easy installation method for you very soon! Stay tuned!


Huge thx @larry! That is actually much faster than I was imagining. Any way I can help? Happy to be a guinea pig and/or editor to help make sure the how-to-guide is an easy to use tool for wider audiences.


That’s great! Thank you so much for the offer! I’ll take you up on your offer!


Great! That was my hope. I’m all in so don’t hesitate. I’m ready to help on anything and everything.


3 posts were split to a new topic: Swimming Blockstackers


Blockstack has a WIP system called “Simplified Name Verification” or “SNV” which is similar to SPV, except the SNV node needs access to a trusted Blockstack Core node for the lookup to be secure. (@jude can correct me here if I’m mistaken in my understanding of how SNV works)

Possible trust loss and details of Blockstack's SNV

@light is correct. Once your SNV client knows the hash of the virtual chain tip (the “consensus hash”), it can use both a trusted Blockstack node and a trusted UTXO service to verify that a claimant’s given name state (1) was accepted by the Blockstack virtual chain and (2) is the current such state. The implementation currently verifies point (1), but not point (2).


I would love to know some more technical details about SNV. I started another topic for that:


To clarify - there is no monetary value in running a blockstack node? just a trust value? Realize the way I frame this is blunt.