Stacks founder Muneeb Ali shares his thoughts on CityCoins
Muneeb Ali, the founder of Stacks and CEO of Hiro Systems, shares his thoughts on CityCoins and the project’s potential to accelerate meaningful change.
CityCoins is built on the Stacks Protocol — a layer-1 blockchain that recycles Bitcoin’s PoW in a way that is both secure and resource-efficient. Muneeb has been following the project’s development since inception and had a lot to say about CityCoins.
What excites you the most about the CityCoins project?
I feel like crypto networks could actually be a very unique and new way of facilitating public-private partnerships.
Take MiamiCoin for example. If you live in Miami, you're from there, you're interested in the city, or just want to be a part of the Miami economy — there’s now a way for you to get involved. There is a crypto asset that represents the community of Miami that could spread globally. And there are so many interesting things you can build on top of CityCoins. It opens up a new design space for government services and other types of community activity.
What are the benefits of building CityCoins atop the Stacks protocol?
CityCoins like NYCCoin and MiamiCoin bootstrapped their launch with the mining-only system. In many ways, they can only exist on top of the Stacks network. You’re likely not going to do a mining-only launch in a proof of stake (PoS) or proof of work (PoW) network, especially given the kind of criticism you see for the energy and efficiency of proof of work, but it's one of the more innovative approaches to launching a decentralized network today.
For Bitcoin, it's justified, but realistically otherwise, you wouldn't launch a new proof of work type of mining mechanism. It's impossible to bootstrap a no pre-mine, completely fair launch on a PoS network, because “Proof of Stake,” by definition, requires people who have an economic stake in the system to put up that capital.
What Stacks enables for projects is a more energy-efficient way of mining by building on Bitcoin as a representation of energy. That's entirely unique to the Stacks network, and my team at Hiro is working on building developer tools, such as wallets, code libraries, and test environments, to make it even easier for projects like CityCoins to build on Stacks.
From your perspective, how does CityCoins differ from other crypto projects and/or projects built on Stacks?
One thing that I love about this project is how community-driven it is. This is a value Bitcoin obviously has, and we have that in the Stacks ecosystem, but NYCCoin and MiamiCoin took it to a next level. I was watching in Discord how it was again this mining-only launch, and people in the community were building pooling around it. Then people started building analytics software. Now they're building different types of wallets. They're helping each other out, even though these miners are technically competing with one another.
The fact that there's no central entity behind it —there's no pre-allocation, and it was completely community-driven — gives a very grassroots type of feel to this project, which just makes a lot of sense if it's named that, being built for the community of Miami.
What types of applications are you most excited to see the CityCoins community build using MiamiCoin, NYCCoin, and other future city-specific tokens?
Interfaces to government services. Government software has historically been painful to use. You can theoretically get really good engineers to build modern apps for government services by incentivizing them and letting them integrate CityCoins like Miami’s and New York City’s in the apps.
Where do you see the CityCoins project a year from now?
I hope we see many more cities coming online. It seems like there is overwhelming support for additional CityCoins and governments to get involved. I’m also excited to see multiple CityCoins supported in various DeFi primitives, and think it will be an incredible time for new approaches to civic engagement.
Learn more how CityCoins works and the role Stacks and Bitcoin play in this project’s base protocols and automated rewards systems.