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Topics - JohnR

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General Discussion / Vesting Balance Leaderboard
« on: September 01, 2019, 07:22:50 pm »
I am distressed by the recent division within the BitShares community. I am motivated to continue contributing and helping realizing the BitShares vision of granting financial autonomy to anyone with an internet connection. This is a good opportunity for everyone here to focus on what we have in common - the BTS core token and the network operations it enables.

Up to now, the network incentives reward large and sometimes aggressive collateral positions. Obviously this is one reason why BitShares of all cryptoassets is one of the most volatile as leveraging follows de-leveraging in cyclic patterns. I would like to see attention paid to another variable: vesting balances.

A high vesting balance, as opposed to a high collateral position, implies a high degree of interaction with the network. Whether that be offering liquidity in the form of limit orders or other creative transfer operations.

To shift attention towards this important metric I think it would be a good idea to establish a vesting balance leaderboard or other vanity display for accounts to compete for recognition as engaged users with the network. Maybe even down the line we can offer additional economic incentives for carrying high vesting balances (e.g. vote multiplier or any other ideas?).

For example one of our business accounts ( carries a vesting balance of almost 600 BTS in addition to other assets that have market fee sharing enabled (bitCNY/USD and Gdex assets). Yet this pales in comparison to some of the more active accounts (

I believe that using the network operations and holding a high vesting balance should be a point of pride for stakeholders. I think we should encourage and recognize the behavior. Keeping open the potential in the future for even rewarding critical users.

Thanks for reading. In the depths of darkness we discover true character.


General Discussion / Critical Review of bitUSD by an academic at LSE
« on: October 13, 2018, 02:27:29 am »
This was written by an academic economist after reviewing bitUSD as a stable coin.  Please join in as I consider how to eviscerate this criticism.  The Dismal Science be damned!


"Not a fan.

> Anyone with BitUSD can settle their position within an hour at the feed price.

I was assuming seconds at most. Is an hour at all competitive with other currencies?  I know that at most times there will be market-makers buying and selling much faster, but in volatile markets the prospect of being locked up for an hour should really scare traders, particularly shorts.

> In practice, the only way new BitUSD enters circulation is if there is someone willing to pay enough of a premium to convince a short to provide guaranteed liquidity at the price feed on demand, while also covering the cost of exchange rate risk.

> the only people to whom the premium matters are those who are looking to enter or exit the ecosystem.

This is correct, but the premium does provide a disincentive to adopt.  Historically premium seems to have typically been -2% to +10%, but as the economy grows I think it has to grow to compensate shorts for tieing up their collateral.  At first sight it is quite clever to have this margin set by a competitive market but it also means margin will be set too high for rapid growth, I think. Part of the Saga and Basis stories is raising pump-priming capital to get a nice, stable, solid-looking economy off the ground so trust can start to develop and we need to do the same.

The central problems though are that you can only get 1 BitUSD by paying $1 + margin for it and you are not even guaranteed to get $1 back because the collateral is not held in $.

The way this will all collapse is though a fall in crypto collateral values.  As this starts to happen some shorts will want to cover their BitUSD positions so they can sell the collateral and cut their losses, so BitUSD may even spike up, but the collateral sales will further depress prices.  Soon some short position will fall below $1 collateral triggering forced settlement on all contracts within an hour.  I assume collateral would fall further during that hour because this is how crises always work, so the end settlement price may be quite a lot lower than $1.  In theory this should be good for shorts but in practice they have lost too much on their collateral that they won't really notice, so nobody winds up happy."

General Discussion / Economic Abstraction and Network Fees
« on: September 23, 2018, 02:32:31 pm »
What is economic abstraction?
“Economic abstraction”, in the context of blockchain architecture, refers to the idea that a blockchain architecture can be modified to remove the existence of a single native blockchain token (or “coin”). Rather than the protocol requiring use of a particular token, the protocol would allow the use of any one of a potentially unbounded number of tokens. ^1

In order to use the BTS DEX, users pay network fees.  This is one of the value propositions for holding BTS long term - you will be able to use the BTS DEX so long as you retain them.  It is also a loose analogy to Gas (gwei) on the Ethereum Virtual Machine.  This article "The Collapse of ETH is inevitable" ^2 has caused a lot of controversy in that community.

I would like to open up a discussion for how we should handle this on BitShares.  At the moment, the network allows for economic abstraction with collateralized assets (bitUSD/bitCNY) and UIAs via the fee pool.  I think it's good to give users the flexibility to pay network fees with alternatives to BTS.  I also recognize the great effects that result from default settings. 

I submit that by default network fees should be denominated in bitassets (bitUSD/bitCNY) vs the core token: BTS.  This will provide a de facto demand for bitassets (and indirectly BTS) as well as make future fee changes more effective (and hopefully less necessary).  Of course, if a user does not have bitassets in their account then paying the fee in BTS should still be allowed.  In the past (and likely continuing in the future) network fee changes were demanded by holders as the price of BTS itself rapidly fluctuated, transaction fees could range from 0.004 USD to 0.02 USD within a short period of time.

Since the idea of the network fee is to offer a flat rate for transactions (vs. the marginal (%) rate of gateway and OMO assets) we can flatten the network fee even more by denominating the fee in fiat terms (bitUSD/bitCNY).  This may also make things simpler to understand for new users. 

Ultimately I believe economic abstraction via bitassets is clearly a good thing for BitShares.  We should be more cautious about UIAs but so long as the fee pool is maintained I don't see great cause for alarm on that front.

1 -
2 -

Today I formally announce my intent to join the BitShares Committee. 

As a reminder: the Committee is approved by stakeholders and formally tasked with setting policy for the BitShares blockchain including:

Transaction and trading fees;
Blockchain parameters, such as block size, block interval; &
Referral and vesting parameters such as cash back percentage and vesting periods.

I discovered the Graphene-based chains last summer.  I was hooked.  I watched every public video with Dan Larimer talking about the potential for BitShares to revolutionize finance (BitShares TV: is a great resource for those new to the platform or interested in its beginnings).  For months I could not shake the question of why BTS had yet to have a bigger impact.

This lead me to become more active in the community.  Joining the Discord and Telegram channels where I met great individuals like Kimchi-King, Fav, and Fuzzy.  On BitShares hangouts and in the chat rooms I listened to the community and began taking more upon myself to contribute.  I identified two areas where I could bring value: network infrastructure and legal perspective. 

As many of you know Bittrex, halted trading in BTS in the fall of 2017.  This opened my eyes to the serious challenges facing a DAC like BitShares.  In many ways BitShares is vulnerable to adversaries in the real world who have not the time nor interest in understanding what we are doing here.  I believe this network can thrive and prosper within the current system of national boundaries and jurisdictions.

My platform principle is the support and sustainability of smartcoins on the DEX.  Native trust-less assets with autonomous and sound collateral ratios (e.g. bitUSD) remains one of the core advantages BitShares holds over the rest of the crypto world.  I will strive to foster innovation for new smartcoins and collaboration and support for existing smartcoins.

I hope to join the Committee and help the community make the most of every person working to make BitShares realize it’s full potential.  Thank you.

Stakeholder Proposals / Smaller Worker Funds
« on: June 27, 2018, 01:33:32 am »
I spoke with Kimchi-King about this today.

Worker proposals are critical for getting things done around the BitShares DAC.  BitShares may be missing out on good work for the network with vote requirements as high as 300 million bts.  My suggestion is to have a lower bullpen of workers with lower vote requirements and lower amounts of funds.

Consider you want to print and spread flyers featuring all the great information about BitShares in your local town. This is exactly the type of action that would benefit each holder of bts and can be rewarded with treasury bts. This individual is unlikely to organize a coalition of bts voters to reach the 300 million or so bts votes required to pass a worker proposal. If the supplies for this activity cost only $10 then the individual is faced with the choice of eating the cost themselves (as many on the chain do now) or giving up the activity completely (unknown how many BitSharians were lost as a result of this structure).

What do people think of this idea? 

How could this be implemented in the best way.  Long term (with community support of course) probably a separate pool in the interface and everything.  Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

John Robert

General Discussion / Intergalactic Bitshares Federated Gateways
« on: March 24, 2018, 01:11:54 am »
I think the bitshares holds great potential if the community recognizes it as a protocol layer that can support gateways to organize their own exchanges and limit order books.  I think the term "Federated Gateways" is a very appropriate way to describe the economic relationship between the bts protocol and third party service providers.  The value of bitshares grows for every new user these third-parties bring to the DEX.  On the other side, because of their association with Bitshares, the stakeholders should have a way to monitor and issue public statements on governance issues when it comes to third parties and dispute resolution.  That can come in due time.

To start, what are your favorite gateways for the Intergalactic Federation of Gateways?  Any ones you see as providing something unique or particularly valuable?
- Open Ledger
- Crypto Bridge
- RuDex

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