Status is an Ethereum-based decentralized application (dapp) and token that acts as an encrypted messaging service, a platform for individual crypto trades and smart contracts, a web browser, and an interface that can be used to interact with other Ethereum-based decentralized applications. In other words, Status is the WhatsApp and App Store for Ethereum.
The Status interface can be used to access the entire Ethereum ecosystem–that means Ethereum itself, and all of the dapps developed on the Ethereum blockchain. Anyone can list their dapp on Status, but a few of the better-known ones are uPort, Gnosis, Oasis Exchange, Ethlance, Aragon, Etherisc, and Ujo. Status has a platform for browsing dapps similar to Google Play Store or the iOS App Store.
Status has a built-in wallet that can be used to store and transact with the various Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies that are associated with these Ethereum-based dapps.
In this way, Status acts as a gateway and platform to bring these decentralized applications easily into the mobile world. So far, access to Ethereum-based dapps is somewhat limited to those who have technical know-how. Status will increase the user-friendliness of Ethereum-based dapps and cryptocurrencies as a whole, therefore making them more accessible to everyone.
Status can also be used to discover other users. Status users have the ability to trade Ethereum-based currencies with one another using smart contracts, and trade services (ie freelance gigs) for Ether.
Status also acts as a messenger platform. In addition to traditional chats, users can send payments, smart contracts, and pieces of media to one another. Status’s messenger feature is encrypted by default with a decentralized, p2p protocol.
Currently, Status is in its alpha phase and is available for iOS and Android. According to the Status whitepaper, Status alpha “can be used to send and receive to send encrypted messages, smart contracts, and payments”, to “browse, chat, and cinteract with decentralized applications and decentralized chatbots”, and to “store and control crypto-assets within the built-in Status wallet”. To try out Status in alpha, visit status.im.
Status as a Platform for Social Networks
Status has the added advantage of making the creation of “sock puppet” accounts more difficult. This is because each account must be verified with a small financial stake (holding SNT). Therefore, forum-based and dating dapps (for example) created on the Status platform are much less likely to be infiltrated by bots or fake accounts. On the other hand, the staking requirement may also cause any kind of widespread adoption of the Status network to happen rather slowly (if indeed it does happen).
Additionally, Status users will play a larger role in the way that the dapps they partake in are run. This is because of the financial stakes (and corresponding power over the network that they hold). Hacked writer P.H. Madore explains it this way: “A million user petitions couldn’t influence one decision at Facebook, but a majority of stakeholders pushing for a certain direction of development in Status would certainly move the project.”
Buying and Storing Status
Status is available on some major exchanges and a few of the smaller ones, including Bittrex, HitBTC, BTC9, Liqui, Binance, BTER b8wang, EtherDelta, SZZC, Tidex, Yunbi, Decentrex, Gatecoin, and Novaexchange.
Status has its own native wallet that can be used to store SNT (Status Network Tokens), downloadable from the Status website. SNT tokens can also be stored in My Ether Wallet (MEW).
History of Status: Development and ICO
Development on Status began in Q1 of 2016. Status Alpha was released in January of 2017, and the Status ICO occurred in June of 2017. The cryptocurrency world spins at lightning speed, so the timespan of Status’s development is relatively slow. However, Status’s slow roll-out may be because Status as an application was further developed than most applications are at the time of their ICOs.
The Status ICO was also unusual in that there were a couple of factors introduced to make the playing-field a bit more equal for smaller investors and developers, as well as to foster the Status community as an inclusive entity.
Before the official ICO of SNT, Status developers created SGT (Status Genesis Tokens) that core developers distributed among early supporters of Status. At the time of the ICO, SGT could be traded for the corresponding amount of SNT. SGT corresponded with no more than 10% of the total supply of SNT.
The other part of Status’s effort to support smaller investors was their use of a soft-cap and “Dynamic Ceilings”. Essentially, this meant that as the ICO went on, and more smaller investors bought in, larger investors had a portion of their investments refunded to them. This made it easier for smaller investors to gain holdings in the Status ICO.
However, the effectiveness of this method of preventing too many large stake-holders from gaining too much control of the Status network has been under criticism. Some argue that larger investors simply split up their investments between a group of smaller addresses that were used to purchase smaller amounts of SNT, effectively spamming the network with many small transactions. This could have been the cause of the congestion that happened on the Ethereum blockchain during the Status ICO.
Status: Core Developers and Advisors
Status currently employs eight full-time core contributors. It was founded by Jarrad Hope and Carl Bennetts. Bennetts is best known for the founding of Opulence, a startup software distribution network that generated US$20,000,000 in less than three years.
Status has some noteworthy figures on its team of advisors–Viktor Tron, Core Developer for Ethereum’s Go Client; Bo Chen, General Partner of Chinese blockchain venture capital fund Fenbushi; and Yessin Schiegg, CFO of Alpha Associates (Zurich-based equity-fund and private debt managing company).
Status as an Investment: The Future of Status
There is no question that Ethereum is due for a user-friendly, versatile mobile client. The full-fledged Status platform will provide a host of services for regular users as well as opportunities for developers and entrepreneurs that are not yet available in a single interface, let alone one that is designed to be so user-friendly.
Status still has a ways to go before it is fully functional, but there is no other dapp that is doing exactly what Status is doing. With a strong team of advisors and a formidable team of core developers and business planners, Status is on a solid track to success. The question is whether or not enough users will choose to take part in the network at the cost of holding SNT tokens. If the benefits of using the Status platform are enough to outweigh this factor, then Status is in for smooth sailing.
At the time of writing, a single SNT coin costs US$0.028. The token price is so low that a small investment could potentially bring big returns.