Feedback Wanted: “Communities” Design Document

in communities •  5 months ago  (edited)

hive comms feedback.jpg

At Steemit, we believe that one of the ways in which the Steem blockchain really distinguishes itself from other protocols is its ability to nurture authentic online communities. Steem has many state-of-the-art technical capabilities, but features are only as valuable as the behaviors and experiences they support. Ultimately, features don’t create value, it’s the people who use those features to cooperate and collaborate with one another to build amazing things, who create value.

That’s why we’re excited to announce that we have released our new Communities design recommendation. This is a high level document intended to communicate our current thinking about what should be included in the finalized protocol. It is our hope that 3rd party developers, like those behind Steempeak, Busy, TokenBB, and others, will use this design document to provide feedback and become more involved with helping us implement an open communities standard.

Feedback Wanted

Those 3rd party developers who are interested in collaborating on the Communities standard, please leave your feedback in the comments to this post including links to any articles where you explore features you would like to see, and e-mail us at [email protected] to explore more direct involvement. Bear in mind that we want to make sure that the design for Communities is lightweight and that a Minimum Viable Product gets shipped as soon as possible. We know that a lot of community members and developers have been waiting a long time for Communities on Steem, and we don’t want to make them wait any longer than is absolutely necessary.

Why Communities?

From Steemit team member @roadscape:

My goal with Hivemind (or “Hive”) was to create the infrastructure which would empower everyone to contribute more effectively to Steem. Steem accomplished a great deal with very primitive tools, but it needed a major upgrade which it got with the release of Hivemind. Hive core gives developers a flexible layer which allows them to create more powerful tools and interfaces, only one of which will be Communities.

Hive Communities will give everyone the ability to ORGANIZE around a set of values, and the power to do so effectively. It will introduce a new dynamic of influence which does not have anything to do with Steem Power. Minnows will be able to mute whales and, unlike other platforms, the moderation log will be fully transparent.

Such a system will be far more effective than anything that exists today for connecting creators and curators. Curators will be attracted to communities which are well-organized: focused, high-quality, low-noise. That will make it easier for curators to find and upvote good content, which will in turn mean more rewards for those curators who are especially adept at evaluating subjective quality. While curators have always influenced the flow of rewards, their tools were crude. Hive Communities will put more power back into their hands.


Hivemind enables us to offer decentralized software solutions that provide developers with the trustlessness and unity of a shared blockchain database, without requiring costly and difficult upgrades (“hardforks”) to the base layer. By creating Communities using Hivemind we can guarantee that no matter what Steem-powered application you’re using, the Communities you find, and the members of those communities, will be constant.

Communities on Steemit

As the most used Steem interface, we believe it is important that Communities come to as soon as possible, but it is equally as important that they be rock-solid. 3rd party developers can begin experimenting with user interfaces that delight their users in new and exciting ways as soon as the Hivemind APIs are ready. We believe that Steemit, Inc. should take a more deliberate and methodical approach. We should develop as fast as we can, while being careful not to disrupt the user experience on too much or too rapidly. With a standardized Hivemind implementation, there may well be applications with Communities integrated into their user interfaces before We think that’s great.

One of the many great things about Hivemind is that none of this is written in stone. We can continue to improve and expand the Communities protocol with ease. So please check out the design document, and provide feedback in the comments section below!

The Steemit Team

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Idea: Maybe this idea will work in future sprints, but it might be good to prepare for.

I would like STEEM Power to play a role in enabling advanced (premium?) community features.

What would an advanced feature be? Well, down the road, maybe you realize that a higher STEEM Power demand seems to correlate to higher price, so you’ve determined that it’s worth a specific amount of ad revenue. So for those communities with enough STEEM Power to justify the cost, ads are removed.

That’s just one example.

I'm a big fan of this approach. UIs should offer more incentives to power up.

Ideally, STEEM Power should be incentivized through consensus too, so that all frontends effectively promote STEEM Power. But there’s no reason why a particular frontend can’t take it upon itself to incentivize the platform’s fundamental unit of accounting.

I'm excited to see UIs play with gamification. There's not much of this right now and so much potential. Hive (and particularly hive communities) open a lot of options here, which I hope to explore once communities are live. In regards to consensus specifically though, I think megavotes alone would be a big reason to power up. It would allow users to see what their impact could be (I guess, roughly 20X their current max vote).

Can you explain the concept of megavotes? How do they relate to Communities?

The idea is that you could drain all your voting power with one vote (if you wanted to) and it would be ~20x stronger than a single vote today.

Megavotes really should be a thing. Not a lot of people has time to manually curate at least 10 posts per day and must upvote them at 100% so those people (that includes me) ends up delegating to other people (or bots) in order to not waste VP. Hope this included in HF22 (or even HF21!)


You just planted 0.07 tree(s)!

Thanks to @fuadsm

We have planted already
7655.29 trees
out of 1,000,000

Let's save and restore Abongphen Highland Forest
in Cameroonian village Kedjom-Keku!
Plant trees with @treeplanter and get paid for it!
My Steem Power = 25086.44
Thanks a lot!
@martin.mikes coordinator of @kedjom-keku

hy please support me

Although not a UI, @paulag has been offering a small incentive to power-up for a year now, and with the help of @yabapmatt, @steemcommunity for 39 weeks.

Encouraging and intensifying this action can only lead to good things!


Will Steemit offer any incentives to power up or charge a fee for features when Communities are initially launched? Eg. For promoting a Community, or to bid for popular community names? Communities are such a good opportunity to incentivize more power ups and create demand for Steem. I hope we take advantage of it when Communities are launched.

There's no immediate incentive, but it costs about 3 STEEM to create a community, and communities helps pave the way for further gamification. Communities themselves could choose to provide certain benefits for any criteria, including SP.

Excellent suggestion here. That idea gave me another idea. Imagine you have community development attached to this, new developers can get more experience and have the opportunity to prove them self and maybe receive special features inside the dapps or some notoriety for contributing their own code. Maybe community developers could get a special badge, or a decentralized election could take place for "Best community developer of 19". This encourages community development. I've seen more community development happening here than anywhere else on the internet except for the OG Xbox scene and specific deployments like Linux/gnu. The problems come when our brilliant community developers make something for free (each hour spent is an hour Steemit inc would have to pay $70usd/hr to someone to get the same results) for Steemit to use and no feedback is given or taken between the two parties , I think we can all do better on that front. Decentralized and vote driven repository governance is the way forward.

You could do this by adding a social element to the SPS. People who earn proposal distribution could get a badge, for instance.

Perhaps SPS will help to offer the proper rewards for developers.

In our opinion, we don´t want pay for premium features. But this is a "problem" of our background and our way of work. For understanding: We collect money, donations and we want to help - so it is important for us, keep costs as low as possible. Because it´s our promise to all donators. (and believes us, as soon as you are a charity, so many 3rd parties want to hold up their hand and earn money from us)

I like this idea a lot 👍👍

You mean like when you buy and stake Steem Engine ENG tokens and you get a Steem Tribe ?

its a good idea!

Very interesting idea!

saludos.... soy un usuario comun he leido el articulo y tu idea ... suena bien la idea.. por otro lado me gustaria que los desarooladores de hivewind acomodaran la plataforma par que sea mas amigable con los usuarios del comun y asi tenga mucho mas trafico la plataforma

Depends. It could easily make communities elitist where only only the wealthy users of the first hour can afford a community.

Steemit is already hostile to new users, don't make it more hostile. And I think it's that hostility to new users which keeps the price of STEEM down.

  ·  5 months ago (edited)


  1. I heavily encourage @partiko @good-karma @ekitcho @sida and others to jump in on this conversation. Let's start a trend to build products together with the support of steemit. And push them to not be able to not communicate. haha
  2. Big thanks to @shred7 @asgarth and @roadscape for getting the ball rolling/re-rolling on communities.
  3. Anyone else please participate in the conversation... tag me or jump into the @steempeak discord to let us know who you'd like to see of the UI for communities. If you use another interface go ask them if they have a plan to develop for communities. Take a look at this spec as it's gonna impact a lot of what we can do utilizing hivemind if you think of something for now or later let them know and let us know how awesome it can be so we can also push for it with you.


A. Are you willing to release the backend/hivemind changes even before you have your own design ready?
B. Who's working on your UI for communities at Steemit Inc?
C. What are the 2-3 things you want the most feedback on in your document?
D. Are you willing to eventually consider multi-owners perhaps when the blockchain supports multi-signature type technology?
E. I think short description "About" should be shorter than 512 characters. This needs to be crafted to fit into social re-shares like discord, reddit, fb etc
Or what's the reasoning behind 512?
F. About could be a good place for it... but i'm thinking there needs to be a json data that basically and shortly responds to the question of "What content is acceptable as part of this community?"
G. if i'm not mistaken iso693-3 is a 3 letter language code and your examples are 2 letters
H. I think many people would like to see a small fee for communities with the steem being BURNED or sent to the Steem Proposals fund. Any reason not to do that? I know there's less need since it's number identifier and not a unique name. But still it's good for the health of steem and helps with the SNR (noise)

A. Yes, backend work will be public and APIs made available to use, even if the UI is not.
B. Our internal apps team will be building the UI for condenser.
C. Feedback is appreciated on any blind spots or potential pain points.
D. Yes, actually multi-owner is possible today using on-chain multisig.
E. about limit of 512 is based off reddit model and it's roughly a paragraph.
F. Community standards could fit into description (long field describing what the community is about) or flag_text (describing what will result in posts being muted).
G. Good catch -- URL was left as a note. I'm not sure how granular we need to be. It seems like 639-1 may be a good place to start for simplicity, and expanded to 639-3 if there is a proven need.
H. I agree, though I think that requiring an account creation is enough of a rate limit.

Thanks for the feedback @jarvie!


very good planing good luck

  ·  5 months ago (edited)

This is really interesting, I do not really see any problems with the current implementation. Although this will require very profound changes to all the frond ends to the point that it may be faster to just recreate one from scratch using components from the old ones.

I tend to disagree on the "mutes are not retroactive" part.

  • It wouldn't be that harder to implement it
  • It would save some amount of bloat on the chain (let's say you get a comment war between bernie and fulltimegeek you're looking at thousands of mutepost operations.
  • If the community owner just doesn't have enough rc to mute them all. he'll be powerless and his community will be wrecked for weeks until he's regenerated got enough rc.

In terms of features that are "nice to have" would be the ability to set your own ads. This way communities can run things where they share ad revenues to their best authors and are incentivized to break the echo chamber and share their page to the outside world for more pageview. They get ad revenue and the frond end earns backlinks, it's a win/win

Yep it will be big changes to front ends... so they better get ready for it. It's coming whether they're ready or not. So message them and ask them what their plan is.

Also for ads that sounds like an interface thing... and interfaces do have the ability to work together on consensus ad mechanisms if they want or give tools that empower community operators to make some of those decisions.

  ·  5 months ago (edited)

heh I find it funny that the people helping steempeak and steem engine create scotbot communities are the ones commenting on this post about what steemit inc wants to make while steem engine is already making it and is helping display it!

Thank GOD for Steempeak and Steem-engine because without them there would be a LOT more people powering down and selling a Lot more steem right now!

also its interesting how steemit inc is finally talking about hivemind communities now that we have scotbot tribes .....its so easy to do something after someone else has taken the first step.... i just doubt they are going to actually do much more since they have the SPS and SMTs on their plate... they can't multitask...

@ackza as far as I understand, communities and tribes can be interoperable. The main difference is that hive communities is an open standard and all data and operations are on-chain -- meaning all UIs can leverage communities and their organization. There's no hidden or proprietary data.

Thank you for the Response. I look forward to on chain communities AND on chain SMTs, I know theres plenty of work for both thats been done, I just am really curious about the new onboarding UI site or new onboarding plan, hopefully to compete with Voice and the 1 million accounts they are hoping to pay for with all that ram as their solution

(Following is just some ideas you dont have to read if your busy)
And might i also add, that I hope Steem gets a 1. a steem VC Incubator like the eos vc fund, and 2. maybe a non profit Steem Foundation maybe with steem scholarships :) I think steem is in the best position to go into schools, I dont think EOS is even looking at making dapps for schools colleges, major universities so steem can step in here and using its own users as volunteers create new scotbot sites for organizing homework quizes classes assignments with steem, or organize the equivalent for the fully on chain communities your talking about here

.... and so.....

even though steem foundation could be used to promote steem in many fields from healthcare to Philanthropy to media like PBS, and organizations liek World Wild Life Fund, Smithsonian etc, i still think education and steem in schools is a PERFECT match for steem right nwo and a great focal point for a non profit steem foundation with the purpose of spreading steem in the world especially as the open source mecca of FOS software, make steem this champion of everything Linux and Wiki and just start aggressively asking the community how many hours they can contribute as full time remote volunteers AND some full time traveling ambassadors who might already have money to travel, and have full time steem volunteers traveling around the world with full support from steemit inc and an official feeling steem organization....

we have the people power on the steem blokchain, we just need some steemit inc people to start small requests of the users to volunteer for some initiatives maybe starting with getting some steem afters School programs, or see if steemians can volunteer to teach steem and cryptocurrency top students at their old highschools or elementary schools or colleges..., we could have steemit inc make posts asking how many people can volunteer at some local events, maybe we can start by finding out how many free resources like free venues and meeting spots all our users can bring to the table, then we can just keep checking trending for steemit inc posts, with a hierarchy forming with @andrarchy leading Bureau cheif volunteers who can report to his own workers or volunteers, and we can have representatives in every city on earth :D We basically already do with a steem group for almost every country already, to start linking them all and seeing how many schools we can link up , and how many drives we can create, hey maybe we can get on some Local news channels if we ask come local Volunteers to buy a local Press Release in a small town news channel, for maybe a few hundred dollars....

hopefully Steem Engine can act like both inspiration but more importantly a filter to allow everyone who might have used SMTs to get their ideas out as a steem engine token, and only the most serious projects will continue on to SMTs plus im sure some projects are waiting for SMTs on chain regardless....

The main priority is to launch communities since it allows the type of community organization you are referencing. Then once these basic tools are in place we can shift focus to onboarding. SMTs and steem-engine tokens will allow communities to supercharge their efforts.

No one stops you to write a script which mutes all of them manually. No need for it to be automatically like this.

With regards to mutes not being retroactive, here's a sample scenario: a user contributes to a community, posting comments and getting involved in discussions. Later, his account is compromised and used to post dozens of spam comments.

If mutes were retroactive, all the user's old contributions would be hidden and have to be restored one-by-one. (And if unmutes are also retroactive, you would still have to then go and mute the specifically-spammy comments). In addition to these issues, retroactive ops touch an unbounded number of records, which could be a performance killer.

custom_json operations are not very expensive, and we could potentially allow batching of ops in the future if it's shown to be a problem.

And wrt community setting their own ads -- this could be done with community pinned posts plus a modbot for now. If it's a private ad network I'm not sure it will be easy to have it be part of a standard since they are usually tied to a specific domain.

Thanks so much for the tag @imacryptorick. I reached out @andrarchy already to point him out to droneshot as a gateaway to bring more entertaining contents and ultimately people in steem, I'm sure that with Communities enable we can establish something big here

OK @roadscape / @andrarchy and team and others interacting like @inertia

This was a big aspect when we were devolping communities interface and testing it like on the blockchain.
What are your plans for destinguishing community content from let's call it Home Page type content?

We created a Decentralized metadata entry for posts (we have a few of these we call "steem commands" and it's presently active on SteemPeak (has been for a while). Any other site can use the same thing. Can't remember the exact text (@asgarth does) but basically just put the word HIDDEN in there and it hides the post from your home page and your followers feeds.

Thus allowing you to write tons of community content/posts and not have every little post end up on your home page totally destroying your carefully scripted general interest content... also making every person immediately want to unfollow you.

If you have a better solution or it's already in the design document and i didn't see it then let us know.
We have to make sure this is enabled before jumping into communities. So we need the majority of interfaces to utilize the "Hidden" steem command or another equally good solution.


What are your plans for destinguishing community content from let's call it Home Page type content?

This is of great intetest to me as well. It would be ideal for me (for a dApp idea) that Communities can be configured in a way that their posts will not disrupt one's home page or followers feeds.

Would there be times you'd like it to show up on your home page?

Ideally the posts would only show in the community's space. It would be something of little interest outside of the community.

I'd prefer having a resteeming (retweet or sharing) option to share what is inside communities to your home page (blogger's section). Also, I'd add a new tab called community where posts and comments go to that tab. Steemit currently has Posts, Replies, & Comments. A 4th tab could be Communities. A 5th tab could be hashtags. A 6th tab could be top trending, the best of the best of your posts, comments, etc. A 7th tab could be Reviews, as in feedback or recommendations like a guestbook where people write notes about how they know you or what they think about you, etc.

By home page do you mean the user's "Blog" section? Posts which go into a community will not be shown on users' blogs. When it comes to showing/hiding specific posts on user's blogs, we need some documented standard. It sounds like there are multiple implementations by multiple UIs and I'm not sure of the details. It would be easiest to use some key in the post's json_metadata imo.

@steempeak uses a boolean property called "hidden" in the json-metadata. It's a good and simple solution.

Communities are a big missing piece for Steem. People want to congregate around interests as well as specific accounts. I'll read up on this when I get the time, but I'm just an enthusiastic user rather than a developer (I develop other stuff at work). Hope to see progress soon.

Ignore the trolls.

Will each community have the ability to generate their own ad revenue?

Also I think this as well as SMTs are great, plus the increasing ad revenue, but the EIP is likely going to do more damage than good. That needs to be scrapped.

We have so many positive things going on now in regards to development, but the EIP is big drag on all of that.

I believe that is part of the settings they have listed. Not sure if that's gonna come at first... in fact i'd suggest we launch without that first and handle polishing up the initial foundations.


Yep, I like that as well. Thanks. Now for that pesky EIP...


Idea: bring true Social Media experience into STEEMIT

Case Study: We are a blogging platform, but why we can't absorb FB type social media platform with more advertising into us?

Introduction: Blogging will be one major category of STEEMIT which works with the current reward system - 100%
But we can add features like FB and TWITTER which has no plagiarism and feel free to share, whatever you want like those platforms do! It might bind with a new token and a different reward system!
FB said they brought Libra, but they still failed to let us a chance to earn from their token, but if we absorb that into us and let people earn something (probably a token from SMT) somehow VOICE or whatever sh!t can't even think to compete us ever!

This is just an idea of mine, you can argue on that and upvote or downvote this comment based on your favoritism as well!



Nice, I already made the first (and currently only) community (@hive-10000).

How so?

I really like this idea - expecially the priciple that the communities are value-driven. I am calling over @jaynie and @zord189 from the #PowerHouseCreatives (formerly @steemitbloggers) as well as the team from @pifc. I will read your proposal, but before I do, I must ask about the implications for community leaders who do not code and/or who don't have their own dapps and who've built communities based on a different set of premises?

I'm calling over a couple of other folk who may be interested in this conversation: @nickyhavey, @quillfire, @blockurator

I think that the concept is good. Been watching the conversations as I have time. Looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.

Yes we will.

Posted using Partiko Android

You shouldn't need to know any code at all. It will all be graphical user interface driven by interfaces like SteemPeak and Steemit and hopefully the rest also join in

Ok. And what about dapps like @steempress and @share2steem?

Posted using Partiko Android

The applications themselves will need to make changes to make UI changes to their programs so that the users can use these new features in a nice intuitive way. For example our application SteemPeak will spend quite a lot of time developing stuff for the communities changes.

Ok. I look forward to these developments and good luck with this.

I think delegating some steem power to communities will help a lot. We have so many communities that need support. Maybe they are not that famous, but they are doing their best to support steemians. I'm sure you know them all, some of them supporting videos, some of them art, others quality. I'm running @dcooperation for collaboration, and there are really a lot of communities that need your support guys. Take a look at what @steemsavvy is doing. How much @paulag with @steemcommunity is doing. @steemitbloggers and much more. I can't tag them all here, but the work they are all doing deserve to be rewarded. I'm sure they will all distribute that power correctly. I'm not asking for a lot, maybe 100k sp, for each community or even 10k is enough to show them that you appriciate their work. If they could all power up by themselves, they will do so for sure, but if they didn't do that for more than a year, that mean they just can't afford it. Little communities really need your support and thet are all for sure bringing a big value to the blockchain.

I know I am just a little fish here but I agree! We have some good communities already on Steemit and they are struggling. If those communities were to get some big delegations they could do even more for the platform.

Working to build more communities when they are several here doing great things, it seems that you are just ignoring them. It does not make any sense. I mean @innerblocks is doing good to many users and has its own dapp and working to make it better for many of us. It just does not seem like a logical thing to start more when there are many that you could help and make better. Just my two cents from a little fish!

Really excited about the productive updates from the team. In truth, communities are the backbone of every successful company.

Can't wait for communities.

Good luck

Another fake call for feedback to be ignored.

They have a spec and just a matter of editing some hivemind stuff. We should keep them on task. But in this case it's not like we have to do a hard fork for it (that i know of) AND the biggest piece is that they can enable the background stuff and other interfaces can make the UI happen right away even if that part takes them more time.
Will it come quickly... i hope so but not counting on it. It has been a long time to get to this point.

Okay, but what I meant is that Steemit never used to call for feedback/opinions, they just did things, and announced them later. People got upset. Now, they put out fake calls for feedback/opinions. They don't care what the feedback is, or what the opinions are. They just don't want to be accused anymore, of not asking for feedback. It's a show, and we're the suckers.

Much thought has gone into the communities design recommendation. As it's meant to be an open standard, it's important to collect feedback to encourage its use as an interoperable protocol when it goes live.

I can understand what you're saying... in fact I spoke up and was disappointed that after working with them for a while on communities they went back into private among their team and kind of just listed their results... BUT, this is the biggest part it's not final... I hope they're being honest in their call for feedback before implementation. Because it's true not all of their decisions have a track record of working super well so it really is hopeful they're looking for good input.

However with that said there's not nearly enough feedback happening here. There's some... but not like we really need.

I want to clarify the details. Will communities be maintained at the interface level or at the blockchain level? In this case, you need hardfork.

Interface and API level, not blockchain level.

Thanks for info. I wonder how the communities implemented on whaleshares? They seem to be ahead of the steem.

I think they did a hardfork, the ui still does a call to the api and then gets an error from the node that you are not part of the "community" and can't interact with it. so thinking blockchain since they are not keen on people bypassing things or customizing including the fact that they removed flagging.

This is at the interface level, hence the whole point of hivemind.

This is a significant spec. Looks exciting.

It is indeed... do you have any issues with the specifics of what's actually there. I know you have some ideas to add. But let's start by seeing if what is there is solid.
We need more people really analyzing it.

A feedback would be, can UI/wireframes already be integrated or included in the document? I have a hard time creating a picture on how these all comes together.

How do you plan to integrate the communities UI to

  ·  5 months ago (edited)

maybe this can help you imagine how it could look

Thank you. Will check it out.

Posted using Partiko Android

As long term steemer this sounds more in tune with what I want to do, the only other way is to create a clone of steemit with the aim of providing the community I want to create on a more local basis rather than the noise of steemit as a whole of the world chippin in, this would break the monopoly of facebook on it's groups pages. I look with great intrest on this proposal.

I was also intrested in the apps for people to add to their own blogs and forums with steemit payments for content.

This is quite exciting. SMTs and communities can make wonders for the community, curation and content activities at Steem/it. I will share by comments if any github. Appreciate the hardwork.

buenas amigos, como estan, soy nuevo en la plataforma y no se muy bien como funciona
la verda me parece. muy bien que existan, proyectos como estos
donde no hay manipulación de ninguna corporación

I agree with the sentiment, I am looking forward to the changes. Communities are my thing as I have my community idea but it would only for the UK as worldwide it would be too cumbersome and this is one of the problems for steem as it's far too noisy and posts tend to get lost among all the clamour, something that would be relevant for a small region does not always translate to a worldwide stage but at the same time you can on board people just as much by making content relevent.

Yeah! Tight-knit communities are easier to manage and it does not preclude them from growing organically.

Congratulations @steemitblog!
Your post was mentioned in the Steem Hit Parade in the following category:

  • Comments - Ranked 1 with 1333 comments

Whatever happened to being able to deposit coins directly into steemit we are being ripped off with blocktrades that's when it does work, you have cut off your nose to spite your face, it makes it pointless to trade steemit because on an exchange it cant not be transfared too steemit no wonder the value is going down.

And we should be allowed to donate to posts and comments using a variety of cryptocurrencies and fiat and Steem can be the default exchange option and if possible, I'd prefer that the Steemit Wallet had the ability to hold all kinds of currencies without limit.

This is a nice idea

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Please sopport me

What about actually owning your own data and controlling who can see it? What if communities want to be private using built-in encryption? Something like this?

If Monero is a private cryptocurrency, I wonder if they could develop a blockchain. Someday, maybe Steem will have private communities (groups) and maybe even private messages (PM).