The Wizard behind Bitshares, Steem & EOS — How Dan Larimer is shaping our future
How many people you can count who has the intention to change the world as we know it? And how many among them has the genius, vision and determination to do so? Not many!
Dan Larimer is one such man. He is the brain behind Bitshares, Steem and EOS and pioneer of a ground-breaking blockchain technology called Graphene that powers them. To give you an idea, Graphene supports the most number of transactions every day in blockchain space than any other.
He is a non-alcoholic and follows libertarianism. He is an ardent follower of Golden rule, which states:
Do not do unto others what you do not want others doing unto you.
Dan’s stated mission in life is:
“to find free market solutions to secure life, liberty, and property for all.”
He received a Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Computer Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2003. He has worked with various projects in different industries ranging from virtual reality simulators to unmanned vehicle control systems, and is currently focused in the areas of blockchain technology, decentralized exchanges, cryptocurrency, ecomonic systems & business model innovation.
He is currently the CTO of EOS and CEO of Invictus Innocations.
In 2009 he was attempting to engineer a digital currency when he discovered Bitcoin. He immediately got involved with Bitcoin and began communicating with Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto in a Bitcoin forum.
He went through some issues in his personal life during this time. When he got back, he found that the bitcoin exchanges were being shut down across the states and realized that Bitcoin may die if there is no alternative to the centralized exchanges.
“Exchanges work as a point of entry to the cryptocurrency market using the fiat currencies. Closing the exchanges would effectively remove the bridge between cryptocurrencies and fiat, thus preventing any inflow in crypto market.”
Through his amazing mastery of programming and force of will, he created Bitshares and invented BitUSD — the first trustless cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar. For the next 2 and a half years he worked on solving the technological challenges necessary to bring blockchain technology to a level of maturity that could support a decentralized exchange. The resulting technology is known as Graphene and is what powers BitShares, Steem and EOS.
Can you put your finger on a financial instrument that serves as an investment and also serves as a source of regular weekly income (if you contribute through content)? Well, that’s Steemit for you.
If Bitshares was created to solve the issue of decentralized exchanges, Steem and Steemit are based on a combination of social networking and mutual aid society. Before creating the Steemit, Dan mentioned the concept of a ‘social network of mutual aid societies’ as MUXER in his blog.
He also presented two smart contracts for Steem currency, called as Steem Power and Steem Dollars. Wherein, Steem power works as long-term capital commitments in turn providing stronger voting-potential, Steem dollar works as a debt-like instrument that promises to distribute $1 worth of Steem to the token holder. Steem Power and Steem Dollars are not readily convertible to Steem to avoid arbitrage attacks by market timers.
In an era, when blockchain technology is facing the scalability issues (look no further than Bitcoin), he has decided to climb the wall again to create EOS. It will have the capability to process millions of transactions per SECOND through horizontal scaling. It has it’s own constitution, the first of any blockchain. And did you notice the name of the currency, it’s EXAMPLE. It will lead by ‘name’ (pun intended).
What Microsoft has achieved in operating systems and Apple has achieved in mobile devices, EOS has the potential to replicate the same success in Blockchain space, if not more. It can be the Microsoft of Internet 2.0 revolution.
Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS) system:
Bitshares, Steem and EOS are based on a delegated proof-of-stake system, the community votes for individuals, called witnesses, to be responsible for verifying transactions.
The easiest way to think about it is proof-of-stake is true democracy similar to ancient Athens. Delegated proof-of-stake is more of a democratic republic, such as the US. By that logic, witnesses are like Congressmen, elected by the community to be responsible for securing the network.
The analogy ends here, as the witness can be removed for not doing their job, the US Congressmen are immune to.
The Curious case of Austrian Economics
Dan wrote a blog about why he is an Austrian economist. The blog and principles of Austrian economic were criticized by many along with Vitalik Buterin (co-founder of Ethereum). Vitalik responded with a paper wrote by Bryan Caplan of George Mason university titled “Why I am not an Austrian Economist”. Caplan began as an Austrian economist and then switched after 8 years and a Ph.D in economics from Princeton.
The paper left him confused and he decided to put the Austrian theory to the test again. After two days, he wrote another paper mentioning ‘why he is still an Austrian economist’. Not only he presented a sound argument in favour of Austrian economics but tore Bryan’s reasoning apart one by one. In his own words:
“I am a very principled individual and am not easily impressed with fancy math. I like the Austrian approach to economics because it is an approach based upon principles and deductive/inductive reasoning.”
During the times of any existential threat to blockchain technology, he has taken responsibility squarely on his shoulders and came up with solutions. He founded Bitshares when centralized bitcoin exchanges were being shut down across the US. He founded Steem when people were skeptical about its practical use in other fields, not just as cryptocurrency or a payment medium. He has now moved on to his next and most ambitious project EOS to solve scalability issues.
The projects he has done are so practical and timeless, they will be in use for decades if not for generations.
A perfect mix of an economist and a programmer, he is like the Nikola Tesla of Blockchain technology.