As opposed to many of the other cryptocurrencies covered on this website, Status is not so much a cryptocurrency system in itself, but a specific tool in order to make the widespread adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology easier. It does this by providing a mobile operating system through which users can easily access decentralised apps distributed through the Ethereum network.
Status (SNT) Chart
Central purpose: accessibility
Status targets users who are fairly smartphone-savvy but who do not necessarily have the specialised technological knowledge to fully embrace blockchain technology just yet. Though Ethereum as a whole can be a huge, daunting platform to explore, Status strives to provide a user-friendly solution for this problem; it does this through a mobile app any smartphone user can simply download on his device and use to access Ethereum applications on the go.
This benefits users, but it also benefits developers of so-called DApps, or decentralised applications available via Ethereum; it is, after all, only through wider adoption that they can become truly successful and profitable.
Functionalities of Status
Practically, Status can be downloaded on both Android and Apple devices, its use being two-pronged. Firstly, it functions as a browser or app store for Decentralised apps; through a hashtag-based Discover feature, users can search for DApps and also for other users. It is important to point out here that Status is completely open-source, which means that anyone can list their own Ethereum-native app in this decentralised app store; unlike traditional app stores, it is not controlled or censored by anyone.
At the same time, however, Status also recognises that messaging apps are a key element of the users’ mobile browsing experience; in fact, 36% of all time spent on mobile devices is spent within instant messaging applications. For this reason, Status includes its own native messaging service, which is entirely encrypted and decentralised and uses a peer-to-peer protocol to accomplish this.
In addition to allowing users to contact each other, the instant messaging service also allows users to send payments (using Ether) and smart contracts within chats. This last functionality is possible because Status also includes its own native ETH wallet, including transaction logs and a QR reader.
Status Network Token
Unlike Bitcoin, Status does not aim to replace traditional currencies with its own cryptocurrency; similarly, transactions carried out via the Status messaging service will be specifically geared toward Ether, the native currency of parent platform Ethereum, rather than toward a native Status currency.
Nonetheless, such a native currency exists: this is the Status Network Token, or SNT. Ten million SNT were sold in an initial Contribution Period; this may be repeated in the future, and alternatively, users can now purchase SNT via exchanges, most likely by trading Bitcoin or Ether for SNT. The exchange rate is 10,000 SNT per ETH, and SNT can be bought per 100 SNT for 0.01 ETH.
SNT has multiple purposes within the Status network. Primarily, it creates a users-as-stakeholders network, which means the fate of the software becomes aligned with the interests of its users, who benefit when it does well. While it is not necessary for all features of the platform, it does allow for access to extra content for stakeholders, who will also be allowed to have a vote or say in the future development of the Status system.