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Stratis in Numbers (Stratis Weekly #4)

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Greetings and welcome to our fourth edition of the Stratis weekly newsletter.
This week we have responded to a slack conversation in which some of our community members were discussing how to help with Twitter promotion. In response we have come up with a smart little infographic that we hoped would give you insight into some of our stats, whilst being something you can share within your social networks. That’s not all though – we are pleased to report that two of our core team members went along to the Blockchain Money Conference in London at the weekend – scroll down to read their highlights from the event.
 
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Notes from the Blockchain Money Conference
Stratis were out and about at the Blockchain Money conference in London on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th November. The conference was held at Bishopsgate and Stratis Dev Dan Gershony was joined by PR and content manager Freya Stevens. The program included the likes of John McAfee, Roger Ver (Blockchain Ultimate) and Nic Cary (Blockchain.info)
Freya
The conference kicked off with Marieke Flament, Managing Director of Circle, describing internet has fundamentally changed many industries since it’s inception such as the travel and music industries, but for some reason banking still resists. The Bitcoin and Banking panel went into more detail about where the utility of blockchain technology could be within the finance industry but couldn’t agree on the extent of its potential. Professor Ferdinando Ametrano was of the opinion that blockchain was just another hype word and explained that smart contracts were not needed where nano-second trading was already taking place. ‘We don’t need the DAO – we have people’ he declared, and the subtleties of trade finance would not be solved with blockchain. Instead he argued for applied cryptography or ‘a database on steroids’.

Anthony Macey (Barclays) strongly disagreed arguing that blockchain technology had enabled him to reduce settlement flows down from 14 days to under 4 hours which represented a seismic shift for the industry. Chris Ballinger (Toyota) also took sides adding that at the moment ‘It’s probably faster to mail bills than to use the current attempts to digitise financial settlements’. He then returned the discussion back to where he saw the opportunity of blockchain technologies.

‘Cryptocurrencies turn every instrument into a ‘bearer’ instrument – whether financial, physical or intellectual property – all can become bearer instruments thus solving the trust problem – that is the real value in the system’

Dan
For me John McAfee’s talk was really interesting. He spoke about the spread of keylogger software used to spy on wallet keys during signup. He talked about the need to use harware wallets and of his conviction that there will never be a software wallet that is secure so long as mobile exists. Outside in the foyer I chatted to Paul Puey, CEO of Airbitz wallet who said they were working on delivering edge encryption to everything on their platform which is definitely a way forward!
Something else John McAfee said was intriguing – he has set up a mining business in the US on his conviction that ‘cryptocurrencies are here to stay for good or for bad, nothing can top that now, not even governments’. This sentiment was echoed by political representatives on the European Government and Blockchain panel. EU parliament member Eva Kaili said that there would be voting on a new raft of regulation within the next few months but since the technology is still in a state of development they will be cautious to take any tough measures, and they will certainly not be classing cryptocurrencies as money any time soon. Overall the message I got from the political establishment is one of gradual acceptance.
I also noticed the theme that blockchain is being applied to other use cases beyond finance. Michael Mainelli from Y/Zen took a quick tour of its use in Geostamping, Clinical Trials and Supply Chains – anywhere that a central 3rd party situation can be found. Blockchain he said, has the potential to reduce natural monopolies thereby reducing a raft of vulnerabilities like switching costs and sloth. All in all though, it’s exciting times for blockchain.
That’s all for now but look out for next weeks issue where we will dive into the C#.NET protocol.
Wishing you a super week!

How to securely hold STRAT (Stratis Weekly #3)

Cryptocurrencies are truly liberating – never before have individuals been able to take charge of their funds, independent of any financial institution. But if you are going to be your own bank you must also be your own security guard. At Stratis we have a set of best practices to help you safeguard your tokens. With these few simple steps you can enjoy all the benefits Stratis has to offer without any negative side effects.
Improving the security of your Stratis account relies on one basic principle – the more layers of security you can put between yourself and a potential hacker the better.
Ways to keep your wallet safe

  1. Keep your tokens offline (known as ‘cold storage’) either on your hard drive, on an external hard drive or send to Stratis Wallet on your computer for staking.
  2. Don’t forget to backup your wallet. Go to FILE > BACKUP WALLET. Best practice is to do this frequently onto several new or freshly formatted usb hard drives.
  3. Lock down your password. Good password security is essential in the cryptocurrency community – a long password with a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols is best and changing your passwords often can help security.
  4. Encrypt your Stratis wallet by going to SETTING > ENCRYPT wallet.
  5. Update your software to the latest version of the client. Get notified of updates by joining us on our Slack channel, Bitcointalk thread, or follow us on Twitter @stratisplatform
  6. Ensure your malware software is running full scans on a regular basis and is up to date.
  7. Most important: Write down or otherwise make sure you will always remember your password every time you change it. Most loses occur when people lock themselves out of their wallets.

 
Take Care Online
If you must keep tokens online – a popular practice is to only keep only small amounts of currency there for daily use. You should always use 2FA with online accounts and where possible, set up security alerts so that you can keep tabs on all login activity.
Did you know that most security breaches lie with human error? Vigilance is key. Be careful in forums to avoid revealing your identity together with your Stratis Address, use only trusted computers – no internet cafes or ‘family’ computers – and check your internet connection is secure.
 
Stratis is Designed for Security
We are working hard in the background to keep the entire Stratis platform as secure as possible. Let’s take a deeper look at what we are doing and how that works in our interests.
Stratis preserves the trusted, secure architecture of Bitcoin – by that we mean the ability to create a tamper-proof record of transactions by securing them cryptographically. This means that information can be committed to the Stratis blockchain with confidence. How we differ from Bitcoin is in the way in which we secure that information.
Bitcoin is 100% proof of work (POW) meaning miners carry out complex computations in order to write data to the blockchain, and generate new coins as a reward for doing so. However, Stratis has moved to 100% Proof of Stake (POS) whereby Stratis holders secure the Blockchain by holding tokens in their wallets, allowing them to mature (no transactions in 24 hours), and leaving the wallets open. Investors who ’stake’ their tokens in such a way can earn Stratis in reward – a bit like earning interest on their holdings. POS is fairer for all and several thousand times more cost effective than POW. It doesn’t require any mining equipment so it isn’t subject to spiraling running costs and mining centralisation.
Help the overall network security and start staking your tokens today. We are pleased to see that 50% of Stratis holders are already doing this – an unusually high number of investors! If you would like to join them and earn a little Stratis in the process, all the information you need to started can be found here.

STRATIS WEEKLY ROUNDUP

Stratis Platform Integrates with Microsoft Azure

In case you missed it, this was our big story over the weekend and you can read more about it at Tech Announcer and Cryptohustle
Freewallet
We are pleased to announce that Freewallet have included Stratis in their mobile wallet service. ‘Freewallets allow you to store and manage digital currencies with ease in the smart and beautiful mobile-first cryptocurrency wallets’. Please note this is third party software and not endorsed by Stratis. We are expecting apps to be available soon at Apple Mac store and Google Play.
That’s it for this issue but one final word before we go – we were really pleased to see Stratis remain stable during the recent Bitcoin price rise. It was one of very few cryptocurrencies to do so!

Microsoft Integrates Stratis Platform Into Azure BaaS Program

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LONDON, U.K. October 27th 2016 – Provisioning of Stratis blockchain nodes is now available on the Microsoft Azure platform.
The Stratis platform, combined with Azure, will allow corporations to rapidly deploy blockchain nodes to support their decentralized applications. The Stratis Platform is an end-to-end solution to develop, test and deploy blockchain-based applications for the Microsoft .Net framework, utilizing the Stratis platform capabilities on top of Microsoft Azure and Microsoft’s development environment. It is designed for the needs of real-world financial services and other organizations that want to access the benefits of Blockchain technologies.
As an initial step Stratis has deployed a template to run a Stratis Blockchain Node on Ubuntu VM. The template code allows one-click access to developers so that they can quickly have full nodes spun up for building, testing and extending the services and capabilities of Stratis. This service also allows stakers the possibility to have their coins ‘online’ and in a dedicated staking node, to protect from malware and viruses.

We see this as first step towards a deeper integration and partnership with Microsoft in the BaaS arena. Being a company that specifically develops tools for the Microsoft ecosystem, it’s only natural that we integrate as tightly as possible with their platform offerings. This undoubtedly will provide greater visibility for our projects and serve to showcase the multiple functionalities that Stratis Platform can offer.
Chris Trew, CEO, Stratis

Details on the deployed templates on Microsoft’s Baas Platform can be found at: https://github.com/Azure/azure-quickstart-templates/blob/master/blockchain/details/stratis.md
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Stratis offers a turnkey solution that enables developers and businesses to develop, test and deploy blockchain-based applications quickly and easily without the costs and security concerns that would otherwise arise from an in-house implementation.
For more information visit: stratisplatform.com.
 
 

Stratis Weekly #1


FROM THE DESK OF STRATIS CEO
This is the first of what we hope will be a regular stream of weekly updates from the Stratis team. Once again, I want to thank the community and investors for their continuous support, and the positive energy they bring to this endeavor. I also want to thank you for your patience in awaiting for news and any hints of progress, that demonstrate that the Stratis project is moving according to our shared vision and what you’ve come to expect from the team.
As you can see from the daily movement on exchanges, STRAT has received an initial positive valuation by traders and investors, and its strong price support and steady growth are a testament to that. On the development front, we are moving full steam ahead, with Nicolas Dorier making a big push to help us with a timely delivery of our MVP (Minimum Viable Product) according to our roadmap.
 
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For the past weeks one of our main priorities have been in strengthening our organization and solidifying partnerships, thus preparing ourselves for the great challenges of delivering the best blockchain solutions to our clients and making ourselves noticed by decision makers in the technology world. Today, I would like to make some announcements to that effect:
NEW TEAM MEMBER: BLOCKCHAIN DEVELOPER
Dan Gershony (@dangershony) is joining the Stratis team in an official capacity as Blockchain Developer.
Dan has over 10 years of development experience on the MS stack mainly in C# .NET with Microsoft Certificates in WCF, Winforms and BizTalk. Dan has been contracting as a software integration engineer for companies like Microsoft, Fujitsu and SolidSoft and was a development engineer at Blinkbox for 4 years working on the core platform and api.
In his words “I discovered Bitcoin early 2013 and since I am obsessed with the technology”. Dan founded and built CoinVault a multi crypto (Bitcoin and Altcoins) hybrid wallet focused on security and user control over their keys.
Dan has built Nako a cross platform C# open source server application to index and explore blockchain data and expose api end points, and released dotblock an open source C# library with blockchain protocol functionality.
Originally, Dan will be tasked with

  • Work on NStratis to build a full node for it and port the POS code.
  • Initial development efforts for our side blockchains project.
  • Ensure tight integration of our developments with Microsoft’s suite of enterprise solutions.

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NEW TEAM MEMBER: DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Policarpo Guerrero (@poly) is an expert of corporate operations and marketing for technology companies in multicultural environments, with senior level executive expertise in European and American markets.
Together with his partners from the US-based ExoChainz, he is bringing blockchain technologies to the forefront of digital transformation projects for enterprises and corporate clients in Latin America, with a strong emphasis on Microsoft’s platforms. Since 2013, he has been an active promoter and investor in cryptocurrencies. Always looking for real life applications for blockchain tech, he has been an active collaborator in disruptive projects, like OpenBazaar, among others.
Previously, he directed MSCorp, a mobile development company recipient of multiple international awards from Nokia, Adobe and the OpenScreen Project, for innovative applications in mobile technology. He was instrumental in the expansion of Nokia’s business in Latin America as the agency of record for Nokia Academy. Before establishing in the USA, he occupied senior corporate positions as Systems and Procedures Manager and Operations Manager for the largest chain of Kodak Express stores in the former USSR (Rostik Group).
He will be coordinating our efforts to develop a strong corporate culture and a cohesive message that resonates with clients and boosts investor confidence in our technology and capabilities. More specifically he will be responsible for:

  • Developing operations strategy and policies.
  • Coordinating the implementation of our strategy and policies with internal and external teams, particularly in the areas of marketing and business development.
  • Helping to shape and communicate a consistent message about our organization and its products.

His corporate vision can be best summarized by his motto: “On Message, On Schedule, On Budget”.
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SERVICE PARTNER PROGRAM LAUNCH
We are starting to formalize our first partnerships with organizations that can bring value to Stratis, by helping us accelerate processes, increase reach and solve specific tasks in an efficient and economic manner. To this effect, we have partnered with a media team specialized in crypto currencies, with the idea of expanding our communications reach through various channels, with a strong focus on content promotion.
The team we have enlisted to help us with this critical task is composed by:
Chris Dunn
Founder of Skill Incubator, crypto trader, author of “How to Trade Bitcoin for Serious Profit”, and YouTuber with over 40,000 subscribers. Has a Twitter following of around 15,000 and writes for entrepreneur.com Has taught over 5,400 crypto traders through the SI trading community.
Rocky Darius
Founder of cryptohustle.com, a rapidly growing site dedicated to the crypto markets and blockchain news. He’s a crypto trader, strategist and blogger. Rocky is a mentor at Skill Incubator, helping students learn how to use and trade cryptocurrencies.
Dan Bainbridge
Has worked within bitcoin for 2 years, with a background in affiliate marketing and traffic generation (with sites such as www.naturalhypnosis.com). He moved into the Bitcoin niche and focuses on building grass roots / user based sites that give away Bitcoin – bitcoinaliens.com being the first and the main brand name, with PaidBooks.com (pays users to read books) and BlockchainStats.org (gives away bitcoin while users check the Bitcoin and altcoin prices) following. Traffic levels grew to the point that an advertising network was built – www.coinad.com , this is a key part of the promotion method, it is now THE largest “micro” Bitcoin advertising network and displays 1+billion ads impressions, generating 500k – 1million clicks to advertisers monthly.
Members of the Stratis community are encouraged to reach out with proposals to join our ever expanding Service Partner Program.

Buy Stratis with fiat at Bittylicious.com
 
BUY STRAT WITH FIAT (U.K.)
Residents of the U.K.have now access to the cheapest and simplest way of buying STRAT, by making their purchases on Bittylicious (https://bittylicious.com/). We have provisioned a sales channel that operates in a similar fashion as localbitcoins.com. Just visit the website, register your account and look for the STRAT ticker. Once you have deposited funds to your account, you can easily and securely purchase as many STRAT as you please.

BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE…
We have made arrangements to have these and other upcoming announcements publicized by a strong distribution campaign. As part of this effort, we are launching a TVE campaign (https://theviralexchange.com/), so that you too can earn STRAT while helping us spread the word. You can also join our Slack (https://discord.gg/9tDyfZs) and follow us on Twitter (@stratisplatform) for more details about this and the progress we are making as an organization and a leader in blockchain technologies.
 

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