From your Mighty Master of Mixed Metaphors...
BitShares was "sharedropped
" into existence by dacsunlimited.com who merely recommended a publicly defined distribution list
specifying a targeted demographic of other coin users (BTC and PTS). Anyone could download DAC Sun's custom version of BitShares's public domain software and claim any free tokens to which they already held the keys. The first person to run that free software launched a new blockchain and others then joined in to form a new peer to peer network among themselves based on their shared consensus that DAC Sun's software would regulate their interactions with each other.
The resulting asset, BitShares, trades as an ordinary crypto-currency on several ordinary crypto exchanges just like Bitcoin. As a second-generation "smart coin" it supports an enhanced set of transaction types that affect how and when the internal bookkeeping tokens are transferred among users of the distributed software according to a fixed and transparent set of rules. External third party applications analogous to specialized bitcoin wallets use those underlying transaction types to implement whatever metaphor the application designer
thinks will be useful for helping ordinary folks take advantage of these new transaction types.
- Some of these third party applications use the Bitcoin wallet metaphor (aka "skin") because that is familiar to the Bitcoin community.
- Others use the skin metaphor of a decentralized exchange - because that is the easiest way to visualize and specify certain transaction types.
- Others are planned to look like checkbooks or on-line bank accounts because many consumers are familiar with thinking that way.
- To some, it will have an uncanny resemblance to a public voting booth.
- Some interfaces won't use a computer at all - you'll have an ordinary debit card that you load and spend like any other.
But under it all, BitShares is just an (extra)ordinary second-generation crypto-currency with many 3rd party "skins" to help different types of people use it more effectively.
Owners of BitShares tokens get to elect service providers who represent that they are legally able to perform certain unregulated functions
in their jurisdictions. These are very simple everyday functions, like notarizing (signing) digital documents, providing public data feeds, and writing open source software. But there is no human corporate structure in any jurisdiction that owns or controls it.
Thus, BitShares is merely a transparent public ledger that exhibits a different customized emergent behavior
made manifest to each individual depending upon the set of software that individual uses to interact with it.