Through all the uproar created by Hard Fork 20, I spent some time the last two days trying to connect the dots as to what is going on and the future of STEEM.
STEEM is an open-source blockchain. That means anyone can fork it. With a situation such as this, what is going to give STEEM any value at all? How can it fend off any threats when anyone can take what is created on here and duplicate it? In fact, many believe there are already STEEM competitors cropping up like Lino.
Resource Credits (Mana) might well be the answer to this.
Before going any further, have you noticed how clean the comment sections are? What I mean is that you do not see spam comments like you did before. Certainly, this is something that every reader on here is enjoying.
How did that happen?
Simply put, the new system requires a minimum amount of RC to post. Without that, one is not able to put up anything. Unfortunately, this did snare a number of Planktons who are not spammers which is unfortunate. It is also, I believe, a temporary thing.
There is a point that I must bring up. Some are asserting that STEEM is moving even more towards the "rich getting richer". The belief is that the HF is the Whales way of driving smaller accounts out.
I want to make this very clear: For Whales holdings to increase in value, they need to have the ecosystem grow. At the same time, many of the Whales are Witnesses, meaning they depend upon transactions. Without transactions, there is not much need for their services.
One of the biggest challenges is creating a freemium system while having something of value. This is a very tricky proposition simply because we, as humans, tend not to value things that are free. Hence, there is a major difference between freemium and free.
STEEM aims to be a freemium blockchain yet it is not free. Resource Credits (Mana) will make it a "pay to play" game.
I posted on a number of occasions that smaller accounts should invest some money into the STEEM ecosystem by buying STEEM. I realize not everyone can afford this but, for those who can, it is a way to increase one's commitment. This leads to further research, engagement, and long-term outlook. STEEM seeks to have all those things.
In addition to spammers, the ecosystem is not well served by people coming onto the blockchain and looking for a quick buck. Many tend to throw up garbage hoping to get some quick profits. Many of the spammy comments fit into this category.
So what is STEEM going to become?
In my view, one word: Exclusive
The Resource Credit (Mana) will make STEEM an exclusive blockchain. This is going to help the price of the currency enormously. When something is exclusive, it is desired. It is also becomes a premium.
Which leads to another dilemma: how do you grow when you are exclusive? And who do you decide gets in?
The answer to the first question is a post that @ned put up months ago. It was very short, didn't reveal too much at the time but, now, is very telling.
We know bandwidth was replaced by Resource Credits (Mana). Hence, from this, I conclude that we will see the ability to delegate Resource Credits (Mana).
Another thing that ties into all of this is the ability to onboard users. I want to thank @mcfarhat of @actifit for looking into the code. He was able to create a new user account. The mistake I made in my articles leading up to the Hard Fork is to point out that applications can onboard users. This is only partially true.
The fact is that anyone with enough Resource Credits can sign up users. ANYONE.
This means that an account with a decent amount of Resource Credits that go unused has two choices:
- Delegate it to a smaller account so that person can interact more
- Sign up users
And that is the answer to the second question: each of us is able to decide to joins the STEEM blockchain. We are the ones, either as individuals or as applications, that determines who we allocate our RC (Mana) to.
It is helpful to remember that we now have the ability to see what each activity costs and how much we are using. There are going to be plenty of accounts that do not even come close to using up their daily Resource Credits.
Using the data from steem.supply from yesterday, here is what I could do with the RC available at that time.
At a little over 40% of my RC, I get to post 917 times, vote 4,300 times, and do 4,800 transfers. There is no way I can do that in a day. And this is not even considering the fact that I will have more than double that on a daily basis when I fully power up.
In other words, any Minnow, once fully powered up will have more Resource Credit (Mana) than he or she could use in one day (unless spamming the network). Thus, even the newest of Minnows should have excess RC.
Which brings up another very important point: decentralization.
All of this decentralizes the sign up process. This puts the power of this in the hands of the community. Both applications and individuals, if they have enough RC (Mana), can do this.
One major problem with this entire industry is verification. How does a platform verify that the individual is who they say they are? With this model, it does not have to. The individual who is signing the person up is verifying that person. This is creating a Proof of Human concept. If I am going to use my RC, odds are that it will be with someone who I know exists. Applications are going to be under the same constraint since it is in their best interest to use their RC wisely.
There is another layer to all of this. We could see RCs (Mana) sold on the internal exchange. We know the idea was to have bandwidth purchased with STEEM; the same concept could hold true. Hence, there would be a market rate established every second of the day for people to use the blockchain. Applications or individuals who lack the necessary bandwidth could simply purchase more. This essentially creates a "pay to play" model. If one is not delegated RC (Mana) either via an individual or an application, he or she can simply purchase some.
What does this do? In my view, it could drive the demand for STEEM.
Creating an exclusive ecosystem could be a great way to cut down on spam while driving the value of the blockchain/currency. When coupled with the anticipated communities, groups will be able to onboard those they desire. It will create different "tribes" on this blockchain, all doing their own thing. It will negate the quality versus quantity debate since anyone is free to do what they want. Those who prefer quantity posts will simply do so as their RC (Mana) allows. It will not affect those who seek out quality posts since those individuals will have incentive also. Since applications will be the driver going forward, the communities will operate within their groupings, even as they utilize more than one application.
Resource Credits (Mana) are opening up a world of possibility and could elevate this entire ecosystem. This is creating a freemium blockchain yet we embracing that joining is not free.
All this is just speculation on my part but this is some of what I am seeing.
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