One of the greatest developments of the 20th century was the move towards specialization. This provided society with increased productivity over what was experienced in the past. People became very good at specific tasks as opposed to being a "jack of all trades". We see this in medicine, manufacturing, finance, and law.
STEEM is a specialized blockchain. This is in contrast to Ethereum which is considered a general purpose chain. So what is the difference and what does it mean for the future?
A post was put out by @steemitblog that really brought up some points that I want to highlight.
STEEM is a decentralized content management system. That is what it is at the core. This is something that is provided to any developer who wants to tap into it. The base layer stores all the content, period.
The other piece is that the autonomous creation and distribution of tokens. This is distributed to content creators based upon the voting that is done on the platform.
This is the essence of the STEEM system. A decentralized content management system that creates and distributes tokens to content creators. The base layer is designed to be scarce of features. This specialization is what allows STEEM to do this very well.
We know that the phrase "blockchain of opportunity" is now applied to STEEM. This pertains to the fact that the developers on here have the ability to take this base system and add to it. This is where we are seeing features added.
Those who are creating applications are building upon the core functionality of the STEEM blockchain. All their code, however, is housed on a secondary layer. This is keeps the base layer streamlined and efficient. Contrast this with Ethereum which is having a problem with non-critical information ending up at the base layer. This is such that the only way to resolve this might be to fork the entire blockchain.
The technical details of all this match with what most of us already knew. STEEM is a system that rewards people for creating content. It is a simple system where one posts content, people upvote, and a week later the blockchain creates tokens that are paid out to the author (and curators).
What is interesting is that we noticed a number of applications developed expand upon this. Content is taking on an entirely different meaning from the basic idea of a blogging. The @steemitblog post even mentioned the most recent application UserAuthority which is looking to create a new reputation system. What is fascinating is this entire process is taking place at the secondary layer.
This allows for great experimentation to take place without affecting the core database structures. If something is discovered to work AND fits in with the primary focus of the base layer, then the witnesses can opt to include it. Since the focus is very specialized, it is rather easy to determine what belongs at the base layer and what does not.
Another interesting point was raised that really provides me with great excitement.
The second layer databases that inevitably emerge from such a process aren’t just “where they belong,” they even present financial opportunities for developers and entrepreneurs who can identify and implement them thereby creating additional value for Steem’s built-in developer-base.
Once again, this explains the "blockchain of opportunity". Developers and entrepreneurs can come to this blockchain and create whatever they want on the secondary layer. If they fill a need that is not handled by the core functioning, this is something that will have value to others.
These databases can even be a supplementary revenue-source for developers who build them for use in their application, only to discover that their need is not unique. (emphasis mine)
STEEM's future success lies in the simplicity of the system. The STEEM blockchain is basically designed to do two things: be a decentralized, content management system that creates/distributes tokens based upon voting to content creators. That is essentially what is at the base layer.
All else that appears is because of the creativity and innovative minds of the developers on here. Everything they do is at the secondary layer ensuring that only critical data is housed in the base level.
And this will make scaling much easier than some of the other blockchains.
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