STRAKS.tech Snapshot 2017-2018


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STRAKS.tech Snapshot 2017-2018

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Welcome to the first STRAKS.tech annual review. In what follows, we will provide a brief review, discuss developments and pipeline, and provide some guidance in the form of a roadmap for the project.

Denationalisation of money may not be a primary or overarching goal for STRAKS, but we are indeed purveyors of the ideology of competitively issued decentralised private money that seeks to obfuscate international boundaries, ease wealth transfer and payments, eliminate capital flow restrictions, promote globalisation and simplify exchange of goods and services. The conduit through which the STRAKS project seeks to achieve the aforementioned is its narrow focus on e-commerce; the “language” of (human) commerce is not impeded by culture, religion, tribal politics or arbitrary rules. Commerce is a a timeless notion driving the fluid exchange of tangibles (and intangibles) between individuals worldwide, without discrimination and often circumventing nonsense bureaucratic and insular legislation. Our unchanged vision to establish STRAKS as a valued global medium of exchange for e-commerce continues to frame our on-going strategy.

Your patience and support as a community is much valued. The STRAKS team have not resorted to pump and dump marketing schemes, or bombarded our valued community with random advertising, “get rich quick” schemes, and random call outs. The team maintain their position to promote and drive organic growth, carving out space within the sector for the project, focusing on e-commerce. We remain committed and continue to work to build value for our supporters and establish the STRAKS brand and value proposition.


Review

STRAKS genesis block was created at 00:03:44 on the 16th November 2017. STRAKS was launched to the public at a time when scam projects saturated the sector, ICO hustles were a thing and irrational exuberance pushed valuations of the sector to nonsensical levels. The STRAKS project sought to position itself as a stable long term project through distancing itself from false marketing campaigns, price speculation, wash trading and other unsavoury techniques rife within the sector.

As noted on launch, STRAKS was designed to eliminate unwanted transaction malleability through SegWit activation from day 0; solved capacity constraints suffered by Bitcoin and its peer group through a larger non-SegWit block size and increased signature operations - effectively introducing a sector first, SegWit4x; it is Lightning Network compatible - supporting instant payments, scalability, low cost and cross blockchain (atomic swap) transactions, and primed for on-chain scaling as demanded by network utilization. In short, STRAKS combined the benefits of Bitcoin Cash’s larger block size, Bitcoin Core’s segregated witness functionality, lightning network and atomic swap compatibility, and Dash’s Masternodes based network propagation, stability and security.

STRAKS was built on top of Bitcoin Core 14.2; notably, many core revisions (and years) ahead of a significant majority of its peer group. Work is currently underway on upgrading the core code in order to bring the project in-line with recent advances within the sector. With on-going developments and a multi-skilled team, we are confident that our dedication and technical expertise will continue to drive STRAKS’ success as a digital currency going forward.

STRAKS remains strategically well positioned to capitalize on increasingly divergent blockchain ideologies and continues to establish itself within the e-commerce space against varying competitive and regulatory challenges. Over the course of the year the team has delivered the foundation and early ecosystem primed to help achieve our long term strategic vision. The team has achieved a lot given the fact that each member continues to work full-time jobs, and may have family and other commitments of higher priority. There are plans to establish a more formal legal framework (company/foundation) to manage the project with full-time members, but at this juncture, the latter is not a feasible target.

Projects delivered in 2017-2018:

Infrastructure

Data Services

Wallets

Payments and Gateway

Services

  • Incubator

We are pleased to also announce the beta release of the STRAKS incubator today (17th November 2018). This version has a lot of the core functionality embedded, which we will refine over the coming months both through user feedback and our pre-defined development phases.

The STRAKS Incubator can be accessed at the temporary beta url: https://KT9rRDBCbPycTKiV7UF.com. The first person to post a message in response to this memo, on this forum, detailing the reason behind the naming of the beta URL will win 500 STAK.


  • Marketplace

STRAKS marketplace is a tool to sell and buy services, physical and digital products using STRAKS digital currency. The goal is to promote the use of the digital cryptocurrency in online transactions, thus expanding the use case, creating a network of B2B (Business To Business) transactions.

Features available at launch will include:

  • Item listings
  • STRAKS conversion to USD at item dispatch
  • User profiles
  • Invoicing

As is, STRAKS marketplace will have simple features that will make the site functional towards the initial goal, that is promote the use of STRAKS in online transactions.

As of writing, the site is fully functional. Major bugs and broken links have been resolved. Security testing is underway by members of the internal team in order to ensure data privacy and protection. Transition from a testing environment to a production server is in progress, once completed additional testing will take place to ensure stability and compatibility of the server.

Preview


Swap Status

For the newly initiated; STRAKS was a new digital currency and shared no technical association to Signatum other than allowing their investors to receive STRAKS under a proof-of-burn styled 4-to-1 swap. The swap registration period ended on 04-Jan-18, and a total of 80,786,812 SIGT was burned resulting in a reserve of 20,196,703 STAK marked to be distributed to subscribers. The resulting swap payments are currently being distributed on a weekly basis, in-line with the rate at which supply is being generated for STAK through mining, i.e at 1440 blocks per day (14,400 STAK per day). The total duration of the swap payments as scheduled was to be 4 years and 1 month from the 10th Jan 2018. The guiding principle behind the protracted swap period was to minimise the disruption of STRAKS circulation and subsequent market value impact.

The swap payments continue as planned, and intermittent issues are resolved as soon as possible. The current state of the swap process is detailed below.

Total Signatum Swapped: 80,786,812 SIGT
Total STAK Reserve For Swap: 20,196,703 STAK
Total STAK Paid-to-Date: 4,536,000 STAK
Total STAK Residual To Pay: 15,660,703 STAK

Swap Buy Back Offer

Plans remain unchanged, and we would like to use the 6.4 million STAK development fund to buy swap payment streams off community members on a 10:1 buy back ratio. We are in the final stages of testing the buyback process. Some examples of the buyback process are detailed below.

Example 1:
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Assume that person X is owed 150,000 STAK over the remainder of the swap period;

 - They decide to sell their stream of STRAKS payments under the buy back offer
 - Person X receives an instant payment from the developers fund of 15,000 STAK
 - Person X’s weekly swap payments are then sent to the developers fund over the remaining duration of swap term (i.e. just under 4 years).

Example 2:
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Total STAK residual to pay under swap agreement: 17,575,903 STAK

Assume that 100% of Swapizens take up the buy back offer;

 - Each Swapizen receives an instant pro-rata X% of 1,757,590 STAK
 - All weekly swap payments are then sent to the developers fund over the remaining duration of swap term (i.e. just under 4 years).
 - Maximum instantaneous increase in circulation following 100% Swapizen buy back: 1,757,590 STAK

As noted in previous communication, we consider this approach to achieve the desired objective of alleviating misappropriation and value dilution, albeit it to a lesser degree. The decision to participate is fully at the discretion of the payment recipient, and partial buy backs will be accepted. More details on how to take up the offer will be provided in due course. This will be an open offer with no termination date at this time.


Strategy and Pipeline

Contrary to our normal modus operandi, we will provide a little more transparency here with respect to the STRAKS’ strategy and vision. This will undoubtedly weaken our competitive positioning, but with the launch of the Incubator (and thus giving the community a voice), we are keen to ensure that the community make fully informed decisions and deliver projects in-line with STRAKS’ vision in order to successfully attract direct funding off the team. All ideas and opinions are welcome, and although we can not respond to every suggestion due to our other commitments, if a proposal is gaining traction within the community we will endeavour to opine on it.

With the above in mind, we would like to present an extract from an internal high-level strategic overview for STRAKS. Not so much in words but in the form of a “map” (of sorts) that I hope will transcend language barriers. The attached map overlays existing - what may seem like disparate - projects onto our pre-conceived strategy with the ultimate goal of establishing STRAKS’ technical and e-commerce ecosystem. Unlike Bitcoin, we do not have to rely predominantly on the community to provide solutions, and to drive our growth and vision. STRAKS is well positioned to achieve the following over the next 3-8 years by attracting more talent and working steadily towards the desired goal.

STRAKS Strategy Excerpt

Many items on the presented map are placeholders (for functional similarity) or desired targets. Standard traffic lights system applies, from placeholder (white) to work-in-progress (dark orange) to implemented (green). The plan has a medium to long term focus, and inherently flexible as circumstances dictate. We may construct cursory temporal road maps in order to disclose to the community specific goals, however, I note that the whole crypto-sector “road map” template is not something we subscribe to or view as good business sense considering the number of alt-coins in existence today. Many items have been further redacted in order maintain confidentiality and strategic positioning.


On the subject of ASIC

“As part of STRAKS’ decentralization manifesto, we fully support a diverse crypto-currency sector - with the caveat that we are strictly against the concentration of hashing power, through the use of asic hardware”.

To clarify the above statement, we are not promoting an ASIC resistant ideology, per se, but more specifically against the centralisation effect of the use of such hardware. With the use of FPGAs, the cost efficiencies associated with ASIC hardware manufacturing specifically for crypto-currency mining is being rapidly deteriorated. We expect “resistance” to the centralisation of hash power to be peripherally affected through competitive market forces in hardware, and possibly a change in STRAKS’ POW algorithm if warranted in the interim.

The advantages of ASICs are numerous, primarily the increase in network security of the chain, and raising the barrier to attacks. We appreciate that the use of such hardware alienates a significant majority of loyal GPU miners, however, the technology is rapidly developing and becoming increasing flexible and immune to POW changes. With the advent of FPGAs and NVIDA/AMD considering ASIC hardware, the sector is becoming increasingly competitive, which in turn should normalise valuations and access to such hardware. Some coins advertise themselves as ASIC resistant and they may change their algorithm in the interim. However, if the cost of producing advanced ASIC/FPGAs are far outstripped by the revenue potential, an entity will seek to fill the gap in order to capture the available economic rent. The fact remains that a coin can only ever be resistant in the temporal sense.

We will continue to monitor and evaluate mechanisms such as Komodo’s dPoW (delayed proof of work), 2-phase PoW or ProgPOW and consider our position accordingly.


Changing Faces

The STRAKS project has benefited from numerous key internal members, and loyal external supporters over the year. We currently have a strong internal team, who have maintained their dedication to the project through the current sector-wide depression. STRAKS operates a very flexible, unique and non-regimented internal approach that allows members to contribute, balancing their work and personal life commitments. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work contributed by all who have been involved with the project over the past year, and hope new members will join to drive the STRAKS vision over the coming year.

As of this writing, and as a reminder, the current team consists of:

We will continue to look to improve the depth and expertise within the team as opportunities present themselves. If you are interested in joining the STRAKS team, a brief direct email to [email protected] stating how we can contact you and your fit for the role applied for is all that is needed. We are looking for individuals who share the same passion as the team for cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and STRAKS.


Exchanges

The STRAKS team will continue to pursue additional exchanges where the opportunity exists for successful listing and adds value from a cost-benefit perspective. STRAKS can currently be traded on:


Q&A

The STRAKS team encourages the community to use the STRAKS forum (https://straks.co) to ask questions and discuss developments in relation to the project and provide input. Please rest assured that all comments are valued and are taken into consideration, even if not responded to directly. The forum allows for an easily accessible record and tracking of multiple streams of discussions.