Running a Stacks Node and Mining STX Tokens for the First Time: A Guide for All the Non-Tech-Savvy People

For people like me — an absolute noob, with a little help from Docker

Before we get into all the “technical” stuff, a little bit about myself: I’m a tech startup person with a finance / marketing background, I’ve been bullish on DeFi since early 2019, and I’m a proud yield farmer. So, you can tell that I’m NOT tech-savvy and I know ZERO coding stuff.

But why on the earth do I still want to go through all the troubles to set up and run a miner on Stacks 2.0 testnet? Because of my curiosity — what happens if we bring DeFi to the Bitcoin ecosystem? And I believe Stacks 2.0 will be the next DeFi powerhouse, and most importantly, the whole process of setting up a node on Stacks testnet and running a miner, turned out not to be very complicated as I thought.

If you’re naturally curious and not very tech-savvy, but you want to join the DeFi on Bitcoin movement before everyone else does, and earn STX rewards, please keep reading 🙂 

At the end of this guide you’ll be able to: 

– Run your testnode on the Stacks 2.0 blockchain

– Set up and run a miner on the Stacks 2.0

My Computer Setup 

MacBook Air with macOS Catalina, really basic one, nothing fancy. 

Running a Testnode

Step 1: Download and Install Docker 

Go to Docker and install Docker on your Mac. It’s free, if you have a privacy setting as I do, make sure to manually change Docker as a trusted software so it can run on your Mac.

Step 2: Open Terminal

Open the /Applications/Utilities folder on your Mac, type in a search to find the Terminal then double-click it. 

Type the command as below — copy those commands and paste in Terminal and press Enter: 

docker run -d \
–name stacks_follower \
–rm \
-e RUST_BACKTRACE=”full” \
-p 20443:20443 \
-p 20444:20444 \
blockstack/stacks-blockchain:latest \
/bin/stacks-node krypton

Just like this: 

The installations will process automatically, and once complete you will see a blank command shows up. And then, type command:

docker logs -f stacks_follower

You can see this in Docker:

Looks like the node connects to the Stacks 2.0 testnet now.

Mining Stacks Token on the Testnet

Step 1: Generate keychain


docker run -i node:14-alpine npx @stacks/cli make_keychain -t 2>/dev/null

and press Enter

Then type:

replace with btcAddress property from your keychain

curl -XPOST “” | json_pp

and press Enter

Step 2: Create a config file directory


mkdir -p $HOME/stacks

and press Enter

After it’s complete and you see the blank command, type:

working_dir = “/root/stacks-node/current”
rpc_bind = “”
p2p_bind = “”

Enter your private key here!

seed = “replace-with-your-privateKey-from-generate-keychain-step”
miner = true

chain = “bitcoin”
mode = “krypton”
peer_host = “”

process_exit_at_block_height = 5340

burnchain_op_tx_fee = 5500

commit_anchor_block_within = 10000

rpc_port = 18443
peer_port = 18444

amount = 10000000000000000
amount = 10000000000000000
amount = 10000000000000000
amount = 10000000000000000

Step 3: Run the miner


docker run -d \
–name stacks_miner \
–rm \
-e RUST_BACKTRACE=”full” \
-v “$HOME/stacks/Config.toml:/src/stacks-node/Config.toml” \
-p 20443:20443 \
-p 20444:20444 \
blockstack/stacks-blockchain:latest \
/bin/stacks-node start –config /src/stacks-node/Config.toml

And press Enter.

You will see this “crazy stuff” popping up but don’t panic, it means things are up and running!

Anyway, that’s all I did. I followed the original guide here. Blockstack does recommend a few different ways via Rust and Virtual Machine (Oracle VirtualBox) to help you run a miner on Stacks 2.0 other than Docker. Also, you can download the pre-made binaries (node) here. Unfortunately, only Docker works on my end. I will ask the community to help me look into it and hopefully, I can set up STX mining before Stacks 2.0 mainnet goes live. If you made it to the end on Rust or VM, please share your tutorial with me! 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s