BitShares (BTS) is a decentralized exchange that was founded by Dan Larimer, a programmer from Virginia, US. I've already invested in his project—EOS—before. Larimer, however, quit BitShares. According to GitHub entries, the project is currently developed by Fabian Schuh and Vikram Rajkumar. The guys do their job quite well, though.
In my opinion, the BitShares project is undervalued now. Once a greater number of people realize the product's potential, BTS price will go to the moon.
First of all, I expect a massive switch from the centralized exchanges to the decentralized ones. In light of the recent news about uncertainty around the Bitfinex exchange and Coinbase being ordered to give the IRS data on its users, I think that people will very soon understand the advantages of decentralized exchanges.
Secondly, results of the technology's development will be broadly implemented in business. Hence, the BitShares platform will also enjoy strong demand, allowing its customers to establish the decentralized autonomous corporations (DAC). Such companies simplify business processes by eliminating the majority of intermediaries.
BitShares is already used for money transfers due to its high throughput. For instance, Bitspark—a money transfer platform for businesses—is switching from the Bitcoin blockchain to that of BitShares. The reason is that the BitShares network processes 40,000 transactions a second, while bitcoin manages to execute only up to 4 transactions within the same timeframe.
The project's rivals are not only other digital currencies but also banks. The BitShares platform could be utilized to create and trade in financial instruments called "BitAsset," which are a crypto equivalent to derivatives contracts. You could put your BTS in and create, say, BitUSD or BitGOLD—SmartCoins backed by USD or gold, respectively. One could find a variety of possible use cases of such assets on the Internet. But since I'm interested in the long-term growth of crypto, it's crucial to pay attention to project's development. And there is a lot to say here.
Shortly transfers made via the BitShares network will become anonymous due to the Stealth technology. This will put BitShares on an equal footing with cryptocurrencies such as zCash, DASH, and Monero.
It's also planned to create a Virtual Machine—just like that of Ethereum—that would enable each user to develop smart contracts.
Another exciting mechanism to be soon implemented is the Atomic Swap that would permit the exchange of cryptocurrencies which take place across two independent blockchains.
It's also important to mention the introduction of debit cards running on the OpenLedger network, the wallet update, the launch of the full BitShares node in the Southeast Asia, listing on major exchanges, and the fact that even EOS I've already noticed above has made several statements regarding the integration with BitShares.
BTS is much more than just a digital currency. Now that the project is underrated, it might be just the right time to enter. Experts approved the technologies that company uses long ago. Maybe, BitShares needs a bit more popularity to make it in the crypto world.