Stratis and the Stratis Platform

What are the details of Stratis’s ICO

  • 25th June 2016 – 26th July 2016
  • Only BTC accepted
  • Raised 915 BTC, just shy of the 1000 BTC target
  • A total of 98m STRAT distributed after the ICO, breakdown of STRAT allocation:
    • ICO investors – 84m STRAT
    • Stratis Group Ltd8m STRAT
    • Advisers and Partners – 2m STRAT
    • Bounties, campaigns and incentives – 4m STRAT
  • Given the number of BTC raised and price of BTC at time of ICO, initial price per STRAT was 1127 satoshi, or $0.0073

Who are Stratis Group Ltd?

“Stratis is a worldwide operating company, formed by a distributed team of business managers, developers, consultants, marketing and sales experts. Coordinated by a strong team of blockchain experts, we combine a solid corporate structure for best business practices with the flexibility for rapid prototyping and deployment. Headquartered in the U.K. and incorporated as Stratis Group Ltd, we operate in Asia, Europe and the Americas.”

Stratis Group Ltd was founded by CEO Chris Trew in 2016. The company offers simple and affordable end-to-end solutions for development, testing and deployment of native C# blockchain and decentralized applications (dApps) on the .NET framework. They have built out the open source Stratis Platform which is a versatile dApp development platform consisting of cutting edge blockchain technologies such as smart contracts and sidechains all built on top of the decentralized Stratis network. Stratis Group Ltd will continue to improve the Stratis Platform with new features. The modular nature of the Full Node architecture means that Stratis Group Ltd can keep the platform competitive by including new blockchain technologies as the cryptocurrency and Blockchain as a Service space evolves.

What is Stratis?

Stratis is the cryptocurrency which constitutes the underlying blockchain and network of the Stratis Platform. The coin native to Stratis is STRAT. Stratis is a Proof of Stake C# rewrite of the Bitcoin protocol. One thing which sets Stratis apart from all other cryptocurrencies is the fact that it is written from the ground up in C#. The Full Nodes that serve the Stratis network are fully C#. Also, the Full Nodes are modular. A developer building on top of Stratis can pick and choose from the services of the Stratis Platform to suit their application. Moreover, when developing and auditing their application they will have access to the full suite of tools available in normal C# / .NET development. You can read in more depth about this powerful property of Stratis and the Stratis Platform and why it is unique to them here.

Stratis at a glance:

  • Coin: STRAT
  • Circulating supply of STRAT: 99m (up to date and exact number found here)
  • Market Capitalization: Found here
  • Consensus Mechanism: Proof of Stake
  • Block time: 64s
  • Newly minted STRAT per forged block: 1 STRAT
  • Yearly STRAT inflation: Currently ~0.5%, decreases over time
  • Maximum throughput: Anywhere between 33 tps and 67 tps on the Stratis mainchain. Sidechain maximum throughput is up to the sidechain creator. 

A lot more information, including a Stratis blockchain explorer, can be found here.

What is the relationship between Stratis Group Ltd and Stratis?

Stratis is an open source, decentralised network. All of the core development for Stratis was undertaken by Stratis Group Ltd. However, Stratis and Stratis Group Ltd are not the same thing. It is easy to conflate the two when talking about Stratis, but it’s important to be aware that there is a distinction between the two. Stratis Group Ltd is a company who are building the Stratis Platform which uses Stratis to enable its functionalities and STRAT to fuel them. Stratis is a decentralised network made up of the users of the Stratis network. Stratis is the sum of every STRAT holder, node operator, staker and user who sends a transaction.

What is the Stratis Platform?

The Stratis Platform is an open source collection of services made by Stratis Group Ltd which utilise the Stratis network. The goal is to provide all the tools a user would need to “make blockchain easy” for them. The platform is built from the ground up in C# so as to make the most of the C# / .NET ecosystem and the wealth of tools available there to developers. Different applications will require different components and the Stratis Platform is designed to provide a one stop shop for a customer or developer wishing to utilise the technology of the space. It is the “Service” in Blockchain as a Service.

As things stand, the Stratis Platform includes:

New features can be introduced to the Stratis Platform to keep the service competitive as new technologies are developed for the cryptocurrency space.

As an example, an enterprise customer could spin a sidechain for a dApp (a decentralised application) funded through the ICO Platform with functionality built in using smart contracts all the while with users’ privacy protected by the Breeze Privacy Protocol. The list of possibilities is extensive and the modular nature of Stratis’s Full Nodes turns it into a sort of blockchain lego: if you can imagine it, then you can build it.

From an investor’s perspective, it is important to know that each of the features of the Stratis Platform has been designed to introduce value to STRAT. The STRAT section of the FAQ goes into each of these in detail, tl;dr: as each of the features is used, value is introduced to STRAT. The features have this as a built in consequence of usage.

Why C# / .NET and why does it matter?

The Stratis Platform is the only Blockchain as a Service platform which is built from the ground up in the C# coding language, which was developed by Microsoft as part of the larger .NET ecosystem. Here are some reasons why this a big deal for Stratis:

1. The C# / .NET ecosystem is home to one of the largest suites of development tools in the world of software development. If you are developing a Stratis-based application you can use these tools to aid you in both the development of your application and the auditing of your code. More tools are being developed all the time and the more the ecosystem grows, the more powerful Stratis becomes as a blockchain and dApp development platform. Stratis exists in symbiosis with C# / .NET, an environment which is actively supported and improved upon by Microsoft and numerous other companies and individuals. The value of this relationship should not go understated.

2. C# is an industry standard language, used by many enterprises in part for the very reason outlined in point 1. If an enterprise looking for a blockchain solution is familiar with C#, then being able to utilise the .NET environment will be a very attractive prospect.

3. The community of C# developers is one of the largest in the world and exists across the globe. It is a widespread language used by millions of developers. This means that Stratis will be catering to a massive audience with access to auditing tools and auditors from a community numbering in the millions.

4. Theoretically, any language that can be translated into Common Intermediate Language (CIL) will also be supported for Stratis. This means native C# and F#, VB, and any other language where software has been written to compile to CIL. This opens up the door to developers who want to build specific applications which are better built using a non-turing complete language such as F#. There is a case to be made for smart contracts coded in F# over other languages. This adds further flexibility to the platform at the coding level.

What are the Full Nodes?

Stratis Full Nodes | Stratis C# Full Node on the Azure MarketplaceStratis Academy: Stratis Full Node | Stratis Discord for support in the #full_node channel

A Stratis Full Node is a computer running the Stratis Full Node software. The Full Nodes act as the foundation for the Stratis Platform. The Stratis Full Nodes run the C# Stratis blockchain and together form the C# Stratis network. Blockchain technology is built up of many components. The Full Nodes make the most of this by being modular: they allow someone using the Stratis Platform to pick and choose which components they want for their application. Think of it like blockchain lego: the Full Nodes provide the basic foundation and allow you to stack up the different components of the Stratis Platform in whatever way suits you.

The flexibility of the Stratis Full Nodes makes them very powerful. All platforms require a user to accept some compromises when building an application. There will always be limitations to what is possible. The Stratis Platform strives to eliminate as much compromise as possible by offering as much flexibility as possible. The Full Nodes allow a user to utilise all the features of the Stratis Platform and moreover allows them utilise them structured however they want. If someone wants to build an application which relies on smart contracts, they can do so from the Stratis mainchain itself. However, they are limited by the speed and nature of the mainchain and thus possibly being forced to accept some compromise in building their application. Fortunately, they could deploy to an existing sidechain better suited to supporting the contract. Or, given the modular nature of the Full Node foundation for the Stratis Platform, they could create a new sidechain with characteristics to suit their application and then deploy their smart contracts on that chain instead.

What is the Full Node GUI (AKA the Stratis Core wallet)?

Stratis Core wallet | Stratis Academy: Stratis Core

The Stratis Core wallet is the Stratis Full Node General User Interface (GUI). It is the wallet which allows users to be rewarded for securing the C# Stratis blockchain through staking. You can find out more about staking STRAT in the Staking STRAT section of this FAQ.

What are smart contracts?

Stratis’s Smart Contracts Alpha | Stratis Academy: Smart Contracts | Stratis Development Foundation: Smart Contracts | Stratis Discord for support in the #smart_contracts channel | Jordan Andrew’s introductory talk on Stratis’s smart contracts

A smart contract is a piece of software run on computers operating the full nodes of a cryptocurrency networkOnce a smart contract is deployed to a blockchain, a copy of it is contained in every node. The smart contract code is run by these nodes whenever the smart contract is used. Stratis’s blockchain is Proof of Stake, so any smart contracts which are deployed to the Stratis mainchain will be run by the computers operating Stratis Core wallets staking the Stratis blockchain. Stratis also has sidechains. Any smart contracts deployed to a sidechain will be run by the computers operating the nodes of that sidechain. This will address the congestion problem which faces smart contract offering Blockchain as a Service cryptocurrencies.

Smart contracts allow people to build things which leverage decentralization, immutability and transparency. It’s not hard to imagine an application for smart contracts which removes some middleman and provides more value to users in the process. Consider a platform which decentralizes online auctions. Sellers can advertise their item for sale and these can be bid for by potential buyers all through the application of smart contracts without any middleman taking money in the process. Both parties get more bang for their buck without having to sacrifice security or usability. With enough applications and enough people using them, tens of thousands of smart contracts could be being used every single day.

You can read about why smart contracts matter from an investor’s perspective here.

Why does it matter that Stratis has the first C# smart contracts?

Stratis is the first and only cryptocurrency or Blockchain as a Service to have C# smart contracts. There are a few other projects which offer coding level support for C# contracts, but none which actually execute C# code. Stratis’s are the first. This has a number of important and valuable consequences, but we will concentrate only on those which are pertinent from an investor’s perspective.

Stratis’s Smart Contracts are designed in such a way that when a smart contract is used, value is introduced to STRAT (you can read in detail about how, here). Thus, as investors in Stratis, our main concern should be the usage of the smart contracts: how can we be confident that there will be lots of smart contracts being used at any one time? This can be broken down into two main points, both of which are based around the fact that Stratis’s smart contracts are the first to execute C# code.

1) Stratis’s smart contracts are an attractive choice for development

A developer can build a smart contract in an environment they are familiar with using the same ecosystem they would use to build any other C# application. The barrier to entry for smart contract development is already high given the need for a developer to familiarise themselves with a novel technology. If they also have to learn a new coding language and work their way around a new ecosystem, that barrier to entry is raised yet higher. Stratis sidesteps this by operating on a network built from the ground up in C#. Moreover, because the executed smart contract code is itself C#, developers can be confident that the code will behave the way that their C# code has always behaved. By contrast, if they are building a smart contract on a platform which only offers coding level support for C#, there is no guarantee that their code will behave the way they expect it to.

2) Confidence in the security of a Stratis smart contract is improved over other smart contract offerings

Security is a big issue in crypto. Smart contracts are dealing with people’s money.  When smart contracts go wrong, people lose money. It is very important for the adoption of the technology that confidence in the security of the contracts is high. Confidence in Stratis Smart Contracts is improved over other options by being able to leverage the C# / .NET ecosystem. There are entire companies based around the security auditing of C# code. They have produced an extensive list of software tools that can scan for certain kinds of conditions in the code (essentially, smart contract developers could have “code scanners” which can be applied or adapted to smart contract code). There are well established best practices and technical tools that have been developed at corporations which can be used easily with Stratis’s contracts. Moreover, these will actually MEAN something because the code will behave the way developers expect it to. On top of this, there are also strong testing frameworks that run natively inside Visual Studio. On the other side of smart contract development,  the contract can be decompiled back to the source code easily by already existing decompilers. Thus, auditing of the contracts can be performed easily. Confidence in the security of the contracts is improved by both sides of the process: pre-deployment and post-deployment. This may contribute to adoption in a significant way.

A more in-depth article about the C# / .NET nature of Stratis’s smart contracts can be found here.

What are sidechains?

Stratis’s Sidechains Alpha | Stratis Academy: Sidechains | Stratis Discord for support in the #sidechains channel

A sidechain is a blockchain which is connected to a parent blockchain (the blockchain to which the sidechains are pegged but which is itself not pegged to another parent blockchain is referred to as the mainchain). This is done by pegging their respective coins to one another. A sidechain lets a user have their own blockchain with any consensus rules and characteristics (i.e. transactions per second, blocktime etc.) that they require but it is linked to the Stratis mainchain in such a way that they benefit from any enhancements made on the Stratis mainchain. In the words of Chris Trew, CEO of Stratis Group Ltd:

Sidechains provide a means to quickly provision, sandbox and deploy a bespoke blockchain tailored to specific enterprise processes. Because Stratis sidechains remain linked to the well-established Stratis mainchain, enterprises can be certain their blockchain implementations will continue to benefit from enhancements made by our core team of highly-experienced developers.”

One significant benefit from sidechains for the Stratis Platform is scalability. Scalability is the problem that as blockchain technology sees greater adoption, it becomes too slow or too large for many applications. A sidechain founder can specify both the block size and block interval, increasing the number of transactions in each block and/or reducing the time between each block. In this way they can tailor the sidechain to their requirements.

Importantly, smart contracts can be built on top of the sidechain, leaving the mainchain free to exchange funds. The significant slowdown of the mainchain due to having smart contracts deploy and execute from the mainchain has been seen in other popular smart contract offering Blockchain as a Service platforms. Stratis’s sidechains will address this problem. This will further make the Stratis Platform an attractive option for smart contract development.

A sidechain creator can choose to make a private sidechain. This would be a permissioned cryptocurrency similar to what is possible with the Stratis DLT. There are a few key differences between a private sidechain and the DLT, which you can read about here.

The way Stratis’s sidechains have been designed means that every time a sidechain is used, value is introduced to STRAT. Why and how this is achieved is outlined here.

What is the Stratis ICO Platform?

Stratis ICO Platform | Stratis Academy: ICO Platform | Stratis Discord for general info in the #ico_general channel

The Stratis ICO Platform is a secure crowdfunding platform that allows projects to raise funds for their ICO. It is the first blockchain application available on the Azure Marketplace. The platform simplifies the crowdfunding process and eliminates the opportunity for scam addresses to be posted to steal investors’ funds. A project running an ICO can deploy the Stratis ICO Platform to Azure, customise the design to suit their project and securely accept funds for their ICO. The platform is blockchain agnostic. This means that a project using the Stratis ICO Platform is not limited in the nature of its coin or token offering: they can, for example, release an Ethereum based token or a coin native to their own blockchain once the ICO period is over. In this way, Stratis Group Ltd has not limited the potential adoption of the Stratis ICO Platform.

The Stratis ICO Platform allows users to invest in an ICO using 50+ of the most popular cryptocurrencies but only allows companies running an ICO to receive STRAT and up to 400 BTC (see Why will up to 400 BTC not be converted into STRAT by the Stratis ICO Platform?). All other currencies invested will be converted into STRAT automatically using Changelly.

This is the second iteration of the Stratis ICO Platform. Future releases will include changes to the structure of the investment allowances as well as changes in response to feedback. Eventually, it may also support token issuance using Stratis’s smart contracts and sidechain founding as well, once these features ready for integration.

The Stratis ICO Platform, as with the other features of the Stratis Platform, has built in mechanisms for rewarding STRAT investors. A breakdown of how this works with the Stratis ICO Platform can be found here.

Why will up to 400 BTC not be converted into STRAT by the Stratis ICO Platform?

One of the main reasons a company opts to run an ICO is to fund development and business growth. The company will need to liquidate the funds they received during the ICO in order to cash in those funds. This can have a negative impact on the price of the invested currencies if the company floods the market. The impact of companies liquidating received funds on the market has been well documented. By allowing companies to receive up to 400 BTC during their ICO, it gives them a chance to realise some of the funds in the liquid BTC market rather than force them to sell STRAT into the STRAT market. This is designed to alleviate some of the impact that companies realising funds post-ICO could have on the STRAT markets.

What is the Stratis Academy?

Stratis Academy

The Stratis Academy is an online resource developed by Stratis Group Ltd aimed at providing documentation for the Stratis Platform. It’s target audience is developers looking to develop using the Stratis Platform. However, it includes a huge amount of information that would be valuable to interested parties of all categories, from investors through to potential customers. The Stratis Academy should be the first port of call for anyone who is looking for more detail and lower level explanations than are contained in this FAQ.

How does Stratis Consultancy complement the Stratis Platform?

Stratis Consultancy is a service run by Stratis Group Ltd for customers who wish to use the Stratis Platform but who do not have the expertise required to realise their use of the platform. Some applications of the Stratis Platform are simple enough to work off a standard boilerplate code. Others are much more involved and require considerable understanding of blockchain technology. Companies can opt to pay Stratis Group Ltd to help them deliver their particular application of the technology. Some services that make up the Stratis platform will also be offered in a premium version. For example, the Stratis ICO Platform will be offered in a premium edition as part of the Stratis Consultancy. Stratis Group Ltd will receive a revenue from the consultancy service and this will contribute towards the continued development of the Stratis Platform.

What is the Breeze Wallet?

Breeze Wallet | Stratis Academy: Breeze Wallet

The Breeze Wallet is a Hierarchical Deterministic wallet. It is a lightweight wallet, meaning that it does not download the full Stratis or Bitcoin blockchain. Breeze supports both STRAT and BTC, which means you can hold both STRAT and BTC in the same wallet. Breeze also supports the Breeze Privacy Protocol which allows users to make their activity private by tumbling their coins.

What is the Breeze Privacy Protocol and what are the Breeze Privacy Protocol Masternodes?

Breeze Wallet | Stratis Academy: Breeze Wallet | Breeze Privacy Protocol Masternodes installation guide | Stratis Discord for support in the #privacy_protocol channel

Breeze Privacy Protocol at a glance:

  • BTC tumbling using TumbleBit’s Classic Tumbler Mode
  • Very high degree of anonymity, determined by the number of participants in each tumbling cycle
  • BTC Tumbling Cycle time of 117 blocks, or roughly 19.5 hours
  • BTC Tumbling fee of 1.55%, plus the standard network fee chosen by the user

The Breeze Privacy Protocol is a feature of the Breeze Wallet. It is a non-centralized, in-wallet implementation of TumbleBit. TumbleBit is a trustless, unlinkable privacy solution for Bitcoin. It uses an untrusted intermediary called a Tumbler to enhance anonymity. It is trustless because the Tumbler cannot steal BTC and cannot send BTC to itself, and it enhances anonymity by mixing k people in such a way that it cannot link any of the people involved. The Tumbler can learn nothing about the relationship between anyone involved in the tumbling process. In the Breeze Privacy Protocol implementation of TumbleBit, the Tumblers are the Stratis Masternodes which make up the Masternode server.

Tumbling is hard to perform successfully. Coordinating that many people and ensuring they follow the process correctly requires a sophisticated service. Such services exist, as do services performing other kinds of mixing (you can find a good discussion on existing mixing/tumbling processes and services in the TumbleBit whitepaper). However, these services are not the best solution. There is always a risk that any closed source third-party service will steal your BTC or simply not work. There is also a case in which the Tumbler can link parties involved: if one or both of the parties (in the tumbling Alice-Bob pair) collude with the Tumbler. If the tumbling is centralized, i.e. a third-party service providing a Tumbler, it makes it easier for collusion to be performed.

This is where the Breeze Privacy Protocol and the Breeze Wallet comes in. The Breeze Privacy Protocol is open source, so anyone who wishes to do so can audit the code to verify that it is safe and does what it says on the tin. It makes the tumbling process as easy as possible by providing the service fully in-wallet: download the wallet, follow the setup process and you can be tumbling your BTC in no time. The real kicker is that Breeze is decentralized. The tumbling itself is performed by Stratis Masternodes. When you elect to start a tumbling cycle, Breeze will broadcast the attempt to connect to the tumbling Masternode server and it will establish which Masternodes meet the requirements (denomination – how much BTC you want to tumble, elected fee, collateral, etc.) and then randomly chooses a valid Masternode to perform that tumbling cycle. This means that there cannot be collusion between the tumbling participants and the Tumbler.

Each cycle provides the participants with an anonymity set equal to the number of participants. If 99 people are tumbling with you, you’ll have an anonymity set of 100. This is beyond what is achievable with most current privacy solutions for Bitcoin and also better than other altcoin solutions (for example, Monero achieves an anonymity set of between 2 and 10).

At the moment, the Breeze Wallet is a multi-chain wallet that lets a user hold both BTC and STRAT, but only allows them to tumble BTC. Stratis Group Ltd are working on support for STRAT tumbling as well, which will have a cycle time of just 2 hours, rather than BTC’s 19.5 hours.

The Breeze Privacy Protocol is an implementation of NTumblebit, a C# implementation of of TumbleBit. As things stand, it supports the Classic Tumbler Mode of TumbleBit; however, work is being done to support the Payment Hub Mode also. The Payment Hub Mode works with just two on-chain transactions and then introduces anonymity through a series of off-chain payments (similar to the Lightning Network). This also facilitates significant scaling potential for Bitcoin itself. These are early days, but TumbleBit has what it takes to make big waves in the Bitcoin scaling debate.

The Breeze Privacy Protocol Masternodes are operated by STRAT holders and require a collateral of 250,000 STRAT as well as 5 BTC which will be used to perform the tumbling itself.

You can read in more depth about the privacy problem and the Breeze Wallet solution in this article.

Why did Stratis Group Ltd build out the Breeze Privacy Protocol?

The Breeze Privacy Protocol was a big undertaking. Stratis Group Ltd wanted to build out this privacy protocol for Bitcoin for a number of reasons. First, Stratis has a close relationship with Bitcoin: Stratis is itself a port of the Bitcoin Core architecture and so improvements brought to Bitcoin can be more easily brought to Stratis as well. Secondly, Stratis Group Ltd are targeting enterprises with their Blockchain as a Service. Many enterprises want a level of privacy that Bitcoin cannot afford them. The Breeze Privacy Protocol is Stratis Group Ltd’s solution to lowering this particular barrier to enterprise adoption. Thirdly, the Breeze Privacy Protocol Masternodes (which perform the tumbling service) are a way of rewarding STRAT holders. They require a collateral of 250,000 STRAT plus 5 BTC and pay the node operator the tumbling fees inherent to the TumbleBit protocol.

What is the Stratis DLT?

The Stratis Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is a service provided by Stratis Group Ltd which is targeted at enterprises and is offered as a part of their Blockchain as a Service. The DLT allows a customer of Stratis Group Ltd to set up a permissioned cryptocurrency with a valueless unit of account using a Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus protocol. We’ll quickly break down what this means.

A permissioned blockchain can only be written to by nodes with the authority to do so; block issuers are known and entrusted with the role of block production. By comparison, anyone can participate in Bitcoin block production. Anyone can attempt to write to the Bitcoin blockchain by running a mining node. It is unlikely they will succeed in writing to the Bitcoin blockchain unless they have a competitive hashrate, but there is nothing preventing them from trying. Only authorised nodes can participate in writing to and securing a permissioned cryptocurrency, hence Proof of Authority.

A permissioned PoA cryptocurrency needs to have a unit of account, but the unit of account doesn’t have to be a value-bearing coin. The coins of Proof of Work and Proof of Stake cryptocurrencies have to be value bearing in order to incentivise behaviour which is beneficial to the network. The basic idea being that people will be selfish and do what’s best for them, so the cryptocurrency has to ensure that the most selfish things someone can do are the things which are beneficial to the network: people will get more value out of participating in Proof of Work and Proof of Stake on the correct chain with the correct software than they will by participating on the wrong chain with the incorrect software, as the coins they receive will not be recognised by the overall network and thus be worthless. This is not a consideration for permissioned PoA cryptocurrencies.

The DLT can be used in applications which use a private blockchain. PoA makes it easier to maintain a private chain than PoW or PoS as the block producers are known (thus are held accountable) and it requires very little computational power. There are similarities between using the DLT for a private blockchain and using a private sidechains. However, there are significant differences between the two. You can read about those differences here.

The Stratis DLT will allow customers to build out cryptocurrency applications which don’t require value bearing currencies, but instead will be purely utility or data bearing. We’ll go through one simple example of such an application:

Blockchain networks are a way of syncing multiple disparate ledgers; they are a way of ensuring that all parties have a copy of exactly the same data. It is easy to think of cases where it is important that many different parties are reading and writing to perfectly synced records of data. One such example would be someone catching a flight. There are many parties involved in a customer catching a flight. Between the time they buy the ticket online and the time they actually take off there are numerous moving parts and parties who will all need up to date data on the status of the customer’s journey to the plane: the ticketing company, the airline, the airport, the baggage handling company, insurance companies and so on. No doubt we’ve all experienced something similar to this at some point: the app on your phone says you’re boarding right now from Gate 22, the screen at the airport is saying the flight is cancelled, the airline itself is saying it’s just delayed and when you finally get to Ibiza it turns out your luggage is in New York. DLT could ensure that all of these separate parties have access to a copy of data that is guaranteed to be shared by the other authorised parties. Likewise, any updates to the data are seen by all parties.

What is the difference between the Stratis DLT and a private Stratis sidechain?

There are two main differences between a private sidechain and a private blockchain via the Stratis DLT. (It should also be noted that the Stratis DLT need not be a private blockchain)

1) The DLT uses Proof of Authority to secure the cryptocurrency and write to the blockchain. Private sidechains can opt for other consensus protocols like Proof of Work and Proof of Stake.

Proof of Authority (PoA) means that the blocks are produced by known and trusted nodes. The DLT uses PoA for a number of reasons. Firstly, it makes sense for the block producers to be trusted internal nodes run by the customer. A cryptocurrency consensus protocol is all about who has control. A customer using DLT will want to know that they have control of the cryptocurrency they’re using. Private sidechains can be Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS).

Besides the need to incentivise good actors with PoW and PoS (see point 2.), PoA has a few characteristics which may be attractive to customers: it requires low computational power, doesn’t require communication between nodes to achieve consensus and block intervals can be predicted with 100% accuracy so long as it is known which nodes are online, something which is not possible with PoW or poS.

2) The private sidechains are pegged to the Stratis mainchain by pegging the coins of the sidechain to STRAT, meaning the sidechain coins will have value. By comparison, DLT coins won’t need to have value.

The sidechain coins have value because they pegged to STRAT. The value of the sidechain coin is pegged to the value of STRAT (you can read more about how, here). For that reason, there are applications which will suit private sidechains better than DLT. For example, any application which needs to service an economy as part of the application. This could be something like an internal payment reconciliation system.

The value consideration also plays into the consensus protocols of private sidechains and the DLT talked about in point 1. You need to incentivise node operators in order for PoW and PoS to work. The easiest way of doing this is by rewarding node operators with coins of the value-bearing currency. This is not a consideration with the DLT since PoA does not require the same incentivisation of good behaviour: why would the trusted node sabotage its own chain? Trusted nodes could either be a single, centralized node, in which case it is a good actor by definition, or it could be a group of nodes operated by the involved parties (like in the airport example given in What is the Stratis DLT?) in which case any bad actors would be identified.

A PoA cryptocurrency will always follow the longest chain. In the instance that private keys of nodes are compromised, so long as 51% of the nodes are honest or uncompromised, the longest chain will be the best chain. In this sense, PoA can retain the extra layer of security that comes with decentralisation, if that is a consideration for the application.

What is the Stratis Development Foundation?

Stratis Development Foundation

The Stratis Development Foundation (SDF) is a community led initiative to educate Stratis users and to reward work contributed by community members. The SDF is a chance for the broader Stratis community to do work which is of value to the overall Stratis ecosystem. Tasks are submitted which pay out bounties in STRAT to whoever completes them. These tasks include tutorials for the SDF itself, making the SDF more valuable as a resource when they are completed.

What is C# Corner and what is their relationship with Stratis Group Ltd?

C# Corner

C# Corner is the largest online community of C# and Microsoft developers with over 5 million monthly visitors and close to 3 million registered members. C# Corner has 32 chapters in various cities around the globe. Mahesh Chand (founder of C# Corner) joined Stratis Group Ltd in February of 2018 to help Stratis Group Ltd build relationships with enterprises and importantly to reach out to the wider C# development community.

How does The Stratis Platform approach the scalability problem?

Scalability is the broad term used to talk about a cryptocurrency’s ability to work as intended as it experiences increased usage. The Stratis Platform has been built with scalability in mind. The two problems outlined in What is the cryptocurrency scalability problem? are congestion on a blockchain as usage increases and operational costs/cost to the network increases as the blockchain becomes larger.

The Stratis Platform addresses the first by offering sidechainsSmart contracts will be deployed to sidechains rather than to the mainchain. This will leave the mainchain free of transactions associated with smart contracts and hence alleviate the congestion they can cause.

The flexibility of the Stratis Platform helps to address the second problem. Users have options when using the Stratis Platform to build their application. For example, they can opt for a PoA consensus mechanism which significantly reduces cost to the network.

Why would a customer use the Stratis Platform instead of a competing platform?

Flexibility and familiarity. The Stratis Platform is designed to be as flexible as possible. Stratis Group Ltd were fortunate to be building out the Stratis Platform when they were: they were early enough to be the first fully C# Blockchain as a Service, but they were also able to learn lessons from previous BaaS offerings. The Stratis Platform is a very flexible, scalable platform for dApp and general blockchain development. The modular nature of the Full Nodes allow users to build their applications in whatever way suits their needs.

The Platform is built from the ground up in C#. You can read in more depth about why this is important here. Much of the corporate world uses the C# coding language and is familiar with the .NET ecosystem. If a business already has applications in the .NET environment, then it makes sense that they would wish for their application of the blockchain technology to exist within the same framework. No other BaaS offers this.

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