Stratis Review for Beginners: Making Blockchain Easy

Stratis is one of a number of blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) projects, and its focus initially was enterprise logistics. In the two years it has been developing the scope of the project broadened significantly, and as we head into  the end of 2018 Stratis is a full-blown development network competing with the likes of NEO and Ethereum.

While Ethereum was the first blockchain network to use smart contracts, Stratis may have an advantage over first-mover Ethereum. That advantage is down to the programming language used by each project. Where Ethereum uses the proprietary Solidity language, Stratis uses the well known C# for Microsoft’s .NET framework. That means there are already millions of developers who can program on Stratis.

Stratis has been moving rapidly to catch-up to Ethereum. They were able to launch an alpha version of smart contracts in May, and an alpha version of sidechain support the following month. That was enough to put Stratis on par with the leading smart contract networks.

Because Stratis uses C# it is actually a preferred solution for many established companies. These old guard tech companies might not have any blockchain programmers, but they do have a glut of programmers who are familiar with C# and the .NET framework. It’s almost certain they would choose this solution rather than having to learn Solidity. In fact, in October 2018 Stratis announced that they had become a Microsoft Silver partner.

Stratis has said they will have production releases for their full-node, side-chains and smart contracts by the end of 2018. There are other features that will be released before the end of 2018 as well, and once these production releases are live the old-guard companies will have a platform that allows them to easily build their own private blockchain solutions safely and securely on a Stratis side-chain.

With the production capabilities of Stratis so close to release let’s look at the technology behind this project, as well as the STRAT cryptocurrency that provides gas for the network.

Stratis Review: What is Stratis?

Stratis was designed as a stand-alone blockchain with a stable of C# development tools to allow other to create their own chains that benefit from the security of the Statris main-chain. This will allow existing companies to take advantage of blockchain technology safely, and without the need to spend excessively to hire new blockchain developers or to migrate existing software to a new platform.

At its most basic level Stratis is an enterprise friendly version of Bitcoin. However, it improves on Bitcoin by being faster, more scalable, and has gotten away from resource intensive Proof-of-Work as a consensus mechanism. And then it improves further by adding smart contracts, decentralized applications, and side-chains.

Stratis has brought blockchain to all the legacy programmers as well, since it is built in C#. That makes blockchain development easily accessible to the more than 6 million C# programmers.

In addition, Statis has its own consultancy services and a Stratis Academy that allows developers and organizations to gain a deeper understanding of how they can build on top of the Stratis Platform. Stratis lets these companies that might not know where to begin with blockchain get off to a good start.

Stratis Review: The STRAT Coin

Stratis chose to use Proof-of-Stake as its consensus mechanism, and it has a native coin that uses the STRAT ticker. As a PoS coin there’s no expensive hardware needed o mine the coin, and no huge drain on our resources. It is a low inflation cryptocurrency, and users can generate rewards through running a masternode.

A masternode requires a stake of 250,000 STRAT, and as of November 25, 2018 that is worth $179,337 at a coin price of $0.717348. That’s obviously not for most of us, but Stratis has put forward the notion of creating lower tier nodes with smaller stake requirements.

STRAT is primarily a utility token as it is used to provide gas for the network. Of course it is also used as a speculative investment by some, and it is listed on roughly a dozen different exchanges. The greatest trade volume is on Binance, followed by Bittrex and Bithumb.

The $0.717348 price on November 25, 2018 gives STRAT a market capitalization of just over $71 million and makes it the 58th most valuable coin listed on Stratis hit an all-time high of $21.21 on January 8, 2018 and has fallen steadily throughout 2018.

Stratis had its ICO all the way back in June/July 2016, and it was one of the first successful ICOs.

Stratis has struggled in 2018

One of the larger moves Stratis made in 2018 was the launch of an ICO platform in May, just as the bear market was returning after a brief April respite. While this makes it seem as if the leadership at Stratis may be a bit out of touch with reality, overall it remains a strong project.

The drop in the price of the STRAT coin can be put down to the broad bear market in cryptocurrencies in 2018, and even at the $0.717348 price the coin is up more than 10,000% from its ICO price of $0.007 just over two years ago. That’s a pretty hefty two year return.

Stratis was listed in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace at the start of 2018, and by October 2018 it had become a Microsoft Silver Partner, which promises even faster growth for the platform.

Stratis has moved quite slowly however, when compared with other similar projects. Several have caught and surpassed Stratis, although the project is regaining ground now that the production nodes, side-chains and smart contracts are nearly ready.

Stratis had an early mover advantage, but the early excitement over the project wasn’t turned into a great deal of early adoption. The Microsoft partnership is huge to be sure, but there haven’t been any other really huge partnerships forthcoming for Stratis. Perhaps that will change now that Stratis is an official certified silver partner.

Stratis Review: Conclusion

As the first successful ICO Stratis had a good beginning, and the project remains solid today, but it hasn’t been able to take advantage of its early success as well as may have been expected.

Its strong technology and the partnership with Microsoft are both excellent factors, but still the project hasn’t seen a great deal of adoption. Hopefully the launch of production nodes, side-chains and smart contracts will boost its growth curve.

Even though the STRAT token has been hurt by the bear market in cryptocurrencies in 2018, it remains up more than 10,000% from its ICO price, and that’s extremely impressive. No doubt the early investors are quite happy with their returns.

The launch of an ICO platform during a bear cryptocurrency market may not seem the best idea, but if you look deeper you’ll see that ICOs have raised more than $22 billion in 2018, which is nearly four times the 2017 ICO totals.

The use of C# to create an enterprise blockchain solution may not sound like an exciting use of the new technology, but this is just the basic type of use case that could end up dominating the business landscape. Once a production product is ready Stratis could see a long line of legacy tech companies lining up to use their C# based blockchain technology.

There is a ton of promise in Stratis, but it remains to be seen if that will translate to actual results.

Stratis Rating: 3.5 - Review by