Cryptocurrency solutions are rapidly being developed for just about every problem facing the world, Substratum provides a safe way for anybody to become a content host.
Very few of us use all of our bandwidth all of the time, especially when we are sleeping or out of the house. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were able to monetize that unused bandwidth in a safe way? Substratum is hoping to build a decentralized web.
This an ambitious aim and comes with a number of challenges. Most notably ensuring that users are protecting and that websites will not experience any downtime due to blockchain transaction bottlenecks.
Unreliable Hosts And Lack Of Privacy Cause Problems For Users
As anybody who has ever attempted to create a website knows a lot comes down to who your host is. Some organizations are very good and provide excellent customer service with very little downtime, others provide a terrible service with long downtimes and slow loading speeds. This can cause a website to fall flat on its face, despite excellent content.
Many web hosts also prohibit controversial websites. While they may have good reasons for not wanting to be associated with certain kinds of websites this can be considered a free speech violation.
For users a major problem with browsing is lack of privacy. We are being tracked everywhere we go and it is difficult to stop without relying on subscription-based VPNs or even The Onion Router (TOR). The problem with both these solutions, TOR in particular, is that they can be inconvenient to use and often slow your web traffic to an unacceptable level.
Substratum aims to offer solutions to all of these problems.
What Is Substratum?
Substratum is developing an open-source foundation for the decentralized web. Their aim is to provide free and unrestricted access to content for a new web 3.0. The Substratum Network will consist of a worldwide collection of nodes that use cryptography to deliver secure content anywhere, providing enhanced privacy without relying on VPNs or TOR. They will a micro-transaction focused billing system that is handled by blockchain technology.
The network is built from nodes and allows anybody to earn cryptocurrency by renting out their computer as a hosting server. This gives people the opportunity to monetize their unused storage space and bandwidth so that others can have a more reliably hosted website.
This essentially takes the ability to host services away from centralized companies and gives it to thousands of individuals. This helps to reduce censorship on the web. Users are able to vote on whether content is “acceptable” or not, and if a consensus is formed the bad content will be removed.
The platform has also developed a unique micropay feature that will allow users to pay online using any currency, including cryptocurrencies. The CryptoPay feature is designed to be simple to integrate into their website as a payment gateway.
One of the most useful features of Substratum is that it will be compatible with all popular browsers and will not require any specialized software to run sites linked to the blockchain. This makes it far more user friendly for the less technically inclined and makes the network more attractive for websites to use as they won’t find part of their user base “locked” behind a technical wall.
How Does Substratum Work?
The Substratum Network is based on a worldwide collection of nodes. This Network is made up of three components:
Hosts – Hosts are users who have decided to lease out some of their network and storage space in order to host content. If someone wants to use Substratem to host their content then they have to buy SUB. They will then pay then pay their host on a per click basis rather than an hourly basis, in other words, they only spend money when their website is being used, as opposed to when it is “up”.
Nodes – Nodes represent users who have dedicated some of their computers power, memory and bandwidth to Substratum network. These nodes facilitate all interactions on the network. They are simple to set up and users have complete control over the amount of resources that they dedicate to the network. Users are rewarded in SUB coins by serving requests.
SubstratumDNS – This allows users to create websites that operate on both the centralized and decentralized web without being forced to use subdomains. The early versions of SubstratumDNS will utilize a complex AI driven system that will use geolocation to find the most efficient node to deliver the content.
In other words, content is stored on “hosts”. When a user wants to access a website on the decentralized internet they go through the SubstratumDNS. This uses AI and machine learning to locate the most efficient node that holds the requested information. In order to protect the node’s anonymity the information held by each node is regularly swapped. Once the SubstratumDNS has found a node it will then then connect the user to the host and they will be able to view content.
In theory the Substratum network should both reduce load times and prevent downtime. The network is P2P so theoretically there should never be a moment where content can’t be accessed.
The SUB token acts as fuel for the Substratum Network
The entire Substratum ecosystem is powered by a two tiered token system. This system consists of Subtrate and ATOMs. These are often compared to dollars and cents, so for example 548.89 SUB would equal 548 Substrate and 89 ATOMs. This is to facilitate easier microtransactions. Whenever the a “host” uses 1 ATOM worth of computing power then a microtransaction of that value will trigger.
SUB tokens are built on the Ethereum network and are ERC20 compliant. In an attempt to limit volatility SUB tokens are backed by four separate assets:
- 25% Bitcoin
- 25% Ethereum
- 25% USDT
- 25% USD
Should the amount of SUB actively being used on the network ever reach 90% then the network will automatically create 10% more SUB in order to prevent a shortage that could result in an unsustainable price rise.
SUB will be used to power all aspects of the Substratum Network, from microtransactions using Cryptopay to paying for hosting and compensating users who set up nodes. The developers and main founders will be given 15 Million Substrate in shares but this will not be released until after the final product goes live in 2018.
How does CryptoPay work?
CryptoPay is an online wallet that allows storage, transfer and sending capabilities for GBP, USD, EUR and BTC. This allows all applications and sites that run on the Substratum Network to process cryptocurrency transactions using a any publicly traded coin or fiat currency.
The vendor first chooses what token or coin they would like to receive payment in. A user can then pay in any currency they chose and SUB is used as the conversion currency. This should help break down a number of the barriers caused by currency exchange costs and help to make it easier to spend cryptocurrency online.
Is Substratum A Good Investment?
Substratum is clearly a well designed project with a solid whitepaper and talent development team. They have also already entered alpha and are in the process of launching an open source beta program. An important thing to note in terms of trust is that the development team is explicitly barred from accessing their “shares” in SUB until after the project is completed. This gives them a strong incentive to release a good product and keep with the team until the end.
Like most cryptocurrencies Substratum has been facing a long bear market since the crash in January 2018. That being said the token has a great deal of room for growth. A beta product should be launched over the coming months and the development team maintains regular contact with the community through social media.
The big thing to watch out for will be the release of the 3.0 public beta. Substratum have already announced that it will be open source and this will cause a big pump in the value of the coin. If that beta launch is a success then you should expect the value to continue to rise with each new release, if there are significant teething problems then there will be a general price drop.
Another major advantage of SUB is actually its low value. These Penny Cryptos find it far easier to rise in value than their more expensive counterparts like Bitcoin or Ethereum. This gives you a better chance to profit from small shifts in the market, especially if you own a high volume of SUB.
Substratum is still in early days but things are looking up for the Decentralized Web. Only time will tell whether the development team is actually able to deliver on their grand vision.