Stratis, the platform that facilitates the development and deployment of C# blockchain applications on the .NET framework, has had an eventful first half of 2018. Back in March, they announced a series of roadmap objectives they intended to complete by the end of Q2, and they have been largely successful in their aims.
Both in terms of internal development and notable partnerships, 2018 has been a banner year for Stratis, to the extent that they’ve come up with a very interesting way to fill 2 new job vacancies. Let’s take a closer look at what they’ve achieved.
Full Node and Stratis Core Released
On March 28, the Stratis full node mainnet beta was released. With so much work going into it, this was a highly anticipated release intended to stabilize and enhance the software overall, as well as in terms of the P2P code, wallet, and consensus protocol.
Among other improvements, the P2P code was improved in terms of asynchronization, resolution of memory leaks, peer discovery and banning, and time syncing. Consensus validation and block download flow were also enhanced, and a Rules Engine was introduced, while block and transaction relay were given a boost. The ability to stake on multiple threads was added, as well as an improved staking algorithm.
The Full Node GUI was then updated on April 11 and renamed Stratis Core. This release took user feedback and made enhancements to the UI, addressed issues and glitches, while making other more general improvements. Among these were the ability to view QR codes in the receive modal as well as see all addresses generated by the wallet.
Another big release was announced in Q2, on May 9, when the feature-rich Stratis ICO Platform, which allows users to easily deploy ICOs in a matter of minutes on Microsoft Azure, was unveiled. The Stratis ICO Platform makes launching an ICO intuitive and customizable, allowing users to accept payments in 50+ currencies, including USD, BTC, and STRAT.
It integrates with a KYC service to verify contributors’ identities and facilitate onboarding. It also supports decentralized HD wallets, meaning funds are not stored on the server. Overall, it makes for a highly enhanced and secure experience for everyone involved in an ICO. The platform itself is available on Github.
Stratis Smart Contracts
On May 16, another step forward for the Stratis ecosystem occurred: Stratis Smart Contracts were released in C# Alpha for the .NET framework. This ensures that the Stratis Smart Contracts will be compatible with the existing architecture on other platforms. Stratis also plans to soon support F# as well, which will create an even more welcoming environment for programmers from different sectors, opening Stratis up to the financial industry.
CEO of Stratis Chris Trew is optimistic about the effect offering smart contracts in such a universal programming language will have on expanding their user base:
Smart contracts are the backbones of blockchain as a transparent, decentralized marketplace, and… the more inviting you can be to get people to join that marketplace, the faster blockchain will be adopted.
Stratis Sidechains Alpha Release
On June 27, Stratis Sidechains Alpha were released in C# on the .NET framework. This is in part what gives such a wide versatility to the Stratis platform, allowing developers to create their own blockchains while still benefiting from the main Stratis infrastructure. With an enhanced flexibility with regards to consensus, block size, and privacy, a wider range of enterprises will be motivated to build their solutions on the Stratis platform, while improving the scalability of the mainchain.
Sidechain wallets will also facilitate transactions between the mainchain and its sidechains. All digital funds kept on sidechains will always be guaranteed by the STRAT token. To trailblaze this new technology, Stratis has launched a test sidechain called Apex, which can function independently as well as interact with the mainchain.
Get started working with Stratis sidechains at their Github Repository.
The very next day, June 28, an endeavor of a completely different kind was launched: the Stratis Academy. Seeking to make itself a repository for blockchain knowledge, learning, documentation, and other reference material, Stratis set up a library where visitors can actively learn about blockchain technology.
This includes archives of accessible content as well as intensive learning courses, including Blockchain 101 and other courses that clarify different elements of blockchain technology. And once you have the basics, Stratis Academy provides materials on techniques for more advanced blockchain developers, as well as practical applications for the Stratis blockchain in the business sector. So however far along you are, it’s definitely worth taking a look!
Stratis Identity for iOS
Currently only available for Apple devices, the Stratis Identity is an app that provides a solution for users to manage and display their digital identities, both individual and corporate. Their information is stored permanently on the blockchain, with social media information linked to it for easy registering with websites.
According to Trew:
Stratis Identity offers a streamlined way to verify one’s identity through popular social media accounts, using pre-existing Microsoft, LinkedIn or Google account information. Once one’s true identity is established through our app, a Stratis Identity can be shared securely without ever exposing any specific user’s sensitive personal data.
In addition to creating a unique identity on the Stratis blockchain, this app provides users proof of ownership of various online accounts and a built-in verification tool to assess other users’ identities.
The Stratis Puzzle Challenge
In light of Stratis’ meteoric growth in the past year, they’re on the hunt for the brightest and the best of the blockchain community for 2 vacancies in their development core team. And the way they’re planning to offer at least one of those jobs is something straight out of Robin Hood…
Stratis is offering a multi-tiered puzzle, made up of a sequence of 12 tasks of increasing difficulty, which will test logic, knowledge of blockchain, and cryptography skills. Each task, once solved, leads to a piece of a 12-word mnemonic phrase that will open a wallet containing a prize valuing over $10,000.
The first competitor to solve 10 out of the 12 tasks will also receive an automatic job offer, although they are free to opt for the crypto prize instead.
If you think you have what it takes to make it to the end, check out the first puzzle here.
You can also follow Stratis #puzzle on their Discord channel to see what the community have to say, and get involved with any discussions or collaborations.
A sure sign of a blockchain project that has a sound foundation and good momentum is what kind of partnerships it has attained. We have already looked into Stratis’ partnership with C# Corner, which they announced in January 2018.
C# Corner is a developing community, over 3 million strong, that has a lot to offer Stratis in terms of bringing talent and expertise to their ecosystem. This, in turn, should bring a hefty boost to the number of C# applications built on the Stratis platform, as well as make Stratis a household name.
Another exciting partnership announced in January was with the software company Gluon, which was confirmed as one of their flagship ICOs. Gluon aspires to create a network of vehicles, by which owners can keep track of issues using IoT, AI, and blockchain. Stratis’ C# and .NET foundation provides Gluon the flexibility they need to tackle problems from different angles. In turn, Gluon’s focus on upcoming technologies in the automotive industry (hybrid, electric, self-driving, etc.) could bring Stratis a good deal of prestige in the fintech realm.
What’s Next for Stratis in Q3 and Q4 2018?
Clearly, Stratis has had a very strong first half of 2018. But can they keep up this tremendous momentum?
They certainly have two strong partnerships under their belt already, and the fact that they’re growing quickly enough to have two development vacancies on their team is a good sign. Plus, engaging with their community through an interactive competition like the Puzzle Challenge shows that there is a lot of creative energy in the core team, with the substance to back it up.
It’s likely that with so much key groundwork being done in Q1 and Q2, Stratis will focus on smoothing over rough patches, strengthening their community, and working towards launching more ICOs. With their ambitious team, their flexible structure, and the advantage of their C# language, it’s likely that action for Stratis is about to kick into high gear.
One thing is sure: they will have to work harder than ever if they wish to top their stellar first half of 2018.