I’ve spent a lot a column-inches over the previous articles discussing asset-issuance, especially in regards to a few specific platforms we have covered. Counterparty, NXT, and Dogeparty, among others, are all interesting methods of issuing assets, and that new ability brought to us by cryptocurrency is one of the most exciting disruptions it has provided. While it’s always nice to forge ahead and consider the future, it is also a good idea to step back, slow down, and review in detail what is already occurring. So, in accordance with the theme of some of my other recent articles, let’s take a look at what the Bitcoin protocol is already doing to change the world. This will be a brief discussion of a few of the top crypto-assets, as catalogued on CoinMarketCap.com. I expect to revisit this topic in the future to discuss more of them, but for now, a few.
To start with, an asset issued on a platform I haven’t discussed, Mastercoin. The asset is MaidSafeCoin, and it is the largest asset issued by market cap – by a significant margin, coming in at almost 24,000 BTC, 4 times the next largest asset. What is MaidSafeCoin? It’s the asset issued for use with the Safe network, a development project aimed at building a decentralized and open internet. Instead of websites being hosted by single servers placed somewhere or by rented centralized server farms, MaidSafeCoin and the Safe network allow for hosting and provision of content through a decentralized rentals of computer processing services. Essentially, anyone who would like to participate can offer up whatever spare resources they have – they are then paid out automatically for them through MaidSafeCoin. MaidSafeCoin’s value is tied to the demand to use the Safe network, and in theory, as its value grows, the supply of resources available on the Safe network will also grow. It’s a self-supporting ecosystem of a very simple and clever variety, that hopes to create a censorship-free web – free not just of censorship akin to China’s great firewall, but also of censorship like that that claimed the servers of many different illicit or revolutionary activities. With the Safe network, hosting is decentralized, so there is no physical server location for anyone to gain access to and shut down. It’s a very impressive development, and it’s clear why MaidSafeCoin is the top asset at current.
My one criticism: It’s issued on the Mastercoin network, which is abbreviated MSC. MaidSafeCoin should also be acronym’ed MSC. Yeah. It’s a small criticism, I agree.
What else is out there in the wide world of crypto-assets, though? A lot of scams. But also some bright – perhaps blindingly so – ideas. SuperNET is one of those.
jl777 is an oddity for the cryptocurrency community. He has his haters, just like everyone else does, but most people view him as an honest individual. Comparing anyone to Mircea Popescu is the sort of statement that could be taken the wrong way – as MPOE has one of the most polarized reputations I’ve ever seen – but I have an immense respect for MPOE, much the same as I do for jl777. As always, though, take what you read with a grain of salt.
jl777 is the architect of the SuperNET project, one of the most ambitious projects to date – and one that most people with foresight could see coming. The network effect is the most powerful driving force behind the adoption of new technology. Bitcoin has a huge headstart on network; Litecoin (now teamed up with Dogecoin) trailing somewhere far behind it. SuperNET is just the logical next step to the Litecoin/Dogecoin pseudo-merge. Allow coins to band together while still remaining heterogenous. By doing so, everyone benefits – each added coin network is a benefit to all participants in the SuperNET, thanks to the network effect. There are no detrimental effects, thanks to the maintained heterogeneity. This project has very real and impressive possibilities, and I can’t spare the words to describe fully everything it could mean once realized, so please consider looking into it in more detail yourself. Here’s a link to get you started.
Third, an easier to describe asset, this time issued on the BitSharesX (BTSX) platform. Not actually really only one asset, but we’re discussing BitUSD to start off. BitUSD is one of what could be considered a small family of BitSharesX assets – BitUSD, BitCNY, and BitBTC, with others likely to come.
BitUSD is an asset which makes up a decentralized autonomous corporation, the only purpose of which is to allow people to go short or long on the price of BitSharesX vs. USD. That might not seem impressive, but it’s actually INCREDIBLY influential. It’s a methodology for allowing the market to fix the price of an asset to the relationship of two other assets. It’s decentralization of discovering exchange rates, in other words. I’d recommend this 10-minute video for anyone who wants a rundown of what this means and the basics of how it works.
What’s the use of this? With some clever work on behalf of programmers and so on, this is a method for “owning” US dollars without actually owning them. BitUSD is essentially an asset that will nearly-perfectly track the value of USD – as such, assuming a sufficiently liquid market that was capable of programmatically responding quickly enough in order to meet demand to buy or sell USD using BitUSD, BitUSD is a cryptocurrency with the stability of the dollar.
It allows for the printing of digital dollars. Let me repeat that.
By itself, this system, given enough use, testing, and development around it, could LITERALLY be used as a cryptocurrency replacement dollar. No risk to any participants. Everything decentralized. The assets are on a blockchain. BitUSD itself is a decentralized autonomous corporation. The pricing of BitUSD/USD and BitSharesX/USD is managed by the market – a decentralized authority. Everything is decentralized and trustless, and it’s faster, more secure, and lower hassle than the actual dollar is.
And with that, thanks, as always, for reading.