Ned Scott and @theoretical of Steemit Explore Oracles on Steem

in #ned4 years ago

Today we’d like to explore the idea of Oracles for the purposes of establishing identity and verifying actions using the Steem blockchain. We have begun work on an Oracles system that we are developing for the purpose of enhancing the capabilities of Smart Media Tokens (SMTs), and would like to share with you all why we believe they are an important addition to this protocol. We plan on expanding on the content within this post in the coming months with the release of a new SMT Oracles whitepaper, which will provide entrepreneurs additional information and guidance on how Oracles can be leveraged to enhance SMTs.

The following video includes footage from @ned’s recent trip to South Korea, as well as footage taken from a recent Steemit Inc. all-hands meeting where @ned and @theoretical (Steem/SMTs Architect and Co-Founder) discussed some of the details of how Oracles will work.

Is Steem Working?

The original intent behind STEEM was to leverage that token to harness the Wisdom-of-the-Crowd in order to unearth high quality content and give it public exposure. The success of this design, imperfect though it may be, cannot be overstated. Steem remains the only free and open-source protocol that autonomously distributes rewards to content creators all over the world. The ecosystem is growing, more traffic is going to Steem-powered websites than ever before, and over $50 million worth of STEEM has been distributed to people all over the world. Steem is working.


Smart Media Tokens (SMTs), however, offer us an opportunity to make Steem work even better, by combining an SMT with what the industry is calling “Oracles.” An Oracle on SMTs will be able to submit a list of users (a “whitelist”) to the blockchain who have satisfied some type of criteria. Users will be entitled to earn an SMT whose token distribution mechanisms are enhanced by an Oracle only if they are on the list that the Oracle(s) submitted to the Steem blockchain. One example of how Oracles could be used is as a means of validating that an account belongs to one person and is that person’s only account.

This would enable an SMT to be paid out based on the upvoter’s individuality, not their token holdings. If Steem operates through “1 STEEM, 1 Vote,” this system would pay out additional rewards--in the form of a new token--based on “1 Account, 1 Vote.” This is just one way in which SMTs could be leveraged to deliver yet another seismic shift in how people are rewarded on the internet.

One Account, One Vote

One account, one vote (1A1V), sounds good in theory, but is surprisingly difficult to pull off. Steem didn’t use 1A1V because it incentivizes people to create multiple accounts. “Power” within the ecosystem would be determined by how fast one was able to acquire accounts, not one’s individuality. This is why Steem does not, and cannot, use 1A1V. However, the beauty of our design is that within this ecosystem--thanks to SMTs enhanced by Oracles--1A1V can be implemented. Not only that, but many other capabilities become possible with fairly simple Oracles.

What is an Oracle?

In the context of blockchains, Oracles are often discussed with respect to prediction markets. If you wanted to enable people to bet on an event, like who is going to win an election, then you would create a smart contract that is worth something if a certain political party got elected (or not). However, since the event occurs in the real world and not on the blockchain (“off-chain”) you would need someone to inform the blockchain what happened, in this case, who won the election. That person is referred to by many in the blockchain community as an Oracle.

An Oracle, however, is also a term used in computer science to denote anything that you can ask questions to that you don’t know the answer to yourself. In the context of the Steem blockchain, an Oracle would be someone that the Steem blockchain can ask questions such as, “Is this a unique account?” In other words, an Oracle is someone that the blockchain can use to handle a task it is currently unable to perform. This does not mean that simply using an Oracle will enable One Account, One Vote to be effectively implemented. That would depend on the rigorousness of the Oracle’s verification process and whether that process can be gamed. What Oracles on Steem will do is make the creation of this type of system possible.

Individuality Oracle + Superlinear Rewards

If an Oracle can provide an individuality whitelist, this can be combined with an SMT programmed to be distributed to curators based on a superlinear rewards curve, thereby incentivizing high quality content curation.

For STEEM, a superlinear rewards curve isn’t as effective at incentivizing curation because in order to be sustainable and scalable, it must be governed by One STEEM, One Vote. Under such circumstances, a superlinear rewards curve creates a strong incentive for those who have a large amount of STEEM to self-vote and collude, as the more STEEM one has, the more orders of magnitude of STEEM one can earn through such behaviors. As a consequence of this, the distribution of rewards for the entire community becomes a result of the decisions made by only a small handful of individuals, rather than through genuine wisdom-of-the-crowd and contrary to the original intention of superlinear rewards. This is why the superlinear rewards curve was abandoned for STEEM.

However, if a new SMT is distributed using superlinear rewards based on an upvoter’s individuality, then their stake is irrelevant. The biggest token holder (“whale”) on the planet would earn no more from their own upvote than they would from an upvote generated by the world’s smallest token holder (“minnow”). In such a case, the only way for a curator to earn a large number of tokens would be to discover and upvote content that will garner many more upvotes in the future. What content is most likely to garner a large number of upvotes in the future? High quality content.

In this way an SMT (a new token in addition to STEEM) whose distribution is governed by a superlinear rewards curve, and enhanced by an Oracle, could take the autonomous content discovery and rewards system--still unrivaled in Steem--to an entirely new level. Best of all, this is only one potential use case for Smart Media Tokens and Oracles.

Empowering Communities

Oracles will communicate with the blockchain by submitting pre-consensus whitelists of accounts through their own account. One such whitelist could be made up of users who have established their individuality to the Oracle. There is, however, no limit to the criteria and methodologies that Oracles can leverage to generate their lists, and the creator of an SMT will not be required to limit themselves to the use of one Oracle.

Leveraging Multiple Oracles

To see how this might be beneficial, imagine that the creator of an SMT wanted to ensure that their token was only rewarded to “good people.” We know how we would solve the problem of the “individual”; the process for solving the problem of determining who is a “good person” would be largely the same. There would need to be an Oracle (possibly associated with the @santaclaus account) who would somehow establish whether someone was good, and submit their list to the blockchain. Once this process was in place, the creator of this hypothetical SMT would need only to specify at its inception that the token’s distribution would be enhanced by both the Individuality Oracle and the Goodness Oracle. Once they released their token, the only accounts who would receive it would be those who had proven that they were “good individuals.”

Of course, “goodness” is subjective, but the real takeaway here is that Oracle enhanced SMTs can support an infinite variety of social structures aimed at addressing an infinitely varied array of needs. In other words, they can empower communities to an extent never before deemed possible.

Oracle Limits

An Oracle is an account that produces a whitelist. An account is limited to producing only one SMT whitelist. The Oracle is a paid position that is budgeted into the SMT at launch; it is an elected position, much like a Witness. In this way, specific Oracles will be tied to specific SMTs. That being said, an SMT will be able to take advantage of multiple Oracles with a limit of 5. For example, an SMT could make the payouts from their rewards pool contingent on 1. an Individuality Oracle, 2. a Goodness Oracle, 3. an Originality Oracle, 4. a Gender Oracle, and 5. an Age Oracle. The SMT creator would also be able to elect the threshold of agreement required among Oracles. For example, the creator might deem it sufficient for an account to be on three of the five whitelists mentioned above. Any configuration from one-out-of-five to five-out-of-five will be possible.

The reason SMTs are limited to using at most five Oracles is that every time there is a vote on a piece of content, the Steem blockchain will have to check every Oracle associated with that SMT before any SMT can be paid out. This could quickly lead to a large number of database queries were the number of possible Oracles not limited. Five Oracles will be more than enough to cover the vast majority of use cases.

The Real Purpose of Oracles

Our goal with respect to Oracles is not to ensure that every whitelist is accurate. Oracles will provide entrepreneurs with the opportunity to further customize how they incentivize the actors in their ecosystem, but they are the ones who will understand those actors the best, and so it will be their responsibility to ensure that the options they choose are designed to lead to reliable whitelists. Anything else would not be a scalable solution.

What really sets Steem apart from other blockchains--aside from its ability to store content--is its focus on decentralized token distribution mechanisms. The primary goal with any currency is ensuring that the “right” people receive it, and that they receive it quickly and efficiently. If that happens, then all the participants in an ecosystem will be incentivized to keep participating and adding value. That means that the entrepreneur doesn’t have to waste time and resources ensuring that every important member of their community is paid and paid fairly. Not only is that time consuming and difficult, but it creates risks and liabilities for the entrepreneur who wants to focus their energy on creating an amazing application that users love.

Laser-Targeting SMTs

SMTs will add a revolutionary weapon to the entrepreneur’s arsenal: an industry-leading cryptocurrency with three-second fee-less transfers, that autonomously flows to the most important members of a community. Oracles will add laser-targeting to that weapon. They will enable the entrepreneur to install additional safeguards into their ecosystem that help ensure that the only way to win their token is to play by their rules. To date, STEEM is still the only cryptocurrency that is autonomously incentivizing an entire ecosystem; SMTs with Oracles will make it easier than ever to replicate our results and even improve upon them.

Team Steemit


is pineapple an oracle?

sounds cool ... but, i'm not able to comprehend much more than that (-:

Haha right on. I stopped reading after 5min. but I guess it will improve Steem if you know how to handle it!

a superlinear rewards curve creates a strong incentive for those who have a large amount of STEEM to self-vote and collude

Isn't it exactly the opposite way? Linear curve incentivizes self-voting, that's why it is now so frequent...

That should help clarify it ;-)

Superlinear is not the same as linear.

How about explaining what Superlinear is. Because it's the first time I hear the word. And the word makes no sense as you can improve on linear. Something which is linear can't be made more linear. Either you are linear or you are not.

Plot me a graph so I understand it.

We have a linear curve now and we have much self-voting and upvote-bot-using now. When we had a superlinear curve there wasn't as much self-voting as now. I think that's what @hr1 is meaning.

Ah, I see. The distinction is between superlinear rewards based on stake and superlinear rewards based on individuality. Superlinear rewards distributed based on individuality is a fundamentally different thing. As was explained in the post, with superlinear rewards distributed based on individuality, a self-vote gets you nothing more than a vote for someone else because your stake is irrelevant. All that matters in such a case is whether the thing you vote on receives more upvotes in the future from many more individuals regardless of their stake.

Now I see:

You call exponential growth superlinear. That's very confusing. Why not use words people understand?

And the opposite of what is needed. Inverse exponential rewards – sublinear as you would call it - is needed to help plankton accounts along:

And would reflect real live articles better. Articles don't become exponentially better. Quite the opposite they get closer and closer to perfect without reaching it.

Linear is proportional to n (which is the same as n^1). The exponential (a^n) is not the only superlinear curve, you can have n^2, n^3, ...

hello @hr1 could you take a look at this request from my project? I'm sorry I sent it over here, but I don't know where to reach you.

"superlinear": f = a*x^y, y >= 2, but y can be a real number.

Thank you @hr1 for upvoting my post,

@hr1 resteem and upvote my post

Gracias por tu voto, ;-)
Thanks for your vote, ;-)
Merci pour votre vote, ;-)

hello mate @ hr1 could communicate with us to the discord

That's what I observed as well!

I need to talk with you use discord or

Estoy completamente deacuerdo con @hr1

Please stop upvoting my posts.
OK I don't need your upvotes.. You're annoying-

HR1 Please stop upvoting my posts.
OK I don't need your upvotes.. You're annoying-

@hr1, Please UpVote and resteem my next post. It's nothing magic but it's fine. I am extremely low on Steem unlike you Darling. Thank you.

I was particularly excited when I read this part

Oracles will communicate with the blockchain by submitting pre-consensus whitelists of accounts through their own account.

I strongly support Oracle

So, is this something that will be considered as a feature enhancement for the future for SMTs, or are you saying that this is going to be implemented prior to SMT launch; if it is the latter, I can't help but be concerned that this is a stalling tactic on the road to actually releasing SMTs.

Is there an estimated timeframe for the release of them that is currently being projected (as the alternative to Q2 2018, which was what was originally projected)? :)

I just know that SMTs will be so enriching for the community and am very eager to see the implementation asap! The longer that it takes, the more competition EOS and other chains will be.

I noticed that there are some awesome updates on regarding stories for core functionality of SMTs and it points out that the team is working hard to ensure we get a testnet and functional SMTs soon, but if you, @ned, could provide an estimated timeline even (not even necessarily a firm commitment), that would be extremely uplifting to the community, I think. :)

We will give timelines on our timeline :) Oracles are not a stalling tactic they are a simple addition to the protocol that will expand its utility by an order of magnitude. We strive to build blockchain and crytpocurrency technologies that provide value to entrepreneurs and developers in the here and now. We believe our success speaks for itself, welcome all "competitors" and wish them luck. We are about accelerating the adoption of blockchain technologies and everyone who wants to add value to that effort is welcome. Forecasting projects is a project unto itself, and it is one that is currently ongoing. When that project is completed and we are confident in the results, we will disclose those results to the community. But not a moment sooner.

Im sorry to say, but hurry. Once bot owners take over the top 20 witnesses there will be nothing you can do they will accept if it hurts their bottom line.

Hey @andrarchy, thanks for the clarification! :) I appreciate that you guys are being transparent about this! Believe me, I LOVE Steemit/the Steem Blockchain and I think that it will be one of the top 5 blockchains by market cap and I actually consider it THE MOST SUCCESSFUL of all blockchains from a user adoption/effectiveness standpoint currently (as a blockchain, that is). I think that Ethereum is the only one that holds a stone to it and I think SMTs will completely solidify Steem in the top spot for utility/adoption. I completely understand that the most important thing is that SMTs are Stable and Useful, so if it takes the Steemit team more time, so be it. Security and Stability are extremely important, of course.

Sounds like we're on the same page! Good to meet you @biddle

Amazing content thank you :)
Looking forward to the future of Steemit!

I always love when Ned shares his thoughts


I know this post isn't specifically about 1A1V but because it has been brought up as a prominent example of something that could become possible with the SMT/Oracle combination I had a question. Do you think it negatively impacts the ability to fight plagiarism and abuse?

Most people (not everyone here though) seems to think removing the rewards from a plagiarized post is a good thing. Right now this works because a group like Steemcleaners has enough voting power to handle a large workload. If we went to 1A1V would there be any mechanism to remove the rewards, be it steem or whatever SMT someone else rewards a post? It wouldn't be realistic to expect to have an army of accounts on call to match each upvote with a flag.

Keep up the great work! Can't wait for the SMTs!!

Hi Ned,

Can you please give color on below:

  1. If we switch to 1 account -1 Vote , what incentives will be in place to maintain the STEEM Power ?

  2. What mechanisms are going to be in place to avoid offline/off blockchain collusion of users . Think of a website where you can buy bulk votes where voters get paid for bulk voting?

  3. If we go the SMT route and let's say Dtube coin is launched , how will that be tied to the existing STEEM value ?

How do existing STEEM holders get value from DTube coin ?


  1. STEEM is never switching to 1A1V. This was explicitly a thought-experiment about a new token.
  2. Our tools enhance the entrepreneur's ability to easily and quickly design and launch their own customized set of cryptoeconomic incentives and disincentives. It is up to the SMT creator to customize the crytpeconomic design so that the actors within their economy are maximally incentivized to add value to the community which will be expressed in the value of the token. Whether they are incentivized or disincentivized to collude (your assumption that off-chain collusion is inherently bad is fallacious) is the SMT creator's responsibility.
  3. STEEM will be the base-currency of the ecosystem (the currency which will act as the gateway in and out of every SMT) and Steem Power (vested STEEM) will remain the token tied to bandwidth which is the resource needed to transact at scale on the Steem Blockchain.

Hi @andrarchy

Thanks for reply.

I will concede that I have a very basic (if that) understanding of the blockchain technology but it did not come across as a explicit thought experiment .Possibly there were discussion before/after the clip which were not shown in the video.

For point 1: so , Oracle/1A1V doesn't apply to STEEM ecosystem. It may be a future non STEEM based project.
For point 3:
Following through with the SMT discussion , for the Dtube coin example : one would not be able to buy Dtube coin on a crypto exchange , rather STEEM can be converted into DTube coin , analogues to how it can be converted into SBD.

Did I get the gist of your reply ?

Any token on the Steem blockchain can theoretically be added to an exchange; see the Steem Blockchain Dollar. That being said, exchanges will only want to host tokens that have reached a certain amount of value and volume. All SMTs will be immediately liquid on the internal exchange and SMT creators will be able to back their token with STEEM which will create liquidity for their token using the automated market maker logic baked into the SMT protocol. But even once an SMT is on external exchanges, it will still be on the internal exchange just like SBD.

Thanks again for the reply.

I am a slow learner so can't say I got it in it's entirety but I am certainly excited about the possibilities outlined in this post/comments.


Just to confirm, those of us with multiple Steem accounts would be submitting one of these accounts to an Oracle?

And it's possible that we could submit another account to another Oracle?

utopian-io and steemhunt would have benefited greatly If this was in place already, and I think Oracles sound like a good solution for apps/communities going forward.

You won't submit an account to an Oracle. Oracle accounts will be able to submit lists of accounts to the Steem blockchain. Whether that list is used by an SMT is entirely up to the creator of the SMT.

OK, Thanks for the reply.

So an application could ask 'is this a unique account?' And the Orcales answer could be 'yes, on this list I have here'?

Will anyone be able to 'build' an Oracle?


Mientras mas leo, mas dudas e interrogantes llegan a mi mente... Pero también mas posibilidades de hacer mas robusta esta plataforma.

Yes, that's right. I don't see why anyone wouldn't be able to create an Oracle.

Great, thanks for your time.

So how will SMT's work with steemit specifically? (sorting of articles, payouts, etc.) Also, what will give the SMT used on steemit value?

Will the reward mechanism of SBD and STEEM change, based on how many 'real person' votes an article gets?

I'd like to be involved in developing Oracles. Are there any provisional specifications yet defining how they will interact with the blockchain?

That's great to know, I'll pass the word along!

Thank you for the detailed explanation. It's a rational solution, simple enough. You have pretty much acknowledged the current stake-weighted voting is deeply flawed - the question is, do you see the common Steem reward pool going 1A1V with Oracles too? I know this is just meant for SMTs, but why keep a failed system around to continue to be abused, then?

As you said, we're not planning to use 1A1V for Steem and I personally do not believe this would be wise. What we admit is that it is not ideal for STEEM to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. It is serving a number of functions well, but the more functions that can be "outsourced" to dedicated SMTs and the more STEEM can be used to serve as the cryptoeconomic mechanism for maintaining the sustainability and scalability of the Steem ecosystem, the more antifragile the system will become. In order to have a system that anyone can join anonymously and with ease, it has to be purely stake-based. Anything else will introduce friction, and decrease anonymity.

What will determine the exchange rate to STEEM of a new SMT?

Supply and demand

Top answer, mate. Just what I wanted to hear.

Happy to see this response. I was worried big time when I read through the post lol.

So, in short... Oracles = shared whitelists. SMTs creators can create one, or use pre existing one.

"An oracle, in the context of blockchains and smart contracts, is an agent that finds and verifies real-world occurrences and submits this information to a blockchain to be used by smart contracts." -

I believe that in the context of future blockchain protocols, oracle solutions will play a fundamental role and will be essential in ensuring trustworthy, autonomous intercommunication between the physical and digital worlds.

Look towards emerging IOT + blockchain solutions for some prime examples.

Blockchain oracles deserve much more attention, especially outside the context of Steemit.

I don't believe that one account one vote is the best solution here.
We cannot assume that each and every account has the ability to distinguish high-quality content from low.

The introduction of an oracle system as a solution to this seems heavily over-engineered, not to mention seems to embark down a road towards a distributed identity verification, AML/KYC.

If my understanding is correct then, in my opinion, this would be a gross misallocation of resources by Steemit, Inc and at best should be outsourced.

I would favour a more meritocratic system.
What I would propose is to completely disable the Power Up feature at the smart contract level.
User's steem power would only have one single source and that's through reward payouts.
I would really appreciate some thoughts or criticisms on that approach!

Yeah but once you have identity behind that vote you can combine it with reputation to weight the vote. Some votes are more equal than others but it is not based on wealth...

1.) Sounds great, but I'd like to see Steemit finally deliver on one of its other big preannouncements before I'll get excited about oracles (communities, HF20, SMTs).

2.) Do you have people looking at auction theory? Google uses second price auctions for pricing its ad-words sales. It seems like this auction mechanism might also be a nice fit for Steemit with stake weighted voting. This would take away the ability to self-vote, unless ratified by another voter, and it would force abusive voters to split their stakes into smaller (less harmful) portions. According to,

The theoretical nicety of second price auctions, first pointed out by William Vickrey, is that bidding one's true value is a dominant strategy.


I want my views back. Now it is as if I'm talking to fucking bots. Very dissapointing. No wonder Steemit is in free fall.

Sounds nice and all, and I hope it works.

I'm still very skeptical how this will play out in practice.

This can really be a solution to the "ICO Problem." First mining and the rest did fair distribution, then an attempt at "airdrop theory" by BitShares community (Protoshares!) couldn't hold their ground to flood of massive ICOs, and now ICOs are fading again because of higher regulatory awareness and insane attention competition for any "utility" token, which has brought the airdrop idea back again, and the full circle is a return to "Proof of X" where X (mining) is replaced by "Brain/Participation."

If airdrops are going to be based on oracles, that will be an incentive to cheat, to hire MTurkers like Rhett Creighton did or to participate just enough to be recognized as an individual. In other words, we'll run into Goodheart's Law.

SMTS and ORACLES will make Steemit Great Again!

In such a case, the only way for a curator to earn a large number of tokens would be to discover and upvote content that will garner many more upvotes in the future. What content is most likely to garner a large number of upvotes in the future? High quality content.

I think that steemit gonna grow much bigger thanks to SMT and Oracle.
Idea is stunning, and I can't wait for implementing entire plan in system, we all would be happy of it. Another step in evolution, don't you think?

Congrats, you made the #steemitminute for today!

Click the Image Below to see the Video!

In my country. An oracle is just one dude that you ask questions and he answers you after consulting the ancestors. ;)

I imagined that we can have thousands of SMT accumulating in our account and all liquid because a post can have multiple SMT.

Thanks for the update and progress on the project, I think avoiding abuse is a tough task but at least some effort is going to dealing with the problem... Probably to avoid abuse of multiple accounts, let say, the person upvoting must hold >500 SP, or >1000 SP, this probably would help nullify account creation automation abuse having 1 actor using multiple accounts...It would also give SMT creators some assurance that even those participating has a vested interest but some threshold is needed...

Hey, @steemitblog its mean it will bring some new change in steemit community?@ned

The individuality Oracle + SMT idea is super cool. I wonder how much decentralization we need to sacrifice with the Oracle though.

An SMT creator can choose to make their implementation as centralized or decentralized as they (and their users) like. We provide tools that empower entrepreneurs to create an infinite variety of applications which can then compete with one another on the open market. Steem is decentralized, but that doesn't mean that applications built on Steem also need to be decentralized. Value can be found in both decentralized and centralized applications. What matters is not whether something is decentralized, but whether it is good.

Great answer.


This will be huge! 👍👍

Well composed post with quality informations
But I think if you don't want a pay out on your post you don't need to cancel it, but you can make donations with it, just saying tho.

Steem is working indeed! To be honest, this is so far the best website with great purpose I've ever seen in my entire life! I thought a platform rewarding bloggers and content writers was just a dream but now it's a reality. I hope this continually grow in an even better way that before.

Интиресно получилось. Но аткуда вы берёти всю эту информацию.)

Forget about the Oracle. Smith had long overwritten her code 15 years ago in an act of deliberate submission.

Muy interesante, tanto es que lo leí por lo menos 4 veces, y cada vez entiendo mas y comprendo menos, creo que es la idea, que surjan interrogantes para generar mas ideas y mejoras para nuestra plataforma.

What a great idea! You have introduced very significant post with Steemit members. Thanks for sharing.

In short, Oracles will ultimately ensure that the cream floats to the top. I think it is great idea and could help return to Steemit an original dynamic that intened for the highest system/player integrities. Totally support this development!

Very well put. I'm going to use "cream floats to the top." Good one!

I am even more excited by the prospects of SMTs for our writers community, @thewritersblock, especially with the advent of oracles. I can foresee great things in our community in the future by leveraging the combined powers of both. As writers, content creators and curators of quality fiction the 1 account 1 vote system this could bring will ensure that the best rises to the top and is rewarded as such. Exciting times.

Interesting ! I resteemed this article. Thank you.

Wouldn't these oracles become a tool for tribalism? You already mention age and gender as if they're innocent criteria. For example, an SMT could restrict rewards to white Americans who are NRA members and registered as Republicans.

Or the opposite: black Americans who are not NRA members and registered as Democrats.

But I guess that that is part of tribalism as well. And i agree with you: age and gender aren't innocent criteria.

Yes. Most groups are exclusive and no one can belong to them all. Amex points. The high school you graduated from. Any and every action and demographic.

Great theory @ned. Under one condition.
There must be "meaningful" SMT creators, each utilizing a different combination of oracles.

A minnow like me could create an SMT, but it would have zero value. You need someone who can create a token that people are willing to trade. Only an individual or company that has massive active followers can do that. It has to be an outside force that matches your influence.

You've made clear that you're going to create Good Person Tokens but that's not what I'm concerned about. We are in the dark as to who else. In order for your concept to work you need multiple SMT creators each with a sizeable rewards pool completely independent from you.

Here's my question: what guarantees that you will not be the dominant SMT creator? (that the 2 oracles you mentioned will not be the only source of verification?)

(again, I like you. I'm just curious)

I leave you a private message on ... if you can read me and answer me I would appreciate it very much

Aprecio todos y cada uno de los esfuerzos que uds realizan diariamente...

Es asombroso ver la pasión con la que explican cada fase o cada paso que han dado y cada actualización de su proyecto que a la vez ahora también



I find it troublesome that you say this as if its not a joke

its mean it wll bring some new change in steemit community ???

The Oracle is a paid position that is budgeted into the SMT at launch; it is an elected position, much like a Witness.

Who will be able to get a bad Oracle fired and to elect a new one? The SMT community via voting or the SMT creator?

That would be determined by stake-weighted upvote of the SMT. But SMT creators will be able to allocate SMTs to themselves at launch which would enable them to exercise more (or less) control over who is the Oracle.

These answers are great, and really clearing things up, thanks.
So I create an Oracle, 'Accounts older than 12 months', and I'm chosen as the most reliable Oracle by 10 different SMTs which all want to reward longevity, and use my list to narrow down their potential recipients.
Am I then rewarded with all 10 SMTs, at the rate selected when each SMT was launched, as long as the hodlers of each of those SMTs continue choosing me as their 'at least 12 months old' Oracle?

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

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I wonder if there is a way to fund planting trees to offset carbon in the atmosphere ? I am a horticulturalist and I would like to improve degraded farming lands by planting millions of trees -- is there a way to make a blockchain and ICO or SMT to make this idea work?

Yes! Though please, PLEASE don't waste your time building a blockchain! That's what the Steem blockchain is for. It is a free, open-source, hyper-scalable blockchain that anyone is free to use. So use our blockchain. The key thing to understand is that value comes from a community. We aim to provide you with the tools that enable you to tokenize the value of that community. What SMTs will offer you is the ability to create a token that autonomously rewards the members of your community. What Oracles enable you to do is "elect" people who will help weed out "bad" members of your community (by whatever standards that community wishes to apply). If your community is based around planting trees, then what I would focus on is 1. how are you going to lead this community so that it understands who should and shouldn't receive rewards, 2. how to customize your SMT and Oracles(s) to maximally reward your "best" community members, and 3. how you should design the interface your community members use so as to maximize their productivity with respect to successfully planting trees. We will be launching a Communities interface which may be sufficient. This interface will, after all, be designed to be as flexible as possible for communities and entrepreneurs, but you should at least think about what the ideal interface would be. Beauty is that you can leverage the tools we give you, use them to generate revenue, and then use that revenue to build an even better interface that still leverages the very same backend (the Steem blockchain).

thanks very much -- that is a lot of very valuable information for me and I will consider what I can do and then ask you a few questions -- I really appreciate your reply and hope I can utilise the opportunity to benefit all.

hello Andrarchy - I really appreciate your deep thinking here - I am not capable of running this -not technically or intellectually - I am a horticulturalist and wish to actually organise the purchase of land and conversion from damaged to planted with thousands of trees and then leave that to be managed according to my plans and repeat again and again to make a real difference to carbon levels in the atmosphere and provide wood for future generations to use in quality projects like furniture and building etc. --the point is that I need to partner with someone like you who can envision the social media blockchain side and if not you -someone who you recommend .. I am available on [email protected] please let me know if you email me as I wouldn't want to miss it in my junk mail .. love and light brother .. lets make an effort to change the world in our lifetimes

1A1V seems like a great idea but almost impossible to implement anonymously. That is why you have to vote with your ID/passport in a conventional election. Now Oracles will have all the power. Or operators of the Oracles. Not very decentralized. If we look at EOS then top 100 wallets hold 65% of the voting power.. that is not decentralized either. But we will get there.. eventually! :)

Yes, this is precisely why STEEM will never be 1A1V. The beauty of our design is that you can have the best of both worlds. On Steem you will be able to have communities that leverage centralized parties, or not, and every Steemian will be free to choose for themselves which communities are worth joining and which communities are so valuable they are worth sacrificing a degree of decentralization.

From what I'm seeing, it looks good! hehe

One account, one vote (1A1V), sounds good in theory

No. It sounds a lot like socialism. It creates an injustice. A disincentive to earn/invest in the token.

A good theory is a theory that works in reality. Capitalism is where economic power flows to people who are productive and make the most money. This is an ideal. "One economic unit one vote" is the ideal.

Please read: Capitalism the unknown ideal by Ayn Rand.

The point of SMTs is that they give anyone the ability to create their own, custom-tailored, hyper-efficient cryptocurrency with Proof-of-Brain mechanisms. Everyone, regardless of their economic ideology will be able to create a token based on that belief-system and either use, or not use, Oracles to further refine the distribution of that token. These tokens will then compete to prove their value to the market. You could, for example, only allow your token to be distributed to people you believe to be "real capitalists." Doesn't that sound nice? ;)

it sounds nice. but it needs to be battle tested. you guys don't have a testnet yet. when exactly is the launch? what makes you so certain that this system will work as intended? how confident are you in the sheer number and the effectiveness of the oracles?

i couldn't care less about the SMTs themselves but what outside influence are they going to bring into the community? how many new meaningful reward pools are they going to create? with what size? do you guys have big players under the table that are planning to launch their own SMTs?

I love SMT's. My only objection is the quote I mention. 1P1V is not an ideal in any economic protocol as far as I can tell. The reason is that there is no reward for competence. An idiot gets as much influence as a Dan.

P.S. I wrote about sub-steems before it was an idea.

Under quadratic curves and 1P1V, Curation Rewards go disproportionately to the more competent. Though I am not convinced this would always include Dan :P

Edit for context: Curation under these rules becomes a game of skill and specialized knowledge, on a community by community basis.

I am all for linear reward curves. Any move away from this I see as an injustice.

For STEEM, I would agree. But these are new, opt-in cryptocurrencies. At last, we will see the market decide :)

hi @ned. just a few concerns.
how confident are you that there will be a market for SMTs? what makes you certain that there will be many competing SMTs that people are willing to trade and pay for?

Imagine a SMT with 1P1V only emits 0.5% emissions per year and that’s enough to create a highly effective autonomous content curation system. What’s the problem with that? “Ayn Rand says this” is nice argumentative rhetoric but it does not capture nor disprove the collective benefits these distros can provide.

People are not equally competent. Some are better than others and for that reason deserves more influence. The "problem" you are trying to solve will in most, if not all systems be a net negative. You are wasting a lot of time with this flawed ideal.

People are not equally competent is a premise of the system. Those who are more competent earn more.

Earning more for competence is good but just one side of the coin. Also having influence follow competence is an ideal.

I wouldn't say that experimenting is a waste of time. AFAIK, both Oracles and SMT won't affect the consensus token (STEEM) distribution directly, thus there is nothing to be worried about, and we will be able to determine which reward distributing system works the best.

I am simply trying to dispel the notion that "one body one vote" is a good idea. It's not.

Yeah, maybe, but it's gonna be up to the SMT creator to choose a reward distribution system. One may decide to not use Oracles and 'one person one vote' at all.

Under Quadratic Influence, it’s not simply 1P1V. I think we need to acknowledge that’s the actual basis for bringing up 1P1V. The combination incentivizes quality, influential authors and intelligent curation.

best option imo would be if sp had diminishing returns. I don't think ppl hate stake weighting entirely its just kind of offsetting when people realize that theres only a small portion of the reward pool is even for for grabs to anyone who hasnt been here for over a year

However, when the lever —machine(SP)_ is made very large, the contribution ratio of the individual —driver(Steemian)_ is very small. At that time, capital or PoB were at work.

Rights need to be placed in cages.

What will be the new incentive for Witnesses? Steem Power and influence is a very powerful incentive and now that SP will no longer have the power it once did, what will witnesses receive for their efforts in maintaining the network?

There's no reason to believe SP will be less valuable or useful. It will actually be needed by the SMTs, to give them the bandwidth to operate smoothly on the blockchain.

I see. Thanks! I'll have to read up some more I suppose. :)

See your bandwidth remaining is at 100%, so the SP you hold would let you do heaps more here. (upvoting, commenting, posting).
If you launched distantsignaltoken and had millions of tokens being transacted thousands of times a day, you'd find that green bar would shrink pretty quick.
The more SP you hold, the more bandwidth that gives you on the chain and the more transaction volume your token can support.
You can see it at

These are spot on, thanks for helping to educate @mattclarke

Explainer posts to along with new announcements will be immensely helpful.

Maybe the tech experts needed no real explanation but a lot of people were left guessing , as you can see in the comments.

Thanks for taking time to explain things in comments though !!

Great idea ;)

Interesting topic, THANK YOU for sharing, CONGRATULATIONS!

woow..i love the lessons...i can watch it over and over

excellent initiative

Glad to hear from u. Thanks for the Steemit opportunity. I like this:

They will enable the entrepreneur to install additional safeguards into their ecosystem that help ensure that the only way to win their token is to play by their rules.

I'd say,

good thinking, good product.

This is definitely going to bring a dynamic change on the blockchain. And i believe with this oracle in more and more users and investors will flood in. Keep up the good works guys.


Great video. Imformative post

I did not know that, why has your reward been crossed out?

Quizás yo sea un pequeño pez nadando en el océano de ustedes. Los que han opinado aquí son altos y letrados en la materia, pero quiero expresar mi fascinación dentro de steemit, sobre lo que hace y lo que los usuarios podemos hacer. Es importante avanzar, crecer y nutrirnos en conocimientos nos ayudará en gran manera. Algunos creen que Steemit regala dinero pero no lo creo así, hay que saberlo ganar y por eso no es dinero fácil. Tenemos que mejorar, perfeccionarnos y dar calidad, eso es precisamente lo fascinante de Steemit. Aquí es un mundo diferente, emocionante, estimulante y gratificante.

I read carefully to get more understanding on Oracle to empower community through SMTs. I love the concept of 1A1V to be implemented in Steem ecosystem. I can't help facing our hapoiness days with SMTs. I really love the way of team members in developing Steemit. Thank you so much.

Warmest regards from Acwh, Indonesia.

No one has yet said anything about how an Oracle would ensure uniqueness. Am I going to be sending my passport and SSID to some centralised EOS oracle service? I'd rather not. How about if I meet Ned at Tulip Conference tomorrow I can have him vouch for me?

Assuming not then something like Bloom seems to be a good alternative. See

The Oracle's methodology is entirely up to the Oracle. And whether you want to compete for a token that leverages an Oracle or not, will be entirely up to you.

Genius. Adds more to the "mining the human" paradigm, where real world adjustment happens. This can't be coincidence that I have so loved steem. steem has been about the human in relation to the tech. to pull all this off, I mean as seen in this post has shown alot of the "human" side of the men behind steem. Genius but they have so maintained "human" and in today's world, that in itself is gianormous edge because in the entire world of tech, gosh this is standout. reading this post, it just played out "real life", going back to times before govt etc in the small clans and communities where there were no books and they'd have had to figure themselves out overtime, to where in some cases, perhaps the oldest becomes the oracle as they tie the number of generations he has seen to wisdom etc. I see so much fun, so much play, so much attempts at out-of-the-boxness with Steemit inc team and well, so much "human" and in today's world, though the harder route to take, the testimonial harder route and I do feel touched as it is indeed a rarity. steem is reshaping the entire internet but beyond that even oblivious to the world, it is adjusting it. speaking of the approach to promoting steem e.g "involving anyone (community)" etc I see genius there buy especial genius in steem's approach to serve the search engines. imagine a time where every search query leads to the steem blockchain organically, whether through steemit, busy, ulogs, dtube, steemgigs etcand the then thousands of gateways to the steem blockchain, steem will attain beyond mainstreamity, we are talking historical history. speaking of organic, I am a product of organic finding of steemit through the search engines and oh how much beauty i instantly saw. my first steemchat channel, was steemitisbeautiful and reading this post, I so saw it again. till date, no tech oron social network platform on earth has taken cognizance of "anyone", in the creation of the model. plus, none had been able to put "real life" into the picture. however gradual, I love how steem is trying to explore the full beauty of the steem blockchain by daring to go back into attempting untapped routes.

Glad to hear you're liking the direction we're taking! Good to see you again buddy :)

Thanks for the solution description. it was informative but i had a couple of questions:

  1. an oracle submits an account list which becomes part of the decentralized database so that real time validation of the user at the POR (point of reward) is done right? so there is no computing power being used and only database lookups?
  2. assuming that the above point is correct, real time list distribution to all nodes (or atleast witness nodes) is a pain isn't it? it has to be part of a transaction otherwise we will not be able to track changes to the list?
  3. if point 1 is not correct and Oracle will be part of the active transaction protocol. this means that user validity or correctness is a delegated lookup. i am assuming that this is not true as it will have a significant performance impact, isn't it?

Most oracles in the real world are real time rule based which means that simple account white listing is not adequate. E.g. A Medium might have a rule that says "if three experts curate an article, it is a damn good one". in this case an "expert" Oracle will do the identification upfront but the real time rule will not be implemented. Will SMT issuers then have to build a different App to extend this functionality?

Just to digress a little bit, how does steemit. Inc make it's profit?, because resources are needed to run the site.

Steemit Inc. mined a lot of STEEM when the network was first launched. To increase the value of the STEEM that they mined, they run Steemit. If they didn't run Steemit, then their STEEM would be useless, as few people would use the network.

Hmm, I c. I was just curious seem people are able to earn here freely.

Yes, that's the whole point of Steem. It's free to join and anyone can earn rewards whether it's on,,,, etc., it's just not easy to earn rewards

Thank you. It is free to earn on steemit but not easy to earn, that is what makes steemit legit.

Oracles by IOTA!

Possible Pros:

1P1V could be useful, If and ONLY if it's coupled with other weighting mechanism like :

  1. proper Rep based on Curation and Talent to give more weigth in vote (eg. Seniority, Curation Skills, etc)
  2. some perhaps inverse partial diminishing x/n^2 weighted for bigger investor to at least benefit as patrons
  3. a delegation of patron vest of an SMT to communities:
  • 1 Token to 100 Token = 1 vote, >100 1 vote + an inverse log diminishing benefit.
  • say someone has 1million coin of a SMT, but he delegates to 10,000 worthy curators, so that 10K Curators can make an impact that is 10,000% more than that 1 whale with 1 million token due to his/her generostiy.

Possible Cons:

some initial questions, will future SMT be vested like Steem?

  • then what incentives would be given for SMT to be vested?

and if this feature is say back-ported to Steem to enhance "verified" accounts won't this lead to:

  • people mass powering down Steem
  • possible instability of future Witnesses

@abh12345, @kevinwong, .... come see this.

have more to holder for later:

  • how this will compare to future social-media competitors..... eg. Whaleshares porting condensor to EOS, ONO, Dan's Steemit 2.0, etc.
  • how this affect complimenting SMT.... eg. Appics, communities SMT tokens that are currently being planned, etc.
  • can there be a crosscheck SMT Oracles between Oracles to increase intelligence and quality of 1A1V?
  • will there be some limit to exposure, and some individual control to privacy of each person's Oracle data?

  • i think it's logical that if we can get about 100 SMT going, we can easily see Steem >$20, but how would the dynamics of Steem's 9% vest work....will we digress into a masternode like behavior like SMART (earning big %) or less as more and more weigth is place on bots.

  • how will this affect communities, hive-mind on HF20, implications?

Seems like you've got some ideas for designing great SMTs enhanced by Oracles. If you're right then that would be a very valuable coin to create when the protocol launches :)

How do we tweak this process and arrive at OUR desired destinations/ACHIEVE goals. Answering this question helps us stay on track, bring Choas to Order and helps us decide how to move forward with the PROCESS and achieve OUR goals. A Goal is a CONSEQUENCE of the process you follow and NOT Vice-Versa.