Thanks all for participating in our BitShares AMA. We really appreciate all your support. There were really good and thoughtful questions that were asked. For those who missed our AMA, this blog post is for you .
Raghav – Hey guys! Thanks for tuning into CryptoNationIN x Bitshares AMA 💕
We are pleased to invite –
🔹 Dr. Christopher Sanborn (Senior Graphene C++ Core Developer) @christophersanborn
🔹Milos (Digital Lucifer) Preocanin [Owner of bitshares.org, BitShares trademark and Worker Manager through Consensus] @murda_ra
Before we start, I request you to kindly introduce yourself
Christopher – Hello! Yes thank you. I’m Christopher Sanborn — I’ve been developing in the BitShares community since 2017, and officially joined the BitShares core team in 2019, where I’ve worked on core implementations, planning and design, and various related tasks. I’m very happy to be here today!
Milos – I’m Milos Preocanin, entered ecosystem of BitShares 2017 as a user and by various contributions and participation became owner of bitshares.org 2018 through Slovenian non-profit Institute. I’ve been officially worker manager through various workers since 2018 till this date, including core 2020 prelude worker with Dr. Christopher Sanborn as my latest. My goals and vision are to adapt the BitShares brand to regulations, DEFI industry and establish healthy corporate collaborations.
Q1. What are the most difficulties you’ve faced in carrying out the Bitshares DEX? Do you have to be accountable for any institution and comply with any regulation?
Milos – This question is the biggest difficulty – to be honest. BitShares was never a DEX, and branding it as such was one of the reason that original owner of bitshares.org domain had to pass ownership away, once US regulators started making pressure back in 2017. BitShares Blockchain as one of the solutions have open-source dAPP called Wallet UI (https://wallet.bitshares.org). To this day BitShares never had a DEX (as exchange with its own deposits and withdrawals for assets of other cryptocurrencies) and always been a DeFi platform with built-in functionalities for other DEXes to operate on, such as OpenLedger, BitSpark (SparkDEX), CryptoBridge, XBTSX, GDEX and many others. Some are still around, but many were closed due to regulations. Blockchain/Platform as result lost a lot of users and activity that was related to them.
To not leave you disappointed, we learned from our history and BitShares DEX is in the process and will be incorporated in 2020.
Q2. As a community driven project, how can I contribute my quota to your success? Do you have a Global ambassadorial Program or Referral Reward System? Do I get any benefits from holding $BitShares token in the long term?
Christopher – We don’t have a Global Ambassador Program, but I will note that there are business built on top of BitShares that use the Ambassador model to grow and sustain their own businesses. BitShares is very much oriented towards supporting business development, and enables complex business logic. Similarly, we DO have a referral program. Any BitShares user can “upgrade” their account to Lifetime Membership status, and becomes eligible to refer others to the platform. When others use your referral link, you will receive a percentage of the transaction fees paid by the people you refer. This is a nice feature for individual users, and even for businesses. In fact there are entire business that are built around, in part, this revenue stream. One example are the various “DEX” businesses who maintain front-end user interfaces to the blockchain. They register users to operate through their interface, and the blockchain pays them a revenue stream for the activity their users generate on chain.
Q3. DeFi is one of the hottest topic in the blockchain space right now. Can BitShares share your opinions on DeFi with us? Do you think that DeFi will disrupt the existing financial system? What is Unification approach towards the DeFi sector?
Christopher – Yes! BitShares has been a DeFi platform from the beginning, supporting token/asset factory, smart coins that are actually borrowed into existence by using on-chain collateral, trading and various other financial business models. On BitShares, users can “borrow” Smart Coins into existence for trade and other activities. These smart coins utilize a market-pegging mechanism so that the coins hold a fixed value relative to price data supplied by price-feeds. BitShares has had these features from the beginning. Other projects are just developing them now. The DeFi space is growing fast, with new ideas and new products, and we will develop and grow too. I note that with help from Move Institute and efforts to build a legally incorporated DEX built on top of BitShares, many more users and business will find an entry point to BitShares where they don’t need to worry about regulatory implications.
Q4. Despite the state-of-the-art technology upon which Bitshares is built on,investors often care less about technology, but more about the value of tokens. How do you balance the development of technology and increasing the $BTS token value?
Milos – After spending now nearly 3 years of serious politics in first and oldest dPOS such as BitShares I’ve learned one thing. Majority of holders are more interested in getting more tokens rather than what is their value actually or at some point is there any development (especially around voting/dpos consensus where holders are defining the path of both development and token value). So, in short – we never had it balanced and it’s impossible to balance those 2 without someone managing and partially controlling both sides.
Before Daniel Larimer left BitShares, he had statement that I’ll try to quote best I remember:”Every consensus requires a dose of centralized management in order to succeed.” – Some of us finally do understand what he meant.
Q5. Several other exchanges offer an “academy” within their platform as a source of spreading awareness and bits of coins to nocoiners and newbies alike. Can we expect something like this from Bitshares DEX or perhaps even better?
Milos – We are currently building Wikipedia for BitShares and FAQ section for newcomers that will be available on the new website of bitshares.org. Trading academy is definitely good idea to think of in the future as we seen and still count many professional traders as a platform. With upcoming legal DEX there is possibility for sure, but just mine interest is not enough and more contributors would have to activate themselves on it.
Q6. How do bridges verify assets to deposit some cryptocurrency other than BitShares and receive a SmartCoin equivalent in return? Could a possible security breach here put the other party at risk?
Christopher – BitShares supports two categories of tokens — MPA’s and UIA’s. MPA’s are “Market-Pegged Assets” and are collateral backed “Smart Coins” designed to natively hold a value pegged to an external asset. However most Gateway’s use UIA’s, or “User-Issued Assets”. These gateways are businesses built on top of BitShares and facilitate getting value onto and off of the chain. A gateway, for example, can take a deposit in BTC and issue to the user GATEWAY.BTC, which the user can trade against other assets or exchange for Smart coins. Likewise, the gateway tokens are redeemable for the real asset through the gateway. Gateways are business that are built on TOP of BitShares, one of the many business-logic use cases that BitShares supports. When using this mechanism, there is a certain amount of trust you put in the gateway to maintain their reserves, so yes, there are security implications here. Note that DEX’s built on top of BitShares often also act as gateways, making assets of interest to their communities available to trade. BitShares enables a competitive space of these and related businesses.
Q7. Bitshares decentralized asset exchange can handle the trading volume of Nasdaq which is quite huge. If I may, what features do you include to achieve this feat to make the platform to be attractive like that of Nasdaq?
Milos – BitShares blockchain is theoretically capable of such volume. And there is a technological and structural catch…
As for example – If we spin up a private fork of BitShares blockchain – lets say in one country, using one ISP, LAN speed between block producers and serious hardware for it – YES, BitShares blockchain will handle millions of transactions per block without a doubt.
As for reality – latency between block producers, inability to verify what kind of hardware they are running, complete randomness between deliveries of the block, and many more “obstacles” are something that makes our record ~4500 transactions per second. Which still kills majority of financial systems and platforms.
Q8. If there is Bitcointalk, there is also BitSharestalk for the community of BitShares. So is this organization is exclusively for BitShares only?How to join? Why not just collaborating with Bitcointalk and made your own?
Milos – From the initial spark between Satoshi Nakamoto and Daniel Larimer (bytemaster) on 29 June 2010 where first idea of DPOS is being discussed against POW that is now proven as slow and expensive overtime, until 2013 bitcointalk.org was the home for war between these 2 Kings of entire crypto industry. As such, we thought that BitShares as first dPOS was big enough to have it’s own community to support hence bitsharestalk.org was born.
We welcome any project related to Graphene or BitShares to open up a sub-forums and we welcome anyone to come and explore various topics.
Q9. I think the question has to be asked, if these changes were not made by abit, what are the chances that they would have been voted in by the controlling interests? And if they weren’t voted in, what would that have meant for the future of Bitshares?
Christopher – No. I think there is zero chance they would have been voted in. The changes are a major improvement in incentive alignment, and are positive for the future of BitShares. Without them, we would have remained at a standstill.
Milos – I’m 100% sure there would be no change or future for BitShares if Abit haven’t done what he did with latest 4.0 release. And to be clear, those changes were first time suggested to Consensus 2014 and continuously discussed till 2020. Not one was approved, even they were all just for the benefits of the blockchain, but not in favor of individuals/groups. We suffered 1 year of complete stagnation as a project – without development, marketing, sponsorships, or even legal representative and with serious amount of stress and politics just to provide basic development in 2020 (Prelude Core worker).
Blockchain is a software. Holder is a user of a software. Developer is the software. Abit is not just any core developer, but as well one of the GitHub owners for the BitShares organization, who did what he had to do to protect something he and many others built over past few years.
I have a question. When the blockchain halts (stops), who comes to fix it – holder or developer ? Or another one. Who knows first it happened ? Holder or a developer.
Holders/investors must learn their place in life, legal and each ecosystem they enter. Power of anonymity or blockchain solutions are not here to justify corruption and greed, but to fix and prevent it.
Q10. What’s the estimated period of time under which transactions are done? What new changes can we foresee in the future?
Christopher – BitShares transactions are fully confirmed after around 30 seconds — after I think it is two-thirds of the block producers in rotation sign a block on top of the one with your transaction. We have a block time of 3 seconds. Transactions are considered irreversible after I think it’s 11 blocks, plus or minus. This is far faster than Bitcoin, and probably every other major chain.
Q11. What are the possible challenges that could stop Bitshares From achieving its roadmap??
Milos – Its super simple: To afford to lose/let go it’s current developers and various contributors to the platform.
Q12. BTS Holders have power to make decisions in the BitShares Blockchain Community, by using the wallet. How can I vote from my wallet, and what is tue minimum BTS to hold in order to be able to participate in votations? How is this system not manipulable?
Christopher – With the new system, there is a step you need to take to “enable” voting. It’s actually to lock up or “burn” a small amount of BTS, as little as 1.0 BTS (plus a 50 BTS transaction fee). This enables your account to vote for witnesses (block producers) and worker proposals — you get one vote per BTS in your wallet. In addition to that, it is possible to lock-up or “stake” larger amounts of BTS for a period of time — 6 months, 12 months, 18 months — in order to increase your voting weight. This means that holders who wish to participate significantly in BitShares management must put something on the line — must “stake” BTS — in exchange for additional weight. This both aligns incentives by necessitating a long-term vision, and aids token value by taking BTS out of circulation while they are “in use” for BitShares management. There is a fully developed voting UI in the BitShares Reference Wallet, and the new UI needed to handle staking and locking is coming soon, with a functional version already hosted at https://develop.bitshares.org/.
Q13. How do you plan to spread awareness about your project in different countries where English is not spoken well? Do you have local communities for the them to let them better understand about your project?
Milos – As dPOS project, everything is funded through worker proposals and with approval of holders. With so many different cultures, opinions and differences – it was never possible to provide constant and professional support/awareness worldwide.
https://news.bitshares.org was created 2019 with goal to provide focused and unique content for the project. As it turned to become my private investment in 2020 I’ve decided to push multi-language support and content by end of the year. Based on interest we got from Google Analytics in 2019, we will be pushing Chinese, Turkish, Slovenian, Japanese and Indonesian language support for start.
Q14. Do digital tokens have the same value as their underlaying physical asset? What are the differences between them? Also, is it possible to trade all assets on the BitShares platform?
Christopher – There are two primary mechanisms to maintain parity between an asset on the BitShares chain and the corresponding asset off-chain: UIA’s and MPA’s. A user-issued asset (UIA) is guaranteed by it’s issuer, and so some trust is involved. Gateway companies and DEX’s must maintain their reputation for honoring their guarantee, generally by keeping reserves. The other mechanism is MPA or “Market-Pegged Asset” smart coins — which are on-chain smart contracts that maintain collateral, typically (though not necessarily) in BTS core token. The price of the asset in underlying BTS is fed by price feeders — participants on the chain who contribute price information — and the blockchain ensures convertibility between the asset and the underlying collateral. It is possible to trade any asset on the BitShares blockchain for which a suitable toke has been created, either as a UIA or an MPA.
Q15. How is Bitshares globalization strategy going?? Is Bitshares planning to do compliant business in other countries?
Milos – Strategy is going well, but execution rather slow… Each move has to be measured 3 times before final cut comes. Regulatory and Governments are still undefined when it comes to truly decentralized projects or real DEX. As from 2019, everything with an order book is considered an “exchange” and has to comply with licensing. Even Hong Kong was our best solution in 2019, as 2020 is coming to an end – only Nevis or Cayman’s seems fitting for our needs (as far as trading, dex, finance and portfolio management services goes).
.org/blockchain will remain under non-profit and with EU Trademark we are aiming now for worldwide one to actually be able to protect brand anywhere, anytime.
There are ideas about BitShares Gaming Nation (sidechain that would replenish reserve pool of BitShares and possibly enter the gaming industry that makes 25B USD a month as payment processor), BitSharesLite (blockchain on raspberry Pi’s) and many others who will possibly start as software development projects based in Thailand.
Q16. Is it true that Index fund can be created in Bitshares?
Christopher – Yes, via the MPA mechanism, an asset can be created that tracks any external price reference.
Q17. Bitshares has developed a high-performance decentralized exchange. The problem with DEX is usually that they are more difficult to use and it is scary to get to loose your funds because of a mistake or yours. How user friendly is this DEX, and what are the recovering account possibilities?
Christopher – As far as recovering accounts, it is worth noting that BitShares natively supports Multi-Sig accounts, so it is possible to set up additional signers on your account that can help you with recovery. This requires taking steps though, of course. BitShares is a immutable database as a blockchain, and users do have the responsibility to never lose their private keys, because nobody can restore them. The wallet UI currently is not super friendly for setting up multi-sig, but it is possible. A demo of a wallet UI that makes many things easier, and is currently being developed, is available as a preview here: http://demo.dex.bitshares.org/#/login.
Thank you to Milos Preocanin and Dr. Christopher Sanborn, and Community for participating in the AMA. Have a nice day 🙂