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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, CAD and EUR) in order to stabilize their investments, BitShares has created an exchange platform built on the blockchain.
What is BitShares?
|Icon||Symbol||Initial release date||Algorithm type||Max. supply|
|BTS||October 2015||SHA-256||3.6 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).
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.
Online exchanges 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 driver’s licence. Bitcoin and altcoins are still relatively young concepts and still suffer from wild swings. For this reason, there remains a need for a way to convert cryptocoins into a stable asset – often USD. 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 this. 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
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 to support the platform.
Historical pricing of BitShares
At the time of writing in September 2017, 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 US$0.06/BTS in 1 April 2017…
BTS rose to US$0.37/BTS in just over two months (13 June 2017).
Its value fell shortly after, settling to just under US$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.
- 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.
- 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.
How to get 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 in September 2017, not many users own BTS, with most coins being held by a few users as investments.
Frequently asked questionsDisclaimer: 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.
Image sources: Shutterstock, CoinMarketCap
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