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BSIP: 0018
Title: Revive BitAsset through buying Settlement Pool
Authors: Fabian Schuh, Peter Conrad
Status: Installed
Type: Protocol
Created: 2017-06-05
Worker: 1.14.56
# Abstract
BitAssets, i. e. market-pegged assets (MPA) like bitUSD in BitShares can suffer
a "global settlement" event. After global settlement, the asset is
effectively rendered useless. This BSIP proposes a protocol change to
enable resolving a global settlement so that affected assets can be
continued and put to good use again.
# Motivation
The necessity of reviving bitassets has already been discussed in
BSIP-0017, and is unquestioned.
Market-pegged assets, aka SmartCoins are among the core features of the
BitShares blockchain and as such provide one of our unique selling points.
MPAs can suffer a "global settlement" event. A global settlement occurs
when the least collateralized short position has insufficient collateral
to buy back the borrowed SmartCoins at the current feed price. What
happens then is that the MPA is tagged with a "settlement price",
defined as the collateral ratio of the least collateralized short. All
short positions are closed automatically, by collecting sufficient
collateral into a settlement pool and paying out the remainder to the
short's owners. MPA holders can use the forced settlement operation to
receive their share from the settlement pool in exchange for their MPAs.
Even after global settlement, market-pegged assets can still be
transferred or traded, but they can no longer be borrowed.
Currently, in BitShares, there is no actual way to resolve the global
settlement, but eventually, all significant holders will have to settle
their positions to obtain BTS for their long position. Some dust will
remain scattered all over the place, where the value of the dust
position is lower than the fees required to get rid of it.
# Rationale
When a market-pegged asset undergoes a global settlement, one of the crucial
mechanisms that support the peg (namely "margin calls") is no longer available.
However, other mechanisms, such as the "face-value", trading and settlement
still exist and, unless the valuation of the underlying asset decreases
significantly, the outstanding debt (the BitAsset long positions) are still
collateralized through the settlement pool at the fixed settlement price. It is
even possible that the value of the collateral exceeds the nominal value of the
MPA significantly.
For example, if a global settlement event happened on USD at a price of 1
bitUSD/BTS, then an outstanding debt of 1000 bitUSD would be backed by
1000 BTS in the settlement pool of the bitUSD asset. No other call positions
would be open by anyone else. Every bitUSD long position could, in this case,
claim BTS from the settlement pool at a rate of 1:1.
# Proposal
All that is needed for the asset to be *revived* is:
* re-enable price feeds
* replace the settlement pool with sufficiently collateralized call positions.
Since after a global settlement, the collateral for the outstanding long
positions are stored in the settlement pool, we here propose a way to **obtain
the funds in the settlement pool and its outstanding debt from the
network**. Since the collateral ratio of the settlement pool after a
global settlement is 100%, obtaining the settlement funds in order to
convert it into an open call position **requires to also provide
additional collateral or reduce the debt** in order to not cause another
global settlement or margin call right away.
# Specifications
Like in BSIP-0017, let SWAN be an asset that has seen global settlement, and
let BACK be the asset backing SWAN.
## Bugfix: MPAs that have seen a global settlement cannot be settled after the price feed expires
It has turned out that force-settling an MPA requires a valid price feed
even when the MPA has a `settlement_price` set. This is clearly a bug,
since in that case the settlement price is independent from the price
feed. Furthermore, publishing price feeds is no longer possible after a
global settlement, so the time when settlement is possible at all is
limited to the expiration period of the price feed of the MPA.
This bug will be fixed. See
for a discussion.
(This fix is also part of BSIP-0017. Obviously, it needs to be fixed only once.
It is repeated here because it is currently unclear which of these proposals
will be implemented.)
## Auto-revive after increase of settlement fund value
This applies only to SmartCoins, not to Prediction Markets.
A price increase of BACK can lead to the situation where SWAN is worth much more
than it was originally intended to be. I. e. the value of the settlement fund
becomes much greater than the nominal value of the existing supply of SWAN.
When the value of the settlement fund reaches the minimum required collateral
(in terms of price feed and MCR), a call_order_object owned by the issuer of
SWAN is created (or updated) that takes the settlement_fund as collateral and
covers the full debt. The settlement_fund and the settlement_price will then
be cleared, which revives the asset.
The condition can easily be checked at the time the price feed is updated.
Obviously, this requires a price feed. Currently it is not possible to
publish a price feed for assets that have seen global settlement. This
restriction will be removed.
## Recollateralize
This applies only to SmartCoins, not to Prediction Markets.
### Overview
The idea of turning the settlement fund into a short position when its
value has increased sufficiently can easily be extended. If the value of
the settlement fund itself is too low to create a sufficiently collateralized
short position (in terms of price feed and MCR), investors could volunteer to
add the required amount of collateral to the fund and take ownership of the
resulting short position (collateral+debt).
The proposed operation enables potential investors to "bid" additional
collateral for taking over part of the debt (or all of it). When enough bids
have been made to cover the full outstanding debt, and all of them are
sufficiently collateralized (in terms of price feed and MCR), the
settlement_fund and the bids are turned into call positions. Finally, the
settlement_price is removed from the asset, which revives it.
If the available bids cover more than the outstanding debt, bids with a higher
collateral/debt ratio are preferred over those with a lower ratio. The intent is
to turn the competition among investors into better collateralized calls, which
is in the interest of the MPA holders.
### `bid_collateral_operation`
The operation has the following payload:
* `fee`(asset_type): The operation requires a fee to be paid
* `bidder`(account_type): This account pays the additional collateral and
will become the owner of the resulting call position, if the bid is accepted
* `additional_collateral`(asset_type): Collateral paid by the account in order
to support the call position
* `debt_covered`(asset_type): The amount of debt the account is willing to cover
The operation works as follows:
1. It pays a fee
2. If account has already placed a bid on the same MPA, the existing bid is
cancelled (see below).
3. If `debt_covered` equals 0, no further action is taken.
4. It reduces the account's balance by `additional_collateral`.
5. It creates a `collateral_bid_object` containing the `bidder` and the partial
inverted swan price calculated as `additional_collateral` / `debt_covered`.
The required validity checks for the operation are:
* `debt` == 0 || `debt` > 0 && `collateral` > 0
The required evalutation checks for the operation are:
* debt_covered.asset must be a bitasset (not a PM) with a settlement_price
* additional_collateral.asset must be the asset backing SWAN
* account must have sufficient BACK, i. e. at least additional_collateral
Obviously, the operation must be authorized by `bidder`.
### `collateral_bid_object`
The `collateral_bid_object` stores information about bids offered by accounts
using the `bid_collateral_operation`. It is indexed
1. by_id
2. by debt asset and bidder
3. by debt asset and partial inverted swan price.
When a `collateral_bid_object` is cancelled, the additional_collateral (i. e.
the partial inverted swan price's base) is returned to the bidder and the
`collateral_bid_object` is deleted.
The intent of the partial inverted swan price is to facilitate selection of the
bids that will result in the call_order_objects with the lowest debt/collateral
ratio after the revival of the bitasset.
### Maintenance
In every maintenance interval, all MPAs that have a settlement_price are checked
* they have a valid price feed, and
* if enough sufficiently collateralized bids are available to cover the debt.
If both conditions are met, for each `collateral_bid_object` (in order of
descending partial inverted swan price) a new call_order_object will be
constructed in this way, starting with remaining_debt=SWAN.current_supply:
* call.borrower = bid.bidder
* call.debt = bid.debt.amount
* call.collateral = call.debt * SWAN.settlement_price + bid.additional_collateral.amount
* remaining_debt -= call.debt
* SWAN.settlement_fund -= call.debt * SWAN.settlement_price
If remaining_debt reaches 0, any remaining bids will be cancelled.
It is likely that for the last converted bid the requested debt will be less
than the remaining_debt. In that case, call.debt will be set to remaining_debt
and call.collateral will be set to asset.settlement_fund + additional_collateral.
### `execute_bid_operation`
In order to make the revival event visible in the bid owners' account histories,
a new virtual `execute_bid_operation` will be introduced, that contains these
* the `bidder`
* the actual covered `debt`
* the total `collateral` of the resulting call_order
The semantics of that operation includes the removal of the existing bid and
the creation of the new call_order as described above.
# Discussion
## Partially Obtaining Settlement Funds
In the case a widely used BitAsset is globally settled, the cost of providing
sufficient collateral and the associated risk may be prohibitively high. The
proposed bidding mechanism allows to split the cost (and the risk) among
multiple participants.
## BitAssets using BitAssets as collateral are unaffected
One huge advantage of this approach over BSIP-0017 is that BitAssets which are
collateralized by other BitAssets are not directly affected by this proposal.
Even though the *economical debt* of such asset may be argued about if the
collateral asset experienced a global settlement, the *technical debt*
is unaffected. Converting the settlement pool into a regular call
position through this proposal would not only restore the original
BitAsset, but also reset the collateral of the derived BitAsset.
## Cost vs. Profit
This operation opens an interesting cost vs. profit trade-off for those willing
to take the risk of using this operation that we would like to discuss. Keep in
mind that
* the valuation of the collateral may be volatile (e.g. in case of BTS)
* after global settlement, the long positions can settle and thus
reduce the debt as well as the settlement pool
Market participants that are willing to take risk may want to obtain a larger
chunk of a settlement pool as it means an **instant short position**.
## Feeds
Re-collateralization is deliberately not restricted to the issuer of the
globally settled bitasset. The intent here is to incentivize potential
investors. Effectively, during an uptrend in the value of the
collateral, this works like a reverse auction. A higher value of the
collateral results in a lower required amount for re-collateralization,
i. e. the chance/risk ratio increases. This incentive makes sense,
because additional collateral is in the best interest of the holders of
the settled BitAsset.
This "reverse auction" ends when the BitAsset is auto-revived by
creating a short position for the issuer. At that point, an "investor"
could re-collateralize with zero risk, which is no longer in the
interest of the holders.
# Summary for Shareholders
This proposal presents a flexible way of reviving a BitAsset that has
experienced a global settlement event. The blockchain or shareholders do
not need to take any risk as the proposal only offers a new way for
market participants to (partially) revive the BitAsset.
# Copyright
This document is placed in the public domain.