Coin Report #22: Ryo

AD: Before I begin this post, I’d like to briefly mention Bitcoin.Live, who are sponsoring my blog.

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N.B: The following Coin Report on Ryo is community-selected. Ryo placed 1st in the recent community poll. XDAG, which placed 2nd, will also have a Coin Report published at a later date.

Welcome to the 22nd Coin Report. In today’s report, I will be assessing the fundamental and technical strengths and weaknesses of Ryo. This will comprise of an analysis of a number of significant metrics, an evaluation of the project’s community and development and an overview of its price-history. The report will conclude with a grading out of 10. I hope you enjoy the read!

Introduction

Prior to Q2’s community poll, I had little idea about the Ryo project; in fact, all I knew was that it was privacy-focused. It then won the poll, marginally beating out XDAG (another privacy coin that will be featured in a later report), and I finally get a chance to see for myself why such a small project is so popular.

I hope this report will prove objective where it must be and fair on more subjective matters. For those who’d like to learn a little more about Ryo prior to reading this report, here are some primary links:


Fundamental

General:

Name: Ryo

Ticker: RYO

Algorithm: CryptoNight-GPU

Sector: Privacy

Exchanges: Bisq, Crex24 & TradeOgre

Launch Overview

Ryo was launched in June 2018, as a continuation of the original chain after Sumokoin (itself a fork of Monero) hard-forked to an ASIC-friendly algorithm, in an effort to remain loyal to GPU miners. It originally operated with a Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism on the CryptoNight-Heavy algorithm but implemented a custom CN-GPU algorithm later.

Ryo has a ‘Camel’ distribution curve for its supply emission, with block rewards changing roughly every 6 months. Its current block reward is 56.28 RYO with a block time of 4 minutes. It has burned 8.8mn RYO that originally made up the hidden Sumo premine (one of the primary reasons for Sumo being abandoned).

Price-History Overview

There is very little available price-history for Ryo, given that it is a little over a year old and is not listed on any of the larger exchanges. That said, it formed its all-time high shortly after it was first listed on exchanges in July 2018 at ~3600 satoshis against BTC, simultaneously setting its all-time high of $0.31 against the Dollar. These highs remain untouched and Ryo is currently trading near all-time lows against BTC.

Project Overview

Ryo is inherently a privacy-focused project, with private transactions set as default, utilising a high minimum RingCT ringsize of 25, relative to Monero’s current minimum of 11.

Given the high degree of competition in the privacy space, with new projects launched on a daily basis claiming to offer the best possible privacy features, there is a lot that Ryo must overcome as a small, relatively-unknown project in order to find success here.

Let’s see how it is currently faring, beginning with some Metric Analysis:


Metric Analysis:

Below are listed a number of important metrics, all of which are accurate as of 27th May 2019. For anyone reading this who has yet to read a Coin Report, it might be worth reading this section of the first report, where any potentially unfamiliar terms are explained. For any terms or metrics specific to this post, I will provide explanations besides the figures.

Metrics:

General:

Price: $0.056 (641 satoshis)

Exchange Volume: $1,811

Circulating Supply: 11,550,074 RYO

Total Supply: 11,667,387 RYO

Maximum Supply: 88,188,888 RYO

% of Max. Supply Minted: 13.23%

Network Value: $650,406 (74.04 BTC)

Network Value at Max. Supply: $4.966mn

Category: Lowcap

Exchange Volume-to-Network Value: 0.28%

Average Price (30-Day): $0.052

Average Exchange Volume (30-Day): $905

Average Network Value (30-Day): $585,204

Average Exchange Volume (30-Day)-to-Network Value: 0.15%

Volatility* (30-Day): -0.03439

Average Daily On-Chain Transactions (30-Day): N/A

Average Daily Transactional Value (30-Day): N/A

NVT (30-Day): N/A

% Price Change USD (30-Day): +6.3%

% Price Change USD (1-Year): N/A

USD All-Time High: $0.31

% From USD All-Time High: -82%

Premine % of Max. Supply: ~10% (now burned)

Premine Location: Instructions on viewing premine can be found here

Liquidity (calculated as the sum of BTC in the buy-side with 10% of current price across all exchanges): 0.0995 BTC

Liquidity-to-Network Value %: 0.13%

Supply Available on Exchanges: 249,251 RYO

% of Circulating Supply Available on Exchanges: 2.16%

*Volatility is calculated by taking the average price over the given time-period, calculating the difference between it and the highest price and it and the lowest price over that same time-period, and multiplying those figures together. The closer to 0, the less volatility during that period, and vice-versa. Read this for more on volatility.

Supply Emission & Inflation:

Block Reward Schedule: Every 6 months, the block reward changes according to a Camel distribution curve. Current block reward = 56.28. 65.07 reward after that. 360 blocks minted daily.

Average Block Time: 4 minutes

Current Block Height: 264,087

Annual Supply Emission: 7,972,695 RYO (51.1 BTC-worth at current prices)

Annual Inflation Rate: 69.03%

Circulating Supply in 365 Days: 19,522,769 RYO

Analysis:

Unlike for the vast majority of these reports, which bring with them a mountain of metrics to work through, this section is a little leaner when concerned with privacy coins, as distribution analysis is often impossible. Plus, Ryo is a pure Proof-of-Work coin, so there is no staking nor masternodes.

One of the ironies of evaluating a privacy coin is that its most valuable feature is precisely what prevents one from determining its value: its inherent privacy. As such, on-chain transactional value is impossible to calculate and thus the success of the coin as an in-demand medium-of-exchange is equally ambiguous, at least by this measure.

Instead, let’s take a look at those metrics we can calculate, beginning with Volatility, before moving on through the remaining General metrics and concluding with Supply Emission:

Ryo’s 30-day Volatility was calculated to be -0.03439; the 4th-lowest of any coin previously reported on, despite Ryo making all-time lows recently against Bitcoin, indicating that RYO/USD may well have bottomed out. That, however, shall be determined in the Technical section.

Moving on, I found Ryo to have buy-side Liquidity of 0.0995 BTC, equating to 0.13% of its Network Value. This is rather poor, and whilst it can partly be explained by its lack of listings on larger exchanges, there are plenty of altcoin on TradeOgre with better liquidity than this. Of course, liquidity is also dynamic and thus subject to (sometimes dramatic) change. Nonetheless, this figure places Ryo 6th-from-bottom amongst coins in prior reports.

Regarding its sell-side Liquidity, I calculated that there was 249,521 Ryo available in the orderbooks on listed exchanges, equating to 2.16% of its circulating supply. This places it around 7th-highest for the largest percentage of its circulating supply available for purchase on exchanges, suggesting that, whilst there is not a great deal of demand from buyers at current prices, there is also not a huge amount of Ryo up for sale at any price.

Now, let’s take a look at the volume-related metrics, as these weren’t so pleasing, at least not for a speculator:

Ryo traded $1,811 of Exchange Volume over the past 24 hours, equating to 0.28% of its Network Value. Those that are regular readers of these reports, or that have read my free Definitive Guide To Altcoin Selection will know that I like to see a figure above 1% to indicate speculative interest in a coin. This is well short of that. The picture is more bleak when we look at averages across the past month, with Ryo trading an average of $905 daily, equating to 0.15% of its Average Network Value of $585,204 for that same period. This is the 3rd-lowest of any coin previously reported on. Disappointing.

Moving onto Supply Emission, using Ryo’s block reward schedule, I calculated that it has annual supply emission of 7.972mn RYO (51.1 BTC-worth at current prices). This gives Ryo a rather high annual inflation rate of 69.03%, and thus potential headwinds for price growth.

However, more significant than the supply emission itself is its relationship to traded volume. Given the above figures, we can work out that Ryo’s average daily supply emission for the next 12 months is 21,843 RYO, equating to 0.14 BTC, or $1,230. Ryo’s Exchange Volume just about covers this supply emission, but its Average Exchange Volume does not, indicating that headwinds for price growth are rather high and that Ryo likely cannot sustain current prices at current levels of speculative volume. Further, Ryo’s Liquidity of 0.0995 BTC is also less than the average daily supply emission, and thus Ryo would not be able to soak up the emission if it was dumped on the market by miners.

A bleak outlook for a potential buyer, so far.

Let’s now move on to the Ryo Community:


Community:

There are two primary aspects of community analysis: social media presence and Bitcointalk threads. I’ll begin with the former before moving on to the latter.

Social Media:

Concerning social media presence, there are four main platforms to examine: Twitter, Facebook, Telegram and Discord.

Ryo is present on all four platforms. To begin, let’s look at the various social metrics that I calculated from the Ryo Twitter and Facebook accounts:

Twitter Followers: 848

Tweets: 1,518

Average Twitter Engagement: 1.21%

Facebook Likes: 430

Facebook Posts (30-Day): 2

Average Facebook Engagement: 0.12%

As usual, I will be using RivalIQ‘s 2019 social benchmark report for evaluation purposes.

Twitter:

The Ryo Twitter account has one of the smallest audiences of any coin previously reported on. That said, in RivalIQ’s report, we find that the average Twitter engagement rate across all industries is 0.048%, which means that Ryo’s engagement rate is currently 25x greater. Further, the average engagement rate for the Media industry (the most relevant in the report) is 0.009%, thus Ryo’s is 133x greater. Of course, this is largely due to the size of Ryo’s audience, which inflates its engagement rate. Relative to other coins from previous reports, Ryo’s engagement is the 7th-highest. Positive, regarding engagement; but I’d like to see more eyes on its primary social platform.

Facebook:

Now, with regards to Facebook, Ryo has an even smaller audience but with far weaker engagement. With 430 Likes, it has the 4th-smallest Facebook audience of any coin previously reported on. Further, its average engagement rate for the past 30 days was 0.12% from 2 posts in the past 30 days. The average engagement rate across all industries according to RivalIQ’s report is 0.09%, so Ryo is failing to even hit the average. That said, it is around the middle of the pack for engagement amongst coins from previous reports. This shows the relative weakness of many cryptocurrency projects on Facebook compared to Twitter. A greater effort on this platform would undoubtedly push those figures up for Ryo, however.

Discord:

The Ryo Discord group has 1,014 member, with 19 new members in the past week, equating to 1.9% weekly growth. This is a small group, but it’s similar in size to Ryo’s other social channels, and actually a little larger than their Twitter.

Announcements is generally updated 5 or 6 times a month but has been updated less frequently of late, with 1 update since 25th April. Within this channel, I found links to Medium posts with dev updates; plus links to discussions about proposed emission curve changes.

FAQ links to the detailed FAQ on the website, though this
could easily be copied native to the channel to ensure new user accessibility.

Support is generally quiet, which is no bad thing, as there is clearly little that users need fixing, at least on Discord.  The rare instances of required support seem prompt.

Core Development and Getting On Exchanges have been quiet since March.

General, usually the most active channel in a Discord, is mostly comprised on a bot displaying discussion from the Telegram channel. Thus, clearly the Discord isn’t in much use.

Overall, minimal activity.

Telegram:

There are 1,071 members in the Ryo Telegram group, with 3.3% weekly growth. This is a similar size to the Discord but is clearly far more active, with near-constant discussion, at least during the period which I observed.

Within the group, I found discussion on the block reward change that occurred recently, increasing block rewards from ~48 to ~56 RYO per block, along with a pinned message relating to a proposal to shift the emission curve following the next two reward increases. This will take Ryo from a Camel distribution curve to one with a plateau. There is also a lot of general discussion about the necessity for privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, as well as broader crypto-related chat. Also, I found that Ryo is considering implementing ringsizes above 1000, whilst keeping block size relatively similar to their current size.

Beyond this, there wasn’t a great deal of discussion on the project itself, particularly regarding its development and the growth of its userbase. The project is clearly small, thus efforts should be made to grow the community, and it’s disappointing that this is not palpable on any of Ryo’s social platforms.

BitcoinTalk:

The Ryo BitcoinTalk thread was created on June 3rd, 2018, and has since generated 625 posts spanning 32 pages in 354 days. This equates to 1.76  posts per day, on average. However, in the past 90 days, the thread has had 32 posts via 11 individual posters, giving an average of 0.35 posts per day; a steep decline in already-low engagement.

Regarding the content of the thread, the past 90 days of discussion largely revolves around mining, but I also found that the team recently released the Quasar web wallet for Ryo. There is a little back-and-forth regarding the recent update of the GUI wallet, which has caused a couple of issues but these are swiftly resolved. In April, Ryo was added to Crex24, and in mid-May, the team released an update to the GUI Atom wallet with an in-built solo pool for miners with zero fees. Most significantly, there is some discussion on a proposed emission curve change, on which you can find more info here and here. In short, the proposal is to shift the emission curve from its current Camel distribution, inherited from Sumokoin, to a plateau curve, allowing miners to mine peak rewards for a prolonged period.

Regarding the announcement itself, all social links are provided, as are links to the Ryo wallet and block explorer. A brief history of the project, as well as its key features, are also provided. Further, the block reward schedule, with accompanying graphics, is made available, as is some basic information on the team, though this is limited to usernames.

And that concludes this section on the Ryo Community. Onto Development:


Development:

For the following Development analysis, I will be evaluating project leadership, the website, the roadmap, the whitepaper, the wallets and finally providing a general overview:

Project Leadership:

There is no information available on the team on the Ryo website. However, there are 5 listed core members on the BitcoinTalk Announcement page, plus 12 Github contributors.

Whilst I appreciate that, particularly for a privacy coin, anonymity is often paramount for the team behind the project, some indication as to the experience of the team and their various roles would be useful.

Website:

https://ryo-currency.com/

The Ryo website is full of relevant and useful information, more so than almost any other crypto website I’ve come across. There’s material on all manner of topics, with blog posts, press material, detailed summaries and more native to the site. However, the way in which this material is organised and presented, along with the overall UI/UX of the site, is clunky and confused, with poor navigation.

The homepage does a fantastic job of highlighting the coin’s numerous features and advantages, as well as the GUI wallet and the roadmap, as I cover in the next section. The copy is both concise and informative. Further, all social links are available both in the footer and via the Community page. But I can’t help but feel that the material has all sort of been thrown onto the homepage; some simple UX updates would clean the site up a great deal.

Roadmap:

The Ryo roadmap is native to the website homepage, found towards the bottom of the page.

The roadmap itself is extensive, providing a full history of the project since its beginnings as Sumokoin in June 2017. There is a fair amount of detail relating to each specific event or goal, and I like that the roadmap is presented in a visually appealing manner and that each month has its own section. Further, I like that current/recent goals are separated from the history of the project itself. For the purposes of this section, I will begin at the rebrand to Ryo in June 2018.

From this point, the project has experienced the release of numerous wallets, each building upon the previous until the release of the Atom GUI wallet in September 2018, which was built from scratch. Further, a web wallet was released and a dev fund was introduced into the block reward schedule, as of August 2018. In February 2019, Ryo implemented the CN-GPU algorithm, developed by the Ryo team. Lastly, in May 2019, the Atom wallet update introduced solo mining for CryptoNote coins in-wallet.

Moving onto Core Code Development, Ryo have implemented a private payment ID system and increased the default ring size to 25, as well as Bulletproofs for faster transaction processing. Goals in progress include performance optimisation, blockchain compression and Electrum-like wallets.

Finally, regarding Infrastructure Development, the Atom wallet has continued to be developed, as has the Quasar web wallet, and the team are looking to implement atomic swaps, mobile wallets for Android and iOS, developer tools, payment processors and an XMR-Stak GUI interface.

Whitepaper:

There is no whitepaper available specifically for Ryo, as a project, though there are various whitepapers on the features it inherits from Monero. There is a highly-technical ReadMe available on Github, which is what the Whitepaper hyperlink on the BitcoinTalk thread links to.

I would like to have seen a whitepaper for the project itself, as it is useful for potential new users or investors to learn about the primary aims of the project, as well as its future vision, without having to read from numerous, scattered sources.

Wallets:

There is a GUI wallet called Ryo: Atom available for Mac, Linux and Windows. There is also a command-line wallet available, as well as a web wallet. No hardware wallet or mobile wallet support, at present.


Technical

RYO/BTC

RYOBTCDaily

RYO/USD

RYOUSDDaily

Analysis:

Given the lack of extensive price-history for Ryo, it is only necessary to look at the Daily charts for both RYO/BTC and RYO/USD.

Beginning with RYO/BTC, we can see that price formed its all-time high of ~3600 satoshis almost immediately after being listed on exchanges, and that the past 10 months or so has been little else but prolonged bleeding. In fact, only a few days ago, price made an all-time low of 550 satoshis. Now, given that Ryo is clearly in a long-term downtrend, and price is currently capped by trendline resistance, I would not be looking to buy until we get a clear breakout above said resistance, as well as a higher-high above a recent swing-high on the Daily timeframe. This, to me, would indicate the end of Ryo’s extended bear cycle and the beginnings of a potential bull cycle, with market structure turning bullish. As such, if the current all-time low of 550 satoshis holds firm and becomes a cyclical bottom, I would be looking to buy on a clean break of 800 satoshis, with accompanying volume. If price fails to break above this level, no doubt we will be seeing new lows.

Now, looking at RYO/USD, the picture, whilst very similar, does have some pronounced differences. Firstly, RYO/USD has been capped by clean trendline resistance since its very first days on an exchange, with its all-time high set around $0.30. It bled out all the way through until March 2019, where it formed its all-time low of $0.039. This low remains intact several weeks later, and price recently rejected a move below it, indicating that the cyclical bottom for RYO/USD may be in. To be sure, we’d need to see price break and close above trendline resistance for the first time in its price-history.


Conclusion

This report is now approaching 4,000 words, and it is time to draw it to a close.

My final grading for Ryo is 6 out of 10.

Here, you can find my grading framework, for reference.

Lastly, here is a link to a Google Sheets file with any significant data from previous reports compiled for cross-comparative purposes. I will keep this updated as I continue to write these reports.

I hope this report has proved insightful and that you’ve enjoyed the read! Please do feel free to leave any questions in the Comments, and I’ll answer them as best I can.


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Coin Report #21: Stratis

AD: Before I begin this post, I’d like to briefly mention Bitcoin.Live, who are sponsoring my blog.

Bitcoin.Live offers regular, detailed content on their free-to-access blog, created by a panel of analysts (including Peter Brandt), and covering all manner of market-related topics. I found both the video material and the blog posts to be genuinely insightful, with many differing analytical perspectives available for viewers and readers. The platform also offers premium content for paying subscribers who find value in the free material, with daily videos, alerts and support provided. Check it out and bookmark the blog.


N.B: In the spirit of full transparency, the following Coin Report on Stratis is a Sponsored Post.

Welcome to the 21st Coin Report. In today’s report, I will be assessing the fundamental and technical strengths and weaknesses of Stratis. This will comprise of an analysis of a number of significant metrics, an evaluation of the project’s community and development and an overview of its price-history. The report will conclude with a grading out of 10. I hope you enjoy the read!

Introduction

For those that have read the memoir chapters of my book, you’ll know that I have some fond history with Stratis, as it was one of the first trades I made when I returned to the space after my break in January 2017.

I bought some in late February or early March of that year and recall selling for a 2 or 3x return, despite the coin rallying over 100x against BTC later that year. In retrospect, perhaps not so fond a history…

Despite this, I have always been keen on the project, and have held multiple positions since that original trade, though, as I am first-and-foremost a speculator, I have not held any through multiple cycles. Nonetheless, I kept relatively up-to-date with the ongoings of the project via its Twitter page, and knew that, when the opportune moment arose, it would certainly be worth buying some. I did not expect its price to fall over 95% against BTC from its all-time highs, and thus perhaps the opportunity is at its peak at present.

I must state, for transparency’s sake, that I do currently own a position in Stratis, and that the findings of this report will either prove or disprove the more surface-level fundamental analysis I carry out for my own sake.

I hope this report will prove objective where it must be and fair on more subjective matters. For those who’d like to learn a little more about Stratis prior to reading this report, here are some primary links:


Fundamental

General:

Name: Stratis

Ticker: STRAT

Algorithm: X13

Consensus Mechanism: Proof-of-Stake

Sector: Blockchain Solutions

Exchanges: Binance, Poloniex, Bittrex, HitBTC, Upbit, LiveCoin, Bittylicious, Crex24, BitVavo, Changelly

Launch Overview

Stratis was founded by Chris Trew in June 2016 and developed with a C# Full Node, as opposed to being written in Bitcoin’s C++ programming language. The project launched with an ICO that raised 915 BTC, just shy of its 1,000 BTC target, and ~81mn of the 84mn available STRAT were distributed to investors, giving an average price of $0.0073 (1127 satoshis) per STRAT during the ICO.

STRAT operates using the X13 hashing algorithm and a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, with 1 STRAT rewarded per newly forged block  indefinitely.

Price-History Overview

Given that Stratis has been around since the summer of 2016, there is plenty of price-history available to study. Most significantly, STRAT formed an all-time high of 0.0047 BTC in May 2017, and has since formed lower-highs on every mini-cycle. It formed an all-time high of $22.66 in January 2018. Both, STRAT/BTC and STRAT/USD are currently over 95% away from their all-time highs.

Project Overview

Stratis is a blockchain solutions platform, developing an ecosystem of products and services catered to businesses and organisations that seek to test and integrate said solutions. Its current portfolio of products and services consists of its Full Node, Smart Contracts, Sidechains, Stratis Identity and an ICO platform. Stratis Group Limited, based in London, will also offer blockchain consultancy to businesses.

As stated in their whitepaper:

Stratis is a powerful and flexible blockchain Development Platform designed for the needs of real-world financial services businesses and other organisations that want to develop, test and deploy applications on the blockchain. Stratis blockchain apps can be developed in pure C# and can also utilize the Microsoft .NET framework, while also taking advantage of the powerful Stratis APIs and framework.

Stratis significantly simplifies the development process for creating Blockchain applications and accelerates the development life cycle for blockchain development projects. Stratis private chains allow businesses to deploy their own customised blockchains without the overheads inherent in running their own blockchain network infrastructure.

Stratis’s turnkey solution enables developers and businesses to create, test and deploy blockchain-based applications quickly and easily, all without the costs and security concerns that would otherwise arise from an in-house implementation.

Indisputably, a tall order. I look forward to seeing how Stratis fares in this regard, as well as the progress it has made since its inception.

Let’s begin with some Metric Analysis:


Metric Analysis:

Below are listed a number of important metrics, all of which are accurate as of 20th May 2019. For anyone reading this who has yet to read a Coin Report, it might be worth reading this section of the first report, where any potentially unfamiliar terms are explained. For any terms or metrics specific to this post, I will provide explanations besides the figures.

Metrics:

General:

Price: $0.88 (11097 satoshis)

Circulating Supply: 99,334,497 STRAT

Total Supply: 99,334,497 STRAT

Exchange Volume: $1.487mn

Network Value: $87.33mn (11,023 BTC)

Maximum Supply: N/A (98mn STRAT distributed after ICO; indefinitely Proof-of-Stake thereon)

% of Max. Supply Minted: N/A

Network Value at Max. Supply: N/A

Category: Largecap

Exchange Volume-to-Network Value: 1.7%

Average Price (30-Day): $0.87

Average Exchange Volume (30-Day): $1.718mn

Average Network Value (30-Day): $86.637mn

Average Exchange Volume (30-Day)-to-Network Value: 1.98%

Volatility* (30-Day): -0.04489

Average Daily On-Chain Transactions (30-Day): 287

Average Daily Transactional Value** (30-Day): $1.789mn (source)

NVT*** (30-Day): 48.81

% Price Change USD (30-Day): -21.24%

% Price Change USD (1-Year): -84.94%

USD All-Time High: $22.66

% From USD All-Time High: -96.1%

Premine % of Max. Supply: 0

Premine Location: N/A

Liquidity (calculated as the sum of BTC in the buy-side with 10% of current price across all exchanges): 33.67 BTC

Liquidity-to-Network Value %: 0.31%

Supply Available on Exchanges: 1,944,518 STRAT

% of Circulating Supply Available on Exchanges: 1.96%

*Volatility is calculated by taking the average price over the given time-period, calculating the difference between it and the highest price and it and the lowest price over that same time-period, and multiplying those figures together. The closer to 0, the less volatility during that period, and vice-versa. Read this for more on volatility.

**Transactional Value in $ is calculated by taking the daily transactional value in STRAT and multiplying it by price.

***NVT is calculated by dividing the Network Value by the Average Daily Transactional Value. See here for more on NVT.

Supply Emission & Inflation:

Block Reward Schedule: 1 STRAT per block, distributed via Proof-of-Stake. 1440 blocks forged a day, on average. Static rewards indefinitely.

Average Block Time: 60 seconds

Current Block Height: 1,314,491

Annual Supply Emission: 525,600 STRAT (58.33 BTC)

Annual Inflation Rate: 0.53%

Circulating Supply in 365 Days: 99,860,097 STRAT

Staking & Masternodes:

Network Staking Weight: 23,342,315 STRAT (source)

Staking ROI (Annual): 2.25%*

*To calculate annual staking ROI: (Annual Supply Emission / Network Staking Weight = 525,600 / 23,342,315 = 2.25%

Distribution:

Address Count: 72,411

Supply Held By Top 10 Addresses: 29.76%

Supply Held By Top 20 Addresses: 39.18%

Supply Held By Top 100 Addresses: 62.81%

Inactive Address Count in Top 20 (30 Days of No Activity): 10

ICO:

The following details were taken from here.

ICO Period: June 25th 2016 To July 26th 2016

Total Coins: 98,000,000 STRAT

Coins Available For Sale: 84,000,000 STRAT

Coins Sold: 81,188,997 STRAT

Total Raised: 915 BTC (~$600k, at the time)

Average ICO Price Per Coin: 1127 satoshis ($0.0073)

ICO Breakdown: 84mn STRAT to investors; 8mn STRAT to team; 2mn STRAT to partners and advisors; and 4mn STRAT to marketing campaigns

Analysis:

Well, there’s rather a lot to unpack here, so let’s begin with the metrics related to on-chain transactions:

Thankfully, Stratis has a Chainz explorer, which greatly simplifies my research process, particularly for on-chain transaction analysis. Using this source, I found that Stratis averaged 287 Daily On-Chain Transactions for the past month, amounting to an Average Daily Transactional Value of $1.789mn, excluding block rewards + fees. This is very impressive, off the bat, as it gives Stratis a NVT of 48.81; only slightly higher than that of Bitcoin at present, which is 41.5. This means that, relative to its Network Value (market cap), Stratis is processing almost as much on-chain transactional value as Bitcoin. Clearly, use of the blockchain is in demand.

Before we move on to meatier topics, I’d like to quickly highlight Stratis’ 30-day Volatility of -0.04489. This places it in the middle of the pack, relative to coins from previous reports.

Now, let’s take a look at the remaining General metrics before moving on to Supply Emission, Staking & Masternodes and finally Distribution:

Some of the most significant metrics to evaluate for speculators are those related to buy-side and sell-side Liquidity. I found Stratis to have buy-side Liquidity of 33.67 BTC within 10% of spot price across all listed exchanges, equating to 0.31% of its Network Value. This is the fifth-highest degree of liquidity found amongst all previous reports and indicates a clear demand for STRAT at current prices.

Concerning sell-side Liquidity, Stratis was found to have 1.94mn STRAT available for purchase in the orderbooks across all listed exchanges, equating to 1.96% of its Circulating Supply; the sixth-highest figure amongst previous reports, indicating an equally strong desire to sell, though not necessarily at current prices.

Now, let’s take a look at the volume-related metrics:

Stratis traded $1.487mn of Exchange Volume in the past 24 hours, equating to 1.7% of its Network Value; a satisfactory figure. More importantly, its Average Daily Volume for the past month was $1.718mn, equating to 1.98% of its Average Network Value for the same period; a clear sign of sustained interest. It does, however, rank Stratis somewhere in the middle of the coins previously reported on for Average Exchange Volume-to-Average Network Value.

Moving onto Supply Emission, based on the indefinite block rewards of 1 STRAT per block and 1-minute block times, I calculated that 525,600 STRAT will be minted annually (58.33 BTC-worth at current prices). This gives Stratis a negligible annual inflation rate of 0.53% (ever-decreasing). As such, there should really be no headwinds for price growth.

However, most significant is the relationship between this Supply Emission and the Volume metrics mentioned above:

Given that 525,600 STRAT are minted annually, we can work out that the average daily supply emission is 1,440 STRAT, or 0.16 BTC-worth at current prices. This equates to $1265 of daily supply emission. As Stratis traded ~$1.48mn of volume over the past 24 hours, and an average of $1.72mn of volume daily for the past month, we find that Stratis’ average daily supply emission is covered a colossal 1,176x by its 24-hour volume and 1,358x by its Average Exchange Volume. Further, Liquidity of 33.67 BTC covers the average daily supply emission by 210x.

In short, any decreases in price are undoubtedly driven either by distribution from larger holders or distribution from smaller holders, and not from the daily emissions being dumped on the market.

Now, before we conclude this section with some Distribution analysis, let’s quickly run through Staking & Masternodes:

Firstly, it’s important to mention that Stratis is currently in the process of launching its masternode functionality for its Cirrus sidechain, where a limited number of 10,000 STRAT collateral and 50,000 STRAT collateral will go online and collect rewards via transaction fees and from smart contract deployment on the sidechain. Further, they will receive staking rewards from the collateral whilst the Cirrus sidechain grows in usage. As such, I am unable to include any masternode metrics at present.

With regards to staking, however, using the Chainz explorer I determined the Network Staking Weight to be 23.342mn STRAT; around 23.4% of the circulating supply. Given the relatively low amount of STRAT being staked, the returns for stakers are increased, equating to annual returns of 2.25% on staked STRAT. Whilst not the best ROI, it is 4x higher the annual inflation rate, and so it is definitely worth it for those who have a large position. I expect the Network Staking Weight to increase substantially when cold staking is activated, as we shall come to a little later…

Finally, let’s take a look at Distribution:

I was rather impressed to find that there are 72,411 holders of STRAT, as this is the second-highest address count of all coins previously reported on. With regards to concentration of supply, the top 10 addresses control 29.76% of circulating supply; the top 20 control 39.18%; and the top 100 control 62.81%. Whilst somewhat decentralised, for a project of its size this is a rather highly concentrated distribution. That said, for us speculators, this can work in our favour.

Within the top 20 addresses, 10 were inactive over the past 30 days, indicating that half of the largest holders are content with their position sizes. Most significantly, the richest address added 500k STRAT to his/her balance last month, and the 2nd-richest has added 50k this month. Only 1 of the top 20 addresses distributed any STRAT over the past month: the 10th-richest, who distributed 300k STRAT. The remaining addresses are all staking, with the 20th-richest buying 720k STRAT to stake last month.

And that concludes this section on Metric Analysis. Onto the Stratis Community:


Community:

There are two primary aspects of community analysis: social media presence and Bitcointalk threads. I’ll begin with the former before moving on to the latter.

Social Media:

Concerning social media presence, there are four main platforms to examine: Twitter, Facebook, Telegram and Discord.

Stratis is present on all four platforms. To begin, let’s look at the various social metrics that I calculated from the Stratis Twitter and Facebook accounts:

Twitter Followers: 138,130

Tweets: 1,425

Average Twitter Engagement: 0.18%

Facebook Likes: 7,417

Facebook Posts (30-Day): 5

Average Facebook Engagement: 0.8%

As usual, I will be using RivalIQ‘s social benchmark report for evaluation purposes.

Twitter:

Whilst the Stratis Twitter account does have the largest audience of any coin previously reported on, its engagement rate is not quite as strong; a common problem, however, for accounts with vast audiences. That said, in RivalIQ’s report, we find that the average Twitter engagement rate across all industries is 0.046%, which means that Stratis’ engagement rate is currently 3.9x greater. Further, the average engagement rate for the Media industry (the most relevant in the report) is 0.013%, thus Stratis’ is 13.8x greater. Relative to other coins, Stratis’s engagement is only stronger than BitShares, Ubiq and MonetaryUnit and equal to that of GeoCoin and Cashaa. However, Stratis does have over 40,000 more followers than BitShares and still beats it for engagement, which is quite impressive.

Facebook:

Now, with regards to Facebook, Stratis has a much smaller audience and, as such, stronger engagement. With 7,417 Likes, it has the 4th-largest Facebook audience of any coin previously reported on, but this is around 5% of the size of its Twitter audience. That said, its average engagement rate for the past 30 days was 0.8%, which is 5x greater than the average across all industries and 10x greater than the average of the Media industry. Further, it has better engagement that half of the coins from previous reports. Whilst this is satisfactory, I expect that an equal commitment to a marketing drive on Facebook as that of Twitter would result in growth in both audience size and engagement, and the large discrepancy between the two audiences is likely in part due to the minimal effort expended on Facebook.

Discord:

There are 4621 members in the Stratis Discord; a small group relative to the size of its Twitter audience. It has grown by 86 members over the past week: a 1.86% weekly growth rate.

Announcements is updated at least 3 times a week, with links to blog posts, PR material, interviews and development updates provided. Within the channel, I found that: over 50 masternode applications for the Cirrus sidechain had been completed and that the window of opportunity for applications had been extended to 29th May; a cold staking bounty has been introduced to speed up activation; Stratis have won an AMA with Binance; and the release date for the sidechain and smart contracts will be announced this week.

Important Links houses a number of relevant resources for new members, including the Stratis Academy. There are also channels featuring Github commits and development discussion for the Full Node, wallets, smart contracts and sidechains, all of which are active, which is great to see. Usually, I find that many of the more specific channels within a Discord group get neglected in favour of General, but all of these are in active use, though not necessarily in daily use.

The Support channel provides swift responses to users facing issues, usually within a few minutes of a problem being mentioned.

Lastly, General features near-constant discussion on a daily basis, at least for the past few weeks, with few gaps in activity. Some of this is currently focused on the discrepancies between staking on the Core wallet vs the QT; the imminent announcement of the sidechain and smart contract release date; community-led updates on Stratis development; as well as general discussion about the space.

Overall, solid engagement.

Telegram:

There are 4868 members in the Stratis Telegram.

Whilst the group size is almost identical to that of Discord, the content is entirely dissimilar. As is often expected of Telegram, much of the discussion revolves around the price of STRAT and other trading-related topics. There is some degree of project-related discussion, with community-led updates and blog posts pushed out, but this is limited.

BitcoinTalk:

The Stratis BitcoinTalk thread was created on June 14th, 2016, and has since generated 24,288 posts spanning 1,215 pages in 1,070 days. This equates to 22.7 posts per day, on average. However, in the past 90 days, the thread has had 307 posts, giving an average of 3.4 posts per day; despite the drop-off in engagement, this is still highly active relative to other BTCTalk threads for projects of equal longevity.

Regarding the content of the thread from the past 90 days, there are a lot of interviews conducted with members of the team that are pushed out here, plus more PR material on Stratis exhibiting at global conferences. Further, there is discussion of the addition of Stratis’ ICO Platform to Microsoft Azure, which is an ongoing and growing relationship, marked by Stratis’ status as a Silver Partner of Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft actually tweeted about Stratis. I also found that there have been over 2,000 downloads of Stratis’ v1.1 Smart Contracts package as of February 2019, with over 4,000 downloads in total across all versions. Lastly, I found that there are a multitude of Stratis products currently available on Azure, ensuring accessibility for developers and a seamless onboarding of new users for Stratis.

Moving on through the thread, I learned that cold staking is expected to be activated this year. This will be hugely beneficial for long-term holders with security concerns about hot wallets. Also, the Cirrus sidechain is launching with smart-contracts enabled and a masternode network to be created. Collateral for Cirrus masternodes will be 10,000 STRAT and 50,000 STRAT, with limited availability for each. This network will ensure some degree of decentralisation for the Stratis sidechains.

There are a great deal of detailed blog posts and development updates pushed out on the thread, not only by the team but also by the community. It’s great to see a commitment from community members to driving awareness for Stratis. I also found that some community members have provided excellent breakdowns of the user-cases of Stratis, alongside side-by-side comparisons of it and its competitors in relation to smart contracts and the utility of developing in C#. One of the key points here was related to scalability, in that smart contracts are made scalable by only being utilised on the Stratis sidechains rather than its parent chain. This is invaluable for any potential new users or investors who navigate to the thread to learn more about the project.

Overall, the thread is both informative and active.

The announcement itself is well-designed and branded, integrating visuals with detailed descriptions of the project and its numerous features. It also includes all relevant links and resources, as well as a plethora of press material. There is a lot here for a potential new user/buyer to get stuck into and there is a clear commitment to keeping the community informed.


Development:

For the following Development analysis, I will be evaluating project leadership, the website, the roadmap, the whitepaper, the wallets and finally providing a general overview:

Project Leadership:

There is no team information available on the website but there are over 80 Github contributors and 36 employees found on LinkedIn.

I would have expected some transparency about Stratis Group itself to appear on the Stratis Platform website, given that they are clearly the core developers. From the searches on LinkedIn I found that the team is fairly well balanced and very experienced, though it does lean heavily towards development over marketing, as is expected of such a project.

Chris Trew is the current CEO and Founder, and there are numerous developers specialising in their own areas, alongside those with experience in business development and press relations. From watching a recent AMA with the CEO, I found that they are also hiring a Head of Marketing.

Website:

https://stratisplatform.com/

The website is very clean but not particularly well-branded except in its colour scheme. The homepage is emblazoned with the tagline: Blockchain: We make it easy for you. Whilst this does, broadly speaking, fit the bill, it’s not a particularly engaging piece of copy and, as a potential new user or investor, it doesn’t elicit a desire to learn more.

Further down the homepage, however, we do find out more about the Stratis Platform (and the project, as a whole), with a concise but informative section on blockchain-as-a-service. We can also view a video featuring the CEO on Smart Contracts, plus the benefits of building on Stratis are laid out below this. Further, we find that the STRAT token is used as the fuel for the Stratis Platform, the ownership of which is a prerequisite for use of smart contracts, the ICO platform or the Stratis sidechains. Links to the numerous exchanges at which STRAT can be bought are provided. We are also shown a list of partners, such as Microsoft, Azure, Ledger and Binance. Social links can be found at the bottom of the homepage.

Overall, the navigation and user experience is not particularly bad nor particularly great; it works but it isn’t as smooth as it could be, with navigation menus and links seeming somewhat random and imprecise. For example, clicking Our Team on the Consultancy page leads to the About Us page, which has no information about the team.

I do like that there are separate, detailed pages for each of Stratis’ current products and services. I also like that the News page is filled with a native blog that is regularly updated with announcements and blog posts.

Overall, good but not great.

Roadmap:

https://stratisplatform.com/2019/04/11/2019-development-roadmap/

The roadmap is presented in a recent blog post, dated April 2019.

The graphic representation isn’t particularly helpful or detailed; rather, it shows all of the various components being developed this year, including: a payment gateway; STO platform; a mobile wallet; Unity SDK support; sidechain masternodes; Breeze Privacy Protocol; Java/Javascript support; Proof-of-Stake sidechains; and Stratis Core 2.0.

It does not give any indication as to which of these are completed or the degree of progress or any estimations of expected completions. I would have expected this roadmap to be a little more user-friendly; certainly with better graphics, perhaps interactive and containing links to further details on each component of development. I would have also expected at least some means by which potential users and the current community can judge progress and ensure the team are hitting their marks.

The contents of the blog post go on to provide some further detail on the developments mentioned above:

  • By supporting Java/Javascript, Stratis’ audience and potential userbase grows.
  • The new Breeze wallet will come with further developments of the privacy protocol, plus implementation of SegWit.
  • Adding new algorithm support for sidechains, like Proof-Of-Stake, will help to negate the requirement of forks and widen use-cases.
  • The Cirrus sidechain network will have masternodes that earn rewards from transaction fees and gas (STRAT) for smart contracts.
  • The STO platform widens the current userbase of the ICO platform.
  • Stratis Core 2.0 will have in-wallet visibility for sidechain tokens, allow for deployment of smart contracts and feature better UI/UX, alongside voting mechanisms for sidechains.
  • There will be a mobile wallet for Android and iOS for greater accessibility.
  • The payment gateway being developed will allow merchants to incorporate Stratis payments to their checkout systems.
  • Unity SDK support will allow for the Stratis blockchain to be used for game development, with use-cases such as in-game tokens and asset markets.

As they state, these are the core developments expected for the year, with other developments expected to be delivered.

Whitepaper:

https://stratisplatform.com/files/Stratis_Whitepaper.pdf

The whitepaper is 21 pages in length, and begins with a summary of blockchain, in general, as well as Stratis’ role, which is that the project will be taking a similar approach to blockchain deployment for businesses to that of cloud computing.

Definitions and explanations are provided concerning blockchains and distributed ledgers in jargon-free prose, highlighting the advantages of
blockchain-based solutions, such as transparency, immutability, cost-effectiveness, access to global networks and speed.

Page 6 of the document offers a great overview of the project itself, highlighting its aims of being the go-to blockchain solutions platform for businesses and organisations, with its development in C# ensuring accessibility for developers. There is also a deeper, more technical breakdown offered with accompanying graphics of the architecture of the Stratis Bitcoin Full Node that underpins the Stratis Platform. This is largely written in plain English, with necessary explanations given.

Key features of the platform are depicted, such as private chains for corporations that can utilise the parent Stratis chain; blockchain-as-a-service functionality; dAPP hosting; one-click deployment; fiat gateways and more. Sidechains will serve as a solution for scalability issues. Stratis Group Limited, based in London, will also offer blockchain consultancy services.

Overall, for a somewhat out-of-date document, it is informative and concise and provides any new user with a basic understanding of the vision of the project, though Stratis has certainly expanded beyond many of these goals at present.

Wallets:

There is hardware wallet support by Ledger. There is also a Window, Mac and Linux Core wallet, plus a Breeze lightwallet + Breeze privacy wallet for all three. Further,  there is currently Coinomi support and mobile wallets are being developed.

General:

There are a few things that I’d like to highlight in this section before moving onto the Technical section. According to a recent AMA with the CEO, there is sufficient funding available at the current Stratis price for 3 more years of development, and $4mn has been spent since launch despite the ICO only raising $600k-worth of BTC at the time. This is impressive and assuring for anyone who holds a position or is considering doing so. Not only is there assured longevity, but clearly the team spend money well. A lack of funding and unwise spending are two of the most common pitfalls and death-traps for projects in this space, especially for a project developing in a very competitive environment like blockchain solutions.

The next feature of interest is the Cirrus sidechain, the release date of which is to be announced this week (which will also be the release date for smart contracts). Stratis recently announced two types of masternodes that will be available for Cirrus, using 10,000 and 50,000 STRAT as collateral, with, I believe, limited capacity of 101 masternodes. This will undoubtedly induce some degree of scarcity, given the interest in running a masternode, as will the activation of staking. Both are wins for STRAT holders and speculators alike.

Incentives for running these masternodes were originally expected to come in the form of transaction fees and gas from smart contract deployment, but, as the Cirrus sidechain will likely take some time to come into heavy use, masternode collateral will also receive staking rewards on the parent Stratis chain. Another benefit of the launch of Cirrus masternodes is that it will instigate a Federation, which will act as a governance system for the sidechain and allow for on-chain voting.

Finally, Stratis is the first project to offer smart contracts developed in C#, which is a very popular language for enterprises; the target market for Stratis. This should provide somewhat of a moat around the project if smart contract deployment amongst businesses can gain traction before a host of new competitors for trustless C# smart contracts spring up (thus discounting NEO).

And that concludes my fundamental analysis of Stratis. Onto the Technical:


Technical

STRAT/BTC

Weekly:

STRATBTCWeekly

Daily (1):

STRATBTCDaily

Daily (2):

STRATBTCDaily2

STRAT/USD

Daily:

STRATUSDDaily

Analysis:

There’s quite a lot to unpack here, but let’s begin by taking a look at the Weekly chart for STRAT/BTC to provide some context:

Here, we can see the monster bull cycle that occurred throughout 2017 and the subsequent succession of lower-highs with each mini-cycle. Stratis formed an all-time high in May 2017 of 0.0047 BTC, rallying from its all-time low of 1460 satoshis; a little over its ICO price of 1127 satoshis. That is one of the strongest bull cycles against BTC in history. Following this all-time high, price underwent a bear cycle and formed a cyclical low at 34k satoshis in October 2017, after which it experienced a new bull cycle with the rest of the market and formed a cyclical high at 160k satoshis in January 2018. Subsequently, as we are all aware, we saw the entire market crash and experience an extended bear cycle, which has sent STRAT down to ~10k satoshis; over 95% away from its all-time highs.

It just so happens that this level is right around the prior resistance now likely turned support at 12k satoshis, all the way back from pre-2017. We can see that the Weekly candle formed a doji last week, and a bullish follow-through this week would likely mark a bottom. Price is also currently capped by trendline resistance, and a breakout above said resistance would confirm a cyclical bottom.

Now, looking at the first Daily chart provided, I have depicted price-history as a line chart with a different trendline resistance that has already been broken. RSI hit its lowest of all-time at the start of the month, and price seems to be finding support at the confluence of this old trendline resistance and horizontal support.

Moving onto the second Daily chart, we can see recent price-history more clearly. Most significantly, we can see the breakout above the 200-day moving average in December 2018 on heavy volume, followed by price finding resistance at 42k satoshis and falling back into a short-term range between 20-25k satoshis. This range began to lose the 200-day moving average, with it now acting as resistance, and subsequently range support was lost at 20k satoshis and price tumbled down to a potential cyclical bottom at 10k satoshis. Further, the volume on this sell-off was quite low. I have depicted the path that I expect Stratis to take over the coming weeks, as it breaks above short-term trendline resistance and makes a move back up towards old support at 17k satoshis.

Lastly, we can see from the STRAT/USD chart provided that there is a very high probability that the cyclical low against the Dollar has been found at $0.53. Price broke out above 11-month trendline resistance and has now formed a range between $0.73 and $1.28, with the 200-day moving average capping price. A breakout above $1.28 would mark the beginning of a new bull cycle with initial significant resistance likely found at $2.10.


Conclusion

This report is approaching 6,000 words, and it is time to draw it to a close.

My final grading for Stratis is 9 out of 10.

Here, you can find my grading framework, for reference.

Lastly, here is a link to a Google Sheets file with any significant data from previous reports compiled for cross-comparative purposes. I will keep this updated as I continue to write these reports.

I hope this report has proved insightful and that you’ve enjoyed the read! Please do feel free to leave any questions in the Comments, and I’ll answer them as best I can.


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Coin Report #20: BitShares

AD: Before I begin this post, I’d like to briefly mention Bitcoin.Live, who are sponsoring my blog.

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N.B: In the spirit of full transparency, the following Coin Report on BitShares is a Sponsored Post. It is sponsored by DEXbot; an automated market-making bot for the BitShares blockchain.

Welcome to the 20th Coin Report. In today’s report, I will be assessing the fundamental and technical strengths and weaknesses of BitShares. This will comprise of an analysis of a number of significant metrics, an evaluation of the project’s community and development and an overview of its price-history. The report will conclude with a grading out of 10. I hope you enjoy the read!

Introduction

It’s been well over a month since my last Coin Report on Own, and I return to the task with a report on most certainly the largest project featured in these reports: BitShares.

Whilst I have always had some degree of familiarity with the project, given its history within the space and the numerous innovations and developments it has put forth, until the completion of my research I had no idea about the breadth of the BitShares ecosystem.

As such, this report will be rather lengthy.

I hope the report will prove objective where it must be and fair on more subjective matters. For those who’d like to learn a little more about BitShares prior to reading this report, here are some primary links:


Fundamental

General:

Name: BitShares

Ticker: BTS

Algorithm: SHA-512

Consensus Mechanism: Delegated Proof-of-Stake

Sector: Blockchain & Financial Services Ecosystem

Exchanges: Binance, Bittrex, Poloniex, Huobi, LBank, CoinEgg, BitShares Decentralised Exchange, ZB, HitBTC, Gate.io, OpenLedger, Upbit, CoinTiger, IDAX, Livecoin, Rudex, GDEX & CryptoBridge

Launch Overview

BitShares was first launched in July 2014, utilising an open-source Graphene blockchain and operating with the Delegated Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, both invented by Daniel Larimer in December 2013. BTS, the blockchain’s native token, operates using a SHA-512 hashing algorithm. This first version of BitShares was then abandoned in favour of a new launch, which occurred in October 2015, was conducted by its community and reflects the BitShares project of today..

When the most recent version of BitShares came into existence, users opted for the chain to begin with distribution exactly as it was, and thus 2.4bn BTS were minted in the genesis block and distributed to all individual keys. They can still be claimed by anyone with proof of ownership.

Larimer has gone on to be actively involved in EOS and Steemit.

Price-History Overview

Given that BitShares has been around for over 5 years now, there is extensive price-history to be analysed. For now, it is sufficient to note that BTS formed an all-time high against Bitcoin of ~16,000 satoshis in the summer of 2017, and an all-time high against the Dollar of $0.92 in January 2018.

Project Overview

BitShares is a broad blockchain ecosystem, comprising primarily of financial services, such as market-pegged assets, decentralised exchanges and banking services. It operates as a Decentralised Autonomous Corporation (DAC), also referred to as a DAO, and utilises a governance system for its development and future direction.

As stated in its whitepaper:

“The BitShares Blockchain is an industrial-grade decentralized platform built for high-performance financial smart contracts. It represents the first decentralized autonomous community that lets its core token holder decide on its future direction and products.”

Given such competitive services and grand ambitions, let us see how BitShares fares…

Let’s begin with some Metric Analysis:


Metric Analysis:

Below are listed a number of important metrics, all of which are accurate as of 13th May 2019. For anyone reading this who has yet to read a Coin Report, it might be worth reading this section of the first report, where any potentially unfamiliar terms are explained. For any terms or metrics specific to this post, I will provide explanations besides the figures.

Metrics:

General:

Price: $0.057 (779 satoshis)

Exchange Volume: $9,291,564

Circulating Supply: 2,716,950,000 BTS

Total Supply: 3,600,570,502 BTS

Maximum Supply: 3,600,570,502 BTS

% of Max. Supply Minted: 75.46%

Network Value: $204,983,640 (21,165 BTC)

Network Value at Max. Supply: $204,983,640

Category: Largecap

Exchange Volume-to-Network Value: 6.01%

Average Price (30-Day): $0.056

Average Exchange Volume (30-Day): $8,538,038

Average Network Value (30-Day): $152,990,038

Average Exchange Volume (30-Day)-to-Network Value: 5.58%

Volatility* (30-Day): -0.01296

Average Daily On-Chain Transactions (7-Day): 1,161,184 (source)

Average Daily Transactional Value** (30-Day): N/A

NVT*** (30-Day): N/A

% Price Change USD (30-Day): -12%

% Price Change USD (1-Year): -76.6%

USD All-Time High: $0.92

% From USD All-Time High: -94%

Premine % of Max. Supply: N/A

Premine Location: N/A

Liquidity (calculated as the sum of BTC in the buy-side with 10% of current price across all exchanges): 56.05 BTC (CoinPaprika)

Liquidity-to-Network Value %: 0.26%

Supply Available on Exchanges: 40,426,902 BTS

% of Circulating Supply Available on Exchanges: 1.49%

Reserve Balance: 883,618,457 BTS (source)

*Volatility is calculated by taking the average price over the given time-period, calculating the difference between it and the highest price and it and the lowest price over that same time-period, and multiplying those figures together. The closer to 0, the less volatility during that period, and vice-versa. Read this for more on volatility.

Supply Emission & Inflation:

Block Reward Schedule: 1 BTS per block from Reserve Pool. Reserve Pool collects funds from fees, loans and numerous other functions. Maximum and Total Supply are constant – only Circulating Supply changes based on the dynamics of the various mechanisms of the blockchain.

Average Block Time: 3 seconds (1.5 seconds to account for latency)

Current Block Height: 37,404,651

Annual Supply Emission: N/A

Annual Inflation Rate: 0%

Circulating Supply in 365 Days: N/A

Distribution:

Holder Count: 167,355

Supply Held By Top 10 Holders: 45.61%

Supply Held By Top 20 Holders: 52.95%

Supply Held By Top 100 Holders: 65.93%

Inactive Holder Count in Top 20 (30 Days of No Activity): 0

Analysis:

As tends to be the case, there is rather a lot to work through here, with the mountain of metrics lessened only by the lack of masternode functionality on the BitShares blockchain.

To begin, let’s take a look at the most startling and perhaps most impressive piece of data – Average Daily On-Chain Transactions.

BitShares is widely recognised as an active blockchain, but I did not quite realise the extent of its use. The average number of daily on-chain transactions for the past week has amounted to over 1.1 million. Bitcoin did 367,000 transactions yesterday. That really is rather impressive. The maximum recorded daily transactions was over 6 million, as per Blocktivity.

So, we know the BTS blockchain is very much an in-demand product, but what of the value of these transactions. Naturally, a single $1m transaction on the Bitcoin network is of greater value that 1 million transactions of $0.10. However, I was unable to find any data on the average transactional value on the BitShares blockchain, and, given the sheer volume of transactions, it is impossible for me to attempt to manually calculate this figure as I often do with smaller projects.

That said, I would like to note that whilst there is a likelihood that Bitcoin processes a greater value of transactions on a day-to-day basis, BitShares isn’t really a store-of-value cryptocurrency, as we shall come to later. Rather, it is a utility token, and given the brief summary of its core use-cases in the introduction – namely, its decentralised exchange and market-pegged assets – perhaps volume of daily transactions is a better measure for its validity and accomplishments.

Anyway, let us move on to look at the remaining General metrics, before taking a look at Supply Emission and finally Distribution:

Firstly, I’d like to highlight BitShares’ Volatility of 0.01296, which is the 3rd-lowest 30-day volatility of any coin previously reported on and indicates a potential accumulation range in play against the Dollar.

Now, let’s take a look at the buy-and-sell-side Liquidity metrics:

BitShares had buy support of around 56.05 BTC across its listed exchanges, equating to 0.26% of its Network Value. This places it in the middle of the pack relative to other Coin Reports, but it is surprisingly low given its listings on the largest exchanges worldwide, like Binance, Poloniex, Huobi and Bittrex.

With regards to sell-side liquidity, I calculated there to be ~40.4mn BTS available to buy on exchanges, equating to 1.49% of the circulating supply. This places BitShares 7th amongst coins from prior reports, which is impressive given that many of the coins with less available supply offer large incentives to hold, like masternode rewards.

Finally, before we move on from evaluating the General metrics, let’s discuss those related to volume:

BitShares has traded $9.29mn of volume over the past 24 hours, equating to an impressive 6.01% of its Network Value. For those that have been reading the blog for some time, you’ll know that I like to see a figure of 1% or greater Exchange Volume-to-Network Value (ideally Average Exchange Volume-to-Network Value) as an indication of interest).

Further, BitShares has traded $8.5mn on average daily for the past month, equating to 5.58% of its Average Network Value for the same period. This is by the 4th-highest Average EVNV of any coin previously reported on.

Now, let’s move on to the Supply Emission metrics, as this is of great concern to potential investors and speculators:

Unlike the vast majority of coins, including legacy coins from 2013/2014, BitShares is already at its maximum supply of 3.6bn BTS. The only change occurs is the amount of this in circulation, which currently sits at 2.7bn, with the remainder comprising of the reserve fund of 880mn BTS.

1 BTS per block is rewarded to Witnesses from the reserve fund, but the fund collects fees from transactions, loans and other functions. The reserve fund also pays out to Workers who submit proposals for development on the project that is completed to the satisfaction of BTS holders. These are the only means by which circulating supply can inflate.

As such, the annual inflation rate is effectively 0% and all BTS that can come into existence already exist. Wonderful news for speculators, as a lack of supply emission equates to zero headwinds for price growth during a bull cycle.

As no new supply can be minted, declines in price must be a result of either price manipulation by larger holders or selling by smaller holders, rather than the dumping of newly minted supply.

Now, let’s conclude this section with some Distribution analysis:

I was impressed to find that there are 167k holders of BTS; by far the most of any coin previously reported on, and 120k more holders than the second-largest – MonetaryUnit.

Naturally, given the nature of the project and its size, distribution analysis led me to find that 45.61% of the supply is held by the top 10 holders, 52.95% by the top 20 and 65.93% by the top 100. Despite the seemingly centralised concentration of supply, almost all of the top 20 addresses belong to various exchanges. As such, despite there only being ~40m BTS in the orderbooks of most of the listed exchanges, there is over 1bn BTS held with exchanges.

The utility token functionality of BitShares explains this high concentration on exchanges, particularly when the use-case of market-pegged assets is taken into consideration.

And that concludes this section.

Now, let’s take a look at the BitShares Community:


Community:

There are two primary aspects of community analysis: social media presence and Bitcointalk threads. I’ll begin with the former before moving on to the latter.

Social Media:

Concerning social media presence, there are four main platforms to examine: Twitter, Facebook, Telegram and Discord.

BitShares is present on 3 of the 4 platforms; all besides Telegram (though it does have a Telegram channel specifically for its Decentralised Exchange). Having spoken with the BitShares community, I found that all of these platforms are community-run, with no central authority. Whilst admirable, a lack of a cohesive social media marketing campaign often leads to weaker than desirable results. We shall see…

To begin, let’s look at the various social metrics that I calculated from the BitShares Twitter and Facebook accounts:

Twitter Followers: 92,857

Tweets: 2143

Average Twitter Engagement: 0.11%

Facebook Likes: 2079

Facebook Posts (30-Day): 0

Average Facebook Engagement: N/A

As usual, I will be using RivalIQ‘s social benchmark report for evaluation purposes.

Twitter:

Whilst the BitShares Twitter account has a massive audience (twice that of Ubiq, the second-largest of previously reports), its engagement rate is poor relative to other coins. That said, in RivalIQ’s report, we find that the average Twitter engagement rate across all industries is 0.046%, which means that BitShares’ engagement rate is currently 2.39x greater. Further, the average engagement rate for the Media industry (the most relevant in the report) is 0.013%, thus Bitshares’ is 8.46x greater. Disappointingly, BitShares’ engagement rate is the second-lowest of coins from prior reports, placing higher only than MonetaryUnit, and only fractionally higher than Ubiq. There is, of course, a clear trend of declining engagement as a percentage when audience size is far larger than other projects, but 0.11% isn’t particularly great for a project that has been around since the very beginning.

Facebook:

Facebook houses a far smaller audience for BitShares than any of its other social platforms, with only ~2,000 Likes. The reason for this is perhaps explained by the lack of activity here, with 0 posts in the past 30 days, and thus zero engagement. Social presence is not particularly noteworthy, thus far, particularly when the project’s aims of being a worldwide decentralised exchange are taken into consideration. Users want to trust the exchanges they trade on and trust is formed via relationships. For businesses, these relationships are most easily formed on social media. Being vocal and useful on these platforms not only strengthens a community, but grows it, often exponentially.

Discord:

The BitShares Discord has 5633 members, with 25 new members in the past week, equating to 0.44% weekly growth. There are only a few dozen messages per day in General, which is very surprising given scope of the project and the moderate size of the group, though it is quite small relative to their Twitter audience. What was disappointing was that I found that some days have no discussion at all… the reason that I find this disappointing is that there doesn’t seem to be another chat-based hub for
the BTS community, disregarding the Telegram for the DEX itself. How can progress and fruitful conversation be fostered for a community-run project with a strong governance system like BitShares if there are so few platforms with an active community presence? It can get rather insular in such cases.

Regarding content of General, there was some discussion on running a node and opening a Gateway but no guide available. That said, the user’s questions were answered promptly and in great deal of detail. I found out that there is a developer channel on Telegram, where I imagine more fruitful discussion takes place. Only 3 or 4 individuals were found to be talking, representing a fraction of the size of the group.

The Help channel was untouched for over a week. There are individual channels for different Graphene chains like EOS and Steem, as well as for projects like OpenLedger, though these are inactive for the most part.

Development contains Git updates and is very active. Marketing is inactive since December. The group almost feels like a ghost town, which is bizarre for such a large project with so many active users.

BitcoinTalk:

The BitShares BitcoinTalk thread was created on June 5th, 2017, and has since generated 1616 posts spanning 81 pages in 707 days. This equates to 2.29 posts per day, on average. However, in the past 90 days, the thread has had 14 posts via 8 individual posters, giving an average of 0.16 posts per day; a steep decline in engagement.

The ANN itself is not particularly visually appealing but highly detailed and informative for new users. It presents and highlights its numerous features and advantages, such as its super-fast block times, proven transaction capabilities of over 3,400 transactions per second, plus its status as one of the most liquid and active decentralised exchanges currently available. Key information on block rewards and the coin specification is provided, as are all relevant links to documentation and the governance system. Further, there are definitions provided for BitShares-related terminology, and a series of links to all possible wallet downloads and 3rd-party BTS Gateways like OpenLedger and CryptoBridge. Lastly, there is a detailed and extensive FAQ provided.

Overall, it could do with an update and a redesign but it is highly informative for new users seeking to learn about the project.

More recent posts (from the 8 individual posters in the past 90 days) have revolved around the ecosystem of Decentralised Exchanges being built around the BitShares blockchain.

And that concludes this section. Onto Development:


Development:

For the following Development analysis, I will be evaluating project leadership, the website, the roadmap, the whitepaper, the wallets and finally providing a general overview:

Project Leadership:

There is little information on the website relating to the team, though it does mention over 30 active contributors. There are over 100 contibutors across various repositories on Github.

As most know, Dan Larimer was the founder, though he now works actively on EOS.

Given BitShares’ governance system and commitment to being community-led, the vast majority of the development of the project is completed by Workers who submit proposals and are paid from the Reserve Fund. More info on current workers and proposals can be found here. Such is the nature of a Decentralised Autonomous Corporation.

Website:

https://bitshares.org/

The website is well-designed and reasonably well-branded. It is sleek, running smoothly with clean UI/UX.

The homepage promotes the recent upgrade to v3 of the BitShares protocol. Below this, there is an explanation of the function of the Decentralised Autonomous Corporation, presented in concise copy with clear use-cases and features outlined. The advantages of the Graphene blockchain are highlighted, such as the processing speed and proven transaction capabilities. Further, on-chain activity is also viewable, with a table that shows BTS to experience 1.1mn on-chain transactions per day.

I was surprised to find that there is no native blog with regular, detailed updates on the site. The social links are hidden away at the bottom right of the homepage, which is strange… these should be more prominent to facilitate seamless community growth; if a user is drawn to the features and use-cases promoted, the first thing they’d want to do is learn and potentially get involved with the community. This should be made seamless.

The navigation menu is sparse and the link to the BitShares DEX is
obscured within multiple sub-menus, which is one of my few problems with the UI/UX of the site. There is a link to a documentation page, which is very detailed and contains articles on all manner of BTS-related material, including a history of the project.

Overall, the website is clean and informative but not particularly impressive for a project with almost $50mn in its reserve fund. This is often the first point-of-reference for new users – capitalise on it.

Roadmap:

No roadmap available.

Whitepaper:

https://github.com/bitshares-foundation/bitshares.foundation/blob/master/download/articles/BitSharesBlockchain.pdf

It mentions that BitShares in its current form was launched October 13th, 2015, and describes the numerous components of the BitShares blockchain, comprised of: transactions; blockchain; networking; consensus; protocol; extensibility; performance and scalability, and how all of these work together.

Significantly, it highlights the proved transactional capabilities of over 3000 transactions per second, which is far more than Ethereum and Bitcoin combined. In fact, the paper states, “at peak times, Bitcoin and Ethereum jointly process 0.7% of the peak capacity of the Bitshares blockchain.

It is somewhat tech-heavy in its use of jargon but many of the descriptions are clear enough for those with some degree of understanding.

The document references the importance of identity and the use of usernames for wallet addresses on the BTS blockchain, ensuring accessibility and a smooth user experience. BTS is later called the utility token of the BitShares ecosystem.

We then get an explanation of the governance system, wherein Witnesses are elected by votes with 1 BTS = 1 vote. Voters can do so directly or through proxies. Witnesses validate blocks and are rewarded for their services. There is also a Committee, which is an elected board controlling block size, Witness rewards and over 30 other parameters. All elected bodies can be swiftly unelected by voters, who also control project funding.

Lastly, the document reference the initial allocation: the project was created in October 2015 when v0.9 was abandoned and 2.412bn BTS was minted in the Genesis block. All was distributed to individual keys based on the old chain, and these can still be claimed by proving ownership of that key. It also clarifies that there is currently no reward for simply holding BTS, with transaction fees deposited into the reserve fund for project funding; there is no dividend like in the original BitShares whitepaper.

Wallets:

There are Windows, Mac and Linux local wallets, plus Android wallets developed by the community, as well as a web wallet. No hardware wallet storage available.

General:

Here, I’d like to simply point out a few things that draw me to BitShares, as a project.

One thing that struck me during this research project is that around 20 decentralised exchanges are operating within the BitShares ecosystem, including OpenLedger, CryptoBridge and EscoDex. As decentralised exchanges inevitably become more in-demand over time, as regulation mounts on centralised exchanges, being the project at the centre of a web of trusted DEXes is a promising notion.

Secondly, since March 2016, BitShares has been integrated within the Microsoft Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service package, showing that they have strong connections with businesses that will only serve to grow the BitShares userbase over time.

Thirdly, the reserve fund is currently 883mn BitShares, equating to $50mn at the time of writing. That is a vast development budget, ensuring the longevity and consistency of the project moving forward. Where many projects have been swallowed up and spat back out by the bear market due to insufficient and ill-considered funding, BitShares is miles ahead of the pack and will be around indefinitely.


Technical

BTS/BTC

Weekly:

Daily (1):

BTSBTCDaily

Daily (2):

BTSBTCDaily2

BTS/USD

Weekly:

BTSUSDWeekly

Analysis:

BitShares has had two major cycles against BTC in its 5 years of price-history, and multiple mini-cycles within this. It formed an all-time high of 16,142 satoshis in May 2017, as can be seen on the first Weekly chart provided.

Preceding this all-time high, price made an all-time low of ~250 satoshis in Q1 2017; a low which has held to this day. Following the May 2017 euphoria, BTS lost the bulk of its value, as did the rest of the altcoin market, falling to new support at 730 satoshis. Subsequently, the market rallied, and a new cyclical high was formed in January 2018 at 6800 satoshis, after which BTS has experienced a prolonged bear market of successive lower-highs and lower-lows, culminating in today’s price of ~750 satoshis; right by the support that preceded the January 2018 bull cycle.

Now, looking at the first Daily chart provided, we can see the numerous levels of support turned resistance formed throughout this bear market; levels to watch when a new bull cycle begins. More importantly, we can see that price is currently sitting at cyclical lows, having lost range support at 1000 satoshis. RSI is heavily oversold, but there is no indication yet that the bear cycle has ended.

Looking now at the second Daily chart, I have depicted short-term trendline resistance that I would like to see price close above on the Daily timeframe to potentially mark a cyclical low, with the green box highlighting a potentially rewarding entry at just under 800 satoshis.

Finally, from the BTS/USD Weekly chart provided, we can see that volume has been picking up but remains low, but also that old resistance has become support at $.036, with 14-month trendline resistance now broken and price looking as though it wants to retest the 200-week moving average and subsequently support turned resistance at $0.126.


Conclusion

This report is now approaching 5,000 words, and it is time to draw it to a close.

My final grading for BitShares is 8 out of 10.

Here, you can find my grading framework, for reference.

Lastly, here is a link to a Google Sheets file with any significant data from previous reports compiled for cross-comparative purposes. I will keep this updated as I continue to write these reports.

I hope this report has proved insightful and that you’ve enjoyed the read! Please do feel free to leave any questions in the Comments, and I’ll answer them as best I can.


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