Substratum Cryptocurrency Review: 30 Things You Need To Know About SUB Coin

Substratum (SUB) is a cryptocurrency that's determined to decentralise the web.

So what does that mean for you? And will this technology succeed?

In this Substratum cryptocurrency review, we'll look at the pros, cons and potential of SUB coin.

Read on or jump to the section you're interested in.

DisclaimerI have no affiliation with SUB cryptocurrency.


There's no affiliate links or ads in the review below.


1. What Is Substratum Cryptocurrency?

Substratum cryptocurrency is basically a way of accessing the internet securely, without any third party censorship.

It's a similar technology to a VPN or TOR.

But the biggest difference is that your internet connection is secured privately with cryptography and blockchain technology.

substratum how it works

Here's a few useful definitions to note:

Substratum network: This is the blockchain network that allows you to browse the internet anonymously without censorship.

SUB: SUB is the trading symbol for Substratum.

Substrate: This is the actual currency that transacts on the network.

Substrate Network Machine: This is the computer that verifies Substrate transactions on the network.

Anyone can install Substratum's software and turn their computer into a network machine.

Pro Tip: Want to learn more about privacy and cryptocurrency?


Check out my list of the top 28 privacy coins here.


2. What Problem Does Substratum Coin Solve?

So it might surprise you but there are still countries around the world where the internet is censored.

That means content isn't distributed freely.

Instead, it's censored and many people are just a shown a form of the internet that isn't the exact truth.

Here's a few examples of countries of where the internet is censored:

North Korea:

In North Korea, only 4% of the country has internet access. 

Plus, every website is under Government control.

Obviously that creates issues because all of the web based media consumed by North Korean citizens can be manipulated. 

China:

In China, every keystroke is recorded.

That means every email, chat and message is monitored by the Government.

Even Google, Twitter and YouTube are banned in China.

Punishments are pretty severe if you're caught violating their internet censorship rules, including jail time and fines.

Russia:

Under Yarovaya Law, every telecom company and internet service provider has to store all of their user's communications for up to 3 years.

Bloggers even face violence and prison time due to the content they're producing.

Plus in the last 10 years, there were 200 cases of violence against bloggers in Russia and 115,000 cases of internet censorship in 2017 alone.

With Substratum, you can access restricted websites anonymously.

So SUB coin allows you to bypass the problems of internet censorship listed above.


3. Could Substratum Create A Decentralized Internet?

If all goes to plan, then yes.

But of course, this all depends on the success of their technology.

Substratum's designed to make the web decentralized. Plus you don't need any special software to use it.

So you can simply install their add-on to your internet browser, and start surfing the web.

That means you don't need any technical knowledge to set it up.

In fact, they actually mention in their white paper that this software is specifically designed for users who aren't technically savvy.

Substratum works for most major web browsers including Safari, Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer.

You can also verify transactions on the substratum blockchain.

This turns your computer into a node.

If you choose to use your computer as a Node, you'll be rewarded with SUB coins for every transaction you verify.


4. Will SUB Support Net Neutrality?

So net neutrality is basically where everyone is treated equally on the web by their internet service provider.

That means:

  • The same internet speeds
  • No discrimination by content
  • There's no advantage to content providers who pay extra to their web hosts

So here's an example of why Net Neutrality matters:

Let's say Hulu and Netflix are competing for subscriptions to their video content.

Now to gain a competitive advantage, Hulu could pay their internet service provider a bit extra to speed their website up or even slow Netflix's website down.

In this case, customers would rather stream videos from Hulu - rather than face frustrating loading times from Netflix right?

So this creates a market where corporations with the most money can squeeze their competitors and control the web.

net neutrality

Substratum's software allows everyone to be treated equally and fairly on the web.

That means websites are rewarded for producing great content - rather than sabotaging their competitors loading speeds.


5. How Does A Decentralized Network Work With SUB Coin?

Here's some of the key features of Substratum's decentralized network:

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    Censorship: Substratum's software allows you to access restricted websites that are usually blocked e.g. you could access Google in China.
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    Geolocation: SUB's software automatically finds the right Substratum network machines based on your location. This means you'll get an optimised loading time and the lowest amount of latency.
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    Privacy: Users of Substratum can access the web confidentially. So they no longer have to worry about third parties spying on their private data. This is secured via cryptography.
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    Ease Of Use: Setting up privacy software like a VPN or TOR on your computer isn't easy. With Substratum, you just download their browser add-on and surf the web. There's no technical skills required.
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    Pricing: Hosting content is big business. In fact, Amazon's AWS makes $3.5 billion per year from their service. Substratum's model could be cheaper for content producers, because websites will pay for each user access request rather than minute by minute to host content.
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    Open Source: Programmers can download their SDK and contribute to the development of SUB's blockchain.

6. Is There A Substratum Beta?

Yes, you can download their beta software here.

It's available for iOS, Linux and Windows.


7. What’s Your Price Prediction For Substratum?

Substratum's price all depends on adoption.

You see, Substratum's network is peer to peer.

So the more peers there are, the better their network works.

With that in mind, their technology is still in beta.

That means there will still be a lot of bugs in their network and it's not ready to scale up just yet.

Plus the cryptocurrency market has struggled this year.

So I really don't expect Substratum's price to reach anywhere near their previous all time high, over the next 6-12 months.


8. How To Use Substratum?

Check out the demo below of how Substratum works.


9. What Is The Use Case Of A Substratum Token?

Substratum is a privacy software that decentralises the web.

So you may be wondering what SUB coin is actually used for?

After all, why would you need a cryptocurrency for this when TOR and VPN's already do the job?

To understand how the coin works, you need to understand what a 'request' is.

What Is A Request?


Every time someone opens a website on the Substratum network, it's called a request.

The blockchain is peer to peer.

So requests on the Substratum network are processed by computers - that could be your laptop or a Mac for example.

Anyone can setup their computer to process requests.

Now we've got that out the way, let's look at a few use cases of the Substratum token:

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    Every time a computer processes a request, they're rewarded with a SUB token
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    Substratum tokens are an incentive to install the software on your computer
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    These tokens are paid in micro-transactions from the website host to your computer
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    These requests are designed to be a cheaper and more secure alternative to websites who already pay hosting companies
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    Every time a computer processes a request, they're rewarded with a SUB token
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    So just to be clear, it's not the visitor of the website who pays up - it's the actual website who pays per request

Note: The actual cryptocurrency that runs on the Substratum network is called Substrate.


10. Is There A Substratum Coin Burn?

Substratum has already hosted a couple of 'token burn parties'.

This is part of their strategy to gradually increase the value of tokens over time.

They're basically burning excess tokens. What are excess tokens?

This includes:

  • Coins that weren't purchased during their ICO
  • Tokens that were part of bonus and promotional structures

Why are Substratum burning tokens?

Token burns are quite normal in the cryptocurrency industry.

They're designed to increase the value of the token, by the law of supply and demand.

If there are less tokens to trade, each token gains more value (in theory).

How are tokens burned?

Tokens are sent to a wallet with no private key.

That means they can no longer be transacted on the network.

So far 2 token burns have occurred:

  • On September 24th 2017, 60,000 tokens were burned
  • The second token burn happened on October 4th

11. Could You Tell Me About The Substratum ICO?

Here's some details about their ICO:

  • Substratum secured $13.8M in crowdfunding during their ICO
  • Their ICO was launched in Q3 2017
  • 600,000,000 SUB coins were released

How is their $13.8M funding going to be spent?

  • 30% will be spent on user acquisition
  • 60% will be spent on developing the product
  • 10% will be spent on establishing data centers around the world

12. What’s In Store For The Substratum Roadmap?

Substratum haven't released a detailed roadmap yet, but you can check out their basic one below.

substratum roadmap

13. Is There A Substratum Wallet?

Substratum is an ERC20 token.

So you can store SUB tokens in any Ethereum compatible wallet.

Useful: Check out my guide to hardware wallets for some tips on how to store your cryptocurrency securely.


14. Is Substratum Cryptocurrency A Good Investment?

Here's a few reasons why Substratum may be a good investment:

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    Internet censorship is a big issue around the world
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    Substratum's ease of use could help speed up the adoption of their software
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    There's a clear use case for their token - it rewards peers on the network
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    Their coin burn strategy could help increase the value of their tokens
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    They already have a beta software that's available to download
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    In a world where privacy is becoming a big issue, Substratum could help internet users browse anonymously
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    Their software can installed on almost every mainstream internet browser - which could help to grow their community

15. Is Substratum A Scam?

Whilst I wouldn't describe their technology as a scam, Substratum cryptocurrency isn't perfect.

And whilst I like the concept of their technology, I'd be very wary of investing in them.

So let's look at some of the issues with Substratum:

  • Their demo video is a little odd - it looks a bit unprofessional and low budget
  • They've paid YouTubers to promote their product. In fact, Data Dash announced he received $300k to promote Substratum.
  • Their ICO crowdsale contract has been accused of being a plagiarised version of Skincoin's
  • Their coin burn video was edited, which defeats the object of creating a coin burn video (they're supposed to demonstrate transparency and trust with a live over-the-shoulder, unedited video)

16. ​Is Substratum Cryptocurrency A Bad Investment?

Here's some of the top reasons why investing in Substratum may be a bad idea:

  • Their marketing campaigns aren't very professional. Even their YouTube videos are low budget.
  • If you're a user in remote parts of the world, and there's no Substratum network machines located near you, your internet speed is still going to be slow.
  • You can't trade fiat directly into Substratum. Whilst it might be an easy to install software, a lack of fiat options will reduce it's adoption
  • There are plenty of technical red flags around the coin, as described in the section above
  • Parts of the cryptocurrency community - see Reddit - have raised a number of issues about the coin. Issues like these create FUD, which leads to a devaluation in the coin's price
  • Competing secure networks like TOR already have a lot more content and millions of users. I'm not sure how Substratum will compete on that level.
  • Substratum's technology is relatively untested. There are going to be bugs, errors and mistakes on the network as part of their Beta.

Definition: FUD = fear, uncertainty and doubt 


17. What’s The Difference Between Substratum Vs Golem?

golem gnt logo

There's a lot of confusion between Golem (GNT) and Substratum cryptocurrency.

The biggest difference is that Golem is a cloud computer, whereas SUB is a decentralized network for browsing the internet.

So they have two completely different use cases.

They aren't really competitors.


18. What’s The Difference Between Substratum Vs Tron?

tron logo

Whilst they're both focused on decentralization, Tron cryptocurrency solves a different problem compared to Substratum.

So Tron's more like a decentralized social media network.

Whereas Substratum has similar properties to a VPN.

They're kind of like 2 different pieces of the same jigsaw.

Here's some of their key differences:

  • Tron is more focused on decentralizing content, whereas Substratum is more about bypassing censorship
  • Tron focuses on rewarding content publishers - whereas Substratum rewards nodes on the network
  • They're both proposing a more decentralized internet
  • However, Substratum is about connecting to the web, whereas Tron is about creating content on the web

19. What’s The Difference Between Substratum Vs TOR?

tor logo

So TOR is another type of software you can use to connect anonymously to the internet.

It basically conceals your identity from anyone else on the web.

And it was originally created by the US military.

In fact, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Monero are mostly used on the dark web already.

So how is Substratum different to TOR?

  • Substratum rewards it's users with SUB tokens - TOR doesn't because it's not a cryptocurrency
  • They have different encryption algorithms 
  • TOR has it's onion services, whilst Substratum uses cryptography to secure connections
  • Substratum has it's own DNS, TOR doesn't
  • TOR also has nodes too. But there's a risk that TOR exit nodes can track your IP address on the network. So TOR isn't totally private
  • TOR's browser quite often struggles with slow browsing speeds. Substratum's peer-to-peer blockchain technology could speed traffic up
  • TOR isn't very user friendly and it requires some technical knowledge to use. Plus if you set it up wrong, you can expose your IP address
  • Substratum is designed for ease of use, so you don't need to be an expert to set it up
  • There's a lot of websites that actually block TOR users because of it's privacy settings. Substratum can bypass any censorship restrictions because your IP address changes every time with SUB

20. What’s The Difference Between Substratum Vs Skycoin?

skycoin logo

Skycoin is often compared to Substratum, but again they're not really competitors.

Skycoin is focused on bandwith, whereas Substratum is focused on web hosting.

However, they're both contributing towards the common goal of net neutrality and web decentralisation.

So they overlap but they're still very different projects.

Here's a few more ways they're different:

  • Substratum's project is a lot newer and they're more established
  • Skycoin have been around for 5+ years, Substratum only launched in Q3 2017
  • Skycoin has built it's own blockchain, whereas Substratum is a fork of Ethereum

22. What’s The Difference Between Substratum Vs A VPN?

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are a big competitor to Substratum.

After all, they both have the same use case:

Bypassing censorship and anonymously browsing the web.

So what makes them different?

  • Countries where the internet is heavily censored, such as Russia and China, are cracking down on VPNs
  • That means quite often, VPNs in these countries don't work
  • VPNs can take a bit of time to setup and optimise, whereas Substratum can be installed with one click
  • VPNs have a common list of IP addresses, that can be easily traced by third parties. That means they're quite easy to shut down and block
  • Substratum's network relies on nodes, so it's potentially more effective. It also means that your IP address would constantly change, so it'd be much harder to shut down
  • Usually, you have to pay a subscription fee to use a VPN.
  • With Substratum, it's the actual web host that pays fees on the network, not the end user
  • VPN technology has been tested and it obviously works. But Substratum's technology remains relatively untested as it's only in Beta mode

23. Where Can I Find The Latest Substratum News?

Here's a few places to get the latest news on Substratum:


24. What Is Substratum’s Price?

You can find SUB's latest price here.


25. Do You Have A Substratum Chart?

Here's a chart of Substratum's price history.

substratum price history chart

26. Where Can I Find The SUB Coin Website?

Substratum's website is https://substratum.net/


27. Where Can I Find The Substratum White Paper?

Here's a link to their white paper.


28. How To Buy Substratum Cryptocurrency?

As a top 100 coin, Substratum is listed on most major exchanges including Binance, KuCoin and OKEx.


29. How Does Substratum Mining Work?

You can't actually mine Substratum in the same way you would mine Ethereum or Bitcoin.

Instead, you earn SUB tokens when you setup your computer as a node.

It's a more energy efficient alternative to cryptocurrency mining

The other problem with mining is that you usually need to invest in hardware, a mining rig and a pool.

So cryptocurrency mining is quite resource intensive.

With Substratum, you just install their software, setup your laptop as a node and earn tokens for being part of their network.

UsefulCheck out my guide to the best cryptocurrencies to mine here.


30. What Is A Substratum Node?

So with Substratum's node software, you earn tokens for helping others use the network.

In the same way that Bitcoin miners are rewarded for processing transactions, Substratum nodes are rewarded for delivering content.

Here's how it works:

  1. Someone requests to access a website via Substratum
  2. Your node delivers the website content to this user
  3. Each time your node delivers content, you earn a reward in SUB coin