Mine Mainnet Stacks Tokens

Introduction

For more on the technical details of mining, please review the mining guide
The following is an abridged version of the walkthrough here, written for a Linux system. If you're on Windows or MacOS, there will be some slight modifications needed (PR's welcome!).
If you're interested in mining on the Stacks testnet, you can find instructions on how to do that here:

Running a Bitcoin Mainnet Full Node

To participate as a miner on mainnet, you must have access to a mainnet bitcoin node with a wallet (and the wallet's private key). One way to accomplish this is to run bitcoin locally.
First, download a bitcoin binary, or build from source If you want to learn more about the technical details of mining, please review the mining guide:
:::tip It is recommened to use a persistent location for the chainstate, in the steps below we're using /bitcoin :::

Update the Bitcoin Configuration File

Next, update the bitcoin configuration:
  • optional but recommended: Use a persistent directory to store the Bitcoin chainstate, i.e. datadir=/bitcoin
  • optional but recommended: Update the rpcallowip value to only allow 127.0.0.1, or the stacks miner IPv4
  • Modify the rpcuser and rpcpassword values from the defaults below
  • Store the following configuration somewhere on your filesystem (ex: $HOME/bitcoin.conf)
server=1
disablewallet=0
datadir=/bitcoin
rpcuser=btcuser
rpcpassword=btcpassword
rpcallowip=0.0.0.0/0
bind=0.0.0.0:8333
rpcbind=0.0.0.0:8332
dbcache=512
banscore=1
rpcthreads=256
rpcworkqueue=256
rpctimeout=100
txindex=1

Start Bitcoin

Finally, start bitcoin as follows (adjust the conf path to where it was created in the previous step, i.e. $HOME/bitcoin.conf):
bitcoind -conf=$HOME/bitcoin.conf
:::note It will take a few days for the node to synchronize with Bitcoin mainnet. :::
While it's syncing, you can track the progress with bitcoin-cli or the logfile (will be located where the chainstate is stored, i.e. /bitcoin/debug.log):
$ bitcoin-cli \
-rpcconnect=localhost \
-rpcport=8332 \
-rpcuser=btcuser \
-rpcpassword=btcpassword \
getblockchaininfo | jq .blocks
773281

Running a Stacks Blockchain miner

There may be some extra requirements to building, defined here
:::tip It is recommened to use a persistent location for the chainstate, in the steps below we're using /stacks-blockchain :::

Generate a keychain

First, a keychain needs to be generated. With this keychain, we'll purchase some BTC from a cryptocurrency exchange, and then use that BTC to start mining.
To create a keychain, the simplest way is to use the stacks-cli with the make_keychain command.
npx @stacks/cli make_keychain 2>/dev/null | jq -r
After this runs, you should see some JSON printed to the screen that looks like this:
{
"mnemonic": "exhaust spin topic distance hole december impulse gate century absent breeze ostrich armed clerk oak peace want scrap auction sniff cradle siren blur blur",
"keyInfo": {
"privateKey": "2033269b55026ff2eddaf06d2e56938f7fd8e9d697af8fe0f857bb5962894d5801",
"address": "STTX57EGWW058FZ6WG3WS2YRBQ8HDFGBKEFBNXTF",
"btcAddress": "mkRYR7KkPB1wjxNjVz3HByqAvVz8c4B6ND",
"index": 0
}
}
:::warning Do not lose this information - we'll need to use the privateKey and btcAddress fields in later steps. :::
The above btcAddress (mkRYR7KkPB1wjxNjVz3HByqAvVz8c4B6ND) will then need to be imported into the bitcoin mainnet network. :::note Be sure to replace <btcAddress from JSON above> with the bitcoin address in the "Generate a keychain" step :::
bitcoin-cli \
-rpcport=8332 \
-rpcuser=btcuser \
-rpcpassword=btcpassword \
importaddress <btcAddress from JSON above>
Once imported, we need to get some BTC to that address. You should be able to transfer BTC to this address using a crytpocurrency exchange such as Coinbase, Binance, or Kraken.

Update the Stacks Blockchain Configuration File

Now, we need to configure our node to use this Bitcoin keychain. Copy the sample mainnet miner config to your local machine in a memorable location like $HOME/mainnet-miner-conf.toml.
Now, grab your privateKey from earlier when you ran the make_keychain command. Replace the seed and local_peer_seed field with your private key. Save and close this configuration file.
Next, update the bitcoin configuration:
  • optional but recommended: Use a persistent directory to store the Stacks chainstate, i.e. working_dir = "/stacks-blockchain"
  • From the make_keychain step, modify the seed and local_peer_seed values with privatekey
  • Store the following configuration somewhere on your filesystem (ex: $HOME/mainnet-miner-conf.toml)
[node]
working_dir = "/stacks-blockchain"
rpc_bind = "0.0.0.0:20443"
p2p_bind = "0.0.0.0:20444"
seed = "<keychain privateKey>"
local_peer_seed = "<keychain privateKey>"
miner = true
bootstrap_node = "02da7a464ac770ae8337a343670778b93410f2f3fef6bea98dd1c3e9224459d36b@seed-0.mainnet.stacks.co:20444,02afeae522aab5f8c99a00ddf75fbcb4a641e052dd48836408d9cf437344b63516@seed-1.mainnet.stacks.co:20444,03652212ea76be0ed4cd83a25c06e57819993029a7b9999f7d63c36340b34a4e62@seed-2.mainnet.stacks.co:20444"
[burnchain]
chain = "bitcoin"
mode = "mainnet"
peer_host = "127.0.0.1"
username = "<bitcoin config rpcuser>"
password = "<bitcoin config rpcpassword>"
rpc_port = 8332
peer_port = 8333
satoshis_per_byte = 100
burn_fee_cap = 20000

Start the Stacks Blockchain

To run your miner, run this in the command line:
stacks-node start --config=$HOME/mainnet-miner-conf.toml
Your node should start. It will take some time to sync, and then your miner will be running.

Enable Debug Logging

In case you are running into issues or would like to see verbose logging, you can run your node with debug logging enabled. In the command line, run:
STACKS_LOG_DEBUG=1 stacks-node start --config=$HOME/mainnet-miner-conf.toml

Optional: Running a Stacks Blockchain miner with Docker

Alternatively, you can run a Stacks mainnet miner with Docker.
:::caution Ensure you have Docker installed. :::

Generate a Keychain and Get Some Tokens

Generate a keychain:
docker run -i node:14-alpine npx @stacks/cli make_keychain 2>/dev/null | jq -r
We need to get some BTC to that address. You should be able to transfer BTC to this address using a cryptocurrency exchange such as Coinbase, Binance, or Kraken.

Update Stacks Blockchain Docker Configuration File

Use the steps oulined above to create the configuration file

Start the Stacks Blockchain miner with Docker

:::info The ENV VARS RUST_BACKTRACE and STACKS_LOG_DEBUG are optional. If removed, debug logs will be disabled :::
docker run -d \
--name stacks_miner \
--rm \
--network host \
-e RUST_BACKTRACE="full" \
-e STACKS_LOG_DEBUG="1" \
-v "$HOME/mainnet-miner-conf.toml:/src/stacks-node/mainnet-miner-conf.toml" \
-v "/stacks-blockchain:/stacks-blockchain" \
-p 20443:20443 \
-p 20444:20444 \
blockstack/stacks-blockchain:latest \
/bin/stacks-node start --config /src/stacks-node/mainnet-miner-conf.toml
You can review the node logs with this command:
docker logs -f stacks_miner

Optional: Running in Kubernetes with Helm

In addition, you're also able to run a Stacks miner in a Kubernetes cluster using the stacks-blockchain Helm chart.
Ensure you have the following prerequisites installed:

Generate keychain and get some tokens

Use the steps outlined above

Install the chart and run the miner

To install the chart with the release name my-release and run the node as a miner:
minikube start # Only run this if standing up a local Kubernetes cluster
helm repo add blockstack https://charts.blockstack.xyz
helm install my-release blockstack/stacks-blockchain \
--set config.node.miner=true \
--set config.node.seed="replace-with-your-privateKey-from-generate-keychain-step" \
--set config.burnchain.mode="mainnet"
You can review the node logs with this command:
kubectl logs -l app.kubernetes.io/name=stacks-blockchain
For more information on the Helm chart and configuration options, please refer to the chart's homepage.