What is BitShares: The Exchange No One can Ban
BitShares is the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange platform that gained popularity after China moved in to restrict the activity of large centralized exchanges.
If you look at the top 40 of CoinMarketCap, you may notice BitShares (BTS) is an actively traded, low-priced token.
As of September 2017, it stood right next to Steem, its technological cousin. BitShares is a coin and a blockchain fast enough to carry the transactions in a decentralized exchange. The company claims that:
"It can handle the trading volume of the NASDAQ, while settling orders the second you submit them."
At its best, BitShares claims to be able to work through 100,000 transactions per second, at least on the level of the software. How fast this will translate into real world blockchain verification is a different story.
BitShares is a decentralized wallet-based exchange that allows for the quick and easy creation of a browser-based wallet. The wallet takes a bit of time to create, as it pays its own fee from a faucet. And fees are generally small on BitShares, just "dust" that gets collected to fund the sustainability of the platform.
BitShares even boasts of potentially exploiting a Chinese cryptocurrency exchange ban. Based on the still unconfirmed rumors that China may restrict trading, BitShares tweeted:
And some of the fans really expect decentralized exchange coins to jump, as these exchanges cannot be easily stopped or regulated.
The BitShares Mastermind
Before moving on, Daniel Larimer managed to develop the self-sustainable projects, BitShares and Steem, as well as EOS. Larimer is a strong brand in the world of cryptocurrencies, seen as a rare visionary who cares about the project and not just the quick gathering of funds.
Here is his lengthy and detailed explanation of BitShares.
The BitShares Community
The BitShares and the Steem community are permeable, and most of the discussion of BitShares happens on the Steemit social media platform. The community is glued together by rapid communication, and the idea of true decentralization and access to money and trading that no government can disrupt or ban.
But outside the community discussions, there are few efforts to market BitShares in the way that other projects are hyped. There are no public figures, and the popularization is for now organic.
The BitShares Foundation is not as influential as other cryptocurrency organizations, but it still works to keep the project on track and help bring improvements.
BitShares Market Price
BitShares is a low-priced coin which peaked around $0.30 this summer, but keeps going down and after the recent market slide trades at around $0.1.
How to Get BitShares
While it is possible to get BitShares through Bittrex or Poloniex, it is best to test the decentralized exchange itself.
If you create a new wallet, you can deposit a selection of coins or tokens, besides Bitcoin and Litecoin. Then use the exchange to convert them to BitShares. The exchange is not an automatic service, you will actually have to place an order based on the coins you deposited and wait for it to be fulfilled.
The best thing about BitShares is that your wallet can be linked to the exchange and yet remain private. You can back it up with a keystone file or a brain key (a mnemonic phrase) and reactivate it from any browser. Your funds are not in the hands of a central authority, you own them completely and the record is kept in full on the blockchain.
However, it is still rather difficult to move funds between wallets, and it may be best to test the wallet with small transactions. The BitShares service is sometimes patchy and takes a bit of lag for updating.
The Verdict on BitShares
While BitShares are a low-priced coin, they are not suitable for testing cryptocurrencies or playing around. It would be better to join the Steemit platform, which combines social media and tokens. BitShares are not so easy to acquire, and may require a trip to Poloniex or Bittrex and the purchase of another cryptocurrency. And while theoretically it may be easy to exchange Steem for BitShares, it proved to be confusing.
If you want exposure to a project of the same family, EOS tokens are more easily available through Changelly. And you can earn Steem tokens just for your social media presence on the Steemit platform.