It is really hard to imagine that the price per STRONG token was more than $1000 in November 2021. At the moment, the same token is trading at $6 and the STRNGR token (which has become the new reward token) is worth less than $3. But, we shouldn’t judge a project by the price only. What has caused the price dump? Does the project have a future? What about the brand new announcement about Fantom Entangled nodes?
It is important to understand where I come from writing this article. I have been a big-time fan of StrongBlock since it launched, and I even ran quite a lot of own Ethereum nodes on different VPS providers that I managed to implement and get rewards for on the StrongBlock platform. In other words, I have enjoyed the glorious days of the protocol.
One of my main reasons for investing in StrongBlock was David Moss, a man I highly respected and that gave me extra amount of faith. He had a name that could be trusted and I knew that he wouldn’t abandon the ship, because it would totally destroy his reputation in the cryptocurrency world.
But, here we are in July 2022 and a lot of things have changed. What do I think about StrongBlock now? Is it worth investing? Is it just a big pile of crap? Has the team rugged? Is it a scam?
StrongBlock is alive, but hardly breathing.
StrongBlock has dropped a lot in price, but so has all other protocols and tokens. They made some giant adjustments in the start of May 2022 as they replaced STRONG as the reward token and introduced STRNGR instead. They also stopped rewarding the ByoN nodes (Bring your own node), and since then they have also stopped rewarding Sentinel nodes. It should also be mentioned that if you want to create a new node right now you are no longer able to create Polygon nodes, thus leaving Ethereum and Fantom nodes as the only available options.
The changes that made the community furious took place on May 19th as they suddenly introduced a reward cap for nodes, saying that you shouldn’t be able to earn more than 20 STRNGR per node. For old investors this meant that the cap was already reached and they didn’t earn anything more. Of course, the old investors had gone out with great profits long time ago, so I didn’t feel sorry for those. But, then you have those who invested in November and December and created nodes at a price of $2000-$10,000 per node. And now, they suddenly couldn’t earn more than 20 STRNGR per node, and with the current STRNGR price below $3 (it was higher then), you had no chance at all to break even, not even get close to it.
Once again, for the sake of the sustainability of the protocol, we all expected changes to take place, and even though this was REALLY painful, it was kind of understandable.
So far, and at this moment (May 2022), I still gave the StrongBlock team the benefit of the doubt.
What has happened since May 2022 and since the reward changes?
The price for both STRONG and STRNGR has been pointing in one direction since then, downwards! Lots of people are just selling their rewards, and few people are buying STRNGR in order to create new nodes. Why is this happening?
I believe changes had to me made to the StrongBlock protocol and to the rewards model in order to make it sustainable. But, it does matter how you actually bring those changes forth.
Since May 19th, it has just been QUIET from David Moss and from the StrongBlock team. They haven’t made any official statements about anything. They have tweeted a few times since then, but these tweets have only been about the introduction of node migration for Ethereum nodes, and recently about the introduction of Fantom Entangled nodes.
What do you do when your community is furious?
This is a question I am asking myself, and whenever I answer the question, it doesn’t resemble what we have seen happen with StrongBlock. There are thousands of angry investors, but I believe listening to them and maybe answering some of their questions would help them out. It will not bring their money back, but it might give them at least a ray of hope concerning the future of StrongBlock. But, instead of answering questions, instead of holding an AMA (in which they control both the questions and the answers), they just keep quiet.
Some people call it a slow rug, but it isn’t. Instead, they are implementing new features, fixing bugs on the website, and they seem to work behind the scenes. But, why don’t they spend time actually communicating with the investors and the people who believe in the project? Many of those who claim to be hardcore fans (including myself) find it very hard to remain bullish in the midst of a silent treatment like the one we are experiencing right now.
The Fantom Entangled nodes are here… Why invest?
Since July 12th in 2022, Fantom Entangled nodes can now be created on the StrongBlock website. Those who have been around know that we have been waiting for these for a very long time, but now they are here. In other words, they can place one more X next to a new thing on the StrongBlock to-do list (often referred to as a roadmap).
It is, however worth noticing that there are some interesting things here as well. First of all, there is a maximal rewards cap of 18 STRNGR tokens (not 20 STRNGR which is the number for an Ethereum node).
The daily STRNGR emission per Fantom node is 0.075 STRNGR per node (with a maximum of 18 STRNGR to be earned), meaning that it should take 240 days (that is 8 months) for a node to reach the earning cap for a Fantom node.
The daily STRNGR emission per Ethereum node is 0.075 STRNGR per node (with a maximum of 20 STRNGR to be earned), meaning that it should take 266 days (that is appx. 9 months) for a node to reach the earning cap for a Ethereum node.
Simple math – it’s not worth creating any StrongBlock node (Ethereum/Fantom) at the moment!
Let us take a look at the math. First, let us check the price for creating and running an Ethereum node.
|Price to create an Ethereum node||10 STRNGR||$25 ($2.5 per STRNGR)|
|Price of running a node for 9 months||$90 ($10 per month paid in Ethereum)|
|Price of Ethereum transaction fees||$10 (this is a VERY modest suggestion)|
|Total operational cost||$125 per node|
How much will you make with such a node with the current prices?
|Number of STRNGR earned after 9 months||18 STRNGR|
|Total value of tokens||$50 (20x$2.5 per token)|
As you can see, creating an Ethereum node or a Fantom node right now is simply a stupid thing to do.
If you believe in the project, spend $125 instead right now and buy 50 STRNGR tokens a the same price. It is a way better investment, and it is way cheaper.
Once again, buying nodes right now is stupidity. If you believe in the project, buy tokens instead and just hold them and hope for better days. You will be better off doing this no matter what than if you create nodes with all the fees attached to them.
I want to strengthen the blockchain by creating nodes!
The original idea behind StrongBlock was to create nodes that would strengthen the blockchain, being the building block behind every blockchain. That is why StrongBlock started out being a protocol for people who ran their own Ethereum nodes. It was really bringing hundreds of new nodes to the Ethereum network, thus strengthening the protocol.
But, then came the NaaS and everything changed. At first, the monthly fee (which was then $15 per month) was supposedly covering the fees of running the nodes, at least that was how I understood it. After all, that fee was very similar to the fee for running a node on Contabo, one of the best and cheapest VPS providers out there for running your own Ethereum node.
I quickly wondered how they could keep creating new Ethereum nodes as thousands of new nodes were created every single day. Just syncing an Ethereum node takes days and it is a real nightmare. How could a new node come into being within a few seconds? Did they run thousands of nodes already prepared, only to activate them in the moment someone “bought” one? I also remember a tweet from StrongBlock praising their engineers after they had to update the Ethereum nodes as a new version was released (just like I had to upgrade the Geth version of my own nodes). But, what was really going on? Has StrongBlock been running hundreds of thousands of real Ethereum nodes? If so, why didn’t they show up on the list of active Ethereum nodes found right here?
It has become more and more obvious that the so-called nodes and their RPC endpoints are nothing more than endpoints forwarding you to a couple of real Ethereum nodes operated by StrongBlock. In other words, you will not strengthen the Ethereum (or the Fantom) network by creating a node, seeing that no new nodes are created in the process.
What about StrongChain?
StrongBlock has kept up with things planned in its roadmap. So, what’s up with StrongChain? Since there is no communication from the team, we don’t really know. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if the team is just working with doors closed, and suddenly they will open their doors and welcome us all to StrongChain. Who knows?
The question I keep asking is… is StrongChain even needed? I am not so convinced anymore. What makes StrongBlock stand out in the crowd? What makes the StrongBlock nodes different from those operated by Thor Financial, PowerNode, and lots of other protocols that launched before Christmas in 2021 (often referred to as copycats)?
I really want to be bullish on StrongBlock, but it is getting harder and harder. Not only has communication stopped, but the hardcore fans and early supporters of the protocols have left (not all of them, but many of them). People have stopped paying their node fees as they lose money doing so. As a result, the number of active nodes is declining every single day (and so is the StrongBlock revenue as people don’t pay their node fees).
I know they had great plans for the upcoming StrongChain, but unless there is clear communication and positive price movement, people will just leave StrongBlock to die.
Tiny September 2022 update:
This still looks bad. Not much is happening, and there is no communication. I would never ever invest in this protocol right now.
What do you think will happen with StrongBlock? I would love to hear your thoughts (in a polite and modest way)!