Substratum (SUB) is the underlying currency of the Substratum Network, an encrypted p2p protocol designed to tackle issues such as censorship, data security and corporate interference on the internet through decentralization.
The Substratum Network is comprised of p2p computer networks, which transmit data securely using cryptography and compression algorithms. By incentivizing network participants to rent out unused processing power as a hosting platform for websites, Substratum aim to eliminate the need for centralized servers.
The token was launched through a $13.8M ICO in August/September 2017, and although the team has continually reinforced that progress is being made, little to no evidence is available beyond their own videos.
The Substratum token provides the means for economic incentivization on the p2p network- hosting costs to individuals running nodes via their devices are billed through per-request micro-transactions.
Substratum set forth four fundamental elements which comprise the public beta release of the network (referred to as Version 1 on the roadmap and in the whitepaper):
SubstratumNode – a Mac, Windows, and Linux OS compatible software interface for the Substratum Network to run Web, Database, and App Broadcast Nodes in addition to providing a means to receive SUB payments. Via the software, anyone can utilize spare processing power to earn SUB by contributing to the network. Users do not need to hold SUB to run a SubstratumNode. The interface allows users to control how much CPU, GPU and RAM they want to contribute to the network.
Developer Toolkit – a package for developers to write applications on the Substratum Network. The toolkit includes SubstratumDB (encrypted database management system), SubstratumWeb (web application server), and SubstratumApp (app development system and broadcast server).
SubstratumStore – Decentralized app store for developers to submit their applications for purchase
SubstratumDNS – The DNS (Domain Name Management) system bridge allows standard browsers on any OS to access sites through the Substratum Network. The SubstratumDNS will be an AI enabled DNS server that receives DNS requests along with the geolocation of the requestor in order to locate the closest available SubstratumNode and fulfill the request.
Substratum Proposed Roadmap
For a project of this magnitude, the roadmap is vague from both a product and business development angle. Below is a visualization of the roadmap:
Substratum Project Development Progress:
- August 14, 2017: ICO Complete
- December 4, 2017: First alpha test completed on SubstratumNode
- March 16, 2018: Release video demo of SubstratumNode v0.2.0 and accompanying explanation of the results
- March 23, 2018: Successful test of private beta v0.2.0 Node on MacOS
- April 11, 2018: Completion of private beta SubstratumNode tests on Linux, Mac and Windows OS
The original roadmap contained in the whitepaper indicated a public beta version of the network (referred to as Version 1 on the above graphic) would be released by December 2017.
- The release was subsequently rescheduled for Q1 of 2018.
- As we approach mid-April, there is still no word on when to expect a release.
In his communications with the public, Founder Justin Tabb ascribes these delays to additional improvements on the network that were not accounted for in the original product design schedule, though the specific details on what these improvements actually are remain undisclosed.
Without a publically available Github, it’s impossible to independently examine the current product development progress though the team have said there are plans to open source the code at some point.
It’s clear Substratum have their marketing game down and have been very active via weekly update videos on YouTube. Consistent communication with supporters is a welcome practice, but the substance of that communication is ultimately what matters. Watching the team on video is no substitute for a MVP.
Absent any significant product milestones, and with the delayed release of a public product and no Github, we are left with little more than months of sustained (and successful) marketing efforts as our only indicator of progress.
SUB Token Financial Performance
SUB reached a mouthwatering $3.13 and a market cap of over $700M on Tuesday January 9th 2018, at the peak of the bull market, after a long period of quiet during which it was available for as little as $0.05. At the time of writing, the market has seen a dramatic upturn for the day (Thursday April 12th 2018) and the price of SUB is at $0.52, still enough to demonstrate 10x returns for investors back in September, but – like much of the market – still 83% down from its high point.
Our Verdict on the Substratum (SUB) Project
The value of SUB is ultimately tied to both the technological viability of the network and its subsequent adoption. As a project with its sights set on bringing down none other than the Great Firewall, the underlying architecture of the network must be extraordinary for us to take such a claim seriously.
Until the release of the public beta and underlying project code, the lack of verifiable progress markers and the string of delayed releases leave us without any concrete development milestones that warrant enough confidence in the future of the project to invest.
Although the financial performance has been strong we are concerned that any investment in the SUB token right now could lead to an underwater position. Or, since it’s Friday 13th and given their name, an underground one…
We will not be adding SUB to our portfolio.
Learn more about the progress of SUB Token from our Telegram Community by clicking here.
Token Name: SUB
ICO Date: August 14, 2017
Raised: $13.8 million USD
Crowdsale Token Ownership: 55%
ICO Price: 1 SUB = $0.10
Current Price: $0.42
Token Return: +329%
Market Cap: $154,524,077 USD
Exchanges: Binance, OKEx, Kucoin, HitBTC