BitShares for beginners: Why it’s time to get involved | finder.com

What is BitShares (BTS)?

What is BitShares (BTS)?

Crypto exchange on the blockchain

BitShares is a decentralized exchange platform for trading cryptocurrencies without leaving the blockchain.

Trustless, fast, and able to scale with use, BitShares is a decentralized exchange platform aiming to destabilize the way we currently buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Not content with users having to convert to fiat currencies (like USD and EUR) in order to stabilize their investments, BitShares has created an exchange platform built on the blockchain.

This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

What is BitShares?

IconSymbolInitial release dateAlgorithm typeMax. supply
BTSOctober 2015SHA-2563.6 billion BTS

The traditional way of buying and selling cryptocurrencies on an exchange is to convert your coins to and from fiat currency. This means that every time you want to buy or sell cryptocoins, you lose the anonymity inherent in the cryptocurrency and blockchain platform.

While centralization is understandable (exchanges have a need to tie cryptocurrency prices to real-life assets like USD or gold), there is also the need for a more decentralized, anonymous system, and that’s where BitShares comes in.

The BitShares blockchain platform allows users to convert their cryptocurrencies to stable assets by converting those coins into another cryptocurrency whose value is pegged to a real-life asset (for example, BitUSD is tied with the value of USD). This has quite a few advantages over regular exchanges (and some disadvantages as well), as we’ll see in the next sections.

Where to buy, sell and trade BitShares

Name Product Payment Methods Available Fiat Currencies Available Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency
BTC, XRP, USDT, ETH, NEB, XVG, TRX, NEBL, ETH, NEO, FUN, ETC, BCC, POE, DASH, ELF, ICX, BNB, ZRX, APPC & 80+ more
Trade 60+ cryptocurrency pairs on this up-and-coming exchange based in China. Multi-language support.
Cash, BPAY, POLi, Cryptocurrency
AUD
BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, ADA, XEM, LTC, XLM, MIOTA, TRX, DASH, NEO, XMR, EOS, QTUM, BTG, LSK, ETC, XVG & over 45+ more
CoinSpot is an Australian marketplace that allows you to easily buy, sell or exchange multiple cryptocurrencies using AUD.
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, DOGE, NEO, XMR, POWR, DASH, PIVX, XEM, OMG, GNT & 500+ more
Buy and sell hundreds of cryptocurrencies with minimal verification on this all-in-one, New Zealand-based exchange.
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, XRP, DOGE, XLM, ETC, STRAT, LTC, SC, DGB, BCH, LSK, XMR & 50 more
Trade various coins through a global crypto to crypto exchange based in the US.

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How is BitShares different from bitcoin?

Unlike bitcoin, BitShares’ main goal is not to be a peer-to-peer currency, but a fully-fledged exchange system with value tokens (such as BitUSD or BitGold) tied to real-life assets.

The BitAsset

The disadvantage of online exchanges is that they are centralized systems. The database is stored on servers controlled by the exchange alone, and you need to create verified accounts to use its services, usually involving scanning your passport or driving license. Bitcoin and altcoins are still relatively young concepts and still suffer from wild swings. For this reason, while they may offer good investment opportunities, there remains a need for a way to convert cryptocoins into a stable asset – often USD. This helps investors to stabilize their investment when the cryptocurrency loses value, for example. Exchanges serve this need by allowing users to buy and sell cryptocoins by converting from and to USD, EUR, and most other common fiat currencies.

BitAssets are BitShares’ answer to the disadvantages of exchanges. A BitAsset is a coin pegged to a real-life asset. Its value mirrors that real-life asset’s value. For example, the BitAsset BitUSD follows the value of USD. This way, you can convert your BTS into BitUSD, the same way you would convert BTS to USD, without leaving the blockchain itself. This keeps your anonymity, is instantaneous and costs less in transaction fees.

Today’s BitShares price

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Updated: 25 Feb 2018 05:57:12 UTC

Where can I use BTS?

As of September 2017, BitShares are still not widely adopted, especially by merchants. So your only options for using BTS are to send coins to other users of BTS (as payment for products and services, or as a tipping platform) or make an investment in the platform.

How do I invest in BitShares?

To invest in BitShares, all you need to do is buy some BTS. The ideal is to buy when the value is low and sell it back when it’s high.

At the time of writing, the value of BitShares still mirrors that of bitcoin, as do most other altcoins. News and events that are positive for bitcoin will likely be positive for BitShares as well.

From just $0.06/BTS in 1 April 2017…

BTS rose to $0.37/BTS in just over two months (13 June, 2017).

Unfortunately, its value fell shortly after, settling to just under $0.15/BTS in September 2017. BTS was mirroring bitcoin’s decrease in value and the future value of BTS remains to be seen.

Using BitShares to transfer money

Transferring BitShares (BTS) works just like other altcoins and all you need is a wallet compatible with BitShares.

  1. Scan or enter the recipient’s address in your wallet.First you will need a public wallet address provided by the recipient of your BTS. This can either be an address of letters and numbers or a QR code that you can scan.
  2. Enter the amount of BTS and send.After entering the previously agreed-upon amount of BTS into your wallet, and confirming that you have the necessary funds, simply send over the coins. The transaction will be received instantly and verified in a few minutes.

Making money with BitShares

  • Get paid in BTS.While not widely adopted by merchants and users, nothing stops you from accepting BTS as payment for products and services if you’re an online merchant or service provider. The only problem would be to find users who also own BTS because, at the time of writing this guide (September 2017), not many users own BTS, with most coins being held by a few users as investments.
  • Invest in BitShares. A better way of making money, if you can predict the movement of the market and the value of the coins, is to buy BTS when the value is low and sell it back to the market when the value is higher. The difference in price between when purchased and when sold is your profit. This is risky with all altcoins, but even more so with young cryptocurrencies like BitShares, since the value of cryptocurrencies fluctuates wildly and often in unpredictable ways.

What to watch out for

The community’s biggest issue with BitShares, as is the case with most smaller altcoins, is that, at the time of writing (September 2017) there is not enough information available online to make informed decisions regarding the platform. Information is scattered and details a little vague, and this will likely continue scaring investors away until the situation improves.

Additionally, because of its relatively young age and niche market, its value will likely continue to vary wildly until the market finds and agrees on its inherent value.

What’s next for BitShares?

BitShares’ value, like that of other altcoins, will likely continue mirroring that of bitcoin, which means that as long as bitcoin’s value continues BitShares will probably gain value as well.

With that said, BitShares’ future remains unclear as a proper roadmap has yet to be designed by the development team behind it.

Frequently asked questions

Image sources: Shutterstock, CoinMarketCap

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