A while back I chose to spend some time and learn what BitShares was all about. The more I learned, the more I fell in love with this trading platform. For whatever reason, when I first heard about BitShares I shrugged it off as I seem to do with most things.
There is only so much time in the day to learn! Even then, it is better to learn something later than never at all. If you have never heard of BitShares, I hope this post perks your ears. If you have but don't know what all the fuss is about, then you are in for a treat.
One of the main advantages of cryptocurrency is that it is decentralized. No one company or person has control over the asset. Any coin or token that claims to be crypto but has some degree of centralization, I don't invest in. I'm not an investor but a nerd that loves privacy and free speech.
If the majority of tokens and coins on the market are decentralized, why are we then using centralized services to buy, sell, and trade? When we use a site like Bittrex, we hand over a lot of security and are at a big risk of losing any wealth stored there.
NEVER STORE CRYPTO ON A CENTRALIZED EXCHANGE
The reason we don't want to store much wealth there is due to the fact that we ultimately do not have control of our keys. When we send STEEM to Bittrex it is technically in their control. If they shut down without warning we lose any wealth stored there. This is exactly what happened to MT. GOX.
BitShares is completely different. It decentralized, making it impossible for governments to shut down or hackers to have one area to attack. Furthermore, we are able to store wealth there without the need to worry about BitShares being hacked and losing our funds. This is because each account is controlled by the owner.
I do not think it is a smart choice to use BitShares as the sole place to store your coins though. You personally could be hacked and then all your wealth could be wiped out. However, this is a much better solution than any centralized exchange. Just make sure you treat your password with the utmost security.
Just like Steem, the BitShares blockchain has a mere three second blocktime. This is very important when trading crypto back and forth. No one wants to set a bid and miss out because the blockchain-based exchange is too slow. These fast blocks lead us into our next point.
BitShares is both a decentralized exchange and a cryptocurrency, and this currency is greatly undervalued. The token is inexpensive and handles almost one million transactions per day. Which places it third only to STEEM and Ethereum.
Let's see what the price of one BitShare would be based on the 'AVI' as listed on Blocktivity.info. In case you have never been to Blocktivity, here is what the
AVI is all about.
This index takes the Bitcoin value (market cap) and the number of transactions (Tx) per day and makes it an index set to "1." Then, it varies with the other blockchains' data. The index grows when the blockchain is very active and its market cap is low. A blockchain with the same amount of Tx as Bitcoin but with only half of its market cap would have an AVI of 2. From the investor point of view, it would be twice as valuable as Bitcoin because it would have the same level of activity with only half the market cap. - blocktivity
bitUSD Tether And Others
Within BitShares there is a list of several different sites that offer services on the BitShares blockchain. bitUSD is an example of such. In this case it is pegged the purchasing power of one USD. I wish I'd learned about this before the recent pullback all across crypto. I never trusted 'Tether' but bitUSD seems a better option.
Then we have bitGold and bitSilver. These are tokens that reflect the price of both gold and silver in USD. So if one troy ounce of gold would cost $1337.00 USD, one day, so would that token. The same goes for bitSilver but at a much lower cost. These are awesome alternatives to a dollar tether.
It is not just BitShares that offers these contract tokens on the network. Any site that we may use to access the BitShares blockchain can issue their own contracts backed by another asset. One such example is open.EOS, where the price of this contract is the same as the current price of one EOS.
We can buy these contracts with the BTS we have in our account and trade them around just as if they were EOS. The upside to this comes when we factor in the speed of the blockchain and the fact that it is a blockchain. If we own 100 open.EOS, the OpenLedger site has to have that many EOS on hand.
This is for us for when we wish to hold the real coin in another wallet. With the blockchain it would be much harder to participate in fractional reserve lending of these coins unless the witnesses change via a hardfork. This same function applies to any site connected to the BitShares blockchain.
But Wait! There's More!
This is only the beginning for me in my BitShares journey. As I learn more I will be more than happy to share what I come across. One of the aspects I need to understand more about is the contracted tokens. Sending OpenLedger some Ethereum in order to trade open.ETH on the BitShares blockchain seems odd to me.
I am all about holding my own keys and coins. However, if it is hard coded that these portals can not have less of a coin than contracts for said coin, I may give it the old college try. Even if I don't send coins in return for contracts but trade into them with BTS I will never use a centralized exchange again.