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The current bear market has put a strain on every aspect of the crypto market, and perhaps especially ICOs as they’ve seen a sharp decline towards the end of 2018 as compared to the Jan-Mar time period of the same a year ago.
However, another side story has been developing alongside the bear market which involves many of the world-renowned mainstream corporations and blockchain. Specifically, companies like Walmart, Samsung, IBM, and Amazon have been working on their own implementations of blockchain-based solutions. The experts claim that this is the true path that cryptos should’ve been on in the first place. This involvement and interest shown by the mainstream industry has become a ray of hope for the otherwise gloomy crypto space.
The latest company to jump into the crypto market is none other than Microsoft. As its platform is listed on Microsoft Azure platform, Stratis is a London-based firm by the Stratos Group, and its service aims to facilitate initial coin offering projects to manage their token distribution. Initial coin offerings (or ICOs) are similar to initial public offerings (or IPOs). In an ICO, new crypto projects carry out a fundraising activity where investors can pay to purchase their underlying tokens. Some even argue that ICOs are a better way to raise capital than IPOs.
Through Stratis, participants can obtain a secure and flexible payment route to pay for ICO tokens. Payments are accepted either through Bitcoin or Strat which is the underlying token of the service. Microsoft has also integrated Changelly into the platform; Changelly is an addon service that allows users to convert their fiat money or other cryptocurrencies into Strat seamlessly.
One of the main complaints against ICOs has been their elusiveness to accountability. In fact, at the boom of cryptocurrencies back in 2017, there were multiple cases of fraudulent ICOs where the project founders simply vanished with the investors’ money. Microsoft seems to be aware of the issue and hopes to make Stratis a compact service.
To fulfill this commitment, the platform also has Onfido; Onfido is a risk management and fraud prevention software. It could help ICO projects streamline their regulatory responsibilities and allow government bodies to provide a much better oversight. In the long run, actions like these could help ICOs gain the same level of trust in the eyes of the public as IPOs have at the moment.
Microsoft’s new service supports harsh KYC-regulations but that’s a good thing for the ICO market. Under the oversight of governing bodies, it could help pave the way for long-term progress even if at a slower pace.