- Bitshares uses the Delegated PoS consensus
- Capable of scaling 100,000 transactions per second
- Currently ranked 40th on CoinMarketCap, trading at a price of $0.037
How the tech behind it makes BitShares special?
Unlike Bitcoin, Bitshares (BST) does not use the PoW consensus, instead opting for something called Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS). This eliminates any need for energy-intensive mining because DPoS algorithm confirms transactions differently.
DPoS algorithm allows users to control the decentralization level in the network – something PoW blockchain users cannot do. Simply put, DPoS in BitShares works the following way:
- Each holder of BTS tokens has the number of votes proportional to the number of tokens they hold. The more tokens one has, the more voting power – 1 vote per share per witness.
- During the voting process, a number of witnesses are elected to approve each block. The number of witnesses is defined such that at least 50% of voting stakeholders believe there is sufficient decentralization.
- Each new block, which gets produced every 3 seconds, is signed by one of the witnesses.
Besides DPoS algorithm, the cryptocurrency also has some other advantages compared to other major players in the emerging industry:
- Graphene, the blockchain of the Bitshares 2.0, is theoretically capable of making 100 000 transactions per second.
- The Bitshares has an array of stablecoins tied to real-world assets. These stablecoins are backed by native BTS tokens with 1.75 collateral ratio, which means that even in the case of a sudden 50% crash the value of these coins would still be valid.
BitShares powers several decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges (DEX), that allow you to trade the aforementioned real-world assets in the shape of stablecoins and even create your own ones. Each DEX has its unique features differentiating it from the others, be it in-built trading bots, crypto-to-fiat gateways or different choice of coins listed. In the end, the whole BitShares ecosystem benefits from this healthy competition between DEXes.
Bitshares has also some real-world applications in projects such as the Billion Hero Campaign and BitSpark working or being developed.
A brief history
June 2, 2013, was an ordinary day for most of us. For Dan Larimer, it was not. He was suddenly struck by the idea of what has eventually become bitUSD, a stablecoin of the project. Dan (a.k.a. Bytemaster) re-wrote the original BitShares whitepaper, incorporating the idea of a stablecoin backed by volatile cryptocurrency. The original concept was published at Bitcointalk.
On July 4, 2013, just a month later, Invictus Innovations was founded. The company played a crucial role in the promotion of BitShares and persuading the world that the concept has real value. During the next year, the original concept matured and funding from Li Xiolai was attracted. During the remaining time of 2013, Daniel continued to improve the system and introduce new concepts, such as Distributed Autonomous Company (DAC).
The next major milestone was the creation of Bitshares PTS (known before as ProtoShares). This version of blockchain still used PoW, because it was a fork of Bitcoin. It was unique: instead of being a currency that trades on the merits of the currency or its network, it traded on the future value of the products that Invictus Innovations would have delivered to coin holders. This concept was met with enthusiasm: just after three weeks from its launch on On November 5, 2013, the coin was being traded at several independent cryptocurrency exchanges, had hundreds of thousands of mining nodes competing and was in the top ten coins listed on CoinMarketCap website.
A month later, in the beginning of December, Dan Larimer announced that all the future iterations of BitShares will use PoS instead of PoW, because Daniel considered the latter algorithm not efficient enough; what’s more, in his opinion, this algorithm was a hindrance to decentralization, giving more control to people owning more processing power.
In 2014, BitShares was reloaded after merging several products into it. Even though it used DPoS algorithm, it still was technically close to Bitcoin.
2015 was the year that marked the new chapter in the history of the cryptocurrency. BitShares 2.0, also known as Graphene, was launched. No longer it could be considered a mere Bitcoin fork: thanks to the usage of Graphene blockchain, it was (and still is) capable of processing up to 100,000 transactions per second, making it one of the fastest blockchains at the time of the launch.
In the following years, various technical aspects have been slightly tweaked, but overall, the modern version of BitShares is still vastly the same as the 2015 version. The most notable changes during these years happened to decentralized exchanges built on top of BitShares blockchain: not only their number has grown, but their usability has improved as well – for example, many DEXes have crypto-to-fiat gateways or configurable trading bots.
There are two original founders of BitShares. The first one is Daniel Larimer – the mastermind behind the project and a key figure in the cryptocurrency industry. His ideas also lay behind the working principles of Steem, a social blockchain solution powering many dApps, and EOS, a direct competitor of Ethereum.
The second one is Charles Hoskinson. Even though he did not develop the technical side of the project, he helped Daniel to further develop the idea and develop an economically sustainable business plan. What’s even more important, thanks to the excellent diplomatic skills of Charles, BitShares managed to attract the funding from Li Xiaolai, who was presented the business plan in China, which allowed the team to continue the development of the project.
Even though Charles Hoskinson and Daniel Larimer were there from the very beginning, both of them left BitShares to develop different projects – former in 2013, and the latter in 2016.
These days, the key figure in further BTS development is Stan Larimer, largely referred to as the “Godfather of BitShares.” He is the CEO of Cryptonomex, the company financing BitShares.
The core developers are Peter Conrad, Abit, Taconator and Alfredo Garcia. Other core team members include Ryan R. Fox, who acts as a Business Analyst, T. Sugimoto, the Lead Documentation Specialist, and Bill Butler, responsible for UX/UI.
The future of BitShares
In the short run, the team is focused on some UI tweaks of DEXes, making them more configurable and easier to use. If we’re talking about long-term prospects though, not much is clear yet. Overall, Bitshares team is headed in the direction of gradual merge with EOS, be it the full replacement of Bitshares 2.0 by the next-gen BitShares (likely) or parallel launch of the new product (less likely). Also, the projects built on top of BitShares blockchain are advancing quickly; for example, BitSpark has already launched their Sendy wallet for mobile devices. More is yet to come.