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Stratis Developers Roadmap and Update (June 2017)

On this Special Update:

  • Stratis Developers Report
  • First Breeze Wallet Transaction
  • Revised Stratis roadmap

We are happy to report our consistent progress on the development of the Stratis Breeze and related Stratis Platform components. Additionally, we would like to share some highlights from our go to market strategy, to give you an idea of key messages and direction of the Stratis project.
For this special update, we asked our developers to tell first hand what they have been busy with, their accomplishments, present and future challenges.
We start with our Core Tech Developer, Dan Gershony. Besides helping orchestrate the overall development effort at Stratis, Dan is currently focused on finalizing the core nodes infrastructure and POS system.

Under the immense pressure to deliver a lot of complex tech and the shortage of time I feel we are doing well, the C# Fullnode is becoming mature with many of the major components such as the mempool, blockstore and our network builder complete. With POW mining and POS staking as the last barrier, we can soon go into beta and start optimisation and testing cycles. With the FN in beta we can start on the really interesting stuff like sidechains and smart contracts.

Some of the specific tasks that Dan has overseen include:
Fullnode:
Done – Consensus validation of POS
Next – Staking/Mining functionality, currently on collecting transactions from the mempool to add to a block to be mined. POW (mining) is already done next is POS (staking).
BreezeApi:

Done – Creating an HD wallet according to the BIP44 specification and address derivation (coin, account, change, address), Tracking of address balances, retrieving address history, persist wallet to disk, build and broadcast a transaction.
Next – Adding support for the stratis network, test and performance optimisation
BreezeGui:
Done – Most endpoints to call the Breeze api are complete.
Next – Adding both Stratis and Bitcoin tabs (whenever ready) and mainly working on the design.

Breeze Wallet Update

We want to start this Breeze update, with celebrating the great progress we are seeing in our project in terms of functionality and UI.
As we are preparing this note, we are happy to report the First bitcoin testnet transaction from inside Breeze wallet (as you can see in the picture below). Please note this is not yet a tumbled TX, but still very cool and it shows the progress we are achieving on a daily basis.

Jeremy, Dan and Pieterjan have been working hard on making Breeze the best wallet possible. Thanks to their efforts we have already advanced in the development of key functionalities :
Completed:

  • Creating and restoring a wallet.
  • Syncing wallet with the network.
  • Display of history of transactions
  • Calculation of balance for accounts

Ongoing:

  • Building and sending of transactions (Partially completed!)

Outstanding:

  • Encryption of the wallets files
  • Performance and testing review
  • Packaging of the solution.

In the words of Jeremy:

Once the above tasks are done, we still need to do some testing. Hopefully we’ll get lots of help from the community for this bit. Everything is going very smoothly, and between the dev, the UI and design teams, we’re making excellent progress.

  • Pieterjan has been working on the GUI for Breeze wallet. Together with our UI designers they have put together an amazing experience for our Breeze wallet:



The above GUI Breeze Wallet images are just a mockup and some features may not be available by the time of first public alpha release.
Completed

  • Layout (structure) of the wallet
  • Navigation between elements
  • Connection with the backend
  • Create and restore a wallet
  • Show balance, receive address, transactions

Ongoing

  • Error handling
  • Restructure to fit the design mockup

Outstanding

  • Building/sending transactions with the UI
  • Input validation
  • Styling

I’m sure we’ll get a lot of feedback on the GUI and together with the GUI designers we already have a lot of things planned for V2.
Our CEO, Chris Trew, has been busy looking into the different aspects of our roadmap and opportunities around Cloud Stratis and Azure. We have produced an updated version of the roadmap that reflects both our main development activities, as well as go to market activities for the remaining of 2017. The roadmap and corresponding milestone definitions will be posted and made available via our Wiki soon

Cloud Stratis Project and Microsoft Azure:
We are currently working on integrating Microsoft’s Azure into our Cloud Stratis Project, so that we can utilize the infrastructure capabilities of Microsoft’s offering and achieve deeper integration with Microsoft’s business units and partner programs. We are also working on completing Azure Certification for some key components of our platform. In the coming weeks Stratis will hire a developer that will be dedicated to Cloud Stratis development, this person will have extensive experience with the Azure architecture and APIs. The plan is to have a Proof of concept for Stratis Platform deployed on the Azure platform by the end of Q2.
Masternodes:
Breeze Nodes (MasterNodes):
Breeze Nodes will be available for private testing by future node operators soon. Extensive testing on the Bitcoin testnet will be completed in preparation for the production release of the Breeze wallet. We aim to hire a dedicated developer to work solely on TumbleBit and the Stratis Privacy Protocol. We will have separate posts and details about Breeze Nodes as we move closer to release.
Developer Code on Stratis Wiki:
Finally, we want to recommend all developers to visit our Wiki, where we have enabled an area where we plan to share code samples and documentation to help you get started with development on the Stratis platform.

Stratis Miami Roundup


During the past week the Stratis top management gathered together with advisors, consultants and subject matter experts to discuss strategy and major projects. We had very productive sessions to align our strategy and our execution for the exciting times ahead.
Some of the topics covered during our meetings include:

  • Evaluated and approved roadmap and future platform architecture. We will provide a snapshot shortly.
  • Approved initial plan, proposal and pitch for VC funding.
  • We agreed to further discuss terms and initiate submission to BanktotheFuture and another unnamed VC group, after receipt and final approval of deliverable.
  • Working already with one unnamed VC to secure funding. For the next few weeks we’ll be working on adjusting valuation and negotiating terms.
  • Evaluating new options to target blue chip VC funding to invite them to participate in funding as well.
  • Aligned Cloud Stratis and Azure efforts. Approved strategy towards MSFT. We are in talks with the Azure team to get Stratis Solutions Azure Certified as a first step in collaboration. Will be putting more resources immediately on Azure deployment to execute Azure strategy. Hiring Azure Developer.
  • Discussed and approved go to market plan 2017-2018

Additionally we had a very productive round of meetings with market experts that provided great insights and opened up right away amazing opportunities for Stratis:
 
Magdalena Ramada S (https://www.linkedin.com/in/magdalena-ramada-sarasola-phd-73560210/)
@MagdaRamada
Follow up: PoC / potential partnerships
 
Marshall Swatt (https://www.linkedin.com/in/marshallswatt/)
@KnowYourBitcoin
Follow up: Advisory role / VC Funding Consultancy
Stay tuned this week for more details as well as news on development of the Stratis Platform.
The Stratis Team

How to Secure Your STRAT


In today’s digital world, we are seeing extremely clever tactics being used to subvert the security systems in place that are supposed to protect us. Hacking and theft are becoming an increasing threat, so what can one do to protect themselves and their digital currencies? With the value of Stratis growing at such a rapid rate, there is high incentive for people to try to steal your Stratis Tokens, so you must use extreme caution when storing them. If you are storing a large number of $STRAT on a device, securing your tokens safely should be your primary concern. While there is no perfect system for securing your $STRAT tokens, there are some steps that you can take to help prevent any malicious attempts to steal your tokens.

  1. A basic rule of thumb for anyone using a computer connected device is to NEVER click on any links in which you are not 100% certain of its authenticity. You do not have to give permission to download malicious software. Any link that you click on in any e-mail or on any website can subject you to unknowingly installing a malicious add-on, program, virus or key-logger into your device. This rule of thumb is important for any device, but it’s absolutely imperative that you follow this rule when you are using any device that stores the private keys to your $STRAT (your wallet). Remember: If you are not sure, don’t click it!
  2. If you are storing a large number of tokens, a valuable solution to avoid theft from your devices is to have a dedicated device (or devices) that are only used for storing or staking Stratis Tokens. That would mean that you do not use the device for any purpose other than initiating transactions, verifying your balance and staking your coins. It is recommended that you factory reset or install a fresh copy of your operating system to this device before installing your wallet. In addition, it is HIGHLY recommended to refrain from installing any third-party software or browsing the internet from this device.
  3. Be absolutely sure that any USB devices that you plug into your device are not infected with malicious software. The best way to ensure this is to completely format your USB stick and only put trusted files in it (after formatting) to transfer to your device.
  4. If you are storing and/or staking your tokens on a Raspberry Pi, please be sure to follow all of the directions from the wallet guide found on the Stratis Platform Wiki. In this guide, you will find instructions on how to setup your firewall and secure the RPI properly. You can find a link to the guide here.
  5. You can split up your tokens across multiple wallets and devices to reduce the risk of a hacker gaining entry to all of your tokens in the same place. Just be sure that all of the devices are secure.
  6. Encrypt all of your wallets, and use very strong passwords to keep them secure. While this will not help if you are infected with a key-logger, it will help protect you against brute-force password cracking techniques. Use a mixture of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers and characters. Long and difficult passwords are recommended, as they harder to crack.
  7. KEEP YOUR PASSWORD SAFE! Make sure you keep a copy (or copies) of your password in a very secure location. Store it as though all of your tokens depend on it because that is exactly the case. Be very prudent concerning your password because if you lose it, you will lose access to all of your coins, and if your password falls in the wrong hands, they can be stolen.
  8. Hardware failure is very common across all devices, so it’s imperative that you backup your wallets. Store copies of your backups in the same cautious manner as recommended with your passwords. Common practice is to keep your backups on fresh USB sticks stored in safe locations such as fire-proof safes, safety deposit boxes or with someone you trust. As always, use your best judgement. Remember: the password that was set at the time you created that specific backup will be the password you must use in the event you need to restore your wallet. Instructions on how to backup or restore your Stratis Wallet can be found here.
  9. One of the safest ways to store your coins is via “cold-storage.” Hardware wallets have become a popular, trusted and highly secure form of cold-storage. The Ledger Nano S and Ledger Blue are both compatible with Stratis Tokens and they require you to physically press the buttons on your device in order to confirm any outbound transactions from your wallet.

Keeping all of this in mind, please use good judgement and safe practices when dealing with any form of digital currency. It is recommended that you do not store large amounts of Stratis on exchanges, and always use 2FA (two-factor authorization) for any withdraws. While the Stratis team takes the security of the network as an utmost priority, it is up to you to be vigilant in keeping the tokens safe on your devices. Be very deliberate in securing your valuable Stratis Tokens. Thank you for being a part of the Stratis Platform![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Stratis Platform Q&A (Apr 19th)


On the 19th of April, Stratis Group Ltd held an amazing Q&A hosted by Heidi. Stratis was represented by Founder / CEO Chris Trew, Director of Operations Policarpo Guerrero and Stratis Blockchain Developers Dan Gershony and Jeremy Bokobza. The following is an excerpt of the main topics addressed during the conversation. Some texts may have been added for additional information, links and added clarity. We would like to thank Heidi for hosting it and also like to thank the community for sending in all of their questions on Slack and Twitter.
C# Corner Conference
Chris, Dan and Krushang went to New Delhi in India to speak and present Stratis at the C# Corner Conference. Looking back at it, it definitely feels we helped to spread the word on Stratis and the Blockchain to all the developers. The main thing we took away from the conference was building relationships with several people at Microsoft. One of those relationships was with Magnus (Magnus Mårtensson / Twitter: @noopman) , who is a Microsoft MVP of Azure and a regional director at Microsoft. Magnus works closely with the Azure team, so it was brilliant actually speaking with him, catching up, and letting him know exactly what it is we are working on here at Stratis. He seemed very excited by the potential of Stratis. We also made some connections with the Indian Regional Director, and we had some great conversations. Some ideas came up about what we could do together and how we can promote Stratis in India.
Project Breeze / Masternodes
A lot of questions from the community were about Project Breeze and the ‘Masternodes’. We are happy to finally share the requirements to run a master node with all of you. The requirements for a master node are 250,000 STRAT. The 250,000 Stratis requirement for the master node is not something that we put in place. It’s something that is dictated by the technology. Tumblebit works best with a smaller number of servers. It provides privacy through obfuscation. If we have a large number of servers, the technology just will not work, so it’s not something that’s been put in place because we want a whale club or because we want to reward the large holders of Stratis. This is a technical requirement that’s in place. We’ve said we don’t want more than twenty nodes, and by having this minimum amount of 250,000, we hope to never go above above that amount (twenty servers).
There’s going to be several master nodes in the future that provide functionality across the Stratis Platform, and our goal is to have a node tier for every level of holders, so that even people who have a 1,000 Stratis, 10,000 Stratis or 100,000 Stratis can run a node as well.
Bitcoin and Stratis
In the Q&A we were asked if we would consider Stratis potential competition for Bitcoin, or if it is complementary to Bitcoin? We would definitely say that we complement Bitcoin. Our standpoint on it is that every other blockchain technology and start-up out there is in competition, but Bitcoin is not. We want the Stratis blockchain to be seen as somewhat of a test-bed for Bitcoin, so we’re going to be implementing a lot of the improvement proposals being suggested for Bitcoin that haven’t been implemented yet. What we’re hoping for is that the Bitcoin Core guys are going to look at the Stratis blockchain and see we have a reasonably sized market cap, and we’ve implemented this technology, and its working, in production, and say “do we need to think about bringing it over into Bitcoin?,” and visa-versa. We’re going to be bringing over a lot of the features implemented in Bitcoin over to Stratis, so we would definitely say we’re not trying to compete with or replace Bitcoin, but rather, we’re trying to complement it.
Stratis and Ethereum (Smart contracts)
So another question we got and have been asked frequently is what is the difference between Stratis and Ethereum? Well Stratis is built from the Bitcoin blockchain. And also, we plan to offer a slightly different smart contract model from what Ethereum is doing. All of the smart contracts from Ethereum are running on the Ethereum blockchain, but we will probably separate that to where smart contracts will run on sidechains or linked chains only.
That provides various benefits because smart contracts that are run on the sidechains will not bloat the main chain. As far as the difference between Stratis and Ethereum, Ethereum is built around touring-complete smart contracts, and that is their main focus. Stratis is more of a platform, and instead of building our platform around smart contracts, we’re going to be building it around basically all of the main innovations in blockchain technology. We want to be a one-stop-shop. We don’t ever want a company to need to have to go to another provider because we provide everything on the Stratis blockchain. Plus, there is the Stratis Consultancy. We can actually come in, analyze your requirements, go away, create designs, applications, application designs, architectural designs, and work with your in-house developers. You can outsource the whole development to Stratis. So, we are providing that enterprise managed service behind this blockchain solution, and that’s definitely one of our main differences to Ethereum.
There is also a benefit to having C# developers writing their own smart contracts in-house. There’s no barrier of language, or smart contract language, like Solidity. You’re just letting your already existing team of developers build on top of the Stratis Platform.
Regarding to the smart contracts, is that ours are in C#, so that as soon as we deliver these smart contracts in native C#, ten million C# developers around the world will be able to start writing smart contracts. They won’t have that whole learning curve of learning a totally new language. There’s another side to the coin as well. Because it’s in C#, which is a well-known and mature language, there’s millions of developers around the world that can audit the code of the smart contracts and look for any issues; whereas, with a new language, you have that learning curve, so you’re going to have to wait until there’s enough developers that have learned this new language in order to have that audit trail, but we’re going to have it out of the box.
Increase of value of the $STRAT token
The past few weeks the price per $STRAT has significantly risen. We think several factors have caused the increase in value, but the main one is just the realization of what we actually trying to build here. With Stratis, we like to think we overachieved, so the valuation is sort of following the progress of the projects. We are very open and visible in our development. You can come in into any of our development channels, and every time a commit is actually committed to one of our repos, it automatically posts a message in the development channel. People can constantly see the development take place. We are not just an “alt-coin.” We are well beyond that stage. Now, we are building a huge organization behind this project. We’ve got a great team of advisors and consultants advising us in the background, so a lot of what people see, a lot of these good moves we are making, are not just down to Chris or Dan. There is so much input coming into these decisions.

Chris Trew: As far as I’m concerned, we have not seen really anything yet. We are just getting started. We are in first gear.

Sidechains
Any of our assets will probably be deployed on our sidechains. That’s the most likely thing to happen and it’s definitely tradable. One of our main goals is to get the Stratis Platform deployed on some exchanges, and that will definitely prove its capabilities and technology, and show its technology’s strength.
Sidechains come in many flavours. Basically, it’s down to the implementation of the sidechain, what kind of mining algorithm they want to run, and they will have a variety of algorithms to run that we already have implemented in C# available to them, from PoW (all kinds of algorithms), PoS or Hybrid (PoW+PoS), or even what we would call proof of authority, where masternodes will actually be validating blocks on the sidechain, so the sidechain doesn’t need to worry about the security or the mining aspects, and it’s all taken care by the masternodes, and obviously, masternodes can collect fees for that work.
Funding
We expect Stratis to be self-sufficient within the next twelve months, but we’re going be raising ‘Series A’ funding within the next two months, so we are going to have an injection of capital. We’re not worried about funding at all. We didn’t even spend half of our funds, and we delivered on practically all of our promises that we’ve made up until this point, so we are in a very good position, and also we have a huge amount of Stratis available for development, which is actually worth three times as much in comparison to the bitcoin we hold. So, as far as funding is concerned, we are not concerned at all. We’ve got funding to see us through for, probably, the next four years, but we hope that in four years, we’ll be a whole different organisation, a huge multinational,or a conglomerate even, so we’re not concerned about funds at all.
One thing I would like to speak about is at the moment we are defining our pitch-deck that is going to be used for the VC-funding, and for the ‘Series A’ funding, so we will have a pack that will go out to VC firms, and it will have all of the information about Stratis: our business plan, revenue model, budget plans, and all of the information that is required, and we actually made quite a big shift on our focus because it was all built around Stratis as a company and our blockchain as a service (BaaS) offering.
When the guys were giving him the final pitch, for the final approval, he actually stopped them in their tracks and said that we are not talking about one of the exciting things about Stratis, and that is the Stratis Token and the Stratis Blockchain. So, now what happened is that we’ve made a complete shift, and our whole business and consultancy is all built around the token, the benefits of the token, and its quite large market cap that we’ve got surrounding this blockchain, which gives it economic security because of the amount of money actually involved, so I think when people actually see the pitch that is going out to the venture capitalists firms, I think they will be very happy because I know some people have concerns about; ‘Okay so you have Stratis Consultancy, but how does it add value to Stratis as a token?’. Well I can tell everybody now, we’re building the Stratis Consultancy around the Stratis Token.
Cloud Stratis
Originally, the idea for Cloud Stratis was that it would be an orchestration platform, and we will build our own data-centre environment. In our visit to the C# Corner, we spoke with Magnus Martensson, regional director at Microsoft, Azure MVP, probably one of the greatest minds out there around Azure, and Azure Consultancy. We had a great chat with him about our Cloud Stratis platform, about our approach, and I can tell everyone now that we are no longer deploying our own data-centre solution. It’s going to be built on Microsoft Azure. We are currently working with the Microsoft Azure team on that approach and exactly how we can get that there, and for the first time since Stratis was started, we starting to feel real support from Microsoft.
The road ahead
As far as long term vision, we want to cement ourselves as the go-to platform for enterprise organisations. If an enterprise organisation is looking at blockchain technology, we want Stratis to be the first name that comes up, and we do have a long road getting there, but we are definitely in a very good position at this point, and we are building the organisation behind Stratis. We are building a development team, the marketing, promotional strategies and growth hacking strategies behind it. All of this is sort of played in the small amount of success that we´ve seen so far. We´re not even in first gear. We´re really not. No one has seen anything yet. There is so much more to come from the Stratis Project. Once we start delivering our tech, and people can see and feel each aspect, I expect there will be many more happy days for us.
The above is only a ‘small’ part of the total Q&A. So we encourage all of you to watch or read the Q&A. Our community members ‘freeme62410’ and ‘snappaz’ have made a transcript of the Q&A, you can find it on our Wiki. You can also look back the video Q&A.

Chris Trew: My goal is top three market cap. I see anything else as a failure, so the future looks bright.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dZIGSD9NUg

Stratis announces first ‘Master Nodes’

 

Stratis Group Ltd. has just revealed initial details of the upcoming Breeze Nodes infrastructure release. The blockchain company, that has created one of the most innovative cryptographic tokens – Stratis ($STRAT). Will soon be offering an economic incentive to node operators to participate in securing different types of on-chain and off-chain transactions for the Breeze Wallet. As well as for blockchain apps and services for corporate clients.
The first iteration of the Breeze Tumbler Node (often referred to as a “Master Node”) will see their application supporting the Breeze Wallet, where they will help execute Bitcoin and Stratis TumbleBit transactions. These will have hybrid functionality running both Bitcoin and Stratis full nodes that provide additional services to the network.
There will be future releases of other forms of Stratis Nodes providing functionality, such as:

  • Payment Node – Payment Channels
  • Side-Chain Node – Hybrid Side chain special features
  • Identity Node – Identity management node

A Breeze Tumbler Node can be operated by anyone that meets the minimum protocol requirements. Some of those requirements include:

  • An operator will be required to sign a transaction with an account that has 250,000 STRAT or more.
  • For BTC tumbling transactions, an operator will also need to have 5 BTC or more held in reserve to be able to process payments. The more bitcoin held in reserve, the more payments theoretically can be processed.
  • Server hosts will need to provide a minimum amount of storage capacity (details TBA). It is recommended that your Breeze Node be available 24×7 in order to opt for the most transactions and potential fees.

Breeze Tumbler Nodes will operate in a totally decentralized and trustless manner, meaning that no one can steal the funds trusted to the network. Additionally, the STRAT required to operate a node can be stored on a Ledger Wallet or on offline backup. The private key to the users STRAT address is only required during registration with the Stratis Node network.
The BTC in reserves will need to be in a wallet on the node, as it is required to sign the transactions when processing the tumbler transactions.
Full instructions and documentation will be released in due course and made available via the Stratis Wiki. The intention is to make it near one-click, so operators do not have to deal with configuration files. Our developers will be ready to assist you with any issues you may encounter.
Rewards to the Breeze Node operators will be paid in the form of a transaction fee (estimated at 1%) paid by Breeze users directly to the Breeze Node that processes their TumbleBit transaction. This fee amount and its distribution may vary for specific implementations of the Breeze Node depending on the type of applications and services.

Depending on the operator’s jurisdiction there may be legal and tax related specific requirements and/or restrictions. We highly recommend all operators seek proper advice before operating a Breeze Node. This is a decentralized network not managed, controlled or administered by Stratis Group Ltd.
The Breeze Tumbler Nodes are expected to go live before the end of Q2 2017, by the time of the release to production of the Breeze Wallet.
If you have any questions please contact the team by joining our Discord.

Learn About Stratis in the New Wiki


Good news for all us! On occasion of our participation at the C# Corner Annual Conference 2017 in New Delhi, India, we would like to present the first version of the Stratis Wiki.
Brought to you by the efforts of our Stratis Academy in collaboration with members of our community, we have put together a basic structure of what we expect to be the most fundamental repository of documentation and research of the Stratis technology and developments. This will be a welcomed tool for the countless developers we expect to make aware and onboard on the Stratis Platform in the years to come. We consider this a fundamental instrument in making available technical know-how for developers wishing to explore our technology, services and capabilities.
We expect it will also be a nice source of information for our existing community members, as well as new comers and investors interested in learning the specifics and the business applications and potential of our technology. The new Stratis Wiki can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/StratisWiki
We invite our community to use it and propose comments and amendments. To this effect we are opening a #stratiswiki channel to the public in our Slack where you can initially post your comments and suggestions. There will be bounties and special recognition to collaborators and for those who help us put together informative and technical articles for the Stratis Wiki.
Thanks to Phil (@daddy) for his effort and help putting this together. Also @alpho2k, @dlow, @khilone, @krushang and other members of the team & community for your help with this.

Stratis Bitcoin Full Node in C# Goes Live


Stratis Group Ltd. announced this week that it has officially released the Alpha version of the Stratis Bitcoin Full Node. Built on Stratis Mainnet, it will give developers from around the world, the possibility of building the most advanced blockchain applications by incorporating capabilities from the Stratis Privacy, Security and Identity Protocol.

Building the Blocks

Stratis has adopted a modular approach to the development process of the Stratis Application Framework, a streamlined approach for faster and incremental releases.
On this regard, the Stratis Bitcoin Full Node plays an essential role as the foundation upon which other modules of the Stratis blockchain solutions can be easily and rapidly assembled into the most basic demo or the most sophisticated financial application.
This update released from the Stratis Development team includes the addition of key components to the Stratis Bitcoin Full Node, namely:

  • Mempool
  • Network
  • Blockstore

In addition, the Stratis Full Node has been activated on the Mainnet, providing a full SDK that allows developers to start testing their blockchain apps on live blockchain conditions.

Stratis Privacy, Authenticity and Identity Protocol
Currently under development, the Stratis Privacy, Authenticity and Identity protocol, includes capabilities inherited from the Tumblebit integration into Stratis, such as, enhanced privacy and off-chain transactions support.
Stratis plans to release several proof-of-concept projects this year, together with some strategic partners, in which to showcase these advanced features. The Stratis Privacy Protocol, an integration of the Tumblebit on the Stratis Full Node and Bitcoin networks, will be the first proof of concept offering a long awaited enhanced and secure privacy solution for cryptocurrencies. Currently being implemented into the Breeze Wallet, Stratis plans to extend its application to authentication and identity solutions for the enterprise and major corporate clients.
These implementations are not only positive additions to the Stratis portfolio of technological advancements, but also will serve as a production environment where latest improvements to the Bitcoin network can be tested.

Integration with C# and .Net Core Tools

Written with C# and .Net Core developers in mind, the Stratis Bitcoin Full Node opens to developers from around the world the opportunity to start developing blockchain applications within a familiar environment for them and their clients. If you are a C# developer, and would like to start coding your first blockchain app, we invite you to join our Slack. Our developers there will be more than happy to guide you and help you get started with the installation and operation of the Stratis Bitcoin Full Node.
We also want to take this opportunity to invite developers to attend our presentations and meet with us at the C# Annual Conference in India. This is one of the major C# / .Net developers events in the world, and we are thrilled to be presenting Stratis to such reputable audience.
A Blockchain is made of many components, from a Full Node that validates blocks to a Wallet that tracks addresses. Our objective is to offer a set of Nuget packages, from which an implementer can cherry pick what he/she needs. On this regard, we have made available a Nuget for the Alpha Release that can be found here.

The Road Ahead

The Stratis team has plans to add many more features on top of the Stratis Bitcoin Full Node. Starting with a sleek GUI for Stratis Wallet (due in aprox. 4 weeks) and later for the Breeze Wallet (due in aprox, 8 weeks), we are methodically putting together the pieces for the most advanced features to be offered on the Stratis Platform: POS/DPOS, Sidechains, Private/Permissioned blockchain, Compiled Smart Contracts, etc. These features, will undoubtedly bring us closer to offer purpose-built Blockchain solutions in a very short time-frame.
Included in this release (V1.0.1-alpha)

  • Stabilizing the consensus validation and block download code.
  • Signaling of new blocks and transactions that are discovered on the network.
  • Block Store is stand alone:
  • Store can respond to GetData payloads enabling FullNode capabilities.
  • Push blocks in batches to disk.
  • Download missing blocks from the network (catch-up mode).
  • Broadcast blocks to peers using Inv or Header payload
  • Cache store for faster block reads.
  • Memory Pool:
  • Async lock free implementation of the memory pool.
  • Logic and tests pulled form core.
  • Broadcast transactions to peers.
  • Fee estimation.
  • Introducing the Builder Pattern:
  • Build a full node in an easy and familiar builder pattern in a modular approach.
  • Support for creating new features inject-able to the full node.
  • Dependency Injection
  • Testing
  • Adding many more unit tests
  • A separate integration test project
  • Full Block SPV
  • Laying the grounds for a full block spv (for Breeze wallet)

Links:

Project Repository: https://github.com/stratisproject/StratisBitcoinFullNode/releases/tag/V1.0.1
Getting Started / Installation Guide: https://github.com/stratisproject/StratisBitcoinFullNode/blob/master/Documentation/getting-started.md

Acknowledgements:

We would like to thank Nicolas Dorier for all of his work for the Stratis Bitcoin Full Node. Also we would like to thank our other team members Dan Gershony, Pieterjan Van Hoof and Jeremy Bokobza for their outstanding work on the different modules. Special mention to our collaboration with Adam Ficsor as well as other participants from the Tumblebit project, which have been actively supporting the implementation. And last but certainly not least we would like to thank our community members for helping testing the Stratis Bitcoin Full Node and providing support to our team.

What is Stratis?

We are happy to see new members joining the Stratis project on a daily basis. Our community is growing and with that come new ideas and actions to help us improve. We received an excellent piece of writing by one of our community members regarding ‘What is Stratis’? We would like to share this with all of you.
It’s easy to miss the significance of The Stratis Project. Drowning in hyperbole, the cryptoverse spawns a never ending stream of next-big-things. Bitcoin Killers abound and thousands fall for promises that never deliver. Even so, among the dross, real innovation shines. A handful of projects deserve their top slots while others grow in the subsoil waiting to show the beauty of their form. Stratis is no shrinking violet; the team confident and businesslike. They walk a fine line, avoiding hype, building quietly and spreading the word through provable action. A growing community is witness to the skill, hard work and sharp vision that defines Stratis. This article comes from that community. We can praise where its due and, hopefully, help others see what we see.
Stratis is not a coin but a platform. We all know that bitcoin and the blockchain is going to impact the world in fundamental ways. The very success of bitcoin to-date has fostered a conservative approach to development, leaving room for a small army of visionaries to poke and prod with ideas good and bad in the alt coin space. We are in a golden age of early innovation and yet it is still a geek-fest. We are in the days of punch cards and green screen terminals. To fulfil its destiny, bitcoin and its sisters need designers, business people, financiers and the ingenuity of tens of thousands of non-crypto coders to humanise the space. Like it or not, we need to find our Steve Jobs, our Bill Gates and (if we’re really lucky) our Elon Musk and Jimmy Wales. Without our specialised coders, we would be nowhere but now is the time to lend them a hand – to attract experts from beyond the narrow walls of the cryptoverse – not in their hundreds but in their thousands.
When Chris Trew, Stratis’ CEO approached bitcoin developer Nicolas Dorier for help, he turned him away, uninterested in working on anything but bitcoin. Coming from the corporate world, Chris knew that the boring nuts and bolts behind millions of computers on the desks of businesses around the world relied on Microsoft’s .Net platform and its C# language. He also knew that when MS open sourced .Net and C#, the path was suddenly open to reach out to millions of experienced developers and their partners in design and business. Decades of battle-hardened operations tuned to real-world customer-focused use has formed a global infrastructure primed with easy to use tools that could change the landscape of crypto and help lead to its ultimate destination – the pockets of billions of ordinary people – rich and poor.
It is important to realise that although Stratis aims to bridge the specialised realms of blockchain and the corporate world, it is doing so in the spirit of open source where success is not a zero sum game. This is perfectly demonstrated in the relationship between Nicolas Dorier and Stratis.
After agreeing to talk to Chris and on seeing his vision, Nicolas changed his mind. He had been working for two years developing a complete bitcoin node, rewriting it in C#. A labour of love, he was unpaid and had to find the time between everything else going on in his life. The key to this change of heart? Chris did not want him to work on Stratis. He wanted to pay him to finish the work on bitcoin. Always intended to be open source, in helping accelerate Nicolas’ bitcoin project, Stratis would give something to the bitcoin community and benefit themselves from all Nicolas’ work in the two previous years. On completion, they would clone the software, rapidly accelerating the Stratis project beyond anything that could have been achieved without such open-minded collaboration.
There are two main parts to the Stratis Project. The platform itself is complemented by the formation of a company based in London. The Stratis Group is a consultancy, intended to help companies with blockchain ideas realise them quickly even as blockchain expertise is thin on the ground. By providing a suite of tools and apis, Stratis allows an entity to concentrate on what they are good at knowing that the security of the blockchain side is rock solid through the same algorithms used to secure bitcoin.
In consulting with various projects, some may require a completely separate chain. In this case, the value to Stratis token holders will be indirect. However, free to take on board innovations produced by other crypto-projects, Stratis is able to fast-track code to enable scaling, side-chains, segwit, LN, POS and other advances not yet invented. In many cases, a dedicated side chain might make sense, requiring Stratis to be bought on the market and locked for the duration of the project. To cater for companies large and small, Stratis is building a cloud solution similar to Azure, making BaaS a one-stop solution for any company to experiment or run a project to completion on the Stratis ecosystem.
It is easy to be ambitious but how do we know these guys are capable of making this happen? After all, the code is open source. Anyone can copy it – and they will. To those already following their progress, this is a no brainer. Step-by-step Chris and his team constantly impress. With modest resources, they have shown themselves capable of forming partnerships and moving with a speed that would shame others with bags of cash, half the business intelligence and a fraction of their drive. In the past few months, they have so far:
• Completed the Stratis Full Node (on test)
• Got listed on multiple exchanges including Bittrex and Poloniex
• Occupied a booth beside MS at London’s Blockchain Expo – engaging with key business players leading to follow up meetings in UK and US
• Given a talk at The Blockchain Event, Ft Lauderdale, USA
• Been added to MS Azure
• Become an official coin on Ledger Hardware Wallet with no fee paid for inclusion
• Recruited extremely impressive advisors to their board. This includes Cesar Castro, founder and managing partner of Escalate Group and Mahesh Chand, founder of C# Corner – a forum for C# developers with over two million members.
• Through Escalate, engaged the help of Seraph, a global network of investors and family offices with experience in the cryptocurrency sphere to help with their VC funding strategy.
• Secured a coveted key-note slot at one of the world’s biggest C# conferences to be held in Ghaziabad, India mid-April
It is interesting to note that the team was surprised to find that although many developers beyond the crypto fringe knew of bitcoin, few had any idea how it worked or the potential for innovation it presented to them. This bodes well for the C# conference. If they are able to convince such a body of sharp minds that this is something worth paying attention to and at the same time give them the tools to ease their path, the resulting opportunities could be enormous.
To help in this phase of their mission, they are preparing a number of proof of concepts they can demonstrate there and to future clients. From Steem-like social platforms to privacy-based wallets, customer-focused products become much faster to develop using Stratis.
There is nothing like doing it yourself to prove that your mission lives beyond mere words. As many confuse the need for privacy with nefarious deeds, no serious organisation would think of exposing confidential data on a public ledger. The need for privacy is evident in the many anon alts out there but bitcoin has been able to do this for some time. For many reasons, it has not happened so far in a package that’s usable to normal people. To push this along Stratis has agreed to build a front-end for Tumblebit, a project conceived and built as another labour of love by talented coders helping to build the bitcoin economy. The result will be The Breeze wallet.
Scheduled for completion around May 2017, bitcoiners will be able to download the Breeze wallet and use it to afford a high degree of trustless and secure transactions with privacy built in. Importantly for Stratis, the same wallet will be used to transact with that coin, too. Not only will this help bitcoin, it will expose Stratis to a potential user-base otherwise beyond its reach. In the same way that Tumblebit can swap respective coins to ensure privacy, so too, they can be used to swap with each other, providing a gateway between each coin should users find that useful. Once again, Stratis demonstrates that this is not a zero-sum game.
Recognising that praise coming from those you respect is more valuable than any other, here is a quote from nopara73, Tumblebit’s backend developer:
“I am not sure I’m the right person to answer that message, but here it goes. First note I am not a part of the Stratis team, so I am not obligated to follow the company rhetoric. But I had the idea of asking them to contribute to Breeze, because I suspected their team is probably the most competent team when it comes to C# and Bitcoin. Now I am working with them for a couple of weeks and I can say they are really working their asses off, GitHub is the proof, but also I was right on the competency question, too. I was also amazed by the professionalism, not seen in other cryptocurrencies. However I have to admit I know nothing about Stratis as the cryptocurrency, I’m too busy to catch myself up and I don’t have much interest in cryptocurrencies, other than Bitcoin. That being said I bought a significant amount of Stratis. I mean it’s not rocketscience to speculate when Breeze gets used by most of the privacy focused Bitcoin users, and they’ll have a one click convenient way to trade btc strat back and forth, that’ll have a positive pressure on the price, plus I am confident about my work, too. Bitcoin wallets are the path to customers. An altcoin implementing an innovative Bitcoin wallet is a win-win. To sum up, I am not interested in altcoins, but I am not that stupid to refuse free money when the opportunity presents itself.”
No-one can predict the success or failure of any project but we go a long way if we manage to cut through the clutter to see its vision and potential. We are often quick to latch on to something we recognise as important to the exclusion of all else. For this reason, on seeing that Stratis will have in-built privacy, some may think it is an anon coin. In targeting corporations, others might see it as tool for financiers, or fuel for the next dotcom hype wave or a bridge to gaming and VR through Unity (built with C#). While all of this may or may not come to pass, the real thing we need to keep in mind is that Stratis is not intended to be a single feature app. It is a platform cleverly constructed to marry the dynamic, exciting limitless potential of the blockchain with the powerful tools and experience already out there in the real world. It will do this with an open and collaborative mindset coupled with astute business sense. That is as powerful as it gets.
Special thanks to our community member (‘Stratisfied’) and thanks to all of you that are supporting us. For more information about Stratis take a look at our website.

Staking Stratis on a Raspberry Pi


We have some great news for all of the stakers of the Stratis network. Two of our community members (@demon and @olcko) have made a guide about how to stake your $STRAT on a Raspberry Pi. Special thanks to both of you! We encourage our community to keep taking great initiatives like this. The guide can be found over here.
The $STRAT token is a Proof-of-Stake (POS) token with limited emission and a low inflation rate. Proof of Stake attempts to provide consensus and double spend prevention. With Proof of Stake, the amount of $STRAT you hold influences the amount of reward you receive.
In return for staking your $STRAT, you get rewarded $STRAT tokens. This reward is offered because you help to keep the network stable and secure. It is possible to stake on almost any device, a laptop a desktop etc. Some of the known issues with using a desktop or laptop are that they are power consuming, hardware performance degrades over time and your $STRAT can be less secure on those devices.
An answer for these issues could be found by staking on a Raspberry Pi.

With the Raspberry Pi you have a machine that costs less electricity, has lower purchase costs, it’s small and its very secure.
If you are planning on starting to stake your $STRAT on a Raspberry Pi (a Raspberry Pi 3 in the guide) you can follow the guide step by step to get started. If you encounter any problems or have additional questions regarding staking on a Raspberry Pi please come and join our Discord and ask away.
If you are interested about the staking rewards and statistics about the $STRAT token, please take a look at our Blockchain Explorer. To work with the latest Stratis Wallet, please go to our website.
Happy staking to all of you and a big thank you to @demon and @olcko and all of you that are staking and helping to keep the network secure and stable!

Seraph VC to Advise Stratis Group on VC Fund Raising Strategy


Stratis Group is proud to announce it’s currently working with Seraph in defining our VC funding strategy going forward. Seraph was introduced to Stratis Group as part of the activities from our Escalate Group partners.
Seraph is a private network of global investors and entrepreneurs targeting innovative investment and business opportunities.
Seraph has assisted multiple cryptocurrency projects prepare for, and get access to venture capital funding, which will help Stratis Group narrow its scope and prepare a targeted investment report, while gaining access to the most favorable terms and extended investment networks.
The consultant team that will be working with Stratis Group includes:
Vitalie Eremia
Mr. Eremia is a CFA charterholder specializing in equity research (private and public equity), corporate finance and valuation. He has over ten years of equity research experience and accounting, and has prepared equity research reports in a wide range of industries (including but not limited to IT, biotechnology, hi-tech, software, telecom, energy and minerals, consumer goods, financial and others). He has extensive experience in financial modeling, valuation and industry research.
At Seraph he works closely with startups during the due diligence stage and prepares investment reports for investors. The job involves asking uncomfortable questions, questioning the answers, and putting a value on pre-revenue operations.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/vitalie
http://seraph.vc/
Kyle Gonzales

Senior Director @Red Hat ; Board Member @Mohio ; Advisory Board @APIMATIC
Advisor @Seraph.vc; Advisor @Value Innovation Technologies
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kylegonzales
Mark Moline
Managing Partner at Seraph.vc
Mr. Moline has been a private equity investor for over 15 years, focused on early-stage companies in both the developed and emerging markets. He has invested into nearly 75 private placements and advised dozens of companies over the past 20 years.
Specialties: Capital Markets, Trading, Venture Capital and Angel Investing, Emerging and Frontier Markets Investing.
https://angel.co/mark-seraph-vc
https://linkedin.com/in/seraphvc
According to Chris Trew, Founder and CEO of Stratis Group:

“Working with Seraph will help us get a strong VC pitch in place, with solid financial projections and business assumptions that will help to ensure we obtain the best terms and access to a large pool of financing options. We are confident that with Seraph’s assistance we will meet our funding goals.”

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