In this article, I will walk you through all there is to know about Strong Coin. What Strong Coin is. How the whole thing works. How Strong is transitioning to Stronger. And why people are so unhappy with it right now. So unhappy to the extent that strongblock.com, the company behind Strong Coin, has turned off comments on Twitter.
After reading this article you will have a very well-rounded understanding of Strong Coin.
Let’s start with the platform behind strong coin: StrongBlock
1/13. What is StrongBlock?
When David Moss left EOS to build StrongBlock his original vision was to build blockchains as a service. At the push of a button, anyone would be able to set up their own blockchain. He soon pivoted, however, to address a separate issue.
The problem is a technical one.
Let me walk you through it.
2/13. Strong nodes explained
To run a blockchain you need different types of nodes. Remember, “node” is just a fancy term for a computer.
The first type of node is a miner’s node.
Miners add new blocks to the blockchain.
They write the block and send it to other block producers to certify that they agree with the current status.
Miners get rewarded with new tokens for doing this.
Next, you need nodes that keep an entire copy of the blockchain. These are called full nodes.
You know how people are always super-excited about blockchains because you can see everything?
Well, to see everything you need a full node. Everybody goes to these nodes for information.
Yet, while miners are rewarded with new tokens, full nodes are not.
StrongBlock claims that without these nodes blockchains aren’t robust.
Let me give you an example.
MetaMask, the famous wallet that many crypto enthusiasts use, relies on Infura, a company that operates a full node, to read the Ethereum blockchain.
But what happens if Infura goes down? This could seriously mess things up.
In fact, it has happened a few times in the past.
Most recently, in April 2022, Infura’s software failed to update and people’s transactions on Metamask got messed up for a few hours.
David Moss believes that a healthy blockchain should have lots of nodes. If one goes down then you can find a copy elsewhere.
There is another problem with full nodes. They are not that easy to set up.
Hence, to set up a node, one, you need to be a developer and, two, you need to be willing to do this without any compensation.
Nodes as a service
To address this issue StrongBlock pivoted to a new business model.
Using their platform, you can set up a node at the click of a button.
They call this NaaS (Nodes-as-a-Service) which is a pun on SaaS (Software as a Service), a term commonly used in the software industry.
OK, that takes care of the complexity issue. But, still, why would you ever set up a node, even if it is easy to do?
Enter Strong Coin.
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3/13. What is Strong Coin?
Strong Coin is an ERC-20 token that you need in order to set up a StrongBlock node and the currency in which you get rewarded for doing so.
Huh, come again?
Yeah, ok, let’s go through this in more detail.
What network is Strong Coin on?
Firstly, Strong Coin is an ERC-20 token i.e. it is minted on the Ethereum platform.
This implies that to move Strong Coin around you need to pay gas fees in ETH.
Keep this in the back of your head for now. I will come back to it later.
How to buy Strong nodes
To set up an Ethereum node via StrongBlock you need Strong Coin which you can buy on an exchange. Check out “How to buy Strong Coin” on how to go about this.
Once you’ve transferred Strong Coin to your wallet you can hook up your wallet to the StrongBlock app and make your purchase.
You can also set up nodes for Polygon and Fantom.
I am going to focus on Ethereum nodes in this article to keep things simple.
But you can draw similar conclusions for the other two as well.
For detailed instructions on setting up a node check out my step-by-step guide on “How to buy strong nodes“
4/13. Strong node cost
It costs 10 Strong Coins to set up an Ethereum node.
This is a one-time fee and you don’t get it back.
Don’t confuse it with crypto notions like staking or lending. It’s not like that. You pay for the cost of setting up the node and that’s it. KAPUSH! That money has gone.
OK, so let’s understand why you would buy a Strong node.
Here is how rewards work.
5/13. Strong node rewards
Setting up the node is super easy indeed. You literally click a button and, within the hour, your node is up and running.
While your node is doing all its funky stuff in the background, it rewards you with about 0.1 Strong Coin per day.
Technically the reward is paid out every 7000 blocks and since there are only 6400 blocks per 24hrs this works out to 0.092 STRONG per day.
For the sake of simplicity let’s stay with 0.1.
It won’t make much difference to the conclusions I want to share with you.
Where do the Strong Node rewards come from?
Why from the purchase of the node itself?
When you buy a node for 10 Strong Coins, 6 of those coins are retained in a reward pool to reward existing node owners.
This is a core reason detractors liken Strong Coin to a Ponzi scheme. Old users making returns relies on new users coming in.
So IF, and it’s a big IF, the price of Strong Coin stays constant you break even after about 100 days.
Mind you that isn’t exactly the break-even point because you need to pay about $15 per month, paid in ETH, to StrongBlock to maintain your node.
Plus there are the gas fees in ETH that you need to account for. For this reason, you need to grow a sizable stash before moving it about.
How long will strong nodes last
Different nodes have differing expirations. For more details check out: How long will Strong nodes last?
Nowadays there is an upper bound to the amount of Strong Coin you can make per Ethereum node.
Once you reach 20 Strong Coins in rewards your node is shut down.
So the most you stand to earn is double your Strong Coin minus the maintenance and gas fees.
That wasn’t always the case.
The cap did not exist when StrongBlock first issued nodes. Strong Coin payouts were indefinite as long as you paid the monthly fee to maintain your nodes.
Below is a small summary of the costs and rewards associated with a Strong Node.
With me so far? Now pay attention.
Let’s look at a real-life example.
6/13. Strong node rewards example
Let’s choose a random point in time, say January 2022, and see what would have happened had we set up an Ethereum node on StrongBlock.
On the morning of the 1st of January 2022, the price of Strong Coin was $535.
That means I needed $5,350 in ETH to buy 10 Strong Coins and set up a node plus some extra ETH for gas fees. Say $5,500 worth in total.
If the price stays steady I will be rewarded 0.1*$535=$53.5 per day.
So after 100 days or so I break even.
Problem is, the price did not stay steady.
That is a big problemo.
The price of Strong coin dropped from a high of almost $1200 in October 2021 all the way down to $6 at the end of August 2022.
BTW if you want to understand why this is happening check out my post: Why is strong coin dropping?
Anyways, I made a table to show you what is happening to my rewards.
Strong Coin reward calculations
|Date||Price||Daily reward (0.1 * price)||Cumulative rewards|
On the first day, I get $53.5. All good.
The second day the price drops to $513 so I get $51.3.
Over time the price keeps dropping.
By August it has dropped so much to the extent that I am making less than a dollar a day. Oops!
8 months later I still have not broken even on my $5,350 initial investment. I’ve only accumulated $3,642.
Mind you I have only accumulated that amount if I have been selling STRONG as soon as I get it.
However, I am unlikely to do that given that it costs high gas fees to do so every time.
If I haven’t been selling, I have about $150 worth of STRONG. Not looking good at all.
What’s more, I am paying a monthly maintenance fee of $15. At this rate, I am making only $21 (0.7*30) -$15=$6 worth of STRONG per month.
For more simulations, you can play around with my strong node calculator if you like
If you are still wondering whether to invest in Strong Coin check out my more detailed post: Is strong coin a good investment
7/13. Is Strong Block a scam?
The low returns caused by Strong Coin’s price drop are a primary reason why people are unhappy with StrongBlock and why they liken it to a Ponzi scheme.
But it really depends on when you started. If you had joined Strong Block early you would have made a lot of money.
Especially when there was no cap on the amount of Strong Coin per node.
Rewards were even higher for some people who compounded their returns and timed everything perfectly.
By compounding I mean that some investors were reinvesting their 10 Strong Coin rewards once they broke even to start another node.
You’d come across many YouTube videos talking about the passive income they were making after ~100 days.
Of course, all this passive income was in unrealized profit in the form of Strong Coin.
But something’s gotta give.
And at some point, people started cashing out and selling their Strong Coin.
All this started happening around the broader market downturn.
Many complain that the monthly maintenance fees were a revenue stream for StrongBlock and that they have somehow conned people.
I doubt that this is the case but it does not help that StrongBlock has switched off comments on their Twitter profile.
All in all, I don’t think Strong Coin is a scam. I feel it is legit but it has a way bigger problem. If you want to find out why I think that, check out my article: Is strong coin legit for a more in-depth review.
8/13. Strong Coin’s structural issues
In hindsight, it’s obvious something like this might happen.
Or, rather, it’s not clear what value Strong Coin creates.
Yes, you need to buy Strong Coin to set up a node and, yes, you are rewarded in it.
But it’s not entirely clear how this business model could stand on its own without the tokens.
The only thing propping up the price of Strong Coin is the demand for nodes plus speculative momentum.
Once momentum turned negative there was nothing to support Strong Coin’s price.
StrongBlock does not sell the nodes to anyone. It did try but there was no one who really wanted them.
What’s more, StrongBlock was starting to run low on Strong Coin supply.
While they had originally issued 10Mn Strong Coins they almost immediately burnt 94% of the supply.
This left them with 523,000 Strong Coins.
But setting up Strong Nodes became so popular that they needed more Strong Coins to reward people.
Especially after they launched nodes for other chains such as Polygon and Fantom as well.
In an effort to address these issues, StrongBlock announced a change in its strategy and introduced Stronger Coin.
9/13. Strong vs Stronger. What’s up with that?
At the end of February, StrongBlock released a light paper detailing a massive change in strategy.
The whitepaper announces the deployment of a new layer 1 blockchain called Strong Chain.
There is some fluffy talk about community-first models and new economic layers but the key reasons for doing this are two:
- They introduce a new coin called STRONGER (STRNGR). Stronger coin will start off with an initial supply of 10Mn tokens but it has in-built capabilities to mint and burn. So supply is flexible.
- There will the option to delegate your tokens to validators and earn rewards as part of the Proof-of-Stake process. So this is creating a secondary market for Stronger Coin right? In simple language, it means that there is an incentive for people to hold Stronger Coin thus reducing sell pressure.
The team is experienced in building blockchains. After all these guys launched the EOSIO blockchain whose EOS coin is in the top 40 by market cap.
On April 5th, Strong coins were switched over to Stronger Coins on a 1:1 basis. All else remains the same.
However STRONG coins are still around and still trading. According to some discussions I followed it could be that STRONG becomes a governance token.
For the time being you can mentally replace STRONG with STRNGR. The only difference is that STRNGR has an unlimited supply.
Ok, that was a lot of information. Let’s take a breather.
Here is a meme:
OK break over. Let’s switch gears for a moment.
There are two more ways to earn a yield with Strong / Stronger coin.
10/13. “Mining” Strong coin
Apart from earning rewards by operating a node, you can also use your Strong, now Stronger, coins to “mine” more coins.
- You can send your coins to a smart contract address where you are rewarded in more Stronger for doing so. The current rate is about 9%
- Or you can add them to a liquidity pool on Uniswap and earn ETH fees and Stronger Voins. The current yield stands at 40%.
For a more detailed explanation and steps on how to go about this check out how to mine strong coin.
Keep in mind that technically you are not mining anything. You are just placing your coins in a pool and getting rewarded for doing so.
Right, let’s talk about NFTs.
What about them?
11/13. What are StrongBlock NFTs?
StrongBlock tried to gamify the experience of buying nodes by issuing tiered NFTs.
There are 4 NFT tiers that allow you to claim extra rewards: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
They originally started distributing these through a lottery system and, as you can see below, they have all been sold now.
Each NFT confers different rewards if you stake them.
|Supply||500 total||1,000 total||3,589 total||3,589 Total|
|Rewards per node per day||0.05 STRONG||0.04 STRONG||0.03 STRONG||0.0125 STRONG|
|Maximum nodes you can use it with||10||5||2||1|
NFTs can also bestow other goodies onto holders such as airdrops and exclusive access to new features.
Currently, the team’s focus is on building out Strong Chain so there is not much more information about NFTs.
There is however another feature that StrongBlock has recently launched which is aimed at making it more efficient to manage yields.
These are called “Entangled nodes”
12/13. What are entangled nodes
Entangled nodes are just a gimmicky way of saying that you can now group up to 50 nodes together to manage your rewards.
Previously your rewards were containerized meaning you could only trade rewards and thus pay gas fees per single node.
For example, if you have 10 nodes and each had earned 2 STRONG then you could not move your 20 STRONG in one go and pay a single gas fee. You had to move them 2 by 2 and pay a gas fee 10 times.
Entangled nodes basically take care of some of the inefficiency that was built into the original code.
OK people it’s time to wrap up.
13/13. Wrapping up Strong Coin
Strong Coin is the currency you need to buy StrongBlock nodes and what you get rewarded in.
Once you pay StrongBlock in STRONG, now STRNGR, they set up nodes on your behalf ensuring that blockchains such as Ethereum, Fantom, and Polygon are more robust.
Detractors claim that the system is a closed circuit that relies on new node buyers to come in and prop the price up.
On the other hand, supporters are excited by the new Strong Chain that is in development and is eager to see how this project evolves.
I’ll say one last thing about Strong Coin.
It is damn confusing trying to figure out what the status is right now and where things are going. The StrongBlock website is a maze of FAQs and their recent whitepaper is not very informative. Most of their updates were originally released through AMAs (Ask me anything) on Telegram. Then later they moved the conversation to Discord. There is also a dearth of podcasts. So for all you podcasters out there, this is an opportunity.
In the meantime, I am super curious to see how Strong Coin and its new manifestation as Stronger Coin will evolve.
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