"If you take away speculation, why would someone want to buy STEEM?"
This is something I've been asking for a long time and aside from curation rewards, there isn't much.
But for two years, I've been talking about advertising, revenue, and profit-sharing for website/interface owners. I even spoke with Ned about this two years ago and he had zero interest in it at all. Then he realized that capital appreciation from the "ninja-mine" can't pay the bills forever...or even a couple of years.
The added value that most people are looking for can and should be added by businesses running on the chain, not the chain itself. Taking my advertising example:
- Interface owner implements advertising.
- A percentage of revenue is distributed to their active users (people who are logged in and interacting with the blockchain via their particular interface).
- Revenue is distributed based on the STEEM Power of those users.
- Users can opt-in or opt-out to the advertising and revenue sharing. Non-users have no options.
What would this do for the blockchain? First, it would entice visitors of those interfaces to create an account in order to turn off ads or to opt into the revenue sharing. Second, it would entice users to purchase STEEM and power it up, or hold much of the SP that they accumulate in order to compound future ROI.
What would it do for the interface owners? It would entice more people to use their interface, which would increase their ad revenue.
What else could it do? It could attract better content creators who want to get their work in front of more users...the user base that is potentially growing due to the better incentives.
Worried about large stakeholders soaking up all of the shared profits? You can cap the distribution.
Want to further entice popular content creators to use your interface? Share another percentage of ad revenue with those popular creators through an entirely different ad program.
Concerned that your site is just being gamed by people looking for profits? Congratulations! That's what basic human behavior essentially is: economical. That's the foundation of commerce. And if you can get some steady commerce going on your site with legit businesses, value will continue to grow.
This is the kind of thing that many of our "developers" can do right now. And there's no hard fork necessary to do it either. They don't have to wait on anybody at all to get started. What are these interface owners doing instead? How are they making their money as website businesses? It seems most people don't realize that running a social media site is a business operation, first and foremost. They should start treating it as such.
We're not going to have much luck finding better value or more investment in(to) the Steem blockchain by simply hoping that our scheme of giving away inflation tokens will suddenly see huge demand shifts. There's only so much you can do with the internal blockchain economics - which have been severely broken and won't be fixed by the EIP alone. We need more developers focused on actual business models and adding value to this blockchain via those businesses and we need to give less attention (and money) to those simply looking to milk inflation rewards via vote/delegation buying and renting schemes or with outright ponzi/scam "projects."
For the record: I don't believe the SPS will give us different results, as much of the voting will be done by the same people currently allocating rewards.