13 February 2018 9:10 pm
In the past, we’ve talked about the BitShares platform, a completely decentralized exchange, and the BitShares (BTS) token, the currency that acts as the foundation for the BitShares network. But did you know that if you hold BTS tokens, you can vote for what many different aspects of the BitShares platform?
Holding BTS tokens allows you to vote on BitShares’ overall direction. BTS tokens aren’t just an altcoin, they’re effectively a piece of the Bitshares future, giving you the power to decide where BitShares should go. We’ll explain how voting works on BitShares, but this principle applies to many other altcoins that give holders a stake in the network.
If you own 1 BTS token, that’s equivalent to 1 vote. Votes on BitShares help the community to determine which part of the BitShares operations should be given priority.
This is also referred to as Delegated Proof of Stake (DPOS). Unlike Bitcoin, which uses a Proof of Work model, DPOS determines the block producers by stake-vote. This helps keep BitShares a democratized system, while remaining completely decentralized.
DPOS allows BitShares to have a higher transaction volume (100,000 TPS) and faster confirmation times. And since BTS token is not mined, it’s more energy efficient, and does not rely on computer hardware.
BTS Token holders can vote for three groups: witnesses, committee members, and workers. You can vote as many times for a particular group, and they will still receive the same amount of votes.
Witnesses are block producers of BitShares. They collect a series of transactions, group them into a block, sign it, and then distribute it to the rest of the network. Essentially they validate transactions and help keep the network protected. For every block produced, witnesses are compensated in BTS tokens, similar to BTC miners. Committee members are a group of elected individuals that govern various parameters of the blockchain, such as block size and block confirmation time. Above all, committee members vote on the business plan of a blockchain, and how it creates money. They have the power to tweak costs and fees as they see fit.
Finally, workers are freelancers or businesses that provide a nonprofiting service for the network, such as development and UI.
But if like most people, you don’t have time to understand the nuances of voting and the network’s development, if you don’t understand the UI programming, the intricacies of the DEX exchange, the use of the platform worldwide, exactly how blockchain works you can cast a proxy vote.
As a BTS holder, you can allocate your vote to a single account, or a proxy.
Proxies are holders and users of the BitShares platform with a deeper technical understanding of the system than most users. BTS holders can select someone in the BitShares community that they trust, and assign them as their proxy. Your proxy will then have the ability to vote on your behalf, using the BTS token.
1. While signed into the BitShares platform, click on “Account” at the top of the default view.
2. In the left sidebar, underneath Membership, click on “Voting”.
3. A list of names will pop up. Enter the profile name of the person you want to elect as your proxy.
4. Click on “Save” in the far right side of the page, then hit confirm. This will lock in your proxy selection.
It’s that simple- four quick steps. See video demonstrating Here.
Voting systems may have a few flaws, but they remain one of the best ways to maintain a democracy in the network, while ensuring it remains decentralized. The concept of voting in a blockchain network is nothing new, and you can apply this same process to any other coin or network that utilizes a Delegated Proof of Stake system.
As mentioned, truly understanding the the technical aspects of BitShares, the blockchain, and every aspect of cryptocurrency from security to programming UI with updated features is time consuming at the very least. The benefits of cryptocurrency are set to go far and wide. In order that BitShares can advance, if you aren’t up on the technical side, or even fully understand how blockchain works, we’d suggest you set your proxy vote to Michaelx.
Michael is a founder, speaker and strategist and blockchain evangelist. He is a contributor to the Forbes Technology Counsel, Huffington Post, and many other publications. He has been involved with BitShares for four years. Keeping up to date on all Witness production, committee initiatives, background business, worker proposals, and more can be time consuming, and require quite a bit of technical knowledge. Michael is up to date with all of this information.