Hi there, I'm new here.
Just wanted to share some insights and get some feedback. I get that all of these decentralized, encryption systems (Bitcoin/Bitshares, etc) are still in their infancy, and it is really exciting to be among you, learning from you, and watching these ideas unfold. It's just like the early days of the Internet. Personally, I look to these inventions as another means to counter the increasingly invasive groups and powers that seek to limit our liberty and privacy. These powers seek to control us by monopolizing money, controlling our data, spying on our transactions, our emails, etc. Eventually, I hope encryption and decentralization becomes the norm (or at least the trusted alternative) where we can all freely exchange anything and everything without fear. I also hope that we can become prosperous by doing so, without depending on centralized powers and their systems of manipulation. It would be truly amazing if we could look back and say with pride that we adopted these solutions early and reaped the rewards.
The biggest hurdle I see to Bitshares/Bitcoin et al (and the real challenge for all developers) is in simplifying everything. I was talking with a friend the other day about these things, and quickly realized that nothing I said was sinking in. There must be some way of making the front-end and back-end integrated to a point where things are intuitive for the average user. Where something like an App Store, registers immediately with the general public. I think that Apple, for example, is arguably the best company right now at creating tools that people can embrace quickly, understanding it without much explanation. Most people aren't familiar with back-end languages and coding. But they do understand value when they use something as simple and intuitive as an iPod, for example. Or if they download something to their phone that they can use to better their lives, provide entertainment, etc. Once a team can essentially create the equivalent in the crypto world, (maybe Bitshares can accomplish this) then it will really take off. And those who make these tools the most easily configured and market them successfully, will gain the quickest adoption and implementation. "Napster" was cool and had a good following at first too, but the idea of music sharing didn't really get off the ground (with widespread understanding and use) until iTunes and the major studios accepted it. Until your average Joe could download the software, navigate it with ease, and see the value and come back again and again.
I really like how Bitshares is evolving in this area. The approach to the wallet interface is great, and I expect will get better with time. I remember watching an interview on YouTube with Brian Page, and he communicated the ideas very well. He was excellent. A lot of things he mentioned were based on things I believe in, and expressed simply. We need a lot more of that. So because I'm still learning, maybe some of you can point me to some good resources or threads to clear up a few things for me.
One of the great benefits to Bitshares, in my view, is the profit or value motive, where it's “shareholders,” are rewarded for “investing” in it. I understand the concept that the value of BTSX will increase over time as delegates “burn” the supply. Others have equated this process to a company buying its shares back. I like that analogy much better than the dividend comparison. Correct me if I’m wrong, but simply by holding BTSX, there aren’t regular payments paid to my balance, right?
And it seems to me that BTSX is more of a baseline to launch other assets from, not so much an asset in itself, correct? Isn't BTSX or "Ripple," for example, somewhat of a neutral
medium, that must maintain a certain level of homeostasis
for it to be trusted and exchanged with? Something highly volatile or speculative wouldn’t be trusted as a medium for others to exchange with. In a similar way, the USD right now, is the reserve
currency around the globe. So does BTSX seek to be the "reserve" ______ of the Internet? Holding a large amount of BTSX may be helpful if it is a trusted reserve, and can be used for exchange for higher quantities of some other asset, but I don’t know if it is really a speculative play. Thoughts?
Another question is about liquidity. Today I can take some USD from a local bank, send it to something like an Etrade or Ameritrade account, then buy shares in a company for a fee per transaction (usually anywhere from $5-15). Moreover, if I sell the shares and reap any profit in my Ameritrade account, I can then send those gains to my local bank and use them. The process is what I am curious about. Does Bitshares intend to emulate this approach with BTSX fees per exchange or transfer? Or to build the value of a single BTSX in relation to other currencies? What is the ideal scenario or what is the role of BTSX in the long run?
On the monetary side, Bitshares seems to be another iteration of a FOREX service. In my view, this is why most people get involved with something like Bitcoin. They want to know how to make money, preserve, or transfer their money, in comparison with something like the USD. There are lots of FOREX services already. But they trade fiat money. Ripple seems to be taking this approach too. Say I want to exchange Bitshares for USD or exchange BitUSD for USD or CNY, for example, how is that accomplished now and what is the hope for this process later? Does one still acquire some Bitcoin before buying/exchanging them for BTSX? Can you purchase half a bitcoin? Or a tenth of a bitcoin? What is the lowest denomination of bitcoin that can be purchased with USD?
It may be true that eventually fiat or paper money will cease to exist and we will all use digital alternatives. But what is more likely is there will be multiple, competing currencies with multiple ways of transacting. I’d be interested in your feedback on how this all works within the Bitshares model. Thanks!