My latest posts about the Viva project have had an interesting side effect: they've made some friends of mine believe I'm some sort of blockchain expert. Particularly I was asked to share my opinion about @gravity-protocol, the new, heavily promoted Graphene-based blockchain project now on Steemit.
While I'm not really putting on the expert hat with this one, here's my two cents on the subject:
First of all, I'm not really fond of the single universal token concept. I consider the model presented by Steemit (with Steem, Steem Power and SBD, each serving different purposes) to be much superior.
Using a technical metaphor, a one-token blockchain is like a one-cylinder engine. While the first-ever engines were made just like that, and for a motorcycle, it works just fine, very soon it was clear that to power a car you'd rather have 4 cylinders. For even bigger engines, like tracked construction equipment or high-performance supercars, you might need even as many as 12 cylinders.
Following this metaphor, Steemit couldn't make the 3 cylinders of its economic engine work in accord -- and it probably never will.
However, for me, it's not a good enough reason to step back and concentrate on customizing bikes.
Or, better said, of course someone has the right to investigate how well that will work. The thing is that I'm just not too interested.
Anyway, the adaptive emission proposed by Gravity is a good thing. I would even say that it's actually a must. If you're starting a new experimental project like Bitcoin you'd like to try to keep things not too complicated, but it's sad to see that new ambitious projects like EOS or Cardano are starting with arbitrarily chosen parameters of emission.
Do you really want to arbitrary choose the parameters of your economic system and then want the whole world to try to fit itself into your model? The whole world is so much bigger than your project; it's not going to be jumping through your hoops. Hence the massive volatility of your token is just unavoidable.
It's nice to see that, finally, at least some projects are starting to be more flexible. However, that alone is hardly enough for these projects to succeed. To their credit, though, the founders of the Gravity project do admit that adaptive emission alone can't really guarantee price stability for the token. At the same time the passive investors, those who don't really intend to actively use the network, might be scared off by the idea of "activity-based" distribution.
In fact, I think that the future success of a crypto project is, to a great extent, determined by the way its initial distribution is organized. Unfortunately, there's no obvious formula for success available here. However, one thing is sure: you can't expect a broad distribution to happen just naturally. You have to be highly proactive to prevent a situation where most of the tokens are distributed among a very small group of people.
Yes, the proposed Steemit community sharedrop is certainly a step in the right direction. Also, I still sometimes encounter people on Steemit who, after a year here, are shocked by the discovery that transactions in their wallet are visible not only for them but also for everyone else. Still, the overall practical understanding of blockchain technology is definitely much higher here than that of the average Joe.
I suspect that project developers who do not try to onboard as many of us as possible just didn't do their homework ;)
However, again, that alone wouldn't be enough to provide a healthy distribution.
A template of how you can be proactive here has already been tested by EOS. Instead of distributing 1 billion tokens right away ( something Gravity plans to do) the process of distribution was extended to one year.
Based on the EOS "experimental ICO", I would conclude that even stretching the distribution period to one year, while allowing for the distributed tokens to be traded right away, does not really help. The next step I would consider is not only stretching the distribution period but also to distribute tokens in its "frozen" form with only longer withdrawal periods allowed.
In short, while I most likely will add some Gravity tokens to my portfolio, I don't really expect it to become a game changer, but rather to be yet another Graphene project.
However, I certainly would be happy to be proven wrong.