BitShares is a Peer-to-Peer distributed ledger and network based on a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) algorithm and runs on the open-source blockchain implementation Graphene, designed to provide a more efficient global payment network and is commonly used for securely trading cryptocurrencies without any intermediaries. The platform is powered by the BitShares (BTS) token, a native utility token that can be used for several purposes, including the creation of collateralizing market-pegged and stable smartcoin known as "bitAssets". The BitShares platform is managed by a decentralized autonomous company (DAC), which allows BTS token holders to decide the future of the platform, and decide which features to add next.
One of BitShares’ major distinguishing features is its integrated decentralized cryptocurrency exchange platform (DEX), which allows users to trade regular cryptocurrencies, as well as more traditional financial instruments (via BitAssets) without middlemen. Because of its native DEX and support for synthetic assets (BitAssets), BitShares is often touted as the world’s first DeFi capable blockchain. As we previously touched on, BitShares uses distributed autonomous companies (DACs) to produce a self-governing, self-financing system that allows BTS holders to set the business rules that govern the BitShares ecosystem through a secure proposal and voting procedure. BitShares is also one of the few blockchain platforms to completely do away with addresses. Instead, it uses simple memos to distinguish users, making it one of the more accessible crypto platforms. It is also built around a popular referral program that is used to incentivize the growth of the network by distributing upgrade fees between referrers and the BitShares network. It was the first blockchain to use self-governed delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) technology and has an ~3-second processing time for transactions, making it one of the fastest blockchains currently operating. In September 2020, the BitShares platform underwent a hard fork, leading to the creation of New BitShares (NBS) — a derivative project that is not affiliated with the original BitShares. As a result of the fork, BTS holders were airdropped NBS tokens at a 1:1 ratio.