So, anyone who has read the posts in the VOTE 2.0 thread, and has the ability to think rationally, will have already arrived at the conclusion that BTSX has been sentenced to death.
Dan and Stan will adamantly deny this, of course, but no matter how much you trust their intelligence, in this regard you cannot trust their honesty, because they have massive financial incentives in convincing investors that the new vote DAC will not hurt BTSX, so people don't panic-divest now. If the BTSX market cap evaporated now, the VOTE DAC and the rest of the bitshares ecosystem would be hurt immensely.
That doesn't mean the VOTE DAC will not cannibalize and destroy BTSX once it is released.
Let's consider the facts:
The vote DAC will be built on the bitshares toolkit, and have all the features of BTSX, including a separate bitUSD. In the long run it will be irrational of VOTE delegates not to expand this to include all other bitassets, and I assume user issued assets will be included by default since they are in the toolkit, and there is no reason not to.
The vote DAC will share marketing funnels and budget with BTSX, and will share the on ramp and possibly the off ramp of BTSX.
The VOTE DAC has some unique system that will allow it provide value beyond the asset exchange and the inherent value of a DPOS powered crypto currency. This will supposedly allow the DAC to gain network effect very fast.
The DAC will have inflation as a system of long term funding. BM has repeatedly stated that the lack of inflation is the biggest drawback of btsx.
In short, the VOTE DAC is basically a btsx clone with a unique system to gain network effect, and with inflation to fund development and marketing.
Unless BTSX has somehow managed to bootstrap a massive network, it will be dead once VOTE is released because the network-effect-secret will allow VOTE to grow and promote itself while BTSX cannot, while simultaneously also possessing all the selling points that BTSX has. The only advantages BTSX could be thought to have are no inflation (which BM has repeatedly said is a great weakness) and the bootstrapped network (currently non-existent; there are only investors/speculators)
Now many people will chime in saying that the VOTE DAC will not be offering bitassets like BTSX does, and will not focus on the same users, or try to make money in the same markets. What you are describing is economic irrationality. The purpose of a DAC is to maximize shareholders worth, and the majority of the voting stakeholders in the vote DAC would have to be altruistic if BTSX were to be untouched.
The economic reality is that a DAC will do whatever it can to provide as much value as possible, no matter its initial design. Stakeholders will always vote to increase the value of their shares - it doesn't matter how you try to rationalize it, this is an irrefutable fact. VOTE stakeholders will vote to cannibalize BTSX if it is profitable for them. The only way to prevent aggressive expansion, and the inevitable cannibalization of BTSX , would be to centralize the VOTE DAC in some way (this would have the side effect of ensuring that the DAC would be dead on arrival, and will thus be unlikely to happen).
The truth is that no matter how a DPOS DAC starts out, if it gains a significant network effect then the main value proposition of it will eventually be means of payment and store of wealth. The trifecta of DPOS, Titan and market pegged assets makes a fully networked DPOS blockchain so insanely powerful as a crypto currency, with a level of security, speed and decentralization the world has never seen.
Alright, so my point is that unless the unique network effect secret of VOTE turns out to be so bad that it cannot beat the tiny momentum BTSX currently has, then BTSX is as good as dead...
Or, this whole thing could be done a different way.
Since VOTE will basically be BTSX + secret + inflation, there is nothing preventing BTSX from simply upgrading itself with VOTE's capabilities. Due to the nature of DPOS, it will be incredibly easy to gauge the stakeholders and see whether they support implementing VOTE functionality or not. If the majority does not want inflation, then they will simply vote out any delegate that supports it, and if they support implementing VOTE and inflation, they will vote out any opposing delegates. There would be nothing immoral about letting stakeholders decide the fate of the DAC that they own, especially not when it is now clear that this question is a matter of survival or being cannibalized.
Once inflation was implemented into BTSX, PTS and AGS holders could simply be rewarded with a smaller amount of newly created stake in BTSX, to compensate them for the lack of an independent vote DAC.
This merge would have some additional fortunate consequences, such as removing the need for I3 to spend money on marketing two DACS that are ultimately competing. Marketing two separate, competing bitUSD would be especially awkward.
The VOTE functionality would also get the massive boost of starting out with the extremely active markets and high volume that BTSX has.
Obviously the implementation of VOTE into BTSX shouldn't happen for a long time. What's important is that it is communicated to investors now that if they vote to allow it, then VOTE will rolled into BTSX once it is ready. That would massively boost investor confidence, and general trust and confidence in I3, both in the short term and long term.
To reflect that BTSX with added VOTE functionality would now be more than just an exchange, the name of this new "superDAC" could simply be: BitShares - BTS. This would also be a huge boost for the marketing to the altcoin community of both the BTSX and VOTE functionality, as the no. 4 spot on coinmarketcap would now have a really great name instead of the very confusing BitSharesX.
To anyone who will attack this proposal with the naive idea that competing blockchains can work together or provide value to each other: please think deeply about, and then explain to me in clear economic terms, why shareholders of separate blockchains that operate on the same toolkit with the same features, not will be incentivized to vote for the cannibalization of each other's markets if this is profitable(excluding altruism).
Also think about metcalfes law, and why one network with 2N nodes is much more valuable than 2 networks with N nodes.