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Offline Method-X

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What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« on: June 02, 2015, 04:20:49 PM »

A metaphor is an important tool used to convey complicated ideas to the general public. Since the beginning of Bitcoin (and especially Bitshares) we've had a very hard time coming up with a simple way to convey the core essence of what is being created here. Is it a company, community, bank or a government? The truth is, Bitshares has the potential to be all of these things. So what do all of these things have in common? What is their essence?

ANSWER: They can all be described as types of operating systems.

I'd like to conduct a fun little experiment. Pretend like you're chatting with a relatively tech savvy person and he asks you "what is bitshares?" In your own words, describe Bitshares using the FinancialOS metaphor as your foundation.

Offline Chronos

Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2015, 04:33:03 PM »
I have tried using the phrase, "Bitcoin, with a built-in exchange between internal assets," to explain Bitshares. That doesn't cover everything, but a good chunk of the core tech can be touched on through this theme.

Offline Method-X

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Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2015, 04:40:21 PM »
I have tried using the phrase, "Bitcoin, with a built-in exchange between internal assets," to explain Bitshares. That doesn't cover everything, but a good chunk of the core tech can be touched on through this theme.

While accurate, this assumes an understanding of what Bitcoin is, what an exchange is and what "internal assets" mean. This limits your definition to only the most informed crypto hobbyists.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 06:47:56 PM by Method-X »

Offline carpet ride

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What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2015, 04:43:36 PM »
I like FinancialOS.  You can say look at all these fintech startups that have popped up in the last two yearsBitshares is going to be their backend operating system.


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« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 05:02:08 PM by Carpet Ride »
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Offline valzav

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Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2015, 04:47:12 PM »
I like to see BitShares as a platform for smart contracts. So OS metaphor works pretty well here, but it's not necessary have to be narrowed down to financial applications.

Offline btswildpig

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Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2015, 04:56:38 PM »
BitShares is system that facilitates all kinds of financial and business applications using blockchain technology with high performance and low cost .
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Offline Riverhead

Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2015, 04:58:29 PM »

For the tech savvy: BitShares is an engine that operates as networked distributed nodes enabling the exchange and ownership of digital assets.

Everything else is more or less an implementation detail.
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Offline phillyguy

Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2015, 05:02:34 PM »
I think CarpetRide and BTSWildPig have come the closest to what MethodX is talking about - language that is understandable to the non crypto or tech savvy person.
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Offline Method-X

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Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2015, 05:05:32 PM »
I like to see BitShares as a platform for smart contracts. So OS metaphor works pretty well here, but it's not necessary have to be narrowed down to financial applications.

I definitely see your point. Why limit Bitshares to a single niche? But is it really wise to attempt creating an OS that does everything or is it better to focus on a niche? If Bitshares were architected from the ground up to cater toward finance, I think that would offer us a significant competitive advantage.

Offline Stan

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Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2015, 05:23:19 PM »
Ooooh!  Metaphors!   :D

Bytemaster managed to use 10 metaphors in one blog article.  I think you may need that many -- like blind men describing an elephant.

I once used the OS metaphor here:

The Origin of BitShares
Part 9
What is a SuperDAC?


Quote
SuperDAC - noun - soup-er-dak
A Decentralized Autonomous Company (DAC) providing common services that support layering of other DAC business models onto a common public ledger for the sake of shared network effect.
The need to merge our various DACs into a single "SuperDAC" was based on the realization that they all needed a whole bunch of common services that are much less effective if they aren't common services:
  • A unified basket of stable, robust global currencies (bitAssets)
  • A unified set of well compensated, best-of-breed delegates.
  • A unified name system.
  • A unified secure messaging system.
  • A unified set of on and off ramps - portals to the fiat world.
  • A unified marketing message.
  • A unified consensus-based governing system.
  • A unified family of tools and wallets.
  • A unified way for newcomers to make instant friends with everyone already there.
  • A built-in venture capital system where you can compete for start-up funds - democratically.
New business developers (DAC engineers) shouldn't want to reinvent these things any more than I would want to reinvent my computer's device drivers and operating system.  And what sense would it make to have different competing operating systems, each with a subset of drivers and services?

Gee, I sure wish I could go back in time and invest in MS-DOS. 
Rats. 
An opportunity like that will never come around again.

BitShares took the whole ecosystem into one DAC friendly free-trade zone with all the services that benefit from network effect already in place.

Any developer who wants to build a business would be crazy to stay on the outside and try to replicate that.  Even if they can pick up the toolkit and get all the functions - the network effect doesn't come with the toolkit!  You get that by joining the club.  You still run your own business with its own custom storefront and Internet presence.  You just skipped a year or two of trying to get traffic to stop by!


We generally think that people will wrap the blockchain with many different "skins" that make it look like a wallet, or an exchange, or a store, or a voting booth, or....
« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 05:26:11 PM by Stan »
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Offline mf-tzo

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Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2015, 05:24:17 PM »
Bitshares is a decentralised derivative exchange that one can trade / obtain internet money that have stable value like euro and usd. The biggest advantage of this exchange is that no government or bank can ever seize your euro or usd balance.

So Bitshares is the bank of the people for the people!
You hold the keys of the castle.
It is the small firework that will make a big Boom and change the world as we know it.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 05:42:59 PM by mf-tzo »

Offline maqifrnswa

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Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2015, 05:38:45 PM »
+5
good analogy. Especially once scripting come to fruition
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Offline Pheonike

Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2015, 05:55:10 PM »


Bitshares the BusinessOS.  Just add some ERP,CRM, and SAP modules.

Offline Method-X

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Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2015, 06:04:58 PM »


Bitshares the BusinessOS.  Just add some ERP,CRM, and SAP modules.

bOS. Nice.

Offline Thom

Re: What Is Bitshares? A Financial OS.
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2015, 06:09:26 PM »
A metaphor is an important tool used to convey complicated ideas to the general public. Since the beginning of Bitcoin (and especially Bitshares) we've had a very hard time coming up with a simple way to convey the core essence of what is being created here. Is it a company, community, bank or a government? The truth is, Bitshares has the potential to be all of these things. So what do all of these things have in common? What is their essence?

ANSWER: They can all be described as types of operating systems.

I'd like to conduct a fun little experiment. Pretend like you're chatting with a relatively tech savvy person and he asks you "what is bitshares?" In your own words, describe Bitshares using the FinancialOS metaphor as your foundation.

Stan is probably got the best answer, it depends on what works best for your target audience.

Your ANSWER is lost on the audience you defined in your first sentence. I interface with the general public as a computer expert offering tech services and training in my local community. I can tell you that even those at the 90th percentile of tech knowledge around here don't grasp what an operating system does, anymore than a typical housewife understands the role of an air conditioning compressor in her car or home.

"Tech Savvy" is actually a fairly broad term. To all but a very, very small few members of this community, "operating system" is a highly descriptive analogy, a metaphor that fits well.

The key to using any analogy is it's suitability to the target audience. I have had to explain computer issues to a very wide range of people, and when I do I often have to find the right analogy until I see the light bulb go on over their head. Car analogies work well with most men, but for women it's much harder to come up with common examples of systems they are familiar with. If car / mechanical analogies don't click with them, I usually think about churches, institutions or some type of group organization and the control points in them and how things get done or resources managed. Things work well for men, groups work better for women.

 

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