Question: What are the strategic adjustments in the 2019 BitShares Core Development Team Proposal, compared to the proposal of 2018?
Mr. Fox: Largely the 2019 Worker is similar to last year, just increasing the budget to accommodate team growth. The Core Team remains focused on protocol development and feature enhancements. The BitShares Improvement Proposals repository is the primary resource for advancing discussions and defining protocol specifications. Our team will grow by 3 team members in February. Two team members will split the role of Coordinator Assistant with a focus on the Chinese Community to gather and disseminate development information. We enjoy substantial penetration within China and intend to build upon that with improved communications thru dedicated team member contributions. We are adding a cryptographer to the team with a focus on privacy and security. The Core Team participated in two developer conferences in 2018 and expect to attendance at additional conferences in 2019. Our attendance helps get our message out to a broader technical audience.
Question: What are the major challenges at present that BitShares Community is faced with, as far as you can see?
Mr. Fox: BitShares is a mature platform, having just celebrated its fifth birthday in late 2018. Throughout its history, BitShares has maintained a “build it and they will come” development-focused mentality, rather than putting effort into fancy marketing efforts. However, this has likely hampered our user adoption and retention. I expect the Community will place more funding toward research and execution of marketing effort in 2019. Operating as decentralize autonomous community (DAC) presents it challenges in crafting and disseminating a consistent marketing message. My desire is for the Community to fund an effort to maintain an open source repository of marketing resources, campaigns, and execution strategies; ambitious, yes I understand.
Question: What do you think of the development of the blockchain industry in 2019? Any thoughts on the challenges, opportunities, or new trends?
Mr. Fox: BitShares is already ahead of the curve, having implemented a decentralized exchange and stablecoins from its inception in 2014. We recently added hashed timelock contracts (HTLC) functionality to our protocol, which will allow users to move their token value to other blockchains using atomic swaps. Combining these three protocol features will open many opportunities for businesses to build on top of the BitShares platform and connect beyond our siloed ledger. Interoperability between ledgers will be a major focus in 2019 for development effort in the blockchain space. I feel the Interledger Protocol (ILP) holds the greatest promise due to its open standards and free-to-use streaming payments solution.
BitShares is focused on maintaining its edge as the first and fasted decentralized exchange. Adding the ability to perform atomic swaps during our next Protocol Upgrade in May will be an exciting achievement. Click here to read the whole 2019 proposal by BitShares Core development team.