How and Where to Buy Stacks (STX) — An Easy Step by Step Guide
What Is Stacks (STX)?
Stacks is a layer-1 blockchain solution that is designed to bring smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps) to Bitcoin (BTC). These smart contracts are brought to Bitcoin without changing any of the features that make it so powerful — including its security and stability.
These DApps are open and modular, meaning developers can build on top of each other’s apps to produce features that are simply not possible in a regular app. Since Stacks uses Bitcoin as a base layer, everything that happens on the network is settled on the most widely used arguably the most secure blockchain in operation — Bitcoin.
The platform is powered by the Stacks token (STX), which is used for fueling the execution of smart contracts, processing transactions and registering new digital assets on the Stacks 2.0 blockchain.
The platform was formerly known as Blockstack, but was rebranded to Stacks in Q4 2020 in order to “separate the ecosystem and open source project from Blockstack PBC” — the company that built the original protocols.
The mainnet for Stacks 2.0 launched in January 2021.
Who Are the Founders of Stacks?
Stacks was initially funded by a range of prominent venture capital funds, including Y Combinator, Digital Currency Group and Winklevoss Capital. It was developed by Blockstack PBC, which has its headquarters in New York.
Blockstack PBC now operates under the name Hiro Systems PBC and joins a wide range of companies building on Stacks’ platform.
Blockstack PBC was founded by Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea. After graduating from Princeton University with an MA and PhD in computer science, Muneeb Ali co-founded Stacks in 2013, and still works with the platform today as the CEO of Hiro Systems PBC.
The second co-founder of the platform, Ryan Shea, also served co-CEO between 2013 and 2018, before disembarking from the project to pursue other ventures — including co-founding a new tech startup that is currently operating in stealth. Prior to his role at Stacks, Shea worked as a software engineer.
What Makes Stacks Unique?
Stacks looks to take what makes Bitcoin so powerful, and extends it with additional functionality, without needing to fork or change the original Bitcoin blockchain.
It does this by connecting directly with the Bitcoin blockchain through its proof-of-transfer (PoX) consensus mechanism, which has miners pay in BTC to mint new Stacks (STX) tokens. Moreover, STX token holders can also stack (not stake) their tokens to earn Bitcoin as a reward.
Stacks introduces a new smart contract programming language known as Clarity, which is designed to be both secure and easy to build with thanks to its unambiguous syntax. This smart contract-centric programming language is also used by the Algorand (ALGO) blockchain.
On top of this, Stacks was the first cryptocurrency to receive SEC qualification for a sale in the United States, allowing it to launch a $28 million Reg A+ sale cash offering for its STX tokens in July 2019.
Check out Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) — an ERC-20 token backed 1:1 with actual BTC.
Check out Bitcoin Cash (BCH) — a forked of Bitcoin with several significant changes.
Learn about side chains with CoinMarketCap Alexandria.
Stay on top of the latest product updates, partnerships, and announcements with the CoinMarketCap blog.
How Many Stacks (STX) Coins Are There in Circulation?
According to the recently revamped economic policy launched with Stacks 2.0, the supply of the newly unlocked STX in circulation will be reduced by around 10% between now and 2020 compared to the original schedule.
In total, around 1.82 billion STX are expected to be in circulation by 2050, compared to around 739.7 million in circulation as of January 2021.
As per the Stacks 2.0 whitepaper draft (v0.1), a total of 1,000 STX per block will be released in the first four years, decreasing to 500 STX/block in the subsequent 4 years, 250 STX/block in the next four years, and then 120 STX/block after that in perpetuity.
In total, 6.6% of the initial genesis supply (1.32 billion STX) was allocated to the founder and a further 7.9% to the Stacks team. These are subject to a three year unlock schedule, with tokens next scheduled to unlock in November 2021.
How Is the Stacks Network Secured?
Stacks uses the Bitcoin blockchain as its base layer. As a Proof of Work (PoW)-based blockchain, Bitcoin uses the combined efforts of thousands of miners and nodes to protect the network against attacks by making it computationally and economically unfeasible to subvert the network.
On top of this, Stacks introduces its own consensus model, known as proof-of-transfer (PoX), which is a novel mining mechanism that sees users transfer the base currency (BTC) to mine STX — effectively bootstrapping the security of the Stacks blockchain using BTC.
Where Can You Buy Stacks (STX)?
STX is available to trade on several prominent exchange platforms, including Binance and KuCoin. For a full list of available trading pairs and supported platforms, see the markets section.
For more information about buying cryptocurrencies with fiat, click here.
Currently, STX is being ranked 56 out of the top 100 cryptocurrencies on Coinmarketcap and has recently surged a hefty 77.19% at the time of writing.
STX has been listed on a number of crypto exchanges, unlike other main cryptocurrencies, it cannot be directly purchased with fiats money. However, You can still easily buy this coin by first buying Bitcoin from any large exchanges and then transfer to the exchange that offers to trade this coin, in this guide article we will walk you through in detail the steps to buy STX.
Step 1: Register on Coinbase
You will have to first buy one of the major cryptocurrencies, usually either Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). We will use Coinbase here as it is one of the largest crypto exchanges that accept fiat deposits. Use the link below to register at Coinbase and you will receive a free amount of $10 worth of BTC after buying $100 worth of cryptos.
Type your email and click ‘Get started’. Make sure you provide your real name as Coinbase will need it for account verification. Choose a strong password so that your account isn’t vulnerable to hackers.
You will receive a confirmation email. Open it and click on the link within. You will then be required to provide a valid mobile number to set up two-factor authentication (2FA), it is an extra layer to the security of your account and it is highly recommended that you keep this feature turned on.
Follow the next step to finish your identity verification. These steps are a bit daunting especially when you are waiting to buy an asset but just like any other financial institutions, Coinbase is regulated in most countries such as the US, the UK and the EU. You can take this as a trade-off to using a trusted platform to make your first crypto purchase. Good news is that the whole so-called Know-Your-Customers (KYC) process is now fully automated and it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to finish.
Step 2: Buy coins with fiat money
Once you finished the KYC process. You will be asked to add a payment method. Here you can either choose to provide a credit/debit card or use a bank transfer. You will be charged higher fees when using cards but you will also make an instant purchase. While a bank transfer will be cheaper but slower, depending on the country of your residence, some countries will offer instant cash deposit with low fees, such as iDeal in some European countries.
Now you are all set, click the ‘Trade’ button at the top left, choose the coin you want to buy and confirm your transaction…and congrats! You’ve just made your first crypto purchase.
Step 3: Transfer your cryptos to an Altcoin Exchange
But we are not done yet, since STX is an altcoin we need to transfer our coins to an exchange that STX can be traded, here we will use Gate.io as our exchange. Gate.io is a popular exchange to trade altcoins and it has a large number of tradable altcoins pairs. Use the link below to register your new account.
Gate.io is an American cryptocurrency exchange that launched 2017. As the exchange is American, US-investors can of course trade here and we recommend US traders to sign up on this exchange. The exchange is available both in English and Chinese (the latter being very helpful for Chinese investors). Gate.io’s main selling factor is their wide selection of trading pairs. You can find most of the new altcoins here. Gate.io also demonstrates an impressive trading volume. It is almost every day one of the top 20 exchanges with the highest trading volume. The trading volume amounts to approx. USD 100 million on a daily basis. The top 10 trading pairs on Gate.io in terms of trading volume usually have USDT (Tether) as one part of the pair. So, to summarize the foregoing, Gate.io’s vast number of trading pairs and its extraordinary liquidity are both very impressive aspects of this exchange.
After going through a similar process as we’ve done before with Coinbase, you will be advised to set up 2FA authentication as well, finish it as it adds extra security to your account.
Step 4: Deposit BTC to exchange
Depends on the policies of the exchange you might be required to go through another KYC process, this should usually take you from 30 minutes to possibly a few days maximum. Though the process should be straight-forward and easy to follow. Once you’re done with it you should have full access to your exchange wallet.
If this is your first time making a crypto deposit, the screen here may look a bit scary. But don’t worry, it’s basically simpler than making a bank transfer. At the box on the right, you will see a string of random numbers saying ‘BTC address’, this is a unique public address of your Bitcoin wallet at Gate.io and you can receive Bitcoin by giving this address to the person to send you the funds. Since we are now transferring our previously bought bitcoin on Coinbase to this wallet, click on ‘Copy Address’ or right-click on the full address and click copy to grab this address to your clipboard.
Now head back to Coinbase, go to Portfolio page and click on Bitcoin on your asset list, then click on ‘Send’ on the right.
Under the Recipient field, paste the wallet address in your clipboard, for security consideration you should always check if both address are matching. It is known that there are certain computer malware that would alter the content in your clipboard into another wallet address and you will be essentially sending funds to another person.
Click ‘Send’ to proceed, you should receive a confirmation email instantly, click on the confirmation link in the email and your coins are on the way to Gate.io!
Now go back to Gate.io and head to your exchange wallets, don’t worry if you haven’t seen your deposit here. It is probably still being verified in the blockchain network and it should take a few minutes for your coins to arrive. Depending on the network traffic condition of the Bitcoin network, during busy times it may take even longer.
You should receive a confirmation notification from Gate.io once your deposit has arrived. And you are now finally ready to purchase STX!
Step 5: Trade STX
Go back to Gate.io, then go to ‘Exchange’. Boom! What a view! The constantly flicking figures might be a bit scary, but relax, let’s get our heads around this.
In the right column there is a search bar, now make sure “BTC” is selected as we are trading BTC to altcoin pair. Click on it and type in “STX”, you should see STX/BTC, select that pair and you should see a price chart of STX/BTC in the middle of the page.
Below there is a box with a green button that says “Buy STX”, inside of the box, choose the “Market” tab here as that is the most straight-forward type of buying orders. You can either type in your amount or choose what portion of your BTC deposit you would like to spend on buying, by clicking on the percentage buttons. When you have confirmed everything, click “Buy STX”. Voila! You have finally bought STX!
Other Exchanges To Buy
You can also buy from these exchanges:
Apart from the exchange(s) above, there are a few popular crypto exchanges where they have decent daily trading volumes and a huge user base. This will ensure you will be able to sell your coins at any time and the fees will usually be lower. It is suggested that you also register on these exchanges since once STX gets listed there it will attract a large amount of trading volumes from the users there, that means you will be having some great trading opportunities!
Huobi is originally a Chinese crypto exchange. From what it seems, it has now registered in the Seychelles. This exchange is one of the six exchanges from the Seychelles. The liquidity at Huobi is impressive. The liquidity, together with its customer support that is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year and good security. If you sign up to Huobi using our link below, you will receive a series of welcome bonuses, as follows: 1. USDT 10 when you have registered and verified your profile, 2. USDT 50 when you have deposited/bought 100 USDT worth of tokens via Huobi OTC, and 3. A chance of up to USDT 60 when you have completed a minimum of 100 USDT worth of crypto-to-crypto trading. Huobi does not allow US-investors on its exchange.
Founded in 2018 and holding Estonian MTR licence, American MSB licence, an Australian AUSTRAC licence and a Canadian MSB licence，HotBit cryptocurrency exchange is known as a cryptocurrency trading platofrm that continues to develop and integrate various forms of businesses such as spot trading, financial derivatives, cryptocurrency investment and DAPP into one platform. Hotbit allows US investors right now. Currently, Hotbit’s businesses covers more than 210 countries and areas. Based on its globalized and unified strategies, HotBit continues to focus on world’s emerging markets such as Russia, Turkey and southeastern Asia markets, and was ranked one of the top 3 most welcomed exchanges by Russian media in 2019.
Last Step: Store STX securely in hardware wallets
Ledger Nano S
- Easy to set up and friendly interface
- Can be used on desktops and laptops
- Lightweight and Portable
- Support most blockchains and wide range of (ERC-20) tokens
- Multiple languages available
- Built by a well-established company found in 2014 with great chip security
- Affordable price
Ledger Nano X
- More powerful secure element chip (ST33) than Ledger Nano S
- Can be used on desktop or laptop, or even smartphone and tablet through Bluetooth integration
- Lightweight and Portable with built-in rechargeable battery
- Larger screen
- More storage space than Ledger Nano S
- Support most blockchains and wide range of (ERC-20) tokens
- Multiple languages available
- Built by a well-established company found in 2014 with great chip security
- Affordable price
If you are planning to keep(“hodl” as some may say, basically misspelt “hold” which get popularised over time) your STX for a considerable long time, you may want to explore ways of keeping it safe, although Binance is one of the safest cryptocurrency exchange there had been hacking incidents and funds were lost. Because of the very nature of the wallets in exchanges, they will be always online(“Hot Wallets” as we call them), therefore exposing certain aspects of vulnerabilities. The safest way of storing your coins to date is always putting them into a type of “Cold Wallets”, where the wallet will only have access to the blockchain(or simply “go online”) when you send out funds, reducing the chances of hacking incidents. A paper wallet is a type of free cold wallet, it’s basically an offline-generated pair of public and private address and you will have it written somewhere, and keep it safe. However, it is not durable and is susceptible to various hazards.
Hardware wallet here is definitely a better option of cold wallets. They are usually USB-enabled devices that store the key information of your wallet in a more durable way. They are built with military-level security and their firmware are constantly maintained by their manufacturers and thus extremely safe. Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X and are the most popular options in this category, these wallets cost around $50 to $100 depending on the features they are offering. If you are holding your assets these wallets are a good investment in our opinion.
Other useful tools for trading STX
Encrypted Secure Connection
Because of the very nature of cryptocurrency — decentralised, it means that users are 100% responsible for handling their assets securely. While using hardware wallet allows you to store your cryptos in a safe place, using an encrypted VPN connection while you trade makes it harder for hackers to intercept or eavesdrop your sensitive information. Especially when you are trading on the go or in a public Wifi connection. NordVPN is one of the best paid (note: never use any free VPN services as they may sniff your data in return of free service) VPN services out there and it has been around for almost a decade. It offers military-grade encrypted connection and you can also opt-in to block malicious websites and ads with their CyberSec feature. You can choose to connect to 5000+ servers in 60+ countries base on your current location, which ensures you to always have a smooth and secure connection wherever you are. There is no bandwidth or data limits that means you can also use the service in your everyday routines such as streaming videos or downloading large files. Plus it is among the cheapest VPN services out there (only $3.49 per month).
Surfshark is a much cheaper alternative if you are looking for a secure VPN connection. Although it’s a relatively new company, it has already 3200+ servers distributed in 65 countries. Apart from VPN it also has some other cool features including CleanWeb™, which actively blocks ads, trackers, malware and phishing attempts while you are surfing on your browser. Currently, Surfshark does not have any device limit so you can basically use it on as many devices as you want and even share the service with your friends and family. Use the signup link below to get an 81% discount(that’s a lot!!) at $2.49/month!
As you gain more experience in trading cryptos it gets more difficult when it comes to tracking your capital gains from all those trades, especially when you have multiple accounts across various trading platforms. CryptoTrader.Tax takes away the pain of preparing your bitcoin and crypto taxes for your tax season. It automates the entire tax filing process and you will be sure you won’t miss any important information required. Simply register, fill in your personal info, and import all of your historical cryptocurrency transactions into the platform. It integrates seamlessly with all major cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms to make this process even quicker by connecting your existing exchange accounts to the platform. Once your transactions are imported, you can generate your tax reports within a few clicks. CryptoTrader.Tax is free to use and you can simply get started right away. You will only need to pay if you want to generate your tax reports.
Crypto Ultimatum is a detailed training system that shows you how to go from no money to making a fortune with Crypto Currencies. The system that was used took $100 and turned this into $1006. But the system works so well they then took this $1006 and turned it into the huge amount of $257,000 with Bitcoin and Crypto Currencies!
The great thing about the training is you don’t need technical skills. In fact, you don’t even need a great deal of money and can start with much less than $100 if you wish. It reveals all the secret techniques and gives you the ability to make money when you are a complete novice. It even explains some of the scams so you can avoid them. It goes into detail about where you go to do all this trading and how you can make money in a little as 24 hours. You can develop into someone who buys and sells smaller types of “altcoins” too.
BitMEX is one of the largest crypto derivatives trading platforms that offers leveraged contracts that are bought and sold in Bitcoin. With the volatile nature of the cryptocurrency market, you can gain even more profit with leveraged trades. BitMEX offers even a maximum of 100x margin meaning you can multiply your profit for a hundred times. Signing up on BitMEX is easy and you are not required to go through any KYC process. Within a few minutes, your account will be ready and you can start trading by depositing BTC straight into your wallet on BitMEX. Do keep in mind that derivatives trading is highly risky and your loss can potentially be a hundred times also if you made the wrong move!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I buy STX with cash?
There is no direct way to buy STX with cash. However, you can use marketplaces such as LocalBitcoins to first purchase Bitcoin, and finish the rest of the steps by transferring your bitcoin to respective AltCoin exchanges.
Buy Bitcoin from local sellers
LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange. It is a marketplace where users can buy and sell Bitcoins to and from each other. Users, called traders, create advertisements with the price and the payment method they want to offer. You can choose to buy from sellers from a certain nearby region on the platform. LocalBitcoins is after all a good place to go to buy Bitcoins when you can’t find your desired payment methods anywhere else. But prices are usually higher on this platform and you have to do your due diligence to avoid getting scammed.
Are there any quick ways to buy STX in Europe?
Yes, in fact, Europe is one of the easiest places to buy cryptos in general. There are even online banks which you can simply open an account and transfer money to exchanges such as Coinbase and Coinmama.
Are there any alternative platforms to buy STX or Bitcoin with credit cards?
Yes. Changelly is also a very easy to use platform for buying Bitcoin with credit cards. It is an instant cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to exchange crypto fast and buy it with a bank card. Its user interface is very easy to use and the buying steps are pretty self-explanatory.