Last year we initiated Project Zephyr, where we further developed our service by switching from the Bitcoin Blockchain over to the BitShares Blockchain. As part of our growth strategy, we also launched our own native incentive token Zephyr with an ICO in October 2017 where we raised 1.3 million during the 30-day sale. Zephyr is currently trading on the BitShares DEX.
You might be wondering why we moved away from the Bitcoin Blockchain, rejected Ethereum and decided to switch over to BitShares. Each blockchain has its own strengths and weaknesses, but BitShares was the optimal choice for us for a number of reasons including speed, lower risk through decentralisation and the ability to create fiat-pegged cryptocurrencies.
Fiat-pegged cryptocurrencies are an essential part of Project Zephyr which allow us to redefine the global remittance industry in a way that lowers entry to barrier for local entrepreneurs and increases access to money transfer services for the 2 billion unbanked citizens worldwide.
But before we get into that, let’s take a deeper look at what makes BitShares incredible, and why we chose it to base Zephyr rather than other Blockchain systems like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Bitshares – a rich ecosystem of crypto innovation
After Ethereum changed the world of crypto with smart contracts and Turing-complete development language, it’s BitShares’ turn to initiate the next phase of crypto innovation. You may have heard about the BitShares exchange or native token BTS. But it is so much more than that. BitShares is a rich ecosystem of crypto innovation that can change the world of business just like Bitcoin changed the world of money.
BitShares builds on the decentralised currency model of Bitcoin, the versatility of ETH, and extends in all directions to the point where the network is an economy in its own right. BitShares is a network, a bank, a currency, a stockbroker, an exchange platform and it supplies the next evolutionary step in the world of cryptocurrencies. There is no other option like it with the same battle-ready feature set available today.
Let’s take a closer look at the 3 most exciting elements that matter most to Bitspark and Project Zephyr:
Speed - Industrial grade performance and scalability
Bitshares is built using Graphene high performance Blockchain, which means it currently processes 3300 transactions per second, with the potential to scale to 100,000 per second in the future. Putting this in perspective, the network could carry out more transactions than VISA and Mastercard combined. You can easily see why a lot of people expect BitShares to take substantial market share from the traditional financial and banking sectors.
If you know a bit about Blockchain, you are probably wondering how this system will cope with all the data generated by 100,000 transactions per second. One of the tricks is simply in data size. Comparing it to other networks like Ripple or Bitcoin where each transaction is about 250 bytes, BitShares averages just 100 bytes. So these competing networks would need 2.5 times the bandwidth just to cope with the same number of transactions making them much slower.
But besides speed, there’s another feature which makes BitShares more secure and reliable compared to other exchanges – it’s decentralised.
Decentralized – better security and reliability
In the past, centralised exchanges have proven to be unreliable and even untrustworthy at times. If you do a quick Google search, you’ll quickly read about Mt. Gox or Bitstamp where many people have felt cheated because a third party held their crypto funds hostage or lost it altogether. Across centralised exchanges, it simply doesn’t matter how big they are or how many regulators or insures are involved. Fraud, abuse, theft and illiquidity can always occur. Thankfully, this is a whole different story with a decentralised exchange.
Decentralisation lowers counter-party risk and makes it a safe option for Bitspark to run its service on their Blockchain. Where a compromised centralised exchange affects all users at once, in a decentralised exchange any attack only impacts a single user. Each user is individually in charge of their own security which makes it a much safer option. Plus, in the Bitcoin ecosystem, funds are usually backed up with a 100% reserve system. A single hack can quickly turn a 100% reserve system in a no reserve system where it’s unlikely the exchange can give you the funds it owes you. With BitShares, all funds held by users are backed up to twice the reserve of traditional centralised exchanges. That goes for every Bitcoin, Dollar and fiat-pegged cryptocurrencies.
Which brings us to the most ground-breaking feature.
Pegged cryptocurrencies – the freedom of cryptos with the stability of fiat money
Cryptocurrencies are perfect for the Bitspark remittance system because transactions can be completed in seconds and at a fraction of the cost. With cryptocurrencies, we can bypass the banking infrastructure and reach the 2 billion unbanked citizens across the developed world with only a phone and an internet connection. However, if you’ve been keeping track of any cryptos in general or if you trade actively, you have probably seen how volatile the value is. The perception of value changes constantly as traders enter and exit positions in the ecosystem.
That’s where pegged cryptocurrencies come in.
On the BitShares exchange, we can create cryptocurrencies pegged to the value of another asset such as the US Dollar, Chinese Renminbi or even gold. With the native bitshares (BTS) currency, the BitShares system allows stable BitUSD, BitCNY and BitGold to be created which can be converted at any time at an exchange rate set by a trustworthy price feed. These BitAssets are guaranteed to be worth at least their face value eliminating price volatility. At any point in time you can sell a BitUSD for at least 1 dollar worth of BTS. If at any time the value of the collateral falls below a certain point the Blockchain will automatically buy back the BitUSD with a dollars worth of BTS.
The result is unparalleled stability not seen before in the crypto world which allows you to HODL during periods of volatility.
How Bitspark is using pegged cryptocurrencies
From all the superior benefits that the BitShares Blockchain and Decentralised Exchange has to offer, the ability to create fiat-pegged cryptocurrencies is a critical piece of Project Zephyr - our strategy to transform the remittance industry. It gives us all the freedom and benefits of cryptocurrencies together with the stability of a currency like the US Dollar.
Currently, the world of remittances is filled with inefficiencies where fiat currencies sent abroad change hands frequently between intermediary banks. There is no straightforward direct transaction process for international remittances, especially when it comes to exotic currency parings, and fees are added every step of the way. We can bypass that completely with fiat-pegged cryptos.
With our service, money sent abroad will be exchanged into fiat-pegged cryptocurrencies so that it can travel across markets in a much more streamlined, faster and cheaper way. The switch to BitShares allows us to create pegged cryptos for specific remittance corridors to maximise efficiency for each of the world’s 180 fiat currencies to create a game-changing cash in cash out remittance service accessible to anyone, anywhere. All you need is phone with an internet connection and you’re good to go.
Native incentive token Zephyr
In October 2017, we launched our own native incentive token Zephyr as part of an ICO where we raised 1.3 million during a 30-day sale. You can now trade Zephyr (ZEPH) directly on the BitShares DEX from a single wallet that gives you full access to the native trading app and sophisticated trading functions such as margin trading - interest free loans which essentially allow you to lend yourself currency against your own collateral.
Zephyr is an integral part of our global remittance network and is distributed when new members join the network and when existing users perform certain activities that benefit the network. A Money Transfer Operator joining our network gets Zephyr as a reward. Top up agents that help Sendy users get Zephyr. Sendy users sending through transactions get Zephyr. In other words, global circulation of the token is directly tied to network growth and usage.
To support the long-term value and utility of Zephyr, Bitspark uses 25% of transaction fees to buy back Zephyr from the market. This puts a positive upward pressure on the price and effectively puts Zephyr in a positive feedback loop between price, network growth, activity and circulation. If you want to hold some Zephyr tokens for yourself, head over to the BitShares DEX and create an account if you don’t already have one, and you can start trading ZEPH immediately.
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