Stratis is a blockchain-as-a-service platform that offers several products and services for enterprises, including launching private sidechains, running full nodes, developing and deploying smart contracts, an initial coin offering platform, and a proof-of-identity application. The company also provides cryptocurrency wallets and blockchain consulting services.
Stratis operates its own blockchain powered by a native token, STRAX, used to purchase and operate services such as executing smart contracts, paying for sidechains, and staking as collateral to operate a Masternode --- a node on the network that provides a specific needed service.
The platform was first announced in June 2016, and it launched in August 2016. In November 2020, Stratis deployed a new blockchain that uses STRAX instead of its previous STRAT token.
Stratis Group Ltd., the company behind the Stratis platform, was founded in 2016 by Chris Trew. He started the company with the purpose of developing an enterprise-focused blockchain platform, which he felt was missing from the industry at the time. He decided to base the platform on the Bitcoin (BTC) protocol, believing that Bitcoin would become dominant in the crypto space --- meaning that its codebase would be consistently improved over time.
Before starting Stratis, Trew's background was in enterprise information technology. He taught himself the programming language C# and spent 10 years serving in various IT roles in the legal, aviation and public sectors as well as with financial institutions such as Barclays. He also operated an internet marketing and search engine optimization business.
Within the crypto and blockchain industry, Trew was a volunteer developer for the cryptocurrency project Blitz and social networking platform The Viral Exchange.
According to its whitepaper, the Stratis BaaS platform is designed for financial service providers and other enterprises to test, develop and deploy blockchain-based applications in a way that avoids the overhead and security concerns of operating their own networks. To do so, Stratis offers businesses the opportunity to run permissioned, private sidechains that interact with its primary chain, as well as to host decentralized applications, launch smart contracts and utilize various privacy and identity verification tools. Its whitepaper argues that this approach gives enterprises the freedom to completely customize their platforms without the limitations of relying on a major blockchain, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum (ETH).
Stratis has announced business partnerships with companies such as software giant Microsoft, technology markets intelligence firm International Data Corporation, and pharmaceutical blockchain development company MediConnect, among others. In addition, it has sponsored professional athletes as a way to raise awareness of the platform.
With the launch of its new STRAX-based blockchain in November 2020, Stratis unveiled an updated development roadmap for the end of 2020 and the first half of 2021. It includes interoperability with Ethereum, an Internet of Things software development kit, a decentralized finance software library, the launch of a decentralized autonomous organization, and more.
Stratis launched its first STRAT token with a total supply of 98 million, with 84 million STRAT (85.7%) sold during an initial coin offering that ended in July 2016 and raised 915 BTC --- worth nearly $600,000 at the time. Of the remaining supply, 8 million STRAT (8.2%) was reserved for the Stratis team, 2 million STRAT (2%) for advisors and partners, and 4 million STRAT (4.1%) for bounties and campaigns.
In October 2020, Stratis initiated a token swap process for STRAT holders to exchange their tokens for STRAX at a one-to-one ratio. As a part of the transition, 25 million STRAX was newly minted, of which 8.125 million STRAX was reserved for the Stratis Foundation, 6.375 million STRAX for network incentivization, 5.5 million STRAX for enterprise incentivization, and 5 million for the Stratis DAO. The tokens will be issued over the course of five years.
New STRAX is introduced through a proof-of-stake mining process, and each block produces a block reward of 18 STRAX, putting its annual inflation rate at around 10%. Half of the block reward is awarded to the block producer, while the other half is sent to its Cirrus sidechain and distributed to block-producing masternodes.
The Stratis network is secured through its PoS consensus protocol in which nodes must stake STRAX to participate in the block validation process, and the more STRAX staked, the greater the chance of being able to create a block. According to Stratis, this makes the network more secure because the more STRAX a user stakes, the less likely they are to want to manipulate the network, as they risk losing their stake or causing the value of their stake to plummet. A majority of nodes must agree that a transaction is accurate for it to be added to the blockchain.
With the launch of its STRAX-based blockchain in November 2020, Stratis announced new security-enhancing features, including the ability to "cold-stake" --- stake STRAX through an offline, cold wallet --- which it argued will increase network security by enabling more users to participate in the consensus process. It also reported that it would activate Segregated Witness, or SegWit, which will increase transaction security because transaction IDs are no longer malleable.
While Stratis is a private company, its blockchain's codebase is open source, meaning that it is available for community audit.