ShapeShifts Prism: The first portfolio, which is based not on trust, but on smartcontracts

With Prism, ShapeShift creates a platform where you can acquire, store and sell digital assets without ever using your own wallet – without trusting an online wallet. This makes possible smartcontracts, which mirror every asset as a token on the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum becomes the mother of all chains.


Eric Vorhees, founder of Satoshi Dice, ShapeShift and now also Prism, introduced his new litter at Consensus2017 in New York. Prism is a platform where you can manage a portfolio of digital assets such as cryptosciences or tokens. The so-called “Prisms”, which represent digital assets, can be configured as desired and stored and stored with an Ethereum wallet.

On the Blog of ShapeShift, Eric Vorhees Prism explains by example: someone wants to invest 5,000 dollars in digital currencies with a high privacy. Instead of going on stock exchanges as before, and compiling a portfolio, the investor now forms a “prism”, which consists of one-third of Dash, Monero and Zcash and pays $ 5,000 in Ether as a pledge. After this prism has been generated, a unique SmartContract observes the value of these three assets. The SmartContract holds the investor’s deposit at the same time, as well as a counterweight, also in Ether, which is either placed by people who hold the opposite position, or by ShapeShift. When the investor then closes the prism, he can dissolve the SmartContract and pay off his pledge, including profit or loss.

The advantage is obvious: In order to invest in various cryptos, Prism does not require a separate wallet on the system – which is a lot of cryptos a lot of work – but you have to leave the values ​​on an online exchange where they are But can also be lost by hackers or operational mishaps. All that is necessary with prism is a synchronized ethereum wallet, which can observe the ethereum blockchain and form smartcontracts. Since the bets or investments are covered with real ethers on both sides, the risks are minimal.

“It is conceivable,” writes Vorhees, “that one day the entire financial infrastructure will be built on an open, objective and clear code.” Products such as Prism, one hopes, will one day not only be possible but become the norm Be clear, open and transparent. “Society deserves nothing less.”

Prism is currently still in the closed beta invite-only stage, which means you can log on the website for an early invitation, but there is no guarantee that it will work. Therefore, I can not present at this point also no screenshots, which show how Prism looks from the inside. However, Prism already runs on its own Ethereum Blockchain, but Vorhees is not yet considered to be “trustless” since the code is not yet open source and there is a kind of backdoor that allows ShapeShift to do so Deposit deposited deposit, in the event that there is a bug. This option will be fixed over time.

In the Ethereum Commuity, Prism is already traded as the killer app for Ethereum. Finally, Prism brings every digital currency to the Ethereum blockchain – and possibly in the future any other possible securities. On the other hand, Prism means that one can buy such a position in other cryptosciences exclusively with ether, which is expected to increase the demand for ethers.

However, the high fees the picture but quite clear. According to different betters, prism costs 1 per month as well as a charge of more than 2 percent to close a position. So if you invest 100,000 euros in something and sell the item after 12 months, you get only about 86,000 euros out. These high fees may reflect the risks in the wild cryptic market that ShapeShift faces with Prism. However, they also make the product quite unattractive, as you can enjoy the same performance on Altcoin exchanges like Poloniex or Bittrex, where you can keep all kinds of coins free of charge and exchange for much lower fees. Not trustless, but cheap.

ShapeShift has already announced the revision of the fees. The company has yet to explore how the balance sheet for Prism fails. Finally, ShapeShift must also invest a lot of work to develop a new platform for financial trading. If a model such as Prism is going through, and should Ethereum be able to cope with the great challenge of scalability, both of which are on shaky legs, we will see in the coming years how smart contracts fundamentally change the financial system.

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