Steem - Full Review of the 2017 Roadmap

in roadmap •  11 months ago

The 2017 Roadmap for our beloved platform has been released. I've spent the day reading it and have decided to write a review.

This review is intended as a journalistic insight into the official Roadmap, criticizing the ups and downs in a manner that vets the proposals found within the document. I hope this article serves some purpose for those who're interested in investing their time, money, or both, into this platform.

Pros

Steemit's Roadmap contains a bucket list of potential. It mostly centers around scaling, introducing rich new features to attract more users and developers to the platform. In other words, growth is the focus of the document.

The Roadmap proposes faster delivery of services and implementations, in regards to feature upgrades and server speeds. Early adopters of the platform know the server issues we experienced during the massive user influx end-July, experiencing server drop-outs, and so, server upgrades are great news.

New features, such as the introduction of achievements for users, and a status bar for each person to record their progress, are worth the excitement now being expressed by the Steemit community. Adding to that, a new post-sharing reward scheme will be introduced, which gives people rewards for referring posts to others. Steemit's on referral system.

A key feature proposed, at least to me, is the introduced of sub-steems. Although not expressed that way in the Roadmap, Reddit users know exactly what I'm describing. Steemit will be introducing communities for certain topics; dedicated hubs moderated by chosen users. This will allow user to network more with their preferred niche, instead of being lost in the mixing pot Steemit currently is.

If you're less interested in end-user features, then you'll be pleased to hear new developer tools being introduced. Third-party application integration, user account sign-up authentication, side chains for testing blockchain upgrades, and as a pat of decentralizing the @steemit accounts stake, sponsoring Steem-application developers (something we already see being done with projects like busy.org).

Developers will also be interested to hear that, the steem.io site will be getting an overhaul, which will include developer documentation for individuals and businesses that wish to create their own applications on the Steem blockchain. To me, this is one of the standout points of the white paper, being that I am already working toward creating my own third-party application on the Steem blockchain.

All of this, and more, will pave way for the release of Steemit 1.0, which is mentioned once throughout the article like an Easter egg for those of us that really care.

Cons

Unfortunately, not everything is perfect, and from an investor stand point, there's very little to be interested in, and for good reason.

While these new proposals create value for the overall Steem & Steemit ecosystem, it fails to address a real revenue stream for the platform. Proposed, is a new revenue stream for users through post-sharing which I just mentioned, yet we see no revenue stream for the actual Steem blockchain. Instead, the issue is not addressed and leaves the economy relying on investor sentiment for sustainability.

Another key issue users were hoping to see addressed, were confidential transactions & encrypted messaging. While we love transparency of transactions, some people prefer to remain anonymous in the process. This is a huge issue to long time cryptocurrency enthusiasts, as they prefer their activity - although recorded for liability - remain anonymous.

As a potential investor in the platform, an ad network, focus on promoted post revenues, or the proposal of a direct Steem/fiat exchange for the platform, would have been ideal. As of right now, the only revenue stream on the Steemit platform is through post-promotion, which relies on Steem's own dollar to be used. Introducing other revenue streams for the Steem economy would have produced real value for the platform, rather than the speculative value we currently see.

Conclusion

The Roadmap was 18 days late, for those of us who first heard about it through a game of Chinese Whisper. We had expected a lot, and were not disappointed. End users on the platform are ecstatic to hear the new features being introduced, as these new features create a more vibrant place to call home on the internet. With the introduction of Steemit's own mobile app, separate from eSteem, Steemit 1.0 will be easily accessible to the world.

User adoption will no doubt grow as new features are introduced, especially due to new developer tools. there's no doubt that we are set to see a lot of new applications and big time Silicon Valley-esque business concepts for the Steem blockchain before the end of 2017.

So, while there may not be an influx of income coming to the Steem economy just yet, the intrinsic value of the platform will create an influx of new users, and with it comes more people willing to support the platform.

Let’s hope that, as Steemit achieves each goal proposed in the Roadmap, we'll see mass adoption of the Steem blockchain worldwide!


Thomas Te Aroha Kohi

Owner/Producer, Thirsty Records | Hip Hop Artist | Entrepreneur

Born in New Zealand and resides in Australia, Thomas writes about many different subjects, mostly about those that affect him at the time. He likes to philosophize about each subject and does the same in his music. Addicted to knowledge though no scholar, Thomas tries to be original & true in his quest to better himself.
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I just saw your comment on my own review and I came here. I am particularly interested in this:

While these new proposals create value for the overall Steem & Steemit ecosystem, it fails to address a real revenue stream for the platform.

I think there is much confusion here between Steem the blockchain, Steemit the website and the ecosystem of apps. Steem is a platform and it's up to the participants to develop sustainable business models, if so they choose. Steemit.com is a minimum viable product (an MVP, in VC lingo), nothing more. It proves this thing works. By opening the door to third-party devs to arbitrarily split the review, Steem make the right decision: give them tools, don't numb them.

At least, that's my opinion.

I was briefly seeing the anonymity thing you mentioned and I think it's a bit hilarious. But that's just me.

Steem on!

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100% correct. Steemit is an MVP, yet because we're draining the reward pool with every post created, the overall value of STEEM continues to decline. With a revenue stream, we avoid this problem. But like you said, any third-party can solve this issue by creating their own application with its own revenue streams.

haha the anonymity thing is arguable. I think if you've nothing to hide, it's not an issue. Though I can understand the reason for it, some people like the extra privacy.

Thanks for your comment @dragosroua!

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because we're draining the reward pool with every post created, the overall value of STEEM continues to decline.

Please have a look at this: https://steemit.com/steemit/@dragosroua/why-there-is-no-such-thing-as-draining-the-reward-pool :)

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That's a good post. What I said was wrong, what I meant to say is that, the market value of Steem continues to be drained as more money is coming out then coming in; more sell pressure than buy pressure.

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The part of your statement that is correct (in my opinion) is: "more sell pressure than buy pressure", and it's just natural. A lot of Steem was blocked into a lot of people accounts and if they don't want to take part in this anymore, they can sell it freely. It was expected to happen since December last year, after HF 16.

The design of Steem, as a currency, is inflationary, it means money is "printed" every day, it's not a fixed supply that is "drained" (reading the Steemit white paper will help here, probably).

But you are right in observing that there is a selling pressure. In my opinion this is toxic money getting our of the system and healthy money getting in. It's a natural process.

Kia Ora!

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I am totaly here for the long haul ! This my retirement fund to build my house so investing my time , money is what its about for me ! So glad to hear growth is their focus! Love the idea of a status bar to record progress ! The post shareing rewards scheme is awesome , I do this all the time ! 👍The hubs or comunities sounds good in theory ,will have to see how good it works out ! It may leave less people on the platform to curate and interact with . Theres already more and more people joining every day i noticed ! Hopefully it keeps up and the price of steem continues to rise ! I really wnat to retire sooner rather then later ! Thanks so much for breaking this down and making it easier to understand ! Steeming on !👍😊

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Give it a year @karenmckersie. We can expect a lot of new things this year, not just from Steemit, but from everyone that choose to use the Steem blockchain for their businesses.

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It sounds awesome ! That part I dont understand as I dont have a business , but it must be good ! 👍😊

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It's great, it means that there's going to be a lot more applications for people to use, like a youtube that uses Steem for example. That will help out your retirement fund loads ;)

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Ooooooh ! As long as it helps me retire early , im all over it ! Lol ! Sound great ! Woot woot !👍😊then once im retired I can steemit all day haha !👍😊

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haha it'll happen. Patience is key :D

Very well written..enjoyed your conclusion, cheers!

I am glad to catch this very helpful review . Thanks !

Roadmap released then @elyaque says to wait for 7 weeks until the power-downers have vacuumed out. Then the Steem we keep will shoot to high heavens! (I hope)

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I'd say we should wait until new Steem-based applications have been announced. As of right now, Steemit has too many holes to be worth the amount we want it to be worth.

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Don't get me wrong, Steemit is great, they just need more money coming in, rather than going out. There will be other applications on the Steem blockchain that trump Steemit. Either way, 2017 is going to be great for Steem.

Wow, extremely well written. I have not come to any conclusions myself, so reading your very articulate breakdown was very helpful, thank you.

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Yeah, there were quarterly time frames, which I purposefully left out so that I could focus on the entire year over all. I wanted this article to appeal more to long term investors/users/developers. Each quarter that each feature is to be implemented by, is added at the bottom of each proposal in the Roadmap.

Here's the link again for anyone interested in reading it:
https://steem.io/2017roadmap.pdf

This will allow user to network more with their preferred niche, instead of being lost in the mixing pot

I kinda like the mixing pot 😛

As for a revenue stream, I'd recommend reading Dans post on monetising your blog if you haven't already. I wouldn't expect a revenue stream from advertising to go into the roadmap this early on in the game.

Great analysis, thanks for breaking it down.

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Revenue streams for individual users are addressed, but I'm talking about incentives for consumers to buy Steem, or businesses to buy Steem. There is very little reason other than to become a stake holder, which would be a poor investment if more money is coming out than is coming in.

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Ah yes, well I agree with that. There has to be good reason to be a stake holder or anybody who cannot afford to be as large as a whale will just continue to power down... I can see so many users who are passionate about steem and steemit but like me don't see their SP as having enough influence to be worth keeping powered up.

I'm not saying smaller fish should have more influence, but there needs to be some kind of encouragement to keep climbing and working your way up.

The section on gamification sounds like it might have some influence since they will be awarding achievements. But it's not very specific so it's difficult to know if they are talking about reaching a level of SP and whether there is any meaningful reward for that.

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Good point. User retention is largely addressed throughout the Roadmap. They have some very ambitious goals which I think, if brought to fruition quickly, will have positive effects. Until then, there's little reason for investors or users to stick around. It's sad to say, as I too am very passionate about the platform and its economy.

I'm not relying on Steemit though, I would rather see other applications come along that provide more reasons for people to invest their time in Steem.

Wow, You can Rap and Review. :) Nice break down.

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You're welcome :) Thanks for reading @freiheit50

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Fear not, most of your concerns will be addressed.

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glad to see developer concern about community opinion
Nice , thank you @dan
steemit on

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100% agree. I enjoy seeing comments from the developers more than I'd love to see a celebrity.

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Thank you for your feedback @dan. Your community feedback is one of the reasons why I've never left.

Also, I plan to build my own application on the Steem blockchain to help add value to this economy.

Great article , well structured & to the point
Nice finishing

''Let’s hope that, as Steemit achieves each goal proposed in the Roadmap, we'll see mass adoption of the Steem blockchain worldwide''

Thnx. upvoted , resteemed , followed
steemit on :)

Nice post but You realize that currencies don't need a revenue stream. If more people want to hold them they are worth more. Post promotion is not a revenue stream it just lowers the supply. What we need is to create revenue streams for users which can be done with rewards sharing while marketing increase demand for the coin.

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With any asset, money coming in is just as important as money going out. Post promotion does lower supply, and I would like to see a fiat post promotion feature, so that people can pay in USD (or their nations currency) instead of using internal supplies; stops money going out/brings money in.

Revenue streams have already been introduced. Post rewards are a potential revenue stream depending on how well you market your self. And, they're adding a referral feature for posts.

Long term, we need more money coming in to the platform if we want the price of STEEM to go up, otherwise the price keeps dropping.

Proposed, is a new revenue stream for users through post-sharing which I just mentioned, yet we see no revenue stream for the actual Steem blockchain.

The Steem Blockchain is public and not owned by anyone. If the blockchain itself generated revenue, where would it even go?

The Steem Blockchain does not have or need a revenue model. The businesses built atop it are the things that need revenue.

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Being that Steemit is the only business model currently generating value for the Steem blockchain, without a revenue stream, nothing is going anywhere.. We need money coming in if we want to appeal to investors.

I have no doubt that other business models will be introduced which include their own value propositions, propositions that bring guaranteed returns on investments.

the proposal of a direct Steem/fiat exchange for the platform, would have been ideal.

In my opinion, this would be a huge waste of resources. There is a tremendous barrier (in the form of regulation) to fiat/cryptocurrency exchanges which is currently being borne by the bitcoin community. As we all know, it is quick and easy to trade between bitcoin and STEEM. Why would someone unnecessarily take on all of that risk and expense when it's not necessary? Removing the extra step is not some magic bullet for adoption - building our community here (via the things we enumerated in the roadmap) is.

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As a platform ambitiously seeking mass adoption through the social media market, appealing to fiat users is ideal, being that the majority of 3.5 billion internet users have no idea what or how to exchange cryptocurrencies.

Another key issue users were hoping to see addressed, were confidential transactions & encrypted messaging.

These are important, but not key. Encrypted messaging is already done better by other apps, and in any case even if we tackled such a thing, it would be off-chain (private messaging doesn't need to be in the global ledger), making us just another Signal/WhatsApp clone. Doing so would not drastically increase our community's value.

Confidential transactions may still one day see the light of day. We're focusing on a different set of challenges for 2017, though.

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You're right, it's not key, I could've phrased that sentence better. Something along the lines of, "The community has expressed their interest in confidential transactions and encrypted messaging", would've made more sense. Apologies.

I look forward to seeing that. With the almost instant transactions already, and also other network upgrades proposed in the roadmap, it'd make the overall network very attractive.

Thank you for your comments @sneak