I have been putting some serious thought into the nature of BitUSD vs USD and lessons I have learned observing the network thus far. So here is what I have concluded thus far:
1) BitUSD vs USD will work with no market restrictions provided it is a mature market with a proven track record.
2) BitUSD vs USD will not track well in an immature market because BitUSD-deniers will not buy BitUSD and neither will believers. Right now it trades at a discount.
3) While it is perfectly reasonable for BitUSD to trade at a discount to attract new buyers, it confirms the suspicions of the deniers and thus could potentially end up changing the market consensus that BitUSD will go to 0. BitUSD only works so long as the majority of the market expects it to work and that "faith" can be hard to establish early on without a large market maker willing to back it.
Given those facts here are some additional things I have realized:
1) There is never any reason for new BitUSD to be created below the market value assuming we know what that is.
2) Buying BitUSD at 95% parity should always be profitable.
3) If the network has bought BitUSD that it hasn't sold, there is no reason to allow new shorts (the network can sell what it bought at parity).
So what where does this leave us?
New BitUSD should only be created when there is demand for it at prices at or above parity.
All USD should be guaranteed a buyer at 90% parity. This limits the risk to the downside.
There is a HUGE demand to short USD and right now that demand shows up as BitUSD being massively undervalued. I think this demand to short needs to be done via option contracts. Someone can therefore set a price on the option contract and this price will absorb the short demand without breaking the peg.
Suppose I think XTS is going to rise by 50% in the next month. I want an option to buy it at todays prices, so I have to find someone willing to sell me the option to buy it at todays prices within the next month. These options will be purchased by the people who currently wanting to short who otherwise would not be able to.
That said there will still be plenty of demand to short BitUSD directly but due to the price restrictions you would end up with "gas lines" and the question becomes "who goes first". The person who placed the order first or the one who paid the highest fee or perhaps the one who posts the most collateral.
I am thinking we should prioritize shorts by the collateral they are willing to put down. This will turn the surplus demand for shorts into increased security on the network.
So as you can see these represent some pretty major overhauls to the market rules. These rules will not be rolled out over night and will be throughly tested on a test network prior to release. In the mean time the existing BitUSD market can continue to function and the buyers of BitUSD can have greater confidence that BitUSD will eventually reach the market peg.
What are the downsides?
The reliance on a price feed means price discovery is less likely to happen on chain.
To Summarize the Proposed Rules:
1) 51% of delegates must publish a price feed at least daily, the median of which is taken as the "current price".
2) The network has a standing buy order for BitUSD at 90% of the "current price".
3) BitUSD purchased by the network are saved in a Market Account
4) If the Market Account has a non-0 balance, then no new shorts will be executed.
5) If the Market Account has a non-0 balance, then there is a standing sell order at "current price"
6) Any short orders above the "current price" are automatically canceled.
7) Given two short orders at the same price, the one willing to post the highest collateral takes priority.
BitUSD vs XTS has no trade restrictions on it.
What I think will happen:
1) Market makers will step in to provide liquidity at prices above 90% the "current price" now that their "down side" is covered.
2) The market maker bot will never have to execute.
3) All new BitUSD will be created at a value at or above 100% the "current price".. ie: $1.01+
4) The median price will lag real price movements and will be "predictable". This timing delay will create arbitrage opportunities.
5) The average margin will be much higher than 2x due to competition to get the short positions.
6) The probability of "unbacked BitUSD" will go down dramatically.
Once again... this is just a proposal for review and feedback.
We are going to focus on stabilizing the current code and then move toward a more controlled release of any proposed fixes.