This guide on how to buy Bitshares will help you navigate the messy world of Bitshares and dealing with exchanges from where you can buy them. If you’re new to Bitshares and the concept, or to know more about Bitshares, read my detailed guide on what is Bitshares. Also, this is a document that I’ll be updating with more information as more information becomes available, so do bookmark this page if you’re really interested in how to buy Bitshares and how it evolves with time.
Buying Bitshares on Exchanges
Before you buy Bitshares, you’ll likely need to buy Bitcoin first. The easiest way to do that in US and most of Europe is through Coinbase.
This is probably going to be the most convenient way to buy Bitshares for most people who are interested in this project. Bitshares is a high-profile project in the crypto-currency community and therefore exchanges should be quick to add this if it proves successful. Bitshares has actually proven to be very successful, and it seems to be even more popular in China.
: Binance is the fastest growing crypto exchange today, and luckily it lists Bitshares on its exchange. This has been an important driver of Bitshares exchange volume over the last few months, especially after Bittrex removed Bitshares from its trading platform rather abruptly. When it comes to volume, Binance competes neck-to-neck with Poloniex for the highest traded Bitshares exchange in the crypto markets out there. You can get up to 2 BTC worth of withdrawals at Binance without enhanced KYC, and increase these limits as you include more IDs etc. in the platform. The fees at Binance also tend to be lower than most other exchanges.
Poloniex: Poloniex used to have the largest volume of trading among crypto exchanges but is since being overtaken by nimbler rivals like Bittrex and Binance. However, since Bittrex removed Bitshares from it platform, Poloniex remains one of the largest crypto exchanges to buy Bitshares. It is more popular in the US/Europe, but has enough of an audience in Asia as well. If you have an account there already, this is probably the easiest way to buy Bitshares. However, note that there are limits – for example, without ID verification, you can only withdraw $2000 worth of cryptocurrency (including Bitshares) from the exchange.
CHBTC: This is a very popular exchange in China that has a lot of trading volume. Currently it only trades Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic and recently added Bitshares. It is almost a milestone for Bitshares to be added there, considering so few cryptos get added. The volumes on CHBTC can rival that of Poloniex. If you’re in China, this could be more convenient than the options above.
Bittrex: *They have since removed Bitshares trading* This is a US-based exchange and is generally quite trusted in the community. Even though it has lower trading volumes than Poloniex, it has proved to be more stable and more security focused. You have the same limits here – $2000 worth of withdrawals daily without ID verification.
Bter: Bter was the first major exchange to add Protoshares, and has taken the lead on Bitshares too. However, they were hacked in the past and lost a lot of funds, so I wouldn’t place too much trust in them and avoid it if possible.
Forum: There will be several forum trades on their official forum, so do keep an eye out. However, I would like to emphasize that the possibility of a fraud is high in such trades, and you should make sure to use an escrow or trade only with very trusted forum members. If you can go the exchange route, that is much more recommended. Do this at your own risk. The only to go this route would be if you’re buying a huge number of Bitshares and don’t want to move the market.
** I wrote the below several years ago, and want to keep it active on the post, as a history snapshot of Bitshares and where it came from.
Bitshares is a soon-to-be-released “altcoin” that allows one to trade what are known as ‘BitAssets” which are supposed to track real-world assets like USD, Gold or even Bitcoin. It is a bold idea and people involved with it have been quite excited to see where it goes. The company behind it is Invictus Innovations and they’ve raised massive amounts of money for this already through a crowd-funding method dubbed AngelShares (which are non-tradable), very similar to Mastercoin’s fundraiser. They’ve gotten over 150 BTC per day on good funding days, so they definitely have a lot of money to make this happen.
The question is how they perform? There have already been several delays and changes of direction in the project, so understandably, people are a little skeptical if Invictus can pull this off. If they do, the biggest challenge would be to see if the marketplace makes a BitAsset track the price/value of the real underlying asset. This is a purely prediction-based speculative market without any physical Asset backing the corresponding BitAsset. If the price of the BitAsset truly is able to track the underlying Asset, I think there are wonderful things that can be done here and the upside is too great to ignore.
Fundraising: Getting Bitshares Before Launch
Important: A snapshot for Feb 28th 2014 has been announced for Bitshares X, the first Bitshares branch. If you buy Protoshares or Angelshares now, you won’t get a share in Bitshares after this date.
Invictus announced two separate ways of getting hold of Bitshares before they are launched, both being a different form of fundraising –
Protoshares: The first real ‘crypto-equity’, Protoshares give you a share of every future product that Invictus designs, reserved at a minimum of 10%. Others who want to use their code, community and ecosystem would do the same, so it’s a nice deal for long-term holders of Protoshares, assuming the products coming out are meaningful and can work in the actual world and not just abstract concepts on paper (there are plenty of these ideas-on-paper floating around). If you want to go this route, check out the How to Buy Protoshares guide. Remember that by holding Protoshares, you get a share of every future product designed by Invictus and possibly the community, not limited to Bitshares.
Angelshares: Pure fund-raising in Protoshares and Bitcoin, Angelshares was very successful and Invictus was able to raise the equivalent of several millions of dollars. The promise to allocate at least 10% in all future products to Angelshares donors. Angelshares are not tradable, but instead are assigned in the genesis block of these products, so anyone with a private key of the donation address can access them. This is similar to the Mastercoin fundraiser. Learn more about Angelshares here.
Photo Credit: Anna Yanev