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BitShares Demystified!

BitShares X, BitShares XT, BitShares-PTS, BitShares ME, BitShares YOU, BitShares XC, BitShares XF, BitShares Music, BitShares DNS, BitShares Lotto, BitShares, BitShares everywhere ahhhhh!

Actually I made up BitShares YOU, it doesn't exist on paper yet unless you count the rambling upon which you're currently feasting your eyes, but it might someday if somebody decided to make a Decentralized Autonomous Corporation, commonly referred to as a DAC, to emulate the functions of Facebook on a blockchain, or something, and called it that.

You might be asking yourself:

“What are all these BitShares and why should I be interested in them? Should I be scared?”

There's no need to fear! First stumbling upon this community can be daunting for even the most geeky, lingo hardened crypto enthusiast. Step back, take a deep breath, and maybe I can help demystify the purpose of all these BitShares, and clarify the details for you.

BitShares-PTS, formerly referred to as Protoshares before a name change, is the first product that was put out in circulation with the BitShares handle. This is the cryptocurrency you can purchase on Poloniex or Cryptsy, or wherever. It is in just about everyway yet another alt-coin, although in the future it may be upgraded to Delegated Proof of Stake. Nothing too special about it as alt-coins go (until DPOS), but it has a special reason for existing. Holding this coin puts you at risk of making some extra money, this is if you happen to be holding during the snapshot for a Bitshare's community supported DAC honoring the social consensus.

DACs are the brainchild of one Daniel Larimer, ostensibly the person you can blame for all these different projects named BitShares. Daniel, whose adopted the online pseudonym “bytemaster,” envisions a whole slew of upcoming uses for the blockchain technology pioneered by anonymous Bitcoin mastermind Satoshi Nakamoto. He was working on this idea for a cryptocurrency that implements the functions of a bank, when he got to thinking, and I'm paraphrasing here, something along the lines of, “You know, a blockchain can be used for much more than just a currency or a bank, it can be used for lots of stuff! This could be the beginning of a whole new business paradigm! Every new use for a blockchain somebody can come up with could represent a profit generating corporation, in and of itself.”

So he temporarily dropped what he was doing, and started exploring this idea further. Again, I'm paraphrasing what the bytemaster might have been thinking:

“I can't make ALL these DACs by myself, I need to create a set of tools that people can use to make their own DACs without necessarily having to be ridiculously good programmers, and I need to incentivise a community to rally around this new platform. How can I do that?”

The answer, of course, to the question of how to get a community to rally around this new idea was to pay them!

“Great scott! I could create a crypto-currency, associate it with this toolkit I'm going to invent soon, and tell people that if they hold this crypto-currency they could get paid because I'm going to form a company, funded by venture capitalists, that would act to support and encourage the invention of new DACs and further innovation in this new frontier, and tell the proprietors of these new DACs that if they pay the people who hold this new crypto-currency, then my company will have their back in all kinds of matters! It could be like a new kind of pre-sale!”

At least that's how I like to imagine the guy's thought processes. In reality, each idea probably came along much more slowly, and the whole thing was probably alot more boring, building on itself one step at a time. I'm also picturing it in Christopher Walken's voice, which probably also was not the case, although one can speculate. Nonetheless, fast forward to today and that company is called Invictus Innovations Incorporated, or 3i if you will, the BitShares toolkit exists, and that crypto-currency is called BitShares-PTS.

The idea of incentivising the founders of DACs to pay people who hold that crypto-currency also came to be a reality. It's called the “social consensus,” and it asks that new DACs honor the people who had faith in 3i early on by awarding, in each respective DAC's genesis block, ten percent of it's initial shares to holders of PTS, and ten percent to holders of AGS, which stands for Angelshares.

Angelshares were an idea for an additional way to fund this future mega-conglomerate of a company that Larimer was building. As a limited time offer, by donating PTS or BTC to the company, you could get more Angelshares than PTS back, and thus more shares in future DACs, than you would get from just holding PTS alone. That is to say, where one PTS will count as a share in future DACs, one Angelshare will as well, but one PTS (or denomination of Bitcoin) will be worth multiple shares of AGS.

So that's my take on the story of how we got to where we are today. It is late June of 2014 and this party is in full swing, the soon to be released toolkit exists, the Angelshares accounts are funded, and everything is set up for an impending influx of incoming DACs. Bytemaster has resumed work on BitShares X, the soon to be banking and exchange platform which will provide the first example of what a DAC is supposed to look like, establishing the status quo for a social consensus honoring product.

BitShares X actually refers to a chain of personal banking and financial related DACs. If the name of the DAC starts with an X and has another letter after it, that means it's referring to a specific feature within BitShares X, that will be rolled out one at a time. In other words, BitShares X is the all encompassing software, then within it will be different blockchains each with a new feature. The first rollout will be BitShares XT, the first iteration, currently in testing and OMG OH SO CLOSE to being rolled out to the general public, is BitShares XT. The 'T' does not stand for “test,” as far as I can tell it's an arbitrarily chosen letter. This string of DACs which comprise BitShares X will use BitShares (no letter after it) as the primary currency. Then as each new feature comes out they will be named with letters like XC, and XF, but they all will be a part of BitShares X.

BitShares ME is going to represent a way for a people to issue personal shares in themselves, similar to how a company might use startup funds from an IPO to kickstart themselves, this technology will make it possible for a person who is able to convince others that they would be a good investment to kickstart whatever it is they're plotting. Such a person may not even need to monetize their plans to make their stock go up, it could be about how the investing public perceives that person's worth to the world.

BitShares Music will use almost the same technology for issuing shares as BitShares ME, but it will be oriented towards musicians, and come with a jukebox tacked on. Bitshare's Music is being spearheaded by a veteran of the music industry so, being in development still, there may be other ideas included with that platform that we haven't thought about yet.

E-Currency | Cryptocurrency | Bitcoin | BitShares


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