What is different BitShares

Here we give a brief overview of what is different in BitShares 2.0 when compared to satoshi-based blockchains such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc.. from the perspective of an exchange.

Several Tokens

In contrast to all satoshi-based clients, BitShares 2.0 offers a variety of blockchain tokens. There is not just the BTS (core token) but many others. Hence, as an exchange you need to distinguish different assets, either by their id (1.3.0 (BTS), 1.3.1 (USD), …) or by there symbol.

Registered Identities

All participants in BitShares 2.0 are required to have a registered unique name. This is similar to mail addresses and are used to address recipients for transfers. As an exchange you will only ever need to tell your customers your BitShares account name and they will be able to send you funds.

No More Addresses

In BitShares 2.0, we have separated the permissions from the identity. Hence, as an exchange you don’t need to ever deal with addresses again. In fact, you actually cannot possibly use an address because they only define so called authorities that can control the funds (or the account name). This should greatly simplify integration as you don’t need to store thousands of addresses and their corresponding private keys.


In order to distinguish customers, we make use of so called memos similar to BitShares 1, which are encrypted. In contrast to BitShares 1.0, we now have a separated memo key that is only capable of decoding your memo and cannot spend funds. Hence, in order to monitor deposits to the exchange you no longer need to expose the private key to an internet connected machine. Instead you only decode the memo and leave the funds where they are.

Securing Funds

Funds can be secured by hierarchical cooperate accounts. In practice, they are (Threshold) Multi-Signature accounts from which funds can only be spend if several signatures are valid. In contrast to mostly every other crypto currency, you can propose a transaction on the blockchain and don’t need other means of communications to add your approval to a certain transactions. You can find more details about these account types in

  • account-membership
  • securing-funds

Full Nodes and Clients

We have rewritten the core components from scratch and separated the core P2P and blockchain components from the wallet. Hence, you can run a full node without a wallet and connect your wallet to any public (or non-public) full-node (executable witness_node). The communication can be established securely but the private keys never leave the wallet.

Object IDs

Since BitShares 2.0 offers a variety of features to its users that are different in many ways, we have decided to address them using object ids.

For instance:

Object ID | translates to
1.3.1 asset USD
1.3.0 asset BTS
1.2.<id> user with id <id>
1.6.<id> block signer <id>
1.11.<id> operation with id <id>