DAN LARIMER: Visionary Programmer of BitShares, Steem and EOSsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #danlarimer3 years ago (edited)


I am not an expert on Dan Larimer, however, I have a bit of insight into this enigmatic programmer who is the visionary architect and engineer behind BitShares, Steem and EOS.

I met Dan last year when I visited Steemit HQ but most of what I’ve learned about Dan is from observation and reading personal musings from his GitHub diary: Bytemaster’s Blog. If you want to learn how to launch your own cryptocurrency, read his article, How to Launch a Crypto Currency Legally while Raising Funds.

Dan is one of those rare super gifted nerds (I use the term, ‘nerd’ affectionately in this case) who is so busy working out the details of his next invention that I’m pretty sure he doesn’t make time for things like going out with friends or relaxing with a beer or two. In fact, Dan told me that he has never even touched a drop of alcohol in his life.
Dan is a programmer, but I think of him more as a visionary inventor of systems. Dan’s stated mission in life is

“to find free market solutions to secure life, liberty, and property for all.”

It’s easy to get sucked into the Dan Larimer rabbit hole once you start studying his projects and lucky for you and me, we can experience his inventions first-hand by participating in the social media sites, Steemit and Busy, which run on top of the Steem blockchain.

If the phrase, “run on top of the Steem blockchain” sounds foreign to you, think of it this way: instead of data being stored in a company’s central server, it’s distributed all over, in a peer-to-peer, decentralized system that is transparent. This is the driving force behind the exponential growth of cryptocurrencies in recent times. Why? Because centralized systems are vulnerable to fraud, hacking, abuse of trust and opaqueness. Decentralized systems are not perfect, but they are much better than their centralized counterparts in these and other areas.

Dan’s Background

Daniel Larimer received a Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Computer Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2003. He is currently focused in the areas of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, decentralized exchanges, economic systems and freedom.

In 2009 he was attempting to engineer a digital currency when he discovered Bitcoin. He immediately got involved with Bitcoin and began communicating with Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto in a Bitcoin forum. At this time he was alarmed by the amount of centralized exchanges being arbitrarily shut down. He came to the conclusion that decentralized exchanges would become necessary. It was at this time he created BitShares and invented BitUSD which is the first trustless cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar. For over two years he innovated and fine-tuned blockchain technology to support a decentralized exchange. The resulting technology is called Graphene and is what powers BitShares and Steem.

Dan Larimer is the co-founder of Steemit, Inc and its CTO until march 2017. He is the main architect of the Steem blockchain and Steem cryptocurrency. He’s also the CEO of Cryptonomex, Inc. which is a blockchain technology consulting company that was founded with his father, Stan Larimer. He founded the decentralized exchange BitShares and Invictus Innocations. He originated the idea of the “decentralized autonomous company” or DAC.
-Steemcenter, co-written by myself and the Steemit community

If you’re asking yourself right now, “What is BitShares?” Dan answers this question in his blog. To summarize, BitShares is a network, bank, ledger, company, exchange, software, community, currency and Dan asserts that it’s even a country. It’s not an easy concept for most people to grasp. It’s probably an invention 10 years ahead of its time, but judging from Coinmarketcap today, people are beginning to catch on now. BitShares is based upon many of the same principles as Ethereum’s The DAO.

If you really want to dive into the Dan Larimer rabbit hole, watch this video where he asks Vitalik Buterin some tough questions about Ethereum in 2014:

If your head is spinning from all this information, keep in mind, I’ve only just scratched the surface of his inventions. After Dan successfully built the Steem blockchain, he moved onto his next project, EOS.

If you thought BitShares was hard to grasp, EOS, is perhaps even more ambitious and difficult to understand for the average person. It took me several weeks just get a basic understanding of it, but thankfully, the EOS White Paper has just been released.

EOS is easier to understand when you recognize what problems it’s trying to solve.

Right now, blockchains have several problems that need solving: they are hard to scale up (look no further than the Bitcoin scaling war), they are costly (Ethereum charges a gas fee to use its network), they lack interoperability and they are difficult for legacy companies to navigate. Blockchain technology is redefining the entire internet, but for most company owners, there’s no easy way to adopt this brand-new revolutionary technology. I believe EOS is trying to make blockchain technology easy to adopt, by creating a blockchain operating system for companies.

Here’s an abstract from the EOS White Paper:

“The EOS.IO software introduces a new blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications. This is achieved by creating an operating system-like construct upon which applications can be built. The software provides accounts, authentication, databases, asynchronous communication and the scheduling of applications across hundreds of CPU cores or clusters. The resulting technology is a blockchain architecture that scales to millions of transactions per second, eliminates user fees, and allows for quick and easy deployment of decentralized applications.”

-EOS White Paper

The EOS token sale will be launched on the Ethereum network, the EOS blog announced recently. The token sale will be ongoing for a year to ensure maximum and wide distribution. Many people were confused by this move, but I think it’s a wise move for financial reasons. Ethereum has been gaining some serious traction both with its price and popularity. It has the feeling of being a goliath already.

No one really understands how all of this will shakeout in the future, but here’s a reaction from a Steemit user named @zooropa that echoes some of the EOS excitement:
There's also a fair amount of criticism concerning EOS' decision to launch its token on the Ethereum network.

Do you have any insight as to what will happen after one year with EOS? Post your comments below.

If any of the above information is incorrect, please let me know as I have submitted this article to Hackernoon as well.


Thank you for this introduction. I appreciated it to read more about one of the heads behind steemit and new EOS :)

you're welcome, glad to find your stuff too!

What a Legend. I see EOS as the future of blockchain. It has a lot of potential. The hype is not without a reason. Only thing that worries me is the possible crypto bubble while EOS going for 1 year ICO which might slow down it's process of establishing on the blockchain. Thanks for this article and thanks to Dan for being such a visionary and amazing dev.

It's weird how little information is out there about him. He remains sort of hidden and mysterious.

Well, atleast we know he's not Satoshi Nakamoto (or maybe he is?). :)

I dont belive in a big bubble, until the crypto markect is 50% of all fiat market cap, up and downs for sure, even Bitcoin can go down this summer. Eos is a very expected solution for the market.

That was really insightfull, I never really knew that much about Dan before I read this post. Apart from the obvious co-founding Steemit and being the brain behind Bitshares. Very informative post indeed thanks for sharing :) Have a great Sunday!

Wow, very thorough. I watched one of Dan's presentations on EOS and had a feeling this guy was a genius. Your post just solidified that for me. I also have a new crypto investing strategy. Invest in Dan. Hearing his questions to Vitalik, along with his track record, it really seems like his #1 priority is to make the technology that the world needs. Other cryptocurrencies will have their limelight, but in the end i'm betting on the person who really knows how to solve the issues, and makes that his priority (over branding and profit). I believe in the end, after other cryptocurrencies start hitting more and more scaling obstacles, a Dan Larimer project will rise to the very top.

good analysis. The fact that this blockchain was up and running in a matter of months is something people don't quite grasp. Also, people don't know that Dan was trying to create his own digital money even before he found Bitcoin. Many people before Satoshi also tried to create digital money.....it was Satoshi's invention which combined cryptography and the double-spend issue that made it solid. I read through Dan's conversations with Satoshi, and back then Dan was already working on figuring out solutions to the scaling problems. He's thinking waaaaay ahead, and it is possible that his solutions are designed to resolve things that Ethereum is not equipped to handle. The main issue with all of this is the fact the information is kind of hidden, and no one understands what exactly Graphene is. I have been attempting to grasp this, in order to comprehend why Graphene is superior to Ethereum, but I don't totally get it. I think it has to do with the fact that Graphene tech is Delegated Proof of Stake, and Ethereum is a hybrid of POW + POS. It gets murky, because one almost needs a computer programming degree to fully grasp what it all means, and how it will shake out in the future. I am still looking for an easy to grasp understanding of Graphene...I noticed that 'Graphene' is missing from the Steem Wiki....

Someone's been doing their homework!

I've been doing this homework for a year. Steemit is 100,000 more valuable than my college degree.

what else have you been researching on? would be good to know :)

Very impressive what he's done to date, people are going to reference this post in the future to write books on Dan Larimer!

Thank-you for the research you have done @steelabella. I'm sure one day you could write a good book on @dantheman!

at one point, I wanted to write a book about him. Perhaps I will...........

Sounds good @stellabella! I really like how you looking into these things, and wish @Satoshi would come back.

well, don't we all.....there are very few mysteries left...Satoshi is one of the biggest ones.

Thank you for posting this @stellabelle. I've been here on Steemit since last July and I've pretty much kept my head down and posted art stuff. Lately, though, I've become fascinated with how brilliant @dantheman is, and the depth of his contributions. Steemit has changed my life. Full stop. My career is becoming shaped by it's impact every day [...for the better]. I recently met up with some OG Steemit nerds in Minneapolis like @lovejoy, @fox, @mada and @robrigo, and they gave me a crash course on the Dan Larimer timeline. This post is a great companion to that conversation. I've always been a tech geek, but seeing the disruption blockchain technology is having worldwide is causing me to thirst for as much information as I can get.

when i found dan's blog on github, it was like i was hooked from that point on. Part of the thing about humans is that we expect geniuses to act a certain way and when they don't we get upset. Dan didn't explain why he was leaving Steemit, but I believe he follows the inventor's way, more than the businessman's way. Inventors get stimulated by creating NEW things, not fine-tuning their existing inventions. When we understand this basic nature of Dan, it's easier to accept him as a human being. He doesn't explain this himself, so I have come to this conclusion (based on seeing his work, but not being directly in communication with him).
I am just guessing, so therefore, none of this is fact-based. It's based on assumptions. But most business-minded people would have stayed with their product, like BitShares, instead of moving on to create Steem and then EOS. I think that Dan must create new things constantly in order to satisfy his restless and idiosyncratic mind that very few people can even remotely comprehend. And I think those who do, are similarly not really into communcation........at least not simplification of complex ideas. I have a very strong urge to understand everything that crosses my path, and Dan is one that continues to elude me. Elusive targets are the most desirable, at least to me, and if I am destined to be trapped inside a life of social isolation, then the least I can do is try to understand things that elude most of humanity.

It is too technical for me to actually answer your query in the fullest. But possibly Dan feels that ETH now has done something innovative that might make it overcome the scalability problems. An alternate thought is possibly he went for the better technology out there that will help out his new project. Hope I am not completely of the mark in terms of understanding your question :)

that's kind of what I was thinking as well. And, EOS is a team, so there are many people involved in the decision-making process, I would think......I don't know who made the decision to launch on Ethereum, but......someone does.

Great post and I agree Dan is way ahead of his time :)

i am pretty sure Dan is from the future.

Would not surprise me one bit. :)

@stellabelle You killed it. But why would I need to tell you. 😎👍

oh because i need to hear praise, just like everyone else. Last year I was planning on writing a book about Dan......

haha I can totally see that and in fact, I might read it if you do

I'm not sure how to put this, but last year, I was a little obsessed with Dan.

my obsessions tend to motivate me to learn something in-depth, as i have figured out how to harness curious energy. It took me so long to figure this out...

I have a similar thing going, focus-obsession wise. Still working on it.

What makes me really excited is that Dan "use Austrian Economics to engineer the economic incentives which make freedom and non-violence profitable" (I quote from his blog).
I spent a lot of time studying Austrian Economics and this is the first time that I see someone not just talking about it but building something with it. It's something built on sound theoretical foundations.

Great post on @dan background. EOS will be another great project [email protected] I plan to invest in it too. On the contrary of crypto being a bubble, i am not worrying. Bitcoin was damned and mentioned so many times it is DEAD. I can't see how it is dead now.... lol

Bitcoin has now many new funds and new investors. Its value tells a lot. So we are seeing an era of financial revolution from the crypto world to the real world.

Btw, i am promoting steem at bitcointalk forum
Have a look and comment please! https://steemit.com/bitcointalk/@ameliawheat/ameliawheat-promoting-steem-at-bitcointalk-org-forum-and-first-issue-of-bitcoingossip-a-must-read-for-steemit-noobs

And the post mentions the origin and birth of steem and steemit at bitcointalk. Do have a look! pretty juicy! Noobs must see and read

Well done! I learned a few things from this article I didn't previously know. I didn't realize that Dan jumped into crypto so early. I actually mined ProtoShares which later became BitShares back in 2013. I didn't have much success and I remember being pissed off because I felt like I wasted electricity on it. I didn't actually know Dan's name until Steemit. I won't be forgetting it anytime soon though. He is clearly a rare genius.

What I like about him is that he has proved that he can deliver. With two projects running successful, EOS seems to have good chance to be a victorious third time.

Unfortunately, obtaining EOS tokens via ETH seems to limit the 1st tier investors to tech savvy people only.

oh he can deliver all right.

I am very intrigued by Dan and everything he does. Bitshares have gone crazy the past days and I will closely follow the EOS project. If it's as thought through as Steemit is, and if it's ahead of its time just like Steemit is - sort of - I don't see how it could not become successful.

He, that makes sense ;)

Great post @stellabelle I just seen you shared this to my page so I will post it on the wall for you over there and on our twitter. I also created a Slack for Steemit Blogger Central and I will pass this around in there as well. Thanks for honoring us with hosting your work today. Keep it up!

You can view your RESTEEM at the following pages:



Slack for Live Chats and Article Shares:
For new user sign ups email [email protected] and let us know you want in by providing your email address so we can send you a confirmation invite


cool. thanks. when did you create this blogger central thing?

I think we are going on almost 3 weeks now, started very small with the crowd around me but now ready to push forward. I just created a SLACK channel for it yesterday, figure give them a place to gather, meet each other and share their links in realtime and I will repost what I find in there as well to the pages. Really got hooked on this community, think I am going full time here to help where I can. I am done bouncing from coin to coin lol

Aha! Didn't realize Dan created BitShares too. He seems to be one of so many brilliant, bold and innovative minds creating the architecture for a new era (bypassing the old world patriarchal power hegemony.) Brendan Eich is another (JavaScript, Mozilla/Firefox, Brave browser, BAT (basic attention token) - not to mention so many others from Buterin to Satoshi and on and on - I love them all - they are the evolutionaries!

Evolutionaries... you got my vote just for that word, brilliant!

me too. i love them all.

Thank you for the post.
I have only been here a week, so still getting my head round formatting my post and voting power. :D lol
However I hope eventually this will all make sense.

it will make sense. just keep learning.

I am so grateful that you write on such broad topics and have a love for seeing the complexities and using creativity to make them interesting :)

I don't know why people want to understand things if they don't have the skills to understand it. How many people understand Windows or Apple operating system? How many people understand car engine? How many people understand the bnaking system? But we all use those things. So I think EOS will be the same. As we move, we will understand the use cases. So, if we don't have the skills to understand it, we should trust the team and make it our projects as a hole. Dan have the skill but he need us to make worthy. Son everybody should support these project and bring the good news in their local area.

why are people saying eos will kill ethereum. doesn't ethereum still have great aspects about it that eos doesn't cover, and besides eos is going on the eth network to begin with...

just looking for some insight on this

well, until we see EOS in action, and understand exactly what makes it superior to Ethereum, this will all remain murky territory

he will be the next bill gates for sure!

What are the reasons they are launching on the Eth network over the graphine chain? So many things are going on and decisions seem to be happening fast for something with a one year ico. It makes sense though if it turns out to be next ultimate crypto. Maybe even not be considered an altcoin.

We will have Bitcoin, EOS and then the altcoins.

I have no clue why it's being launched on Ethereum. My best guess is because Ethereum is popular, it will attract more money and influence.

is it still going to make to 100,000 transactions/sec? I know I should be going to the telegram channel and listening but I worry that this means they are going away from what the original goal is and leaning toward a more popular one. I am worried this is a sign that money could be more important than a successful fruitful project.

If you imply that EOS will run on Ethereum the answer is no. I am guessing that once the ICO is over a smart contract will be executed that will allocate the tokens on the EOS blockchain.

so it will probably be distributed later. I think i was a little confused. Thank you for that.

i think it will. but how this is done, i don't understand.

The one to scale them all? I couldn't tell. At least I will be around to find out ;-)

Nerds are cool these days 🤓😆💖... great post about Dan!

Why you unfollow me? I thought we were cool? 😞

I am just going to unfollow most people, don't take it personally. I do this every so often, starting over, to find new people.....you didn't do anything.

Fascinating!, we are witnessing the beginning of the future... Did not know about Dan Larimer, seems like a real genius!

woot woot EOS !!

I saw an interview with Dan on YT where he discussed his personal life briefly and how that was part of his motivation to get more involved with decentralized technology. I found that to be a fascinating aspect of his character. There are a ton of men in a similar position as him, but without the ability to forge their own path. The beauty of Steemit is that ability is getting more decentralized by the minute.

Thanks, @stellabelle for posting this about Dan. I always heard about Ned and Dan but had no clue who and what he really is.

Dan is an enigma. He's not boastful. So, he doesn't tend to write about himself......ideas, yes, but about himself, no....
He reminds me of the old-school inventors of the past in some respects.
I worked with an inventor in California.....he reminds me a little of Dan.

So unlike a lot of other persons who boasts about the smallest achievement. I am glad you had the opportunity to put Dan in the right light. It is a guy like him whose accomplishments really cause changes in the world - Thanks!

yeah, i don't know Dan very well, though. I have no idea what he thinks about himself. I know that he's fairly humble, at least that's what I have gathered....he is unlike most people in his focus abilities.

Interesting post

Thank you for your insight.

I am very bullish on EOS, if it can be buildit.. it will be big

why do you think it will succeed without seeing it work first?

Wow thanks for sharing. Every dan touches is awesome! I'm excited for EOS!

Is EOS something we will be able to invest in? Does being on the Ethereum network mean it will trade on the exchanges that trade ETH. Just trying to learn here.

Things like this interview are what scares me because I just moved 3/4 of everything I have into Ether. I have heard all over the place it is a scam! This interview with Dan Larimer shows they are hidding something.

Have you heard what Tone Vays has to say about Ethereum?



Tony Vays thinks that everything is a scam except Bitcoin..he is just in denial that the ONLY advantage that Bitcoin has over any other blockchain is that it has first mover advantage.

Tone Vays has no business spreading disinformation. I think he's full of paranoid delusions.

Thank God someone has made it clear, but I have seen so many hard questions ignored from the founders of Ether!! And why did they split? Something isnt right. I think this is ALL another ELITE scam, but if you look at it like this you can get in/out before the take down begins. Bet your but Ripple will survive so if it starts to go up grab 1000..

I have 3/4 of everything in Ether.....



you heard that Ethereum is a scam?

I do!!!! System of the Beast!! Although I own it....




I am. I couldnt refuse Digibyte at .18 so I sold 500 Vox to get it. I have what I want and its placed in things I dont plan on moving; PIVX, Bitshares, Blackcoin, Iconomi, 1,200 Steemit, and want more, Ubiq and Ethereum.


That was a really nice article. One of the best on Dan!

thank you! It needed to be written....and i put that puppy on Hackernoon too, so people not even on steemit will be exposed.

great article

Thanks for sharing! A link to your post was included in Steem.center wiki page about Dan Larimer. Thanks and good luck again!