Origin of BitShares - Part 17 -
"Remember, remember, the Fifth of November!", grinned Charles Hoskinson as he plotted our opening campaign to bypass The System in the Summer of 2013. He was picking the target date for the release of ProtoShares (PTS) as our prototype blockchain on November 5, 2013. I'd never heard that battle cry before and had to go look it up.
Originally, it was a day of Protestants celebrating the foiling of the infamous Gunpowder Plot in 1605 wherein a group of Catholic revolutionaries sought to blow up the British Parliament, their Protestant king, and the King James Bible all in one swell foop. "History was gonna change."
When history didn't change, Guy Fawkes Day gradually morphed from a religious celebration into a Limey cross between Halloween and the American Independence Day. Recently, it has come to take on more anti-establishment overtones as dramatized in the classic movie V for Vendetta.
But all that is dwarfed by the significance of Guy Fawkes Day in BitShares/Steemit history. Something Big has happened on that day in each of the past four years:
Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, 2013
ProtoShares (PTS) began mining on Guy Fawkes Day, Nov 5, 2013. ProtoShares was unique in that it was designed to be a prototype coin, a "protocoin" - something to allow supporters to begin mining before the much more complex BitShares Decentralized Exchange software was complete. ProtoShares were conceived as coins that would be good for a free upgrade when BitShares was ready. ProtoShares allowed us to build a community, ecosystem and development team dedicated to decentralizing The System. In the years to follow, our methods would evolve, but that goal would remain the driving force behind every revolutionary iteration.
Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, 2014
Fast forward one year. Protoshares was a success, funding was raised, a community was born, and the first version of BitShares was launched into the top-tier of digital currencies with revolutionary new technology. But we were also running low on money and we still had many promises to keep.
In our most controversial move of all time, we were forced to merge all our efforts into one self-funding super blockchain and focus our remaining resources on making that a success. Stakeholders in other parallel projects that got merged into the new superchain got two-year vesting shares in the combined effort. This was the only thing that allowed BitShares to survive to become the high-performance rock-stable system that it is today.
But it came at a high cost. The infamous Guy Fawkes Day Merger came to be viewed much like the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. As those new BitShares vested they increased the supply faster than the demand was growing. That expectation itself tended to suppress demand in a vicious cycle that has held BitShares back for two excruciating years -- until today!
Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, 2015
Despite the resource conserving merger, it quickly became clear that the selling of BitShares to fund the finishing of BitShares was depressing the value of BitShares to the point where they were not enough to reach the fully polished product we had envisioned. To continue, we had to form a new company, Cryptonomex, as a way to capture all the unpaid sweat equity the developers were contributing to finish the project. This succeeded brilliantly at the technical level. We perfected the Graphene real-time industrial blockchain technology now in use by BitShares, Steemit, Muse, Peerplays, and DACplay. It has been working stably and unmatched by other technology for more than a year.
All these blockchains, and the businesses built on top of them, now represent a self-sustaining ecosystem that has grown without further funding from Cryptonomex since Guy Faux Day 2015. We have convincingly demonstrated that we are no longer needed and a fully decentralized ecosystem will continue to thrive without us.
This has left us free to reinvent ourselves once again...
Remember, Remember the Fifth of November, 2016
This Guy Fawkes Day 2016 will be remembered as the day when the BitShares balloon cut loose the last sandbags of selling pressure. Developers are no longer selling their hard earned BitShares to feed their families. Vesting BitShares are no longer diluting the supply. Positive buoyancy should ramp up for the first time in two years.
What's next? Our behind-the scenes efforts to bypass The System remain as determined as ever. Except that now there are enough independently operated building blocks in the greater digital currency ecosystem that all we have to do is integrate them and get out of the way! This will help move banks out of the middle of everything to the periphery where they belong. People will still have access to bank products and services, but it will now be possible for many innovative, decentralized small businesses to operate without the need for a nefarious bank to be squatting in the middle of their business processes.
For example, we are about to announce another spinoff. It is fully operational and has been in beta testing for most of the past year. You can use it to send international payments to 180 countries using 40+ digital currencies. You can send anything from Bitcoin to Steem via SWIFT or SEPA and transfer funds to your local bank account 9x faster than with your current bank. You can also send funds to yourself or to anyone with a Bank Card, Prepaid Debit Card, or Debit Card, anywhere in the world! We can load any Debit Card you have that has a MasterCard® logo using 40+ digital currencies.
And all that traffic will encounter the convenient opportunity to store their value in a growing multitude of stable BitShares Smartcoins® that track the value of other assets without counter-party risk from The System. We want to be ready for the upcoming flight to safety from bail-ins, collapses, and hyper-inflationary wealth confiscation schemes.
We'll be launching our marketing campaign for the new company this month, but thought you should be the first to know our focus of attention on this, our Fourth Guy Fawkes Day.
Our Origin of BitShares series is now caught up to the present and we are headed back to the future. Cryptonomex has been very busy during the past year behind the scenes expanding from a developer to a system integrator. With the integration of just a few more independent building blocks, with other beloved names you already know, we will have fully bypassed "The System" (without becoming the New System ourselves). To sum it all up in one slogan:
We hope you will be asking that next year when you remember to remember our fifth Fifth of November.
Previous in the Series:
The Origin of BitShares Rides Again (Parts 1-10)
Part 11 - It Is Very Cold in Space
Part 12 - Never Let Them See You Sweat
Part 13 - Cryptonomex Rears Its Head
Part 14 - The Jump to Light Speed
Part 15 - Blockchain Platform Surfing
Part 16 - Developer Freedom Trumps User Convenience