25
Feb
20

The ultimate Status (SNT) Guide – Helpful and explanatory

Status (SNT) is an open-source messaging platform and mobile interface that allows users to interact with the dApps running on the Ethereum blockchain. At its core, there are three services that Status provides to its users – a secure P2P messaging service, a dApp browser where users can interact with thousands of Ethereum dApps, and a mobile wallet. The native currency of the platform is “Status Network Token” or SNT. Its ultimate goal is to quicken the mass adoption of Ethereum dApps by providing a new entry point to users. Status uses the Whisper protocol which is an identity-based pseudonymous low-level messaging system.

 

There are five main components to Status’s ecosystem:

 

  • Incubate: Provide support to early-stage, open-source startups. This support includes funding, technical support, mentorship, legal and regulatory compliance, product design, marketing and communication, and other resources.
  • Embark: A straightforward framework that will allow developers to build and deploy dApps quickly.
  • Studio: An integrated ecosystem where budding developers can learn all that they need to know about dApp development.
  • Nimbus: A sharding client implementation of Ethereum 2.0, Nimbus has been specifically designed for embedded systems and resource-limited hardware.
  • Keycard: A Status hardware wallet that takes the shape of a card. It’s compatible with several cryptocurrencies, including SNT, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum, and all ERC20 tokens.
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    To understand how Status will disrupt the social networking space, let’s first understand how traditional social networks work.

     

    Traditional Social Networks

     

    Traditional social networks have three distinct parties – the Owner, the Advertiser, and the User. While these three components are supposed to work in collaboration with each other, the fact is that these operate with vastly different goals in mind. Let’s take a closer look to see what we mean by that.

     

    #1 Owner

     

    This entity is the creator of the social network. Think Facebook, Inc. Their role is simple – attract and keep as many users on the platform as possible. Keep in mind, they are not incentivized to enhance user experience nor do they have any interest in giving their users as much value as possible. On the contrary, it’s in their interest to rely on algorithms to keep their users engaged.

     

    So, why retain the user’s attention? What’s in it for them?

     

    As the Cambridge Analytica fiasco taught us, the creators retain users to farm data from them regarding their and sell them to the Advertisers. In this day and age, there are a few things as powerful as data. No matter how they spin this, the fact of the matter is that this is a powerful, centralized organization that’s conducting non-consensual social experiments for its own benefits.

     

    #2 Advertiser

     

    The Advertiser allows the Owner to siphon value from the network and help sustain the platform. They do this by purchasing user data and using that to manipulate traffic towards their products or services.

     

    #3 Users

     

    What is the main reason why anyone uses social media? Do you use Facebook to buy products or do you use it to connect with your friends? Probably the latter, right? Regardless, the fact remains that even though users are a vital cog of the social media ecosystem, they have no control over the information they consume or how the network is developed. To make matters worse, the internet today is polluted with social bots that spread fake news dependent on their political ideology. As such, the user is constantly bombarded with misleading and false content.

     

    How Status changes the game

     

    The biggest problem with social media platforms is that they give a lot of power to Owners and Advertisers, while the User gets exploited for profit. Status plans to opt for a flat hierarchy where users possessed a real stake in the networks they participate in. This type of architecture will align the incentives of these three parties and create a system that benefits everybody.

     

     

    Status’s native SNT tokens help in creating a users-as-stakeholders network model that will align the interests of the users in line with the network. SNT will allow users to dictate how Status’s ecosystem will build and develop over time. A win-win cryptoeconomic system like this will help build a healthy ecosystem.

     

    Status co-founders Carl Bennetts and Jarrad Hope launched the Status ICO in June 2017, raising nearly $100 million in Ethereum toward the project.

     

    Status Features to Note

     

    #1 Status Usernames

     

  • Status users are currently identified by a SECP256k1 public key.
  • The team is now working with the co-creator of the Ethereum Name Service, Nick Johnson, to develop a username-to-SECP256k1 public key resolver.
  • Using this service, a casual user will be able to register a username inside of Status so that their friends can easily discover them.
  • Only accounts holding SNT tokens will be able to reserve a username. This eliminates spam accounts.
  • Once Status deems an account “trustable,” it assigns a badge to it. A “badged profile” is like a verified profile on Twitter. Badges indicate the amount of value or number of backers associated with the account.
  • Status stakeholders can get a badged profile once they deposit SNT against their usernames at a premium.
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    #2 Decentralized Push Notifications

     

  • Decentralized push notifications will help you to be notified when someone responds to your messages. Since the messaging protocol – Whisper – itself is peer-to-peer, the notification system happens to be decentralized, as well.
  • Whisper V5 protocol allows users to delegate nodes to do offline inboxing, i.e. store messages while clients are not online. This ability can also be extended to support push notifications.
  • This can encourage the creation of a “push notification provider marketplace.” These providers can charge SNT for notification and storage.
  • Users will be able to choose which nodes will give service to them and which providers they choose to use.
  • Ultimately, users have two choices – pay service providers to access notifications directly, or can watch advertisements and check notifications for free. At the end of the day, it is entirely up to the user’s discretion.
  • You can also adjust your privacy level as you can opt-in or out of any service.
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    #3 Governance

     

  • Any SNT holder in the network can make a decision proposal when needed.
  • Whenever a decision is required to be made, the user’s SNTs are cloned into separate decision tokens at a 1:1 ratio.
  • It does not cost any SNTs to vote on proposals.
  • Status users have the right to approve and disapprove content via a process called “signaling.” Think of it like upvoting and downvoting posts on Reddit. However, unlike Reddit, all votes are not considered equal. Votes made by accounts with more SNT tokens are considered more powerful.
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    #4 Mobile Client

     

    Finally, we move on to one of the most critical components of Status’s architecture, its mobile client. The application is available both on Android and iOS. Status feels that their mobile client will be vital in Ethereum’s mainstream adoption. Smartphone adoption has gone through the roof. It is impossible to think of a life without one. Back in 2014, smartphone usage surpassed desktop usage. Because of this, message applications have become the ideal mode of communication. Here are some stats taken from Status’s whitepaper:

     

  • Messaging applications have more users than web 2.0 social networks.
  • They have the highest retention rates.
  • The amount of time that users are spending on smartphones is increasing year-to-year.
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    To understand how intimately messaging applications could be tied up to the fabric of society, we need to talk about WeChat and China. WeChat has quickly ingratiated into all aspects of daily life in China, so much so that it can be impossible to live a normal life in the country without the app. Using WeChat, one can arrange social life, banking, business activities, transport, and payments directly from within it. The numbers also support this widespread adoption:

     

  • WeChat has 889 million active users with >90% penetration rates in China’s largest cities.
  • WeChat Pay is also now used by 93% of WeChat users for offline purchases in China’s largest cities.
  • On average, the Chinese are spending 66 minutes per pay within the application.
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    WeChat has successfully epitomized the concept of “messaging-as-a-platform.” Status plans to introduce this same MaaP concept to a broader audience. Plus, WeChat is a centralized platform, so Status will give us a decentralized alternative.

     

    Looking into Nimbus

     

    Status is also working on a project called “Nimbus,” which is a sharding client implementation for Ethereum. As already mentioned, it has been specifically designed to perform well on IoT and mobile devices, including older smartphones with resource-restricted hardware. Sharding is a layer-1 scalability technique. As you may already know, Ethereum has a huge scalability problem. Currently, the system can only process 15-25 transactions per second. That is pretty abysmal and impractical for mainstream use.

     

    Nimbus’s extensible, configurable, and modular design ensures that it is production-ready.

     

    Nimbus and Nim

     

    Nimbus is based on Nim, which is a mature, statically typed programming language that produces native binaries with no need for runtime or interpreter. Here are some pointers to keep in mind about Nim:

     

  • Offers efficient and expressive programming for developers.
  • Focuses on thread-local (and garbage collected) heaps and message passing between threads. Each thread has its own garbage collector.
  • Supports a wide variety of popular editors and gives out-of-the-box support for Scite, Howl, and Micro.
  • It provides high-performance and has an active developer community. It has a Python-like syntax, which makes it relatively easy-to-learn.
  • Has a lightweight footprint, which is one of the reasons why the Nimbus team chose to base their client on Nim.
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    More Interesting Features

     

    #1 Access to other DApps

     

    Here are some of the DApps that Status users can gain access to:

     

  • uPort: A self-sovereign identity system.
  • Ujo: Create and control your creative content, and share it with the world.
  • Gnosis: An open crowd-sourced prediction market.
  • Ethlance: A decentralized jobs marketplace that will allow you to work in exchange for cryptocurrencies.
  • Oasis Exchange: A near decentralized exchange that will enable you to obtain ETH and ERC20 tokens.
  • Aragon: An open-source software project that allows for the creation and management of decentralized organizations.
  • Etherisc: A decentralized insurance platform.
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    #2 Status Teller Network

     

    The Teller Network is a decentralized app inside Status that will allow you to find nearby users to easily obtain digital assets in exchange for cash.

     

    #3 Decentralized Application Directory

     

    This directory will allow Status users to curate and keep track of all the dApps available on Ethereum. Status plans to arrange them in different categories and assign rating points to them. As such, this will be like the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for Ethereum dApps.

     

    #4 Sticker Market

     

    This is a fun, little proposal that will allow Status users to design and sell their own stickers. The stickers will be sorted by categories and curated as per its own user rankings. Sticker Market participants will be required to hold some SNT tokens to ensure the quality of all users and sticker ratings.

     

    Storing SNT – Keycard Wallet

     

     

    Keycard is a Status hardware wallet that takes the shape of a card. It’s compatible with several cryptocurrencies, including SNT, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum, and all ERC20 tokens. It is developed entirely open-source and is the exact same shape as any standard debit/credit card that you have in your wallet. Keycard project managed, Guy-Louis Grau, told CoinDesk about the wallet:

     

    “[Keycard] is contactless. It’s going to work with your mobile crypto wallet. You’ll just need to tap your Keycard on a mobile device to sign transactions. Functionally speaking, it’s really a hardware wallet but it works with mobile.”

     

    While the Keycard is definitely a significant innovation, Status wants its community to create more cards. To reduce the barriers for entry in this aspect, Status will provide an easy-to-use Keycard API. Speaking about this open innovation ecosystem, Grau said:

     

    “Our software is open and runs on Java Card so if a third-party project wants to build its own Keycard, they would use our open-source software and they just need to have it run on the Java Card – which is available through hundreds of manufacturers since it’s such a common hardware.”

     

    Conclusion

     

    Status made a lot of noise back in 2017 following its ICO and has somehow maintained its reputation as one of the more promising projects in the space. Backed by a vast and highly qualified team, you can expect them to make more waves in the near future.

    Rajarshi Mitra
    Blockchain Researcher