There are a few good questions and concerns expressed so far in this thread.
to the OP for his anticipatory thinking about the community reactions when the upcoming announcement is made.My chief concern is and always will be how well is BitShares sticking to the fundamental principles that brought me and many others to this ecosystem.
If that fades then so will my support. BM said much in last Friday's mumble to assure me he is committed to those principles, to further the cause of non-violent financial freedom and provide an alternative
to the mainstream financial oligarchy. Is he just playing the role of a politician and will change his mind and bend to the pressure to make money and capture that elusive network effect? I still believe BM has more integrity than that and he will not acquiesce to KYC & AML pressures --to the extent they would affect all BTS shareholders--
I recognize it's a very difficult thing to determine the correct balance and create an ecosystem that pleases the two widely divergent perspectives of those that want to embrace the existing mainstream financial world and the silk road types that embrace total freedom through voluntary interaction.
What greatly puzzles me is why so few people realize why bitcoin, BitShares and cryptocurrency in general exists in the first place and how reaching out to gain mainstream approval / adoption is so contrary to what gave birth to it. It is like saying, "Dang, looks like it's gonna be real difficult to build an alternate ecosystem to further the cause of freedom, so fuck that we're about to die! Lets ask for help to morph what we have built into something familiar to the masses and after we become successful
we'll return to the original goals".
I just don't get why people want more of the same things in BitShares that already exist in the mainstream, things which are proven to be more centralized, manipulated, corruptible and wealth sucking. If you want those things go back to the mainstream financial world! BitShares stands for something radically different. That may only draw a small minority of supporters initially, the growth of the ecosystem will not be meteoric, profits on speculative trades may be much less lucrative, but if we can weather the economic storm the entrenched financial powers that shouldn't be are imposing on us, we will slowly win the hearts and minds of more and more people and become a powerful example of the true free market that has never before existed on a global scale to empower the 6+ billion individuals to reach their greatest potential.
[ / philosophical rant off ]My primary technical concern is whether all of the sweeping changes will be perceived as overall positive or net negative by the community.
It all hinges on the User eXperience. I am very uneasy about this. The team has not demonstrated the innovation and rate of improvement of frontend (UI) development compared with that of the infrastructure / backend. It clearly isn't where their passion lives. However, BM is heading up an exceptional team, and he realizes the importance and difficulty of creating a solid, positive UX. Will he be able to manage and guide his team to produce a quality software product that the market wants? Will support be a killer after it's released (i.e. bugs)? Will he be able to acquire the necessary skills in UI / UX to pull this off? Will it take much longer than anticipated, causing loss of confidence if the "big release" doesn't happen until July or possibly even August?