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What is Stratis?
|Icon||Symbol||Initial release date||Algorithm type||Max. supply|
|STRAT||9 August 2016||SHA-256||No max|
Stratis is primarily a software platform written in C# and .Net designed to offer businesses an end-to-end solution for blockchain integration. Although interest in blockchain technology has grown across many major industries, the challenges of coding a custom blockchain have made some companies reluctant to adopt this new technology, particularly given the lack of experienced programmers in the field.
Stratis solves this problem by offering a secure blockchain infrastructure that companies can build on to suit their needs, rather than having to develop their own custom blockchains from scratch.
Some of its core features include:
- Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS). Stratis wants to lead the way in terms of corporate adoption of blockchain technology. By employing a subscription model, the Stratis platform plans to offer businesses an easy-to-use blockchain solution for databases and cloud computing.
- Cross-platform integration. The Stratis platform does not offer some of the features found in alternative blockchain frameworks, such as Ethereum’s method of handling smart contracts. Instead of building the same features directly into Stratis, the platform is built to be compatible with other blockchain frameworks, like Ethereum, so that customers can make use of multiple frameworks within the Stratis ecosystem.
- Blockchain consultancy. Part of the Stratis business model extends beyond software development and into consulting services. Stratis offers expertise to businesses interested in learning how to implement and leverage the blockchain to improve their workflow, security and data management practices.
Private blockchains in Stratis
Stratis is designed primarily to meet the needs of corporations and major industries seeking to adopt blockchain technology. The Stratis platform serves as the main blockchain layer, undergirding many different applications that are built on top of it. Companies can create their own private blockchains that are tailored to meet their specific needs, and have them work on top of the core Stratis blockchain. Even though they are all linked to the Stratis platform, private blockchains are secure and operate independently from one another.
Stratis vs bitcoin
The Stratis platform includes its own cryptographic token, STRAT, which is used to handle transactions that take place on the Stratis blockchain. Both the larger platform and the Stratis token are actually based on bitcoin, with some modifications and additions such as implementing a Proof-of-Stake consensus model rather than the Proof-of-Work model used by bitcoin. As a cryptocurrency, the Stratis token is designed specifically for the Stratis platform, whereas bitcoin can be used anywhere vendors accept it.
Proof of Work vs Proof of Stake
One of the most revolutionary aspects of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, in general, is their decentralised power structure. Instead of every transaction having to flow through one centralised institution, like a bank, transactions happen on a direct peer-to-peer basis over the decentralised blockchain network.
To ensure valid transactions without the need for trust in a centralised institution, blockchain-based currencies typically rely on user participation to validate digital transactions and add them to the blockchain. A majority of users need to agree on the validity of a transaction before it can be verified. The method used to reach this kind of agreement is known as a “consensus algorithm.” There are a variety of different consensus algorithms out there, but two models generally dominate the space: Proof of Work and Proof of Stake. Both models require some form of sacrifice in order to participate and offer an incentive in the form of a reward for solving a block.
Proof of Work (PoW). Bitcoin and other currencies that use mining to validate transactions use Proof of Work. Mining cryptocurrencies requires electricity, substantial computer power and often specialised equipment. By performing thousands of difficult mathematical calculations to “solve a block" miners are doing the work in Proof of Work.
Proof of Stake (PoS). The same general principles of decentralisation and community participation apply to Proof of Stake consensus models. Instead of mining, which requires a massive amount of resources, PoS lets users stake some of their existing funds towards solving a block, much like placing a bet.
Where can I use Stratis as currency?
Stratis tokens, STRAT, are the primary unit of currency used within the Stratis platform. Transactions that happen on the Stratis blockchain use the Stratis token. Unlike bitcoin, which can be used as an alternative currency to buy a wide variety of goods and services, STRAT is designed specifically for use within the Stratis ecosystem.
Companies that develop applications on top of the Stratis platform can issue their own, in-house cryptographic tokens, based on STRAT, to handle transactions that happen within their particular blockchain environment.
The STRAT token is available on many popular cryptocurrency exchanges, including Poloniex, Bittrex and Bittylicious. Depending on your country of residence and exchange support, you may be able to purchase STRAT directly using fiat currency. In some cases, you may need to use bitcoin or another cryptocurrency to purchase STRAT.
What are the considerations before buying STRAT?
Stratis is an ongoing project that is under active development. While there are risks, such as notoriously volatile markets, when it comes to investing in any cryptocurrency, the value of the Stratis token may increase as more companies adopt the platform. Speculators who believe the Stratis platform will achieve mainstream implementation may choose to invest in STRAT.
What should I keep an eye out for?
- Code base. As many platforms for blockchain development begin to emerge, the underlying code base may play a large role in user adoption. Stratis is developed in C# and .Net programming languages that may be less widely used than those implemented by competing blockchain frameworks.
- Private blockchains. A core function of Stratis is the ability for companies to create private blockchains. For many people, the radical potential of blockchain technology lies largely in the concepts of decentralisation, transparency and non-reliance on third-party mediation. Private blockchains may effectively negate all of those features, operating more like traditional databases on closed intranets.
- Under construction. Stratis is an exciting project backed by a dedicated team, but it’s important to be aware that much of the platform is still under development and has not yet been released.
- Limited distribution. Potential investors may notice that a significant number of the existing STRAT tokens are held by a relatively small pool of wallets compared to many other cryptocurrencies.
What’s next for Stratis?
While many facets of the Stratis platform are still in early stages, several upcoming releases are cited on the development roadmap. Some of the next steps for Stratis include:
- Full node. Many of the core features of Stratis are still under development, including the full node for the enterprise platform. The team behind Stratis is working towards getting this code ready for production.
- Breeze Wallet. Stratis is working to release the Breeze Wallet, a digital wallet designed on top of a security protocol that anonymises cryptocurrency transactions.
- Stratis Identity. Stratis is planning to release a proof-of-concept application in the near future. Stratis Identity is designed to give developers a toolkit for building blockchain-based applications for identity management and provenance.
Frequently asked questions
Image sources: Shutterstock, CoinMarketCap
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