How the Teflon Dan changed the crypto world
About Dan Larimer
Dan Larimer is not so much a programmer, but rather a visionary inventor. In his own words, his mission is to find free market solutions to secure life, liberty and property for all. As an early pioneer, he joined the crypto community in 2009 and communicated with bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto in a bitcoin forum. As bitcoin gained adoption, he was quickly alarmed by the increasing presence of centralised exchanges and reached the conclusion that the market needed a safer and more secure way to trade and store crypto: decentralised exchanges.
In 2012, Dan created Bitshares. A network, blockchain, company, exchange, cryptocurrency and community all at once. However, when people talk about Bitshares, it’s mostly the decentralised exchange and crypto asset BTS.
Bitshares is one the biggest decentralised exchanges that exists today, yet it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Looking at the Blocktivity index, the Bitshares blockchain processes around 7% of all transactions in total across all blockchains. The blockchain’s native token BTS is used to pay trading fees and also serves as the crypto collateral for BitAssets – stable coins created and traded on the Bitshares blockchain.
The exchange is built using Graphene and has a throughput of 100,000 transactions per second – easily rivalling the speeds of any other exchange. In fact, with the rise of DEXs set to replace centralised crypto exchanges, Bitshares is in the perfect position to increase its market share in the coming year. SparkDEX as the first gateway to the exchange based in Hong Kong certainly provides a boost to grow the global DEX community.
After creating Bitshares, Dan Larimer didn’t stick. He went on to create Steem which, before EOS took centre stage, processed more daily transactions than Bitcoin and Ethereum. Today, operations processed by Steem stand at around 15% of the total operations processed on all blockchains, second only to EOS with an estimated 50%.
Between Ethereum and Steem, Ethereum definitely wins the popularity contest but when it comes to performance Steem is miles ahead. The Steem blockchain processes transactions in 3 seconds without any fees and the network is only at 0.30% capacity. Ethereum on the other hand needs about 15 seconds to process transactions at ever-increasing fees and the network is struggling with severe a backlog: 60,321 unconfirmed transactions.
The real value of the Steem blockchain is not necessarily in its native token STEEM, but rather in the community that is creating value on the publishing platform every day. In May 2018, Steem announced it had reached over 1 million users signed up to the platform. Publishers get rewarded with Steem tokens for their unique content if the community finds it engaging. Not only does this drive up the price of STEEM, it’s also the perfect gateway into the world of cryptocurrency for those who do not have the cash to buy crypto on an exchange.
However, Dan has since left Steem and teamed up with his father Stan Larimer to create one of the biggest things to hit the crypto world: EOS.
Dan Larimer understands the importance of decentralisation, a critical component of his two previous projects: BitShares is a decentralised exchange; Steemit is a decentralised blog and social media network. With EOS, he continued the advancement of decentralisation at a much larger scale with an entire operating system. Certainly the year-long ICO that ended in June 2018 and raked in $4.2 billion will help with the mission.
On their website, EOS defines itself as the most powerful infrastructure for decentralised applications. It is a software that greatly facilitates the development, hosting, and execution of commercial-scale dApps on its platform. Like Bitshares and Steem, it is also powered by Graphene, a technology created by father-son team Stan and Dan Larimer. Its capabilities far outpace Ethereum as a platform for development, which is why EOS has been dubbed “Ethereum on Steroids”.
While many saw the development of EOS as a threat to the market share of both Bitshares and Steem, both platforms have remained intact with their communities still actively engaging. In fact, the two Larimers never intended EOS to pose a threat of any kind to other decentralised projects. They saw EOS as the catalyst for moving away from a fragmented blockchain industry and towards a world where the different blockchains would be interoperable and complementary. It is certainly a mission worth supporting, and with the SparkDEX gateway to Bitshares as the latest component to the Spark ecosystem, a mission we’re actively taking part in.
After moving swiftly from Bitshares to Steem and on to EOS, some probably doubt whether the Teflon Dan will stick around this time to actually take EOS all the way to the finishing line. According to him, EOS is his one and true calling and as a platform will allow him to work on multiple decentralised projects, while building up EOS market share at the same time.