Actually, I jump between metaphors all the time. Nothing wrong with calling these "coins" in certain contexts.
Here's a post I just put on reddit where I simultaneously used "shares" and "smart coin" metaphors to answer a good question...
[–]kingofthejaffacakes 6 points an hour ago
That's fasincating. Good idea.
I'm still concerned about what it is that's making BitShares valuable. "Requires 300% reserves", but of what? BitShares? But the only thing giving them value is the stuff that's been collataralised, but as you've just explained, that "stuff" isn't really there either.
I'm honestly just trying to understand. It's crossed my mind a couple of times that, for bitcoin, if one could balance a long against a short, you could have constant value of some other unit, while effectively still being able to ship your bitcoins about with their typical liquidity. I'd love it if someone has found a P2P way of making it work.
[–]StanLarimer 4 points 53 minutes ago
If you think of BitShares as an unmanned startup company implemented on an incorruptible blockchain and making profits from transaction fees then you can see how investors might want to own shares in that company. BitShares the tradable token (BTS) represent an interest in BitShares the unmanned company. BTS have value to investors because they hope to participate in that company's appreciation and earnings. This value is every bit as real as the value of a share of Apple stock. The market sets it based on the perceived potential for earnings and appreciation.
BitShares the unmanned blockchain-based company has financial products called BitAssets (like BitGold, BitUSD, etc.) that work like smart currencies. (Currencies designed to autonomously track the value of some other asset.) You can find BitUSD trading right beside "ordinary" altcoins at #32 on coinmarketcap.com. It is a smart-coin stabilized by a trading exchange built in to the BitShares blockchain. BTS "shares" in this company trade like a coin at #4 on coinmarketcap but they are more valuable because they do more. BitShares the company uses its own shares as collateral to back the value of its BitAssets. Yet this all has no counterparty risk, just like first-generation cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Join the discussion at: http://www.reddit.com/r/austrian_economics/comments/2o9e6v/what_if_you_had_all_the_benefits_of_bitcoin_with/