Bitcoins and Gravy #64: Bitshares On The Open Road (Transcript)
Episode notes and comments page:
Professional transcription provided by a fan and consultant of the show, who can be found at http://www.diaryofafreelancetranscriptionist.com
[0:00] John Barrett (Announcer and Host): Welcome to Bitcoins and Gravy, Episode #64. At the time of this recording, Bitcoins are trading at $230.00 dollars each, and everybody's favorite, LTBCoins, are trading at $0.000106 U.S. dollars each. Mmm...Mmm...Mmm... Now THAT'S gravy!
John: Welcome to "Bitcoins and Gravy", and thanks for joining me today as I podcast from East Nashville, Tennessee, with my trusty Siberian Husky, right by my side. Say hello, Maxwell.
John: We're two Bitcoin enthusiasts who love talking about Bitcoins, and sharing what we learn with you, the listener. Long time listeners, thank you so much for joining us again, and for your generous tips, and new listeners, welcome to the show. [We] hope you enjoy it.
[end of intro music]
John: Just a few days ago, I had the privilege of sitting on my front porch and chatting with 3 great fellows from the Bitshares (https://bitshares.org/ )community, Brandon Lovejoy (https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandonlovejoy ), Tim Fesenko (https://www.linkedin.com/in/timfesenko ) and Rob Konsdorf (https://twitter.com/robrig0 ). These guys are on a road trip, traveling around the region, telling people about Bitshares. I learned more about Bitshares from these guys in one hour than I have in reading about Bitshares over the past year
[1:17] This is a "no miss" episode, friends. I would like to preface this interview, with the Bitshares guys, by saying [that] it was such a nice day, here in Nashville, that we decided to interview out on my front porch. It was a little bit noisy. We had some birds chirping, Maxwell was making some noise, and cars and the occasional bus going by. But it is still an excellent interview, jam-packed full of so much great information. You guys are going to really enjoy this.
And make sure to check the show notes, on Let's Talk Bitcoin:
for a slew of links that will further educate you about Bitshares, and other associated projects, that you just may want to learn more about.
[2:04] John: All right. So we're here on the front porch of my little house here in Nashville, talking to the Bitshares guys. Guys, thank you so much for coming by.
Brandon: Absolutely. Great to be here.
John: And you're Brandon.
Brandon: Yeah, Brandon. Bitscape on the forums.
Tim: I Tim, Roadscape
Rob: And I'm Rob. Or RobRig0 on BitsharesTalk (https://bitsharestalk.org/ ).
John: You should see these guys. They're all like super long haired, big long beards, tattoos, and earrings. It's just insane. Nah, I'm just kidding. I'm making that up. [laughter]
But anyway, so we're going to talk about Bitshares. You guys are traveling around, talking about Bitshares. Now I assume that each of you wants to talk. Is there a spokesperson? Or do you all just want to talk freely. Or is there one of you [who's] dedicated as like the Bitshares spokesperson?
Tim: I think we all just talk freely.
John: Okay. Max, can you quit doing that please? No digging, dude!
Let's see, where do we start [with] Bitshares? You know, there are a lot of people that have never even heard about Bitshares, and then there are people like myself who have heard about Bitshares, [and] am a little bit invested in Bitshares. [But] how would you describe it to someone who's never heard of it before. Like, in a nutshell, for your novice, to introduce a person for the very first time to Bitshares.
[3:09] Tim: Bitshares is a bankless financial institution, offering peer-to-peer financial services, and allowing users to exchange currency between themselves, peer-to-peer , without a middleman. It's digital cash, whether it's US dollars, Chinese yuan, gold or silver.
John: Okay. Someone is going to ask, "Now, why wouldn't we just use Bitcoin? Why Bitshares? Is this thing coming in AFTER Bitcoin, [or] just trying to imitate Bitcoin?" I know the answer to that, but tell me the answer.
Tim: Bitshares is built from the ground up, and it's designed to be predictable and stable. So one of the main issues with Bitcoin is its volatility, and that can hinder adoption, especially by businesses. So people really want something [whose] value is predictable, day to day.
John: Okay. Bitshares has been around [for] a while right?
[4:02] Rob: So Invictus was formed [on] Independence Day [of] 2013. And Invictus Innovations Inc. - otherwise known as "I3" - was the initial startup company that created Bitshares, which for all intents and purposes is now just a shell company, because Bitshares can fund its workers directly through the protocol now, using the delegate system. So what happened was [that] Dan was inspired to find a solution to the Mount Gox problem, and he wanted to create a decentralized exchange to mitigate these risks. They had this idea for launching a protocoin while they were developing the decentralized exchange, and that was Protoshares. So Protoshares was a Bitcoin fork that was launched, and allowed miners to get a stake in Bitshares, which is based around a metaphor Dan coined, called the "Decentralized Autonomous Company", or "DAC".
[5:16] So Dan views the protocol for crypto-currencies in light of this DAC metaphor, which means a crypto-currency has: revenues, which are the transaction fees; expenses, which is the cost to secure the network; and services it provides, so a value proposition. Bitcoin can be viewed as a DAC as well. I think that crypto-currency is a misnomer, because Bitcoin doesn't have the properties of currency. It doesn't have the stability of a currency. So DAC, in viewing Bitcoin and Bitshares and these cryptotokens in light of an equity, is actually a really good way of viewing their value. Their value fluctuates like stocks, like an equity.
[6:07] Rob: So what happened with Protoshares is [that] this coin was launched. It was going off for a few weeks, and then the centralized mining "cartels", if you will, moved in an started mining it, and blew up the difficulty. [They] made it really hard for the average Joe to profitably mine Protoshares.
So this created this realization that mining isn't really that fairly distributed. It's really easy for people with a large amount of capital to move in and make it hard for your average "everyday Joe" to profitably mine. So that was how they planned to fund their development. They bought mining equipment, [and] they were going to mine Protoshares too, and be on the same level as anyone else [who] was mining it. But then they realized, "Oh crap! We can't profitably mine this Protoshares coin."
[7:07] So they had come up with this idea for Angelshares. What Angelshares was was a donation ledger. So you could donate to the development team, in order to fund the development of Bitshares, the decentralized exchange, and consequently for doing so, you would be share-dropped upon. So [an] Angelshares pre-sale was actually in terms of Bitcoin and Protoshares. So you could donate either Bitcoin or Protoshares. You would be put on a donation list, and when Bitshares was launched, you would be a part of the initial allocation.
So those were the distribution mechanisms. Protoshares and Angelshares for Bitshares. Bitshares was initially launched in July - I believe it was July 18th, 2014 - as Bitshares X. The idea was that there would be this ecosystem of multiple DACs, that would each have their own function, and Bitshares X was the exchange DAC.
[8:16] So this was the initial idea, to have this set of different DACs targeting different industries. And Bitshares X was allocated 50% to PTS holders, and 50% to AGS holders, [with] the snapshot date being February 28th, 2014, I believe, 0 UTC time. So if you held AGS or PTS, and you owned the private keys for those distribution mechanisms, then later you would be able to import those into the actual Bitshares client, and claim your stake that was allocated.
John: I think that's the last step that I never did. The first two steps I did, [but] then on the last step I tried to figure out how to do it, and Dan was helping me, and Dan referred me to somebody else by way of email. They emailed me, and tried to walk me through it, and I failed. So Dan said, "Don't worry about it. You still have it." Right?
[9:13] Rob: There's a lot of people in the community that haven't even claimed their Bitshares yet. They're just holding their keys, and when they feel comfortable with the stability of the client - because it's heavily in development still. It's really just a Beta. The current version is 0.8.1. So they haven't hit a 1.0 release that they feel is stable enough to say, "Hey, we really trust that this is stable enough."
John: Okay. But you know that's coming, right? So let me ask you guys a question, as far as decentralized autonomous corporations - is that right? DACs? Is Dan the first one to come up with that? Is Bitshares the first one to come up with that concept?
Brandon: Yeah, he's the first one to coin the term, as far as I know.
Rob: The term has been, sort of, changed. So, some people like to refer to them as Centralized Autonomous Organizations. There's Decentralized Autonomous Companies. I believe Swarm is calling them Decentralized Community Organizations, or something, DCOs.
[10:18] I just saw that recently. [But] I think there's a lot of confusing, in the space, about what these things really are. Because I know, for instance, in the Bitshares ecosystem a DAC is a native protocol, in my opinion. Bitshares is a DAC. The entertainment DAC that Peertracks (http://peertracks.com/ ) is going to use is a native protocol, with its own base asset, or core asset. So Bitshares, or notes. Whereas in the Etherium (https://www.ethereum.org/ )world they call these business models on top of Etherium DAOs, or "daos", or whatever you'd like to say. So that DOESN'T have a native token, per se. And there's a lot of confusion in the space about really, "What IS a DAC?" OR, "What IS a DAO?" And I really feel that THAT needs to be clarified. We need to come to some common nomenclature.
[11:12] John: I agree with that. You all should read my new book. It's called "The Tao Of DACs". No, I'm just kidding. [laughter] Okay. So that's a lot of technical stuff, but that's a lot of great stuff. Thank you so much, and tell me your name again.
Rob: I'm Rob. Or Robert Constorf. You can follow me on Twitter @robrig0 (https://twitter.com/robrig0 ) - with a zero on the end - so R - O - B - R - I - G - zero .
John: Nice. Robrig0. So let's here from everybody else, [to] make sure that everybody knows who everybody else is. Yes sir.
Brandon: Yeah, my name is Brandon Lovejoy. I'm "Bitscape" on Bitshares Talk Forum, and I'm just @brandonlovejoy (https://twitter.com/brandonlovejoy )on Twitter, since we're both [giving] our Twitter handles.
Tim: I'm Tim Visenco. That's Roadcape on the forums, and on Twitter that's @eightyhz (https://twitter.com/eightyhz ).
John: Okay. So what else should we talk about? What's really important for people to know about Bitshares that we haven't covered already?
[12:06] Rob: Well, if you guys don't mind, I'd like to really cover what I think is the killer innovation of Bitshares, and that is market-pegged assets.
John: Hang on. Let's ask these guys. Do you guys mind?
Tim: We don't mind.
Brandon: No. Go for it.
John: All right. Max, do you mind?
Max: Woo... wooo... wooo.
John: That wasn't really Max. That was me.
Rob: This is Robrig0, aka, "the spokesman".
John: Are you the new spokesman?
Rob: No. I suppose.
John: What if someone hears this interview on Bitcoins and Gravy, and they love you so much, like, "Okay. RobRigo, we want to have you as the new spokesman for Bitshares, but you're going to have to lose the beard, man. We want you to be a little more clean shaven."
John: Would you do it? Would you shave off the beard?
Rob: I don't know if I could compromise my personality for their gain.
John: [But] what if they offered to pay you $100,000 a year. Would you do it?
Rob: Nah. I don't think I could be so easily bought out either.
[13:06] Brandon: How much stake to take the beard off, Rodrigo?
John: Yeah, how much Bitshares stake to take the beard off, if you need to. They might LIKE the beard though. I don't know.
Rob: Now that we're talking about stake. I'd do it for a cool $5 million.
John: Man, you're really tied - he's really tied to that beard.
Tim: He's like Samson, if you cut off his hair it loses strength.
John: Oh, I see. Wow.
Rob: Yeah, it's actually an extension of my brain. It's a neural net.
John: Whoa! It's a neural net?
Rob: Yeah. If I cut it off, then it's like I'll become dumber or something.
John: Don't do that, man. Okay. So what were you going to say that you said was important?
Rob: The major innovation - well, ONE of the major innovations, I should say - because I feel there are quite a few innovations that the Bitshares team has brought to the space. But one of the really major ones that I feel is really going to change the adoption of crypto-currencies are "market-pegged assets".
[14:06] So Bitshares, the client, has an exchange built right into the protocol. So you can go into the client and actually view markets right in the protocol. These market pegged assets are created, in this exchange, when a short order is matched with a buyer. So, for instance, BitUSD (http://whatisbitusd.com/ ) is one of these market-pegged assets. It's a blockchain enforced derivative, essentially. And it looks a lot like a "contract for difference" in the financial world. But the market-pegged assets are pegged to the value of the real world physical currency, or commodity, that they're pegging. What this means is that people can control private keys to a stable coin, crypto-currency, that maintains relative stability around the assets that it's pegging.
[15:12] So one of the big problems with Bitcoin adoption, right now, is the fact that merchants need to cash it out into fiat currently. A lot of merchants are using BitPay (https://bitpay.com/ ), for instance, at the point of sale. And when they accept a Bitcoin, they immediately go into US dollars in their bank account, because they can't be at risk to the Bitcoin price. It could go up, it could go down, it could wipe out their margin. They can't take that risk.
But with BitAssets, which is the name for market-pegged assets, like BitUSD, a merchant could feasibly accept this BitUSD, and they would know that it was always going to be worth roughly a dollar. Now I say ROUGHLY a dollar because there's no IOU involved, and that's really the power of BitAssets. The collateral backing the BitAsset is frozen by a blockchain-controlled balance that's essentially a smart contract.
[16:09] So the smart contract has the collateral stored, and locked up, in terms of Bitshares. That's why it's a derivative. Bitshares themselves is like specie. It's almost like a gold standard in that respect, where you issue dollars in a gold standard system, and it's backed by gold.
Well,, BitUSD, or BitGold, or BitSilver, or BitYuan, or what-have-you, are backed by Bitshares. The way this works is if price fluctuations occur of the underlying assets, there will be automated margin calls that can happen. So at a certain price, when the collateral backing of BitUSD reaches a certain percentage - so I believe it starts out at 300%, because the short order puts up two times the amount of value in Bitshares.
[17:06] And the buyer, the person who wants to buy a BitUSD, puts up 1X, obviously. They're not going to pay MORE than the value that they want. So we start out at 300%, and then if the price of Bitshares were to DROP, such that the collateral would be under 200%, then the short position is forced to buy BitUSD off the free market at up to 10% premium, and cover their position. The act of covering destroys the BitUSD, and unwinds the position, essentially. So it unlocks the collateral. So what this [does is] allow people to speculate on whether or not they think Bitshares is going to go up, or the market pegged asset is going to go down.
[18:04] So you can speculate on the price of gold. You can speculate on silver. If you think that Bitcoin is in a bubble, and you want to hedge your value, you can buy BitUSD, on top of the bubble. Then if the bubble pops, you make money. You save your position, essentially.
So, it's a really powerful tool, and I think we're going to see it change the face of the crypto landscape, because now we can convince businesses to hold relatively STABLE assets.
John: Okay. I like it. Nice. So what do you guys think is the future, if you were to predict like five years down the road? Bitcoin, Etherium, Bitshares, Ripple - and let's not forget [about] the Hobo nickel, and the Barbecue coin. Then let's throw in there Litecoin, Doge[coin] - you know, some of those other scrappy crypto-currencies, alt currencies. What do you guys see as a future? Just kind of like a prediction. Do you see all of these different platforms, [and] protocols, [and] crypto-currencies working together to solve many different problems? Do you see one emerging? Do you see some falling off? What do you guys think?
[19:18] Rob: I believe that in the future we're going to see several competitors. Probably not very many clones at all. I'm sure Bitcoin will be playing a role. Bitshares, Ripple, [and] Etherium, hopefully. All of the original innovations I think will continue to battle it out for quite some time. And there's a different market for each.
John: What's going on with Etherium? [laughter] ... Brandon?
Brandon: I am NOT the person to ask about Etherium. I'll tell you that right now.
John: Man, where is Vitalik when you need him? I actually heard a rumor that he was called back to his home planet for several months. No, I'm just kidding, man. I didn't mean that. Don't anybody take that seriously, and don't let that get back to Vitalik, because I wouldn't want his home planet to destroy ours with a giant laser beam, or anything like [that].
[20:12] Rob: So Etherium. I think it's a really interesting project. It's another project I like to follow, because I'm really trying to not be tribalistic, because I feel that tribalism is hurting the crypto-currency space. All of these people have vested in these different projects, and there's the whole FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt - spreading. And really, I like to view the whole movement as it [being] the old order versus the new innovation, the new way. So when I look at Etherium I view this as a really ambitious project. They want to make a decentralized publishing platform, with Turing Complete scripting, which means [that] you can implement any arbitrary logic, or business model, on top of it.
[21:03] Now, I think that Etherium is a highly academic endeavor, and they have a lot of marketing hype, and stuff. But I'm afraid that there's practicality concerns, for me. I look at a project like Bitshares as really looking at practical applications. Bitshares wants to be THE industrial blockchain. They want predictability. They want speed, [and] they want ease of use. [Whereas?] Etherium is really catering a lot to developers, which is ALSO a smart move. They're building their own tools, languages, development environments, and even learning platforms - "Etherium Builders", which I find very cool.
However, I think that there's going to be problems with scaling out something like Etherium to massive adoption. You can run their development environment, but it remains to be seen what they actually launch with, and bring to the public.
[22:09] John: All I can say is, "By God, my Ether better be worth something one day." People have made some pretty hefty promises. "Buy Ether now and in the future." No, they haven't made those promises. Yeah, I'm bullish on all of these. It's funny how you talk about the old way of doing things, versus the new way of doing things. What disturbs me is [that] in the new way of doing things, we're seeing so many things happen that we all don't like, like the greed, the fear-mongering, the move toward centralizing, even though we're all saying, "Decentralize, decentralize." Then you have something like the Bitcoin Foundation, [who are] this clandestine, opaque group of crochity old men, sitting there in their ivory tower [with] their board of directors, funneling funds from the left to the right, and then into their pockets, and then disappearing in the night. Man, what's going on with things like this? What's your take on something like the Bitcoin Foundation? Bitshares doesn't need a foundation, do they? Do you guys have a foundation?
[23:08] Tim: No, we don't. The blockchain is arranging for payment of certain departments, like development, marketing, [and] business development. One of the issues Bitcoin faces is, "How do you pay the developers?" Donations? The blockchain doesn't have anything set aside to make sure that it can support the people that ensure it continues to live on.
John: Yeah, that's a little bit scary, right?
Tim: I feel like, maybe, it needs to be thought out. I know there's a few proposals on how to take care of the developers. That's one of the most important things for a blockchain, is to make sure that the people who are helping it to grow are looked after.
John: Yeah, I agree. Then you have several of the core developers that are employed by centralized corporations, just regular corporations. That seems like a little bit of a conflict of interest, doesn't it to you? One of the core developers works for Bitpay.
[24:06] Rob: I think that Bitshares represents - along with some of these other next generation platforms - a complete paradigm shift, and a development model that allows communities to grow in parallel with each other, by working together.
The thing that inspires me most about Bitshares is the community itself. The reason [why] I'm involved is because there are so many opportunities to get in and help grow this whole ecosystem, and fundamentally transform the way that humans transmit value to one another. And this has implication across every conceivable industry, and so I think this is a really exciting time to be involved.
John: You guys, kind of, got lucky. Now how did you guys get chosen, or did you just get lucky and get to hang out, there in Virginia, with Dan and his father Stan [Larimer?]. On the compound, right?
[25:01] Rob: Yeah. At the farm, the half mile high meadows. Roadscape and I decided - after we'd been involved in Bitshares for a while. Myself, I'm more on the media side of things, and Roadscape is more the technically-minded developer. I really felt it was time to get out and meet the community. We both ran for delegates within the Bitshares ecosystem, and had our delegates voted in, and the plan was to basically provide some sort of value to the Bitshares ecosystem.
In my case, I'm a filmmaker, and writer, and grassroots organizer. So I have these talents that I can bring to help expand the reach of the community. And Tim is a very talented coder who build the first ever store which implements payment through BitAssets. So we've launched a web site called Cryptofresh.com (http://cryptofresh.com/ ), which is, at this point, kind of an MVP platform to just show how easy it is to purchase things with BitAssets.
[26:13] RobRigo here was the first person - the T-shirt he's wearing now was bought with BitGold. He's probably the first in human history to buy a T-shirt with digital gold. So that was monumental.
Brandon: The REAL BitGold. So, we're not talking about these centralized companies like Bitreserve, or BitGold Incorporated that are trying to hijack the BitGold brand, in my opinion. Because really, BitGold was described by Nick Zebo, who's a thought leader in the space, and it wasn't actually implemented, I don't think, until Bitshares. But there are some companies that would have you believe that THEIR BitGold is ACTUAL BitGold . But they're centralized companies, and they control the funds. So that's not real BitGold .
Rob: You're just hijacking the brand.
[27:03] John: Exactly. I like that. So Brandon, you mentioned becoming a delegate. Is that something that is still an opportunity for people? Can other people, with great ideas, still become a delegate, or has that time passed?
Brandon: No, anyone [who] has a proposal to bring value to the Bitshares ecosystem can go on the Bitshares Talk Forums and make their proposal for any range of possible applications.
John: I've got a Bitshares dance I've been working on. It's kind of like a clogging sort of thing. Could I present that, and possibly become a delegate with my Bitshares dance?
Brandon: Yeah, there's a "random" section on the forum, and -
John: That would fall under the category of "random"?
Brandon: Yeah. We're always looking for some additional entertainment to go hand-in-hand with the heavier topics [crosstalk]
Tim If you're looking for funding, for ,kind of,a one-off project, there are several members of the community [who] will help you. For instance, [Seldall's] Bitshares Breakout (http://bitsharesbreakout.com/index.html ), he helped fund some of our equipment for this trip, namely audio equipment.
[28:11] The community is very open for any ideas you might have, and we welcome anyone to come on and discuss potential business ideas, or just any possibilities for cooperation.
John: Is there anything that's lacking that you guys wish, "Man, I wish some people would come forward with THESE ideas. We're not seeing enough of that." Besides the dancing, which I know you guys are dying to have more entertainment. Besides that, anything you can think of?
Tim: The wallet needs some work, and BitSaffire (https://bitsapphire.com/ ) is in the process of fundraising for their Moonstone wallet. They're trying to raise money so that they will release their wallet -
John: Max, we're trying to interview. Please no hacking.
Tim: So BitSaffire is trying to raise funds for their Moonstone wallet, and if their goal is reached they will release the front end and the back end under the MIT license. Judging from what they've shown, it looks like an awesome wallet, [and] definitely something the community has an immediate use for.
[29:11] It sounds like it will allow hedging of Bitcoin. Their goal is to have it support BitAssets and Bitcoin so that you can seamlessly go from Bitcoin to gold, to dollars, to Yuan, and back to Bitcoin. There are many openings. Any sort of business developments, the community is very open [to].
John: Okay. Nice. So it's a very open community. Max is talking to my neighbor in the distance. Hi Allison. Hi Cat.
Neighbor: Hey. [Cat just saw Maxi dog, and so wanted to come over? ... How is it going?].
John: Hello. All right. How are you guys? ... Bye.
Rob: So to add to that, if you don't mind, I'd just like to say that as far as the delegate positions go, you DO have to convince the community.
[30:08] It took these guys a few weeks after they launched their delegate proposal and campaign, which involves you [registering] a special node called a "delegate node". Then you have to run that on a server, keep it up, keep it reliable, [and] make sure that you're producing blocks. Because the delegates serve the roles of the miners.
So the proof of work in Bitshares is the actual work you're doing to build the ecosystem. It's a highly reputation based thing, instead of burning energy. So I think that we want to encourage as many people [who] are ambitious enough to attempt to become a delegate, to do so. But you DO have to put in some effort, and you do have to convince a global community - from China, to Europe, to South America, to the States. I mean, all over the place. You have to show these people that you're serious, and that you're willing to put in the time.
[31:07] John: I see. You talked about the delegates being the miners. The delegates for Bitshares are like the miners for Bitcoin. I think last night, at dinner, one of you had talked about the annual cost difference. Do you remember what that was?
Rob: I don't remember the numbers. One of these guys would probably be able to produce that. But yeah, there's a cost difference, and there's also the confirmation times. In Bitshares the blocks are produced at 10 second intervals, and the delegates are randomly shuffled every 16 minutes and 50 seconds, which is the amount of time it takes for the 101 active elected delegates to each sign a block in "round robin", and then they are randomly shuffled.
So in Bitshares the transfer of value is very seemless. It only takes 10 second to change your votes, to execute orders, to send assets - the market pegged assets - as well as user issued assets.
[32:13] John: So scalability, right? In terms of confirmation time. That's something that may end up being more important than we realize when you look at how many transactions Visa and Mastercard , and American Express are capable of per second. It's a massive number, right? Per second, or per minute. So you guys are talking about 10 minutes versus 10 seconds?
Rob: The block interval is 10 seconds, and on TestNets they've actually achieved TWO second block intervals. So really, this is why I mentioned [that] the Bitshares team [is] focused on building the INDUSTRIAL blockchain. They're focused on predictability, scalability, and - what we REALLY need is - ease of use. Because let's face it - actually, I read this on Twitter earlier.
[33:01] Someone had posted that "Fiat is convenience WITHOUT control. Bitcoin is control of your money without CONVENIENCE. And the winning crypto will have BOTH of those." I think that's very insightful. And along with having convenience and control, you need predictability. You can't send somebody an asset and just say, "Well, let's hope it wen thought. Let's hope it didn't get on an orphan fork." Or whatever.
John: Right. [laughter]
Rob: People will not adopt technologies that they don't know are predictable enough. Talking to Dan, he said [that] blockchains today are kind of like these toys. I mean, none of them can scale to global adoption yet. And they really want to solve that scalability problem. So I think it's going to be really interesting, to see how it all pans out.
John: I think so too, and I think you inspired me. I was going to call my Bitcoin band "Satoshi". Now I'm going to call it "Orphan Fork". [laughter] That's the name of my new band. "Orphan Fork. Yeah! We rule!"[laughter] ORPHAN FORK.
[34:06] So what else, guys? What are some of the other exciting projects that are going on right now with Bitshares?
Brandon: One of the most interesting ones of recent days - and there's seemingly new things happening every day. It's exciting to see a lot of entrepreneurs coming on board, and recognizing that Bitshares is a great platform to begin building upon. Cryptosmith (http://cryptosmith.info/index.php ) is a really interesting opportunity. Someone else might be able to actually explain the technical nature of it a little bit better than I can.
Tim: Cryptosmith just acts as a bridge from digital to physical currency7. So if you own BitGold or BitSilver you can purchase physical silver and have it sent to your home. So one of the issues when you're buying silver online is that price changes. So the really interesting thing this store is that you pay for silver with silver. You are not exposed to the fluctuation in price.
[35:00] You lock in your price at the time you buy your BitSilver, and then there's another project Mine Bitshares (http://www.minebitshares.com/ ), which actually is a mining pool that pays out in BitUSD. I don't know if they've implemented this yet, but they want to also have payouts in BitGold , which allows you to point your miner at this pool, and get paid in virtual gold, which you can then use to, say, have REAL gold sent to your house, So your miner can generate real, physical metals.
John: Wow, I love that, man. That's pretty exciting. Just don't let the mail carriers find out about it. Anything else>
Rob: Yeah. I would say [that] one of the projects that I'M most excited about is actually a Chinese startup. They're called DACS, dacs.com . What DACS is doing is leveraging the user issued asset system on Bitshares in order to allow Chinese individuals to gain exposure to American stocks. So DACS is a centralized company that [is] issuing [what] I like to call "sliver shares". They're IUOs that represent a fraction of a share in, say, Apple, or Google, or Tesla, or Alibaba, or whatever. They're offering like 20 different crowd funds on their web site.
[36:18] What they do is, once they reach a funding goal, they'l buy the stock and hold it as the centralized company, and then issue IOUs on Bitshares, known as BDRs, or Bit Depository Receipts. What this allows for is really liquid exposure for Chinese individuals to American stocks, that they might not actually be able to easily gain exposure to normally.
And the DACs platform [itself] handles the cashing in and out. So when you think that you want to take a profit on your Apple BDRs, the BDR holder can use DAC's centralized service to go back into yuan from their Bit Depository Receipts, and vice versa.
[37:09] This is a really interesting way that the User Issued Asset system is being leveraged in order to create a new way for Chinese people to gain exposure to American stocks. And [I believe] they're actually the first venture capital funded Bitshares startup. So they actually have funding through a company called [Zafed?], I believe. And Zafed is a venture capital firm, and so they've got the rampaging Prince Gong, [who] is like the Andreas Antonopoulos of China.
John: "The rampaging Prince Gong" [laughter].
Rob: Oh yeah, it's very fascinating. There's a large contingent of Bitshares community members that are in China. It's very popular over there. I've learned a lot just from Google Translate, and reading through their forum posts. I mean, as much as you can learn from translating Chinese.
[38:12] But it's been a very fascinating insight into THEIR culture, just participating in this community, and trying to figure out how we can coordinate, and how we can bridge the cultural differences between the east and the west, and become a more unified whole. Because THEIR way of doing this [is] different from the WEST'S way of doing things.
John: I like the idea that people all over the world can become unified around certain projects, around certain platforms, and we can all say, "Hey governments, you're the ones who set up borders. You're the ones who set up the barricades to living in harmony with our fellow humans, right? Because you're average American -
Hey! Bird. That's enough! [laughter] ...
Your average American doesn't have anything against your average Chinese person, or French person, or Greek person, or someone in Africa.But it's these governments that try to pit US against them, always. [39:08] Even within our borders, it's always "Us against them." Whether it's your favorite baseball team, it's "Our team versus their team." Democrats versus Republicans. That's what I keep saying over and over again. And I'll keep preaching that for as long as I live, that we've got to stop fighting each other, because that method of dividing people has been used for thousands of years, by governments, to conquer people. You divide them, and when they're divided they're weaker, and you can conquer them.
So we've got to come together. I have this idea - if I can get somebody else on board to help me with it - [of] the "people's party". So it sounds - when you first hear it - like, "It's just another political party." Right? But here's the scoop. The "people's party" [gets] together on weekends, we have barbeques, we drink some beer, and we have fun. Okay? We don't talk about politics. That's one of the rules. You can't talk about politics. We don't CARE if you like Bush or if you like Obama. We don't care at all! Right?
[40:02] We don't care who you voted for, [or] who you're planning to vote for. It's the people's party. But what we DO care about is what's going on down the street. What you CAN talk about is, "Hey, I heard that Mrs. Smith down the street, because her property taxes just went up, she can no longer afford to live comfortably. She's going to need some groceries." So we all figure out how [we're all] going to come together. That's my idea for the people's party. I think it could fly. We just need people! [laughter] So what else guys? We should wrap it up.
Brandon: Yeah. I would just say that Bitshares is really about the people. We've had an opportunity over the past few weeks, [to travel] around to all of these different locations, from Minneapolis, to Philadelphia, to Blacksburg Virginia, where the core devs are. Now here in Nashville, [where there are], to me, some of the most inspiring, brilliant people that I've -
John: Oh, thank you very much. [laughter]
Brandon: -- Yourself included -
John: I had to jump in on that one.
Brandon: That I've ever met in my life. I'd say, invest in people. When we were in Blacksburg we were extremely impressed with the depth of the core team's vision. And despite what anyone might think about the current state of development, it's going strong, and there is some real commitment to see this project through, and some great plans in the works.
[41:24] So I would say get involved however you can. Now is a great time. We'd love to have you on the forums.
John: Nice. Closing comments?
Tim: I was a great trip. The three weeks have been well worth it.
John: Nice. Closing comments?
Rob: I hopped on board in Detroit, at the Detroit stop. So this has been a really, sort of, seat-of-my-pants adventure. I guess in the end Bitshares is trying to create a contract free digital economy. It's profitable freedom. You can invest in a peer-to-peer network that is trying to devolve manipulative powers in the world, and level the playing field for everybody.
So I'm really excited about it, and I'm going to continue to do whatever I can to make Bitshares a success, as well as all of the other great projects in the space. I think we need to come together, and stop dividing the crypto space into tribes. We need to all work together towards the common goal.
[42:29] Rob: Well said.
John: Nice. Well spoken. Thank you gentlemen.
Guests: Thank you. It's been a pleasure.
John: Take care...It has been. Maxwell... Maxwell. Max, you want to say something for us? The last, final thing? [laughter]
[music and lyrics to "Ode to Satoshi" song]
John Barrett: Now climb aboard y'all! This train is bound for glory... and there's plenty of room for all...
"Well Satoshi Nakamoto, that's a name I love to say,
And we don't know much about him, but he came to save the day.
When he wrote about the way things are,
And the way things ought to be,
He gave us all a protocol this world had never seen.
Oh Bitcoin! As you're going into the old blockchain,
Oh Bitcoin! I know you're going to reign, gonna' reign,
Till everybody knows, everybody knows,
Till everybody knows your name.
[43:27] Down the road it will be told about the Death of Old Mount Gox,
About traders trading alter coins, and miners mining blocks.
But them good old boys back in Illinois,
And on down through Tennessee,
See they don't care to be a millionaire,
They're just wanting to be free.
Oh Bitcoin! As you're going into the old Blockchain,
Oh Bitcoin! I know you're going to reign, gonna' reign,
Till everybody knows, everybody knows,
Till everybody knows your name.
From the ghettos of Calcutta, to the halls of Parliament,
While the bankers count our money out for every government.
Oh, Bitcoin flies on through the skies of virtuality,
A promise to deliver us from age-old tyranny.
[44:30] Oh Bitcoin! As you're going into the old blockchain,
Oh Bitcoin! I know you're going to reign, gonna' reign,
Till everybody knows, everybody knows,
Till everybody knows your name.
Till everybody knows, everybody knows,
Till everybody knows your -- "Give me some exposure" --
Everybody knows your name.
Oh Lord, pass me some more,
Oh Lord, before I have to go.
Oh Lord, pass me some more,
Oh Lord . . . before I have to . . .
Go . . .
[45:28] John: Oh-ho! Thank you East Nashville! Y'all be good to each other out there, ya' hear?
John: I'd like to thank my guests on today's show, Brandon Lovejoy, Tim Fesenko, and Rob Cosdorf.
Guys, thanks for all you do for the Bitshares space, and thanks for working hard to keep ALL of us in the crypto community on the right path toward unity and harmony. How much more powerful are we when we work together, side by side, to fight the forces of evil and greed in this world, right?
So whether you're into Etherium, Bitcoins, Dogecoins, Litecoins, LTBCoins, or Bitshares. Hey, let's all work together, right? It only makes sense.
[46:27] Tell me brother and sisters, have you heard that on every episode of Bitcoins and Gravy I have a "magic word". Today the magic word is "Max", as in the sentence, "My dog's name is Max." M- A - X. What do you think of THAT, Max?
John: And great news, listeners. Our transcription page is now live on the web site, thanks to the continuing hard work of one of our loyal listeners, who is also a consultant to the show. These professional transcriptions are provided by one of our fans, who can be found at:
And, of course, you can find a link to this web site in the weekly show notes.
And if you've enjoyed the show, please take a minute to scan my QR code, or copy my public key, and send me $0.50 in Bitcoin. If you'll do this every once in a while it will help me out more than you know. Folks, it's not easy being a podcast host, trust me. Putting in 10 hours each week to produce the show sometimes takes its toll. Remember that giving someone a small tip in Bitcoin is what makes Bitcoin folks stand out in this world.
[47:36] I know, personally, that whenever I give a tip to someone on Reddit, or Let's Talk Bitcoin, or one of the forums, I feel better about myself knowing that I've given back just a little to help that [person continue creating] great content.
And signing off now from East Nashville, Tennessee. I'm John Barrett, with my dog Maxwell. Say goodbye, Maxwell.
John: Join us again next week for another episode of Bitcoins and Gravy, and until then y'all be good to each other out there. And remember, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing.
Do something y'all.