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BTS is the core cryptocurrency of the BitShares platform maintained by the BitShares community, which is an open consortium of individuals and organizations aiming to provide universal access to smart contracts.
Once an investor buys BTS, he/she becomes a shareholder of the BitShares decentralized business and can get a share of its profits and participate in managing the platform.
Announced as BitShares X in 2013 by famous players in the crypto community such as Daniel Larimer, Charles Hoskinson, and Stan Larimer, the platform dropped the X to become simply BitShares in 2014.
The project aims to bring blockchain to all industries that require internet to provide their services. It includes banking, stock exchanges, lotteries, voting, music, auctions or many others. According to BitShares, a digital public ledger allows to create a distributed autonomous company (or DAC) that provides “better quality services at a fraction of the cost incurred by their more traditional, centralized counterparts.”
BitShares claim that DAC can run without human involvement and under the control of a set of business rules encoded in publicly auditable open source software distributed across the computers of the company’s shareholders.
Among many features BitShares also provides a decentralized exchange and SmartCoin, a stablecoin whose value is pegged to that of another asset, such as the US Dollar or gold. The project claims, that SmartCoins always have at least 100% of their value backed by BTS, to which they can be converted at any time.
The platform is using the Graphene technology, which is reportedly capable to handle 100,000 transactions per second. Bitshares claims that various businesses such as banks, exchanges and merchants are already integrating this technology to power instant cross-border remittance, corporate payments, voting, and decentralized trading.
As of October 2018, almost 2.6 billion BTS coins are in circulation (out of the max supply of 3.6 billion BTS). Its market capitalization stands at USD 270 million, down from its historic high of more than USD 2 billion in early 2018.
BitShares runs a reserve fund with 1.2 billion BTS coins whose value fluctuates based on daily prices and collected fees. It is in place to provide a stable budgetary resource the platform can rely on in case its operation runs into difficulties.
BTS coins are available for trade on Bitshares Decentralized Exchange and other crypto exchanges such as Binance and Poloniex.