BitShares (BTS) is an “open source business development and financial management platform” that was founded by Dan Larimer in 2014, who also founded Steem and EOS, and launched in 2015. BitShares is essentially a decentralized exchange and is a part of the Microsoft Azure Blockchain as a Service package.
Intense research and development is going into building decentralized exchanges, which are faster, cheaper and more secure. The foundation for BitShares based on an open-source MIT technology called Graphene, which is touted as being a better performing blockchain.
The BitShares network uses a Distributed Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm, in which block producers are elected to produce more blocks. 30 core token holders maintain and develop the blockchain and its decentralized apps.
The platform’s token, BTS, can be used within the network, pays for the network operations fees and can be used as collateral for loans. Cryptocurrencies can be converted into tokens that are backed by real assets, like fiat currencies, company stocks or precious metals.
The development team is currently working on releasing version 3.3.0, which is almost at completion. 2019 and 2020 will see the release of protocol upgrade 4.0.0, which would be the second protocol of upgrade of this year.