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- What is Stratis?
- It's easy to miss the significance of The Stratis Project. Drowning in hyperbole, the cryptoverse spawns a never ending stream of next-big-things. Bitcoin Killers abound and thousands fall for promises that never deliver. Even so, among the dross, real innovation shines. A handful of projects deserve their top slots while others grow in the subsoil waiting to show the beauty of their form. Stratis is no shrinking violet; the team confident and businesslike. They walk a fine line, avoiding hype, building quietly and spreading the word through provable action. A growing community is witness to the skill, hard work and sharp vision that defines Stratis. This article comes from that community. We can praise where its due and, hopefully, help others see what we see.
- Stratis is not a coin but a platform. We all know that bitcoin and the blockchain is going to impact the world in fundamental ways. The very success of bitcoin to-date has fostered a conservative approach to development, leaving room for a small army of visionaries to poke and prod with ideas good and bad in the alt coin space. We are in a golden age of early innovation and yet it is still a geek-fest. We are in the days of punch cards and green screen terminals. To fulfil its destiny, bitcoin and its sisters need designers, business people, financiers and the ingenuity of tens of thousands of non-crypto coders to humanise the space. Like it or not, we need to find our Steve Jobs, our Bill Gates and (if we're really lucky) our Elon Musk and Jimmy Wales. Without our specialised coders, we would be nowhere but now is the time to lend them a hand – to attract experts from beyond the narrow walls of the cryptoverse – not in their hundreds but in their thousands.
- When Chris Trew, Stratis' CEO approached bitcoin developer Nicolas Dorier for help, he turned him away, uninterested in working on anything but bitcoin. Coming from the corporate world, Chris knew that the boring nuts and bolts behind millions of computers on the desks of businesses around the world relied on Microsoft's .Net platform and its C# language. He also knew that when MS open sourced .Net and C#, the path was suddenly open to reach out to millions of experienced developers and their partners in design and business. Decades of battle-hardened operations tuned to real-world customer-focused use has formed a global infrastructure primed with easy to use tools that could change the landscape of crypto and help lead to its ultimate destination – the pockets of billions of ordinary people – rich and poor.
- It is important to realise that although Stratis aims to bridge the specialised realms of blockchain and the corporate world, it is doing so in the spirit of open source where success is not a zero sum game. This is perfectly demonstrated in the relationship between Nicolas Dorier and Stratis.
- After agreeing to talk to Chris and on seeing his vision, Nicolas changed his mind. He had been working for two years developing a complete bitcoin node, rewriting it in C#. A labour of love, he was unpaid and had to find the time between everything else going on in his life. The key to this change of heart? Chris did not want him to work on Stratis. He wanted to pay him to finish the work on bitcoin. Always intended to be open source, in helping accelerate Nicolas' bitcoin project, Stratis would give something to the bitcoin community and benefit themselves from all Nicolas' work in the two previous years. On completion, they would clone the software, rapidly accelerating the Stratis project beyond anything that could have been achieved without such open-minded collaboration.
- There are two main parts to the Stratis Project. The platform itself is complemented by the formation of a company based in London. The Stratis Group is a consultancy, intended to help companies with blockchain ideas realise them quickly even as blockchain expertise is thin on the ground. By providing a suite of tools and apis, Stratis allows an entity to concentrate on what they are good at knowing that the security of the blockchain side is rock solid through the same algorithms used to secure bitcoin.
- In consulting with various projects, some may require a completely separate chain. In this case, the value to Stratis token holders will be indirect. However, free to take on board innovations produced by other crypto-projects, Stratis is able to fast-track code to enable scaling, side-chains, segwit, LN, POS and other advances not yet invented. In many cases, a dedicated side chain might make sense, requiring Stratis to be bought on the market and locked for the duration of the project. To cater for companies large and small, Stratis is building a cloud solution similar to Azure, making BaaS a one-stop solution for any company to experiment or run a project to completion on the Stratis ecosystem.
- It is easy to be ambitious but how do we know these guys are capable of making this happen? After all, the code is open source. Anyone can copy it – and they will. To those already following their progress, this is a no brainer. Step-by-step Chris and his team constantly impress. With modest resources, the have shown themselves capable of forming partnerships and moving with a speed that would shame others with bags of cash, half the business intelligence and a fraction of their drive. In the past few months, they have so far:
- • Completed the Stratis Full Node (on test)
- • Got listed on multiple exchanges including Bittrex and Poloniex
- • Occupied a booth beside MS at London's Blockchain Expo – engaging with key business players leading to follow up meetings in UK and US
- • Given a talk at The Blockchain Event, Ft Lauderdale, USA
- • Been added to MS Azure
- • Become an official coin on Ledger Hardware Wallet with no fee paid for inclusion
- • Recruited extremely impressive advisors to their board. This includes Cesar Castro, founder and managing partner of Escalate Group and Mahesh Chand, founder of C# Corner – a forum for C# developers with over two million members.
- • Through Escalate, engaged the help of Seraph, a global network of investors and family offices with experience in the cryptocurrency sphere to help with their VC funding strategy.
- • Secured a coveted key-note slot at one of the world's biggest C# conferences to be held in Ghaziabad, India mid-April
- It is interesting to note that the team was surprised to find that although many developers beyond the crypto fringe knew of bitcoin, few had any idea how it worked or the potential for innovation it presented to them. This bodes well for the C# conference. If they are able to convince such a body of sharp minds that this is something worth paying attention to and at the same time give them the tools to ease their path, the resulting opportunities could be enormous.
- To help in this phase of their mission, they are preparing a number of proof of concepts they can demonstrate there and to future clients. From Steem-like social platforms to privacy-based wallets, customer-focused products become much faster to develop using Stratis.
- There is nothing like doing it yourself to prove that your mission lives beyond mere words. As many confuse the need for privacy with nefarious deeds, no serious organisation would think of exposing confidential data on a public ledger. The need for privacy is evident in the many anon alts out there but bitcoin has been able to do this for some time. For many reasons, it has not happened so far in a package that's usable to normal people. To push this along Stratis has agreed to build a front-end for Tumblebit, a project conceived and built as another labour of love by talented coders helping to build the bitcoin economy. The result will be The Breeze wallet.
- Scheduled for completion around May 2017, bitcoiners will be able to download the Breeze wallet and use it to afford a high degree of trustless and secure transactions with privacy built in. Importantly for Stratis, the same wallet will be used to transact with that coin, too. Not only will this help bitcoin, it will expose Stratis to a potential user-base otherwise beyond its reach. In the same way that Tumblebit can swap respective coins to ensure privacy, so too, they can be used to swap with each other, providing a gateway between each coin should users find that useful. Once again, Stratis demonstrates that this is not a zero-sum game.
- Recognising that praise coming from those you respect is more valuable than any other, here is a quote from nopara73, Tumblebit's backend developer:
- “I am not sure I'm the right person to answer that message, but here it goes. First note I am not a part of the Stratis team, so I am not obligated to follow the company rhetoric. But I had the idea of asking them to contribute to Breeze, because I suspected their team is probably the most competent team when it comes to C# and Bitcoin. Now I am working with them for a couple of weeks and I can say they are really working their asses off, GitHub is the proof, but also I was right on the competency question, too. I was also amazed by the professionalism, not seen in other cryptocurrencies. However I have to admit I know nothing about Stratis as the cryptocurrency, I'm too busy to catch myself up and I don't have much interest in cryptocurrencies, other than Bitcoin. That being said I bought a significant amount of Stratis. I mean it's not rocketscience to speculate when Breeze gets used by most of the privacy focused Bitcoin users, and they'll have a one click convenient way to trade btc strat back and forth, that'll have a positive pressure on the price, plus I am confident about my work, too. Bitcoin wallets are the path to customers. An altcoin implementing an innovative Bitcoin wallet is a win-win. To sum up, I am not interested in altcoins, but I am not that stupid to refuse free money when the opportunity presents itself.”
- No-one can predict the success or failure of any project but we go a long way if we manage to cut through the clutter to see its vision and potential. We are often quick to latch on to something we recognise as important to the exclusion of all else. For this reason, on seeing that Stratis will have in-built privacy, some may think it is an anon coin. In targeting corporations, others might see it as tool for financiers, or fuel for the next dotcom hype wave or a bridge to gaming and VR through Unity (built with C#). While all of this may or may not come to pass, the real thing we need to keep in mind is that Stratis is not intended to be a single feature app. It is a platform cleverly constructed to marry the dynamic, exciting limitless potential of the blockchain with the powerful tools and experience already out there in the real world. It will do this with an open and collaborative mindset coupled with astute business sense. That is as powerful as it gets.
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