Stratis Platform For Investors #5 – 1 Year Update From Stratis Headquarters In London With CEO Chris Trews

Leon Fu: Hi guys, we have a special guest. I’m here at the Stratis office and I’m here with Chris Trew, the founder, and CEO of Stratis. And this is the first time that we’re meeting in person if some longtime viewers of our channel might remember that we had interviewed Chris during or before the ICO, and we invested in Stratis, I certainly hope you guys did too.

We know that it’s done phenomenally, one of our biggest winners. Let me introduce Chris Trew, how has it been in the last year since we last talked? It’s good to meet you in person, by the way.

Literally, we just met 10 minutes ago. Why don’t you give us a brief update as to what’s happened at Stratis since we last talked? I’m sure there’s a lot but the main points and then where are we going to go from here?

Chris Trew:The last year has been very busy for everyone at Stratis, we’ve seen phenomenal growth, exponential growth for across the board. What actually happened was Stratis just had this phenomenal growth and the organization’s had to actually catch up behind.

So we’ve been growing phenomenally as an organization, sort of putting these structural processes and framework in place that’s going to allow us to service these enterprise customers that we’re talking and moving forward.

Leon Fu: We can all look at the price of the chart of Stratis, they’ve exploded. And this has been the best-performing ICO, the ICO price was 0.7 cents, not 1 cent but 0.7 cents, it’s under a penny and today it ran as high as 11 bucks, phenomenal returns if you guys had invested in the ICO, it must have been one of your top performers.

I don’t know of anything else, maybe NEO or somewhere around there. So we all know that investors and ICO participants have done phenomenally well, but what has Stratis accomplished? What are the milestones that you can point to in the last year that you think contributed to the massive increase in price?

Chris Trew: I think several factors played a part in that. I think the main one being the small amount of money that was raised during the ICO, always safe to people to look out for the ICO that have raised a smaller amount of money because it has that room for growth.

If you imagine an ICO that raised 10 million, that’s 10 million worth of resistance on the way up. So where we only raised $600,000, it was far less resistance actually moving up. And I think that was one of the key reasons why we saw such quick growth.

But it’s a combination of things and people only have to follow at Github to see that our developments are very active and the code is high-quality, everybody looks at code comments on the quality of the code. The majority of developers come from enterprise development backgrounds so we have that whole enterprise methodology in our actual development, and I think that that’s played a big part in our success.

The fact that we’re just active and available at a time, we try to make ourselves available for the community as much as possible. And all of that combines and play a big part.

Leon Fu: What does Stratis do today, as of now? I know there has been a lot of talk of Masternodes, there’s been a lot of talk of the Breeze Wallet and TumbleBit, just as following you guys, that’s where I see the keyword of where it’s going back.

So what does Stratis do today? I go to the Github, what kind of Software if I download it, what can I do with Stratis today?

Chris Trew: So we have our Full Node, which is a complete rewrite of Bitcoin Core, a C++ code base. So we now have a complete rewrite from the ground up in the C#, we’re taking a modular approach in our Full Node so people can download our Full Node and then just put in the modules that they’d actually want.

So we’ve got pretty much all of our modules across the board and in the next sort of 2 months, we’re going to be pushing most of our tech from alpha, betta to actual production.

So come the end of the year, we’re going to hope to have an end-to-end product, this gonna allow us to come 2018 to actually go out there and actually work with these companies that we’re speaking with in order to actually onboard them onto the platform.

Leon Fu: So you’ve said you’ve rewritten Bitcoin Core in C#, what will you do with that? Is that gonna be a base for you to develop a framework?

Chris Trew: Exactly, our whole platform, everything we’re building is built on top of that Full Node. So as you know, we’re going to be bringing some of the greatest innovations in the blockchain space such as side-change small contracts to Stratis platform, they are all actually going to be built on top of our Full Node.

Leon Fu: And what about the later things that are coming, like your Breeze Wallet, there’s been a lot of talk about that? I think that’s an alpha, beta now?

Chris Trew: Yes, an alpha. So what we actually don’t allow people to do is run special Masternodes, which are somewhat different to like your Dash Masternodes.

They’re actually allowing you to tumble Bitcoins instead of a native currency so non-operators will actually earn fees in Bitcoin and I’m not aware of any other Masternodes actually allow somebody to earn Bitcoin.

Leon Fu: So let’s go over the Master node because we watch the markets every day when that announcement came up, that was a big part of the reason we jumped a lot. A couple of weeks ago, I was here for the Dash conference and Dash I think was the first one to come up with the concept of Master node.

So what does a Stratis Masternodes do? Dash has Masternodes do the bunch of things. What do you have planned for Stratis Masternodes? I know one of them is tumbling Bitcoins, is there any other type of thing that you have in the pipeline for that?

Chris Trew: So a Masternodes is just a node that provides special functionality, so we’re going to be breaking up our most Masternodes and we will have Masternodes for TumbleBit, Masternodes for Sidechains, potentially Masternodes for Smart Contracts.

So various different roles across the Stratis platform, Masternodes would actually be providing those services, depended on which Masternodes they are, is depended on how much you actually earned from running one of those Masternodes.

Leon Fu: So is it analogous to a Masternodes being like a server? Traditional Software we have different servers and process different functionality. So basically you plan to have different types of Masternodes and Stratis to provide different services that the platform is going to offer.

Chris Trew: Exactly, what we really want is we don’t want to lock anyone out. It is a limit of 250,000. And the reason for that is that’s not something that we chose or we put in place, the technology actually dictates that because if you have a large number of TumbleBit servers, the privacy is actually reduced.

So the only way that we could actually limit the number of servers, is to put 250 Stratis limitation in place.

Leon Fu: So explain to our audience because many people are not familiar with TumbleBit. Can you quickly explain how TumbleBit mixes Bitcoins, how does that actually work?

Chris Trew: TumbleBit basically uses off-chain transactions to remove the link between coins. So if Alice sends to Bob, their server can not only not deanonymize those transactions, but they also conceal any of the funds is completely trustless.

Leon Fu: I did read a little bit about the white paper. What I understood was that everybody puts their Bitcoins into this TumbleBit, and it’s something to do with like Cryptographic puzzles.

If I want to send you a Bitcoin, I put it into the TumbleBit and then I give you a code or a puzzle. And then you can use that code to go pull the 1 Bitcoin, but you don’t know which Bitcoin it is because it’s a giant pool Bitcoins.

Chris Trew: Exactly. So it uses RSA puzzles, RSA encryption so you exchange RSA puzzles between yourself and that’s how you create that unlinked ability off-chain transactions.

But TumbleBits actually got other use cases because you can imagine those off-train transactions can scale endlessly so you can have really high fruit on your transactions while you’re using TumbleBits. So it’s something that we’re not only looking at as a privacy solution but also as scalability.

Leon Fu: So you said you wanted to limit the number of these Masternodes for TumbleBits. Is it because to have anonymity, you need a big pot a Bitcoin? If it’s only 2 Bitcoins in that pot and it’s really hard to figure out who before that came from.

What about going into the future? You said the Breeze Wallet is an outflow, so can I actually run a Masternodes? When can we look forward to starting earning Bitcoins or running our own Masternodes or TumbleBits?

Chris Trew: We don’t actually have a date for the release of the Master node. But it is currently in internal testing and we do have end-to-end testing going on in the moment. So we hope within the next week, it will move out to a closed group of community testers and then on to actual public release.

Leon Fu: That’s gonna be a big milestone when you hit it. Do you think it’s the first half of 2018?

Chris Trew: It will be before the end of the year. It is quite funny actually because Breeze and Masternodes were not actually our original plans. But as a continent Software development company we have to look at the market and sometimes focus to where the market is actually going and privacy’s tech at the time was huge and that was one of reason.

Leon Fu: When you first announced that you were working on TumbleBits, I was a bit confused because you’re not Zcash, you’re not Monero, you’re not all these businesses who their project is all about privacy. Why did you decide to go into this privacy?

Chris Trew: One of the differences between Stratis and our competition is that instead of focusing on a specific use case, we’re focusing on developing the platform so that we can build use cases that were not even conceptualized by our source. What we want to do is we want to bring the latest and greatest technology from right across space to the Stratis platform.

And providing privacy solutions is a part of that now. Us as a business will never provide TumbleBit to anonymous individuals, but we’re going to be providing business to business services. So companies that want to use a blockchain but they want to keep some of their data hidden, and that’s where TumbleBit comes in.

And obviously we will know your customer information and meet money laundering regulations with those businesses, so it’s really the business-to-business element that we were interested in, there’s a business but obviously, the exposure that’s being brought by Breeze and the privacy has been hugely frustrating.

Leon Fu: What other features do you have? The Masternodes will be the first big milestone by the end of the year, and then the Breeze Wallet is gonna be with that.

Chris Trew: So by the end of the year we should have production-ready, Full Node, we should have Breeze running on Mainnet, Masternodes and also Sidechains. I think lastly our ICO platform which hasn’t been mentioned too much, we’ve sort of kept information back but we’re going to be releasing more information.

Leon Fu: So you’re going to provide a platform that people can issue tokens on.

Chris Trew: So the end goal is an end-to-end ICO platform. So you have your ICO platform when you actually do your crowdfund, and then in that platform, you can actually deploy your token at the end of it. Now in the initial version, we’re not actually going to have that token generation because our Sidechains are not ready.

So what we’ve done is we’ve actually made it blockchain agnostic, so when you’re completed an ICO, you can actually export the data into place like ERC20 tokens. So it’s completely flexible.

Leon Fu: Is it going to be something like Waves or something like where you can issue tokens or something like Bitshares?

Chris Trew: We’re gonna have a combination, we will have Sidechains which will allow somebody to run their own best blockchain, but then we also have tokens which are Colored Coins similar to Waves and NXT.

We haven’t given a date for that, it’s looking like it’s probably gonna be early Q1, it could come a lot sooner because we fully support Colored Coins, at this time it’s just sort of bring a few things up.

Leon Fu: Basically I did take a look at your roadmap before I came in. Are you also doing something about identity? So you’re also now trying to go after Civic?

Chris Trew: I wouldn’t say we’re trying to go after Civic but we’re building up several use cases on our platform so we can open-source of code so the developers have mature example code bases to start with. And this identity solution was the first POC that we developed, so there’s an Android and iOS app for that.

And we’re in pretty good traction building around application already, rather than actual business service, it’s more about creating these use cases and these example codes for developers to pick up.

Leon Fu: What are the other main points that you would like to tell our audience for 2018 then? What’s coming up in the next year or so?

Chris Trew: So the end of the year, we’re in the Full Node. We need to just push our technology over the edge just so we’re production-ready so that in common Q1, 2018 we can actually go out to businesses, reach back out to companies we’ve already been in contact with and say we’re ready, let’s start onboarding, you guys.

And that’s sort of where we are. You have this problem with Crypto, do you invest significant funds into market and when you don’t actually have a product because we’re in a very brilliant position in that we have a lot of companies actually contacting us and huge organizations have literally just come onto the website, filled out the form and said we want to speak with you guys.

But when you don’t actually have a product, you can speak about proof of concepts and designs and architecture but actual grab on the groundwork can’t be done. We had to get to the end of Q4 where we have our production really the platform, come Q1 we can actually go out there and start selling it.

Because the point you raised offline with a blockchain startup, you obviously have the ICO and you raise funds but what happens 5 or 10 years down the road and those ICO funds are dried up. So for us, it’s about building a sustainable business behind this project and we’ve said from day one, we don’t see ourselves as a typically Altcoins, we see ourselves as a blockchain business and consultancy business.

So for us, it’s all about building a sustainable business behind the Stratis platform. So when those funds do dry up, we have revenue coming in so it’s not even an issue.

Leon Fu: You had mentioned last year when we talk about Stratis consulted, is that part of the strategy? Is that going to be like a for-profit entity? Because I have known the fact very well they have a non-profit site where they focus on the developing on the platform that’s a foundation, but then they also have incorporated side that focuses on trying to basically get revenue and provide solutions to customers. Is that something that’s still in the plan?

Chris Trew: Yes. Stratis consultancy is core to what we’re actually trying to do. One of our main competitors I want to use over our competition is that we have this consultancy business.

So you can come to the creators of the platform to consult with us, we can provide you manage support agreements, sometimes SLA around the actual tech that we’re providing you and there are not many blockchains actually providing that. And I come from an enterprise background and I understand the needs of enterprise organizations and they will not work with a company in which those bare minimum things are in place.

So that’s sort of why we position ourselves to serve the enterprise but we need to set up from day one to service those customers. And that’s why a lot of the organization guys that we really now would like top-level enterprise, guys that work at Microsoft and huge banking organizations.

Because we want to bring that same enterprise to feel to our offering and I’ll be the first person to admit that at the beginning of the year, we probably weren’t ready to serve an enterprise customer, we had to go through huge growth as an organization but we’re very confident that we’re there now. So come the beginning of 2018, we’re actually going to be ready to go into the market.

Leon Fu: What’s the size of the Stratis team? How many people have you hired? What is the organization looks like now? Because I know back then when I interviewed you, you weren’t even working at Stratis full-time. So now obviously you are working full-time, but how many other people are now working at Stratis?

Chris Trew: We have over 20 full-time employees and then we’ve got quite a few contributors that work on that codebase developing. But we’re very much decentralized, we have 12 guys in London head office, the rest of the team is spread in all 4 corners of the globe.

Leon Fu: So your core guys are here in London. So right now there’s the core team here and then you also have developers and other staff. Well, that’s all the questions I’ve had.

So I’d like to thank Chris Trew for meeting with me. We’re all about life-changing finance, that’s the model of our channel. And Stratis has been a life-changing investment for everyone, for myself and everyone that’s been involved in the projects.

Again, I’d like to thank Chris Trew for taking the time to talk to us and we’ll catch you guys next time.

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