The Evolution of ProtoShares

Saturday, July 26, 2014

On October 5, 2013, at the Cryptocurrency Conference, Daniel Larimer, the founder of Invictus Innovations gave a presentation on Decentralized Autonomous Companies (DAC). One idea that he presented was the creation of ProtoShares (PTS). PTS is a mineable cryptocurrency used to raise funds for the development of a suite of DACs sponsored by Invictus Innovations.

ProtoShares was initially mineable only with CPUs and eventually with GPUs. They were not pre-mined and quickly rose in value to over $9.00 USD with a market capitalization that exceeded $30 million within 45 days of launching. Quite impressive.  

However, there was one huge problem.  In order to mine PTS, miners spent an enormous amount of money on hardware, software, and cloud services. Proof-of-work diverted funds away from the DAC ecosystem, and Invictus Innovations set out to devise more productive means of raising capital. Mastercoin, a Bitcoin 2.0 protocol, raised funds via a donation crowd sale in August 2013.  This eliminated the need for mining while maximizing fundraising efficiency.  I believe this served as a pivotal example encouraging the company to adopt a similar model.  

Invictus Innovations introduced new features to this crowd sale donation concept.  They created a second asset called AngelShares (AGS) that allowed individuals to fund future DACs while receiving a stake. This idea is now commonly referred to as crypto equity. The model attracted individuals from the crypto currency community with a long term vision for the DAC ecosystem.  New DAC developers gained initial community support if they would honor a social consensus contract. This contract stated that new DAC developers set aside a minimum 20% stake in their DAC. This stake which would be split equally between AGS and PTS holders in exchange for community support, testing, and promotion of the new DAC.  Additionally, the developer would gain access to Invictus Innovation's technology toolkit and support.

The AGS donation period starting Jan 1, 2014 and ended July 19, 2014.  During this time, one could donate Bitcoin (BTC) or PTS and receive a percentage of 5000 AGS distributed daily.  The campaign proved to be successful in raising donations.

On Feb 28, 2014, Invictus Innovations took a snapshot of PTS and AGS, granting the holders an allotment in BitShares X when released. AGS donations after Feb 28, 2014 did not earn any stake in BitShares X or its derivative DACs.  However, post snapshot donations were rewarded with stake in future DACs (excluding BitShares X) including several projects in development:

Domain Names
A secure alternative to today's domain name system that aims to eliminate domain name squatting while providing security against government seizures and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Voting
Transparent yet anonymous elections and polling.

Charity
Finding ways to help others with the technology of decentralized autonomous charities.

Gaming
Honest and transparent gaming.

Insurance
Get 'insurance' through a Mutual Aid Society with minimal overhead using decentralized autonomous insurance policies.

Lending
Lending is one of the more difficult systems to decentralize because trust and creditworthiness play central roles, which typically require individual judgment and accountability.

Music
With the latest technologies that enable transparent decentralized ledgers, artists could sell shares of their songs rather than copies of their songs.

Invictus Innovations renamed ProtoShares to BitShares PTS and AngelShares to BitShares AGS. On July 19, 2014, BitShares X (BTSX), a decentralized bank and exchange was released. AngelShares holders can claim their shares in this asset.

Hopefully, this article helped clarify the evolution of ProtoShares. More information about BitShares is available here.


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