Stratis Sidechain Application

As mentioned in our Stratis Sidechain Masternode announcement last week, to progress the allocation of Masternodes for the Cirrus Sidechain, an application form would be made available to begin the enrolment process.
You can now apply to become a Masternode operator on the Cirrus sidechain by completing the form on the below page.
You will need to run the Stratis KeyGen utility that can be obtained via the below link.
Stratis Keygen Utility
The application process will be available until the 31st March 2019.
In addition to making the application form available, Stratis has incorporated design changes to the collateral requirement for both Masternode Tiers. We are happy to announce the collateral will now be held within a Stratis Mainchain wallet allowing token holders to continue staking whilst securing the Cirrus Sidechain.
This decision was made based on the feedback from the community on the original announcement and enables holders of the Stratis token to continue gaining staking rewards on the Stratis Mainchain whilst operating a Masternode.
Information regarding the hardware requirements for operating a Masternode and key dates will be announced after the imminent major release of Stratis Core.

Stratis Sidechain Masternodes

Stratis is pleased to announce the highly anticipated lower tier Masternodes that will support the Cirrus sidechain. The Cirrus sidechain is the first sidechain pegged to the Stratis mainchain where Smart Contracts in C# will be deployed.
The latest addition to Stratis Masternodes allows holders of the Stratis Token to operate as two different types nodes on the Cirrus sidechain. This in turn will result in operators obtaining fees for both transactions and smart contracts that execute on the chain.
Initially, there will be two tiers of Sidechain Masternodes that will maintain the Cirrus sidechain.
Cirrus Chain Federated Masternode
A Cirrus Chain Federated Masternode can produce blocks on the Cirrus chain, earning transactional fees and GAS costs for smart contracts executed on the chain.
There is a 10,000 STRAT collateral requirement in place to be eligible to become a Cirrus Chain Federated member.
Cirrus Chain Multi-Sig Masternode
Similar to a Cirrus Chain Federated Masternode, a Multi-Sig Masternode can also produce blocks on the Cirrus Chain. In addition, these Masternodes form the multi-signature address that secures the chain.
There is a 50,000 STRAT collateral requirement in place to be eligible to become a Cirrus Chain Multi-Sig MasterNode.
The number of Masternodes that can operate on the Cirrus sidechain is currently limited to 101 members to ensure a level of decentralization as multiple entities will be producing blocks on the chain. We will soon release dynamic federation membership allowing nodes to join and/or leave the Federation, further increasing the decentralisation of the Cirrus chain and allowing additional nodes.
The collateral amount for both Masternodes will need to be held within a wallet on the sidechain to meet the collateral requirements.
On the 6th of March, Stratis will be revealing a submission page where you can express your interest to become a Cirrus Masternode and provide your Cirrus public key. A simple command line tool will be released prior to this submission page becoming available.

What is PoA?

Proof-of-Authority is consensus algorithm that can be used instead of Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake.
It does not depend on nodes solving arbitrarily difficult mathematical problems, but instead uses a set of “Masternodes” – that are explicitly allowed to create new blocks and secure the blockchain. This makes it easier to maintain a private chain and keep the block issuers accountable. Also, PoA is more predictable since blocks are issued at steady time intervals.

Stratis Smart Contracts in C# and Stratis Sidechains Release

Stratis is proud to announce the release of Stratis Sidechains and Smart Contracts in C#.
This combination of two of our technologies forms an ideal pairing and marks the production release of both sidechains and smart contracts. As part of this release, Stratis has launched the Cirrus sidechain that supports smart contracts.
Our new sidechain has its own tokens, CRS, which are used for transacting on the sidechain, and provide gas for running smart contracts. This sidechain builds on the previous sidechain release and utilizes a Two-Way Federated Peg solution, which allows STRAT to pass to and from the sidechain through a gateway controlled by a federation. CRS are pegged to STRAT at a 1:1 ratio.
To maintain chain integrity, STRAT deposits need to mature for 500 blocks before they are honored on the sidechain. Withdrawals from the sidechain only require a singular confirmation before becoming spendable.
The sidechain is secured using a Proof-of-Authority (PoA) consensus algorithm, which requires a federation to be in place. The federation members have the rights to create blocks whereas non-federation sidechain nodes can transact and deploy smart contracts, but they cannot mine the blocks. On our smart contract sidechain, each federation member has a dual role, controlling the gateway with the mainchain and generating blocks.
A PoA algorithm is ideally suited to a smart contract sidechain. It is a resilient algorithm for blockchains and block creators are kept accountable as they are identifiable. PoA also enables our new sidechain to have a very small and predictable block time, blocks are issued on the network every 16 seconds.
As Cirrus is the first launched sidechain including smart contracts, the federated members of the Cirrus sidechain are comprised of nodes that are owned and maintained by Stratis. There will be an additional sidechain released in the new year, this will be comprised of STRAT holders who meet set collateral requirements. In addition, the federation will be further developed to offer further flexibility, allowing for the addition and removal of federated members.
Finally, an updated instance of Stratis Core will be released, this new version will enable users to seamlessly deploy smart contracts from the Stratis Core UI.
A preview of this can be found below.

Stratis ICO Platform Update

Stratis have continued to add features to the Stratis ICO Platform to ensure companies or individuals who utilize the platform remain compliant. The Stratis ICO Platform remains available via the Azure Marketplace, leveraging all the advantages that are associated with Microsoft Azure such as availability and scalability.
As an example, it has been ruled in certain countries that citizens are not permitted to invest in an ICO unless they meet specific requirements. In order to meet these sanctions that are in place, Stratis has integrated two key features into the ICO Platform.
Firstly, IPStack offers the ability to block access to the ICO Platform based upon an individual’s location and more importantly, can detect the usage of VPN’s and Tor. By utilizing the IPStack integration, you can ensure that users from blacklisted countries cannot easily circumvent the rules in place.
Secondly, Stratis has worked with Shufti Pro, a KYC and AML Provider who offer the ability to reject KYC/AML check applications based upon location. This acts as a final preventive step in blocking unwanted participants on your ICO.
In addition to the IPStack and Shufti Pro integrations, Stratis has also introduced a Private Sale feature. This feature enables administrators of the ICO to restrict who can register by whitelisting prospective users email addresses. This allows companies and individuals who are performing ICO’s to confidently announce and publish their ICO website address, without fear of unwanted registrations gaining pre-sale discounts.
Stratis will continue to further develop the Stratis ICO Platform to meet the needs of the market. These newly added features make the Stratis ICO Platform geared to cater for Security Token Offerings (STO’s).
The Stratis ICO Platform is available to deploy from the Azure Marketplace.

Stratis Academy Update

Stratis Academy has now been updated with extensive update on the existing Stratis Full Node documentation. We start off with a useful document that breaks down the output of the Full Node.
The next stop shows how you can customize the Full Node’s features; it’s a document both for someone who wants to create a custom Full Node build, by swapping out a couple of existing features, and for someone who wants to go further and create their own custom feature. The ‘feature’ document is also a great grounding for the later topics, which discuss some of the out-of-the-box features of the Full Node.
The Full Node supports Proof-of-Stake (PoS), Proof-of-Work (PoW), and Proof-of-Authority (PoA) algorithms. Although documentation on the PoW algorithm is widely available, we realised there was not much information on how PoW and PoA algorithms work. For developers, we take the explanation of PoS right down to the code level and look at the individual calculations involved. Those interested in our sidechain and DLT solution will find the discussion on PoA ideal for gaining a deeper understanding on why this algorithm is so well-suited to these technologies. More can be read here.
Following on with the customization theme, the possibilities provided by Full Node’s consensus feature are explored. First, consensus is viewed from the component level, and the route blocks and headers take through the code on their way to validation is explained. Next the validation rule sets and the individual rules for each consensus algorithm are looked at in detail; this comes from the perspective that you want to create and integrate your own existing rules. Although modifications might, in many cases, involve minor adjustments to existing consensus algorithms, you could, with the knowledge provided here, also create your own unique consensus algorithm.
Our implementation of proven headers provides an interesting discussion and shows (right down at the code level) how an existing Bitcoin feature has been adapted for a PoS blockchain. It is also a good example of how Stratis’ architecture can facilitate new feature development with, for example, the clean introduction of new consensus rules.
Another example of Stratis’ commitment to PoS was the release of the Cold Staking feature which is detailed in the following section.
Stratis’ DLT solution is given an illuminating overview showing how it can serve enterprise clients.
Numerous other updates have been made to the existing material, and the smart contracts documentation comes with a new piece on how to use the Account Abstraction Layer to more easily develop and interact with smart contracts.
This release is a precursor to a future Academy update which will cover the Smart Contract Sidechain. Importantly, the material here covers some of the theory, design, and code that make this innovation possible.
The Stratis Academy can be found from our Developers page.

Stratis Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)

We are excited to announce that Stratis Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is now available as a production release. With a Stratis DLT solution, enterprise customers can deploy private, federated blockchain solutions that are capable of storing and tracking information other than the ownership of a cryptographic token.
Like the Stratis C# Full Node, Stratis DLT is written entirely in C# on the Microsoft .NET Framework. By leveraging the Stratis C# Full Node, a Stratis DLT solution enables enterprises to deploy performant, private and optimised blockchain solutions within their environments. In addition, the features you would expect from an enterprise offering are readily available, including rights assignment and scalability.
Chris Trew, CEO and Founder of Stratis Group Ltd stated:

This is a great achievement for Stratis, enabling Stratis Technologies to be flexible and meet the needs of organizations in both the private and public sectors that require a bespoke private solution.

Stratis is already working with customers to deploy DLT – for more information and to deploy the Stratis DLT solution in your business, contact the Stratis Consultancy team here.

Stratis Core Production Release

Stratis is pleased to announce the production release of the Stratis Core wallet, which comes with additional functionality and an improved user experience overall. This production release of Stratis Core runs with the latest version of the Stratis Full Node as the back end, which means this release is the most stable and secure so far.
Several new features have been added to the Stratis Core wallet since the previous version, this includes but is not limited to.

  • Ability to Resync
  • Address Book Feature
  • Cold-Staking
  • ExtPubKey Retrieval
  • Large-Scale Address Generation
  • Node Statistics
  • Pagination

For added security, Stratis Core also allows an optional passphrase to be used in conjunction with the mnemonic to generate your wallet’s private seed adding further security to your funds.
Stratis Core is immediately available for download and installation from the wallets page.
In addition, a guide has been put together to aid existing users of StratisX in migrating to Stratis Core, this guide can be viewed here.

Stratis Full Node Production Release

Stratis is proud to announce the production release of the Stratis C# Full Node on Mainnet. The Stratis Full Node uses the Microsoft .NET Core platform and is a C# port of Bitcoin Core. While StratisX nodes were limited to the Stratis blockchain network, the Stratis Full Node is capable of functioning as a peer on either the Stratis or Bitcoin network.
The Stratis Full Node replaces StratisX as the engine powering the Stratis blockchain network. Stratis Smart Contracts in C# and Sidechains have been built on top of this new technology. Future advancements in the Stratis blockchain will also be built on this solid foundation, and therefore this production release marks a significant point on the Stratis roadmap.
A future-proof and environmentally stable Proof-of-Stake algorithm drives Stratis nodes, and this release of the Full Node is suitable for staking STRAT on Mainnet. Cold staking is also included as part of this production release, and this feature will be activated when 95% of stakers have adopted this release.
One of the aims when designing the Stratis Full Node was to make it component-based using a clean and customizable architecture. For example, Proof-of-Stake, Proof-of-Work, and Proof-of-Authority algorithms are all supported, and a Stratis Full Node can be set up to run with any of these. While a reference implementation is provided, this can easily be swapped out to work with an implementation that has been customized to work with a different database. At a more granular level, consensus rules can be added or removed as required.
Including and excluding individual components to create a Full Node tailored to a specific purpose is simple, and the Stratis Full Node can also be easily extended to include custom features. Future developments will adhere to the existing philosophy and follow a modular design.
As the Stratis Full Node has been built from the ground up in C# on the .NET Framework, Stratis has been able to incorporate optimizations. For example, when it comes to downloading the complete Stratis blockchain, the Stratis Full Node can do this significantly faster than a StratisX node, without compromising on security.
Despite the innovations made when designing the Stratis Full Node, the Full Node still uses, out-of-the-box, a protocol that is very similar to the Bitcoin protocol, and therefore familiar to those who know Bitcoin.
Migrating from StratisX to the Stratis Full Node is a straightforward process, and full documentation on how to do this is available here.
The production release of the Stratis Full Node is immediately available from the official GitHub repository or can be seamlessly deployed to Azure via the Azure Marketplace.

Stratis Q4 Development Roadmap

The Stratis Q4 Development Roadmap is now publicly available and provides an overview of the key deliverables to come from Stratis heading into the new year. Much of this work begun during Q3 of this year and the end of 2018 will see Stratis deliver a number of our core product offerings that will set us up for further customer engagement moving into 2019.
Stratis Full Node Production Release
The Stratis Full Node will be delivered as a production ready release. This will allow Stratis to embark on moving to a full C# Mainnet network.
Stratis Sidechains Production Release
Stratis Sidechains will be deployable on Stratis Mainnet allowing companies to create their own customized sidechains off the Stratis mainchain.
Smart Contracts in C# Production Release
The release of Stratis Smart Contracts in C# is scheduled for Q4 of this year. This will allow the development and deployment of Smart Contracts in C# onto Stratis sidechains.
Stratis ICO Platform V2
New features are being integrated into the Stratis ICO Platform. These features are based on feedback received from organisations utilising our ICO platform and also enhancements scheduled as part of our ongoing product development.
Stratis Cold Staking
The implementation of Stratis Cold Staking as part of the roadmap will enable Stratis holders to stake their balance in a cold-wallet. The activation of this technology is subject to the adoption of the Stratis Full Node.
Stratis DLT
Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is a requirement for the large majority of private institutions. Stratis has been diligently developing a C# DLT solution to fit the needs of organizations looking to utilize blockchain technology within a private environment.
Stratis Core
Stratis Core will be updated with the production ready instance of the Stratis Full Node. This will be our wallet to replace the existing StratisX (QT) staking wallet.
The Breeze Wallet will be updated with additional features and will utilize the production ready instance of the Stratis Full Node.
Stratis Academy
There is a focus on creating even more content on the Stratis Academy allowing developers and organizations to gain a deeper understanding of how they can build on top of the Stratis Platform. In addition, the Stratis Academy user interface will have a new look and feel.
Breeze Privacy Protocol for STRAT
Following the successful release of the Breeze Privacy Protocol for Bitcoin we will also be delivering the same functionality for STRAT. This will enable users to increase their anonymity when interacting with the Stratis token.

Stratis Partners with UK Meds

Stratis is pleased to announce our latest partnership with the UK’s fastest growing online pharmacy, UK Meds.
UK Meds is the fastest growing online pharmacy in the UK, digitally handling between 3,000 and 4,000 patient prescriptions each day. The company will deploy Stratis’ blockchain technology to improve patient safety across the online pharmacy sector as a whole, reducing instances of patients ordering multiple prescriptions.
By ensuring each patient’s request for a prescription is logged on a shared and immutable distributed ledger across a group of UK online pharmacies, the programme ensures patients can only access prescribed quantities of medication. Doctors dealing with online consultations and pharmacies preparing medication will have the ability to cross reference patients using a unique identifier assigned to each individual. Any previous request for medication across all online pharmacies in the programme will be easily referenceable using Stratis’ technology, ensuring patients receive correct prescriptions.
Joe Soiza, CEO at UK Meds commented:

Despite screening our own customers by IP addresses, phone numbers, cookies and many other factors, there isn’t a cross-industry solution to identify patients attempting to obtain multiple orders of drugs, with opioids being a particular example. Clearly our entire industry needs to come together to ensure we do everything possible to protect the vulnerable and utilizing Stratis’ technology can help us achieve that.
The Stratis Platform provides a highly secure blockchain solution that can be shared across the industry to provide a trusted and verifiable record of patient requests for medicine. We are initiating this programme, and we have over 10 online pharmacies onboard already. It’s our ambition for this to become the de facto standard across the entire UK industry.

Stratis’ technology will also be used to improve UK Meds’ own supply-chain by deploying Stratis’ Smart Contracts in C#, this is essentially code running on top of a blockchain enabling them to undertake specific tasks, at critical stages. In combination with track and trace logistics solutions, each shipment of medication will be logged on the blockchain when originally produced by the manufacturer, during points of distribution and again on arrival at UK Meds to certify pharmaceutical shipments are correctly packed, arrive in fine condition and remain securely sealed in the correct quantity.
Chris Trew, CEO at Stratis added:

This is a great example of blockchain being deployed where its unique qualities will make a real difference. Using traditional IT solutions to solve this issue would require a significant expense and would undoubtedly be administered by a third-party organization. With blockchain, the industry can cooperate on the critical issue of patient safety using a shared version of the truth.

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