DLive is Leaving Steem, And This is My Last Blog Post on Steemit
Yesterday, I announced our decision to migrate to Lino. The post received over 700 comments, and I have read them all. Some of which were encouraging, supportive and reasonable, while others were misleading, manipulative and abusive. The rational concerns and frustrations are understandable, although it does upset me and my team when people doubt our intentions.
To clear the air, I’ll go into more details about the reasoning of the move, answer the frequently-asked questions and comments addressed in the previous post, and lastly, provide an update on account migrations. This will be my last blog post on Steemit.
Steem is not Sustainable for Streaming Platforms Like DLive
We tried to apply Steem + IPFS to building a fully decentralized streaming platform, but the solution failed to deliver a good user experience. This resulted in spending months on developing our own in-house solution that could be stable enough to enhance the user experience. We initially implemented IPFS to host videos for 3 months, but no one else was joining in the hosting of videos, which resulted in extreme delays and instability of our platform. On top of this, when utilizing IPFS for storage, if videos were not watched within two weeks, they would likely become inaccessible to the public. This was a major concern for DLive as well. Finally, we experienced several downtimes of the IPFS gateway, leading to further unstable user experiences, which contributed to our final decision to abandon IPFS.
At the beginning of this DLive journey, with a small but growing user base, we were able to provide the attention that our community needed as well as reward them financially for their content. Those times were very exciting. However, this situation changed as our user base grew and the amount of users that needed monetary curation support grew, which meant that every community member received a bit less. On top of this, being a newer DApp, many of our users had lower SPs than more senior members, thus the reward pools were being split disproportionately towards these more senior members, which ultimately had a great effect on the growth of DLive.
Along with what was mentioned in my previous post, we felt that the combinations of these issues were stifling the growth of DLive and affected true monetary value of contents. These problems were significantly less noticeable during the earlier days of Steem growth as well as the previous bull market. Steem was a great home for DLive, but nothing lasts forever.
DLive Did Not "Milk" the Steem System
In regards to the allegations of DLive abusing delegated power for monetary gains or “milking the system”, we would like to make this unequivocally clear that this never happened. Our DLive account received delegation in mid-January without any communication with the Steem team as to how to use it. We applied 100% of our delegation to supporting and growing the DLive community. We recruited from within the community, and distributed support to members for their content and work via our delegation. None of it has ever been used for myself or on DLive infrastructure and development. We have published monthly transparency reports that detailed the amount of votes and the percentages of votes they received.
Instead, I Personally Covered All the Costs on Infrastructure and Development of DLive
It can be easily verified that DLive did not use any of its delegated power to pay for the infrastructure and development. Instead, I personally covered the cost of DLive’s infrastructure and development as I mentioned in our first transparency report. For those who are not familiar with live streaming, live streaming requires a huge amount of investment in infrastructure, including transcoding, CDN and bandwidth. In the first 3 months, we bought a live-streaming service from a third-party provider, and then we built our own streaming server on AWS to save costs. The following numbers may give you some clues on these cost allocations:
The average cost for streaming per GiB per user is 0.45 USD (including transcoding, CDN, and bandwidth);
The average bandwidth usage (as in 720P) per user per hour is about 0.5 GiB;
The average user watching time per day is 9,500 hours (including all the users);
We can do a simple calculation from the above stats that the average costs for DLive’s infra per month is:
0.45 * 0.5 * 9500 * 30 = 64,125 USD
Combined with the development expense, the overall expenditure out of pocket per month was around 80,000 USD. DLive has encountered practical cost issues: the delegation from Steemit is for better curating content on our platform, but not for covering these necessary costs.
Yes, I thought about Smart Media Token as a potential solution. However, SMT is only a means of financing and does not change the Steem economic model fundamentally. Also, the SMT timeline has been delayed multiple times and is now pushed to next year, which is something we cannot wait for nor rely on.
Regarding The Relationship Between The Lino Team And I
I knew most of Lino’s founding team members since college. We were exposed to blockchain technology together, and this resulted in many hours of like minded individuals hanging out. During that time, we also started exploring this New Wonderland called Steem and how to build a DApp. However, Lino team’s interest shifted to building a blockchain, whereas I was set on building a DApp that people could use, play and interact with. That’s why I decided to wish my friends the best and continued to develop DLive. I still vividly remember the first day when DLive launched, and the first stream popped up. I literally jumped out of my chair and shouted “This is fucking awesome! This is real!” At that time, Lino was also doing well. So, for me, this was a win-win situation and I was truly happy for them as they had always been my biggest supporters. So all these rumors, conspiracies, as well as racial and ethnic discriminations should all stop.
Regarding User Data Migration
The goal of the user data migration functionality was to provide DLive users with a smooth transition onto the new blockchain. However, it was regretfully misinterpreted as an attempt to steal users from Steem, which was not our intention.
For those who are concerned about their personal data, we made the decision that we will not migrate all user data by default. If you want to migrate with us, you will need to opt in our user migration list before 10am, September 24th, 2018 PDT. Please see our article in the community hub for guidance. https://community.dlive.tv/hc/en-us/articles/360014760572-Will-my-previous-live-streams-and-videos-be-lost-during-the-migration-
DLive Is Not Taking Away Steem Users
We know that DLive has become a home for a lot of you who did not fit into other communities. DLive has been a home for our entire team as well. Taking this into account, I want to make it perfectly clear: we are still on DLive to support users and promote quality content, we are going through this transition to make DLive an even better home for all of us.
Based on our data, 80% of our current DLive users are not from Steem. We have grown outside of the Steem community and, as a matter of fact, have helped the Steem community grow users along the way.
DLive would not be what it is today without our extraordinary community, and you guys are the exact reason why we keep doing what we do everyday.
I will be live streaming on DLive tomorrow September 22nd, 2pm PDT to answer more questions about migration. See you on DLive.
Charles Wayn (Kent)
Founder & CEO of DLive