The Wizard behind Bitshares, Steem & EOS - How Dan Larimer is shaping our future

in steemit •  last year

How many people you can count who has the intention to change the world as we know it? And how many among them has the genius, vision and determination to do so? Not many!

Dan Larimer is one such person. He is the brain behind Bitshares, Steem and EOS and pioneer of a ground-breaking blockchain technology called Graphene that powers them. To give you an idea, Graphene supports the most number of transactions every day in blockchain space than any other.

He is a non-alcoholic and follows libertarianism. He is an ardent follower of Golden rule, which states:

Do not do unto others what you do not want others doing unto you.

Dan’s stated mission in life is  

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

He received a Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Computer Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2003. He has worked with various projects in different industries ranging from virtual reality simulators to unmanned vehicle control systems, and is currently focused in the areas of blockchain technology, decentralized exchanges, cryptocurrency, ecomonic systems & business model innovation.

He is currently the CTO of EOS and CEO of Cryptonomex Inc.

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.

He went through some issues in his personal life during this time. When he got back, he found that the bitcoin exchanges were being shut down across the states and realized that Bitcoin may die if there is no alternative to the centralized exchanges.

Exchanges work as a point of entry to the cryptocurrency market using the fiat currencies. Closing the exchanges would effectively remove the bridge between cryptocurrencies and fiat, thus preventing any inflow in crypto market.

Through his amazing mastery of programming and force of will, he created Bitshares and invented BitUSD - the first trustless cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar. For the next 2 and a half years he worked on solving the technological challenges necessary to bring blockchain technology to a level of maturity that could support a decentralized exchange. The resulting technology is known as Graphene and is what powers BitShares, Steem and EOS.

Can you put your finger on a financial instrument that serves as an investment and also serves as a source of regular weekly income (if you contribute through content)? Well, that’s Steemit for you.

If Bitshares was created to solve the issue of decentralized exchanges, Steem and Steemit are based on a combination of social networking and few concepts of mutual aid society. Before creating the Steemit, Dan mentioned the concept of a 'social network of mutual aid societies' as MUXER in his blog.

He also presented two smart contracts for Steem currency, called as Steem Power and Steem Dollars. Wherein, Steem power works as long-term capital commitments in turn providing stronger voting-potential, Steem dollar works as a debt-like instrument that promises to distribute $1 worth of Steem to the token holder. Steem Power and Steem Dollars are not readily convertible to Steem to avoid arbitrage attacks by market timers.

In an era, when Blockchain technology is facing the scalability issues (look no further than Bitcoin), he has decided to climb the wall again to create EOS. It will have the capability to process millions of transactions per SECOND through horizontal scaling. It has it's own constitution, the first of any Blockchain. And did you notice the name of the currency, it's EXAMPLE. It will lead by 'name' (no pun intended).

What Microsoft has achieved in operating systems and Apple has achieved in mobile devices, EOS has the potential to replicate the same success in Blockchain space, if not more. It can be the Microsoft of Internet 2.0 revolution.

Delegated Proof-Of-Stake (DPOS) system:

Dan introduced a delegated proof-of-stake (DPOS) system in Bitshares, Steem and EOS, an improvised version of proof-of-stake system such as Ethereum. The community votes for individuals, called witnesses, to be responsible for verifying transactions.

The easiest way to think about it is proof-of-stake is true democracy similar to ancient Athens. Delegated proof-of-stake is more of a democratic republic, such as the US. By that logic, witnesses are like Congressmen, elected by the community to be responsible for securing the network.

However, the analogy ends here, as the witness can be removed for not doing their work, the US Congressmen are immune to.

The Curious case of Austrian Economics:

Dan wrote a blog about why he is an Austrian economist. The blog and principles of Austrian economic were criticized by many, along with Vitalik Buterin (the tallest visible leader in cryptocurrencies going by the market cap of Ethereum). Vitalik responded with a paper wrote by Bryan Caplan of George Mason university titled “Why I am not an Austrian Economist”. Caplan began as an Austrain economist and then switched after 8 years and a Ph.D in economics from Princeton.

The paper left him confused and he decided to put the Austrian theory to the test again. After two days, he wrote another paper ‘why I am an Austrian economist - Take 1’. Not only he presented a sound argument in favour of Austrian economics but tore Bryan’s reasoning apart one by one. In his own words:

I am a very principled individual and am not easily impressed with fancy math. I like the Austrian approach to economics because it is an approach based upon principles and deductive/inductive reasoning.

During the times of any existential threat to blockchain technology, he always took responsibility squarely on his shoulders and came up with solutions. 

He founded Bitshares when centralized bitcoin exchanges were being shut down across the US. He founded Steem when people were skeptical about its practical use in other fields, not just as cryptocurrency or a payment medium. He has now moved on to his next and most ambitious project EOS to solve scalability issues.

The projects he has done are so practical and timeless, they may be in use for decades if not for generations.

A perfect mix of an economist and a programmer, he is like the Nikola Tesla of Blockchain technology.

There is very little information available online about Dan Larimer. He probably applies the concepts from J.J. Luna’s book “How to Be Invisible” on his personal life. Speaking of books, Dan's favourite books are -

  • Adventures in Legal Land by Marc Stevens
  • Cracking the Code by Peter Eric Hendrickson
  • How to Be Invisible: Protect Your Home, Your Children, Your Assets, and Your Life by J. J. Luna
  • How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne
  • Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth by Steve Pavlina
  • The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
  • Mises on Money by Gary North
  • No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority by Lysander Spooner

I was reading a lot of articles on Dan's blog to understand his personality and to have a glimpse in to his world. And with the risk of sounding melodramatic, I would confess, I am infected by the cult of Dan Larimer.

I intend to write a series by the name of 'Steemit success stories' about the most popular authors on Steemit. You would certainly want to know more about the person and personality behind those witty lines and beautiful posts. I do have some names in my mind such as @trafalgar @papa-pepper @firepower and @sweetsssj. Please suggest more names in comments and help me get in touch with them, if you know them personally. 

Thank you for taking out time to read this. If you liked it, please Upvote and Follow me @mohit18jan. Share this incredible story with other steemians, RESTEEM.
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I think this and this presentation are two good indicators of the man's impressive grasp of the technology behind cryptocurrency and his inventions/creations. I am not a programmer by trade but his track record speaks for itself to a degree.


@cryptonate - the 2nd link where he is asking questions to Vitalik, is an impressive catalyst to his technical knowledge about blockchain. I tell you, this guy is going miles. Thanx for resteem, bud :)

Dan isn't like a Vitalik is he? Sounds like our mysterious developer has been keeping things low-key. I can't believe this guy has made Steemit and Bitshares and nobody has really heard of him! Great post Mohit! Followed!


Really @ldauch. There is very little information available about him. I doubt if he is real Satoshi Nakamoto :)


He's not Satoshi as he was talking to Nakamoto in 2010 in a Bitcoin forum.....find those. Go down the rabbit hole some more.


Satoshi was using cryptography to cover his tracks such as Tor and encrypted email service. He can very well be anyone among the people on that forum like Hal Finney, Gavin Andresen. It's like having two completely seperate accounts on Steemit, with one identity disclosed. See, I went down the rabbit hole :)



Thanks for the investigation! Parts of you text and links to your post were included in the wiki article about Dan Larimer. Thanks and good luck again!


Thanx for the mention, @steemcenterwiki :)

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This post received a 4.2% upvote from @randowhale thanks to @mohit18jan! For more information, click here!

@mohit18jan Great article on Dan Larimer! Thank you.


Thank you, @annex :)

The philosophy of Dan hits you like a ton of bricks when you open up the EOS page, Decentralize Everything. George Gadamer wrote Truth and Method, Professor Carrol Quigley wrote Tragedy and Hope; Dan may well be busy authoring his own novel albeit in cryptographic style, Decentralize Everything. Great post!


Thanks @colloidy. I think 'Internet 2.0' would make a great title :)

I am libertarian. I hope we can change the world.


We WILL change the world :)

To date, I believe I am the only one who has written an extensive article on Dan Larimer, as I was the one who wrote his entry in the Steem Wiki. I believe your post was perhaps quoting from it? My Hackernoon article is maybe the most thorough article on Dan yet, and I too, could find hardly anything online about him. Your Tesla analogy is one I had already come up with also...


Your comments on my post, I'm honored @stellabelle. I admire your writing skills and the oozing confidence through your words.

I did read Steem Wiki and the introduction post made by Dan on his profile last year, along with his blog 'bytemaster'. Few of the parts were quoted from it. Also looked at his Linkedin profile and youtube videos.

I thought of Vitalik as more like Edison, and Dan more like Nikola Tesla.....however, Dan admitted that Vitalik is better at math than Dan.
I would have to research Vitalik in-depth to determine who he resembles.


I haven't read much about Vitalik so would refrain from commenting about him. However, in a face off at North American Bitcoin Conference, Vitalik look hesitated, almost uncomfortable (avoiding eye contact). Wherein, Dan's aura exudes confidence. The analogy about Tesla, because both are driven by a selfless almost altruistic approach, to give more to the world without expectations.


I'd question whether any ardent follower of Austrian economics is able to be selfless, given the massive holes in the logic that Austrian economics - a minor variant on the neo-classical economic systems that have brought us the joys of the modern corporatist state. To be selfless requires enough understanding of selfishness to conquer it, not to embrace it...

Really bright mind, thanks for introducing Dan to us. I am for a few days at steemit but I would like to suggest you my favourite author @jerrybanfield. Upvoting and became your follower.


Thanx @hairyfairy . A post on popular authors on Steemit was actually @jerrybanfield's idea. He asked someone to work on that due to limitation of time on his part.

Ethereum will not have PoS until Casper is released. NXT would be a much better example of a PoS coin.

Well written and interesting post


Thank you, @thedane :)

Dan is indeed visionary. We at Steemit really owe a debt of gratitude to him. Wishing him success in all his future undertakings.


He is a legend in making. A true genius, visionary and ambitious!

I'm jumping off Vitalik Ethereum Train and beaming up onto Larimer's EOS starship. See ya on the other side of the galaxy!


So I am :)... C ya

Great info, still learning about all the currencies as i am new on here


Baby steps.... One day at a time

Nothing on here about how he open-sourced a product (graphene) he had already sold?


As far as my understanding goes, he never sold the technology. Will dig in to it some more.


I am an ANGELSHARES HOLDER and he sold a 10% of all future projects based on the graphene platform!!!,1429.0.html
read that

great post!
Keep it up... @mohit

Hey, good luck on your journey in our fine community! I'll follow your account to see how you doing :). Please follow me @nakedchef89.

Very interesting post. I'm following you now.


Thank you @teamsteem. Check my recent one

Do provide feedback if possible. Stay blessed :)

Awesome article, I wish I could resteemit so I don't lose it!


Thanks! Go ahead and resteem :)

join community on discord channel and support each other


Oh yes, I'm on PAL and INDIA Steemit all the time. Say Hi if you pass by :)