If you've been following the recent listings of Steem DApps on DApp rating websites such as State of the DApps you'll be aware that Steem is killing far better known and hyped blockchains like Ethereum & EOS.
Despite their much larger market caps and marketing budget, they are not living up to their promise. They have very few compelling DApps and tiny levels of user engagement.
In the end, community and real world usage are what counts.
Technology has to be good enough and Steem has more than proved itself in that department.
Since Steemit Inc re-focussed on its core priorities it has been getting better and more efficient all the time with RocksDB, Hivemind & MIRA.
Bitcoin is not perfect or the best tech, but it was the first to be good enough at its primary functions and developed a big supportive and active community. That is why that it is the leading cryptocurrency.
In contrast, EOS seems to be primarily a gambling platform which, combined with identifiable, high value block producers with expensive hardware requirements, is likely to attract hostile legal regulatory intervention. How long before EOS block producers are served with some legal filing?
For all the talk of Ethereum smart contracts, the only type of smart contract that has had any traction is the ERC20 token and ICO smart contracts that distributed them.
The success of ICOs is less a technical achievement than a reaction to the ridiculous over-regulation of IPOs by the SEC etc that caused huge drops in the number of US IPOs in the last 10 years.
Tokens on Steem
However the ability of anyone to issue their own tokens IS a transformational economic development, well aside from the now declining (again due to over regulation) ICO craze.
Up until recently, these other blockchains held an advantage over Steem because of the lack of Steem blockchain based tokens that Steem projects could use to reward users, investors, contributors etc.
Indeed the success of Steem DApps to date is even more impressive than it appears because of this handicap.
3 weeks ago, this handicap was lifted, and boy has it been liberating!
While Steem is quite late to the blockchain token party, it has certainly brought the tastiest dish!
Steem Engine tokens are so much easier and cheaper to create and use than ERC20 tokens:
To create an ERC20 token requires programming skill in the obscure language of Solidity. Developers with this experience are more expensive than New York attorneys.
While @jpbliberty is happy to spend big money on Australian lawyers to fight Facebook and Google, it was not so happy spending large amounts just to create a token.
To use an ERC20 token requires using long unintelligible strings as public keys and every transaction costs some unknown and ever changing amount of Gas.
Also, compared to Steem, transactions are slow.
Steem Keychain is so much better than Ethereum's MetaMask (which I have used quite a bit).
Part of this arises from the fundamental superiority of the Steem blockchain (fast, free transactions and user name public keys) and part arises from a better UI and greater functionality.
I can do almost all my Steem finance & admin functions on the same easy to understand interface. Its the easiest way to vote for witnesses.
I can also handle multiple accounts easily and without confusing them (impossible with ETH public keys).
It makes using Steem a great user experience.
I've been onboarding quite a few new Steemians recently so they can get their SUFB tokens.
I haven't had complaints and the Steemit.com process has been quick recently.
However it still leaves a lot to be desired.
However I'm aware of multiple initiatives addressing this issue and fully expect that this last obstacle to a great user experience will be removed soon.
The way I see it, with an amazing community, efficient and inexpensive node requirements, great DApps and now easy to use tokens, everything is coming together on Steem to deliver the full promise of a decentralised internet: the Cryptocosm.
It will take quite a while before the markets catch up with this reality, but I feel privileged to be part of this transformation of human online experience.