What is Status?
Status is an open-source messaging platform and mobile interface that allows users to access and interact with decentralized applications built on the Ethereum network, all in one place. You can think of it as the crossover between WeChat and App Store for the Ethereum blockchain. Status is available for both Android and iOS users and also offers a Desktop app. Status Network Token, SNT, is the native token of Status and the project currently operates on the freemium model.
Status launched in 2017 aiming to tackle problems that online users face on a daily basis: a fragmented system of identities and passwords, loss of control over the personal data shared on numerous online platforms as well as over-reliance on existing banking and legal systems. Besides that, the Status team also wanted to give users a better and more convenient way to explore Ethereum’s possibilities right from their smartphone. They even call themselves the gateway to the Ethereum network. With the goal to build a better internet serving as a guiding star for the project, as a side effect of that, Status is also helping to spur mass adoption of Ethereum dApps.
So what does Status actually offer its users?
At the moment of writing, the Ethereum blockchain hosts more than 1,800 active dApps. Navigating this vast directory of applications can be overwhelming, to say the least. Status aims to be a hub for any type of Ethereum-related activity – be it managing an investment portfolio, paying in physical stores or verifying identity. Striving to streamline the experience for users, it assumes the role of a curator – think Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store – only for Ethereum’s dApps.
On top of that, there’s also the messaging platform for smartphones that runs on the Ethereum blockchain and allows for private, uncensorable, and secure messaging. Because it is based on the Whisper Protocol, the messaging platform is able to encrypt every outgoing message. The messages are sent out via a peer-to-peer network, meaning they don’t pass any third-party servers. Similarly to WeChat, Status enables users to shop on the messaging platform. However, the security and privacy features that come with Status are far more superior. For instance, any transaction that’s made on Status goes directly onto Ethereum – you don’t need any identity verification, government-issued ID or a glowing credit history to complete a purchase. In fact, you don’t even need a bank account.
The fact that it’s decentralized and uncensorable makes Status a particularly appealing solution. It means that you don’t need to trade your personal data for access to any of the dApps, which greatly aids the team’s efforts to build a better and more accessible internet. When using Status, you have complete control and ownership of your own data as well as a high degree of certainty that you’re very difficult to track and impossible to profile accurately. Because it’s open source and community-driven, no government or corporate organization can block Status from operating in a certain country or region or censor the platform in any other way.
To summarize, a Status app user is able to:
- Browse, access, play, chat, interact and transact with decentralized applications and chatbots on the Ethereum network.
- Send and receive payments, encrypted messages and smart contracts.
- Manage and store your crypto-assets with the built-in Status Wallet.
What else is important to know about Status?
As an open-source network, Status is free to use for everyone. However, since it operates on a freemium model, there are some costs attached to being a Status user. For instance, while the platform allows you to choose which notification provider you want to use, it also charges you microtransactions for notifications and storage. That’s because Status doesn’t profit from selling ads on the network or users’ personal details to various third parties – but it still has to make money somehow.
Additionally, all SNT holders have the right to vote on all new proposals directly influencing the network’s future. Another interesting feature is that stakeholders are allowed to set a minimum amount of SNT that another Status user, who is outside of their network, must deposit as a tribute for them to be able to make contact. If the stakeholder replies to the message, they will also receive the deposited tribute amount as a payment.
The future of Status
Status is reimagining the concept of social network. As a hub for Ethereum dApps and an open-source project, its possibilities are truly limitless. It’s fair to assume that Status will grow in popularity and demand if Ethereum holds its leadership position because the two networks are inseparably linked together. By giving its users the power to contribute and decide on how the platform will be developed and governed in the future, Status isn’t building just a mobile client. It’s building a community.