cyber•Fund is to launch a Russian Steem-based social media platform: Golos. Under license from Steemit Inc.

in #steem7 years ago (edited)

cyber•Fund shifts a focus and is going to launch a Steem-based blockchain for Russian speaking community. We see a tremendous potential in this project that will later allow us to transform cyber•Fund.

Golos English Logo

During the last several months I tried to engage Russian speakers in using Steem social network, and despite some success I found the task of engaging a broader public quite difficult because of the 3 key reasons:

  1. From the author's’ perspective. I made an experiment and translated Steem paper to Russian. The paper got 217 votes and 86 comments that is really cool, but earned only $131 as a payout that sucks. Currently the Russian speaking community owns not more than 3% of a Steem network (tokens), despite the fact that Russian is one of the tenth most spoken languages in the world. As a result, an algorithm of quadratic voting leaves no more than 1/900 portion for the payouts to the Russian speaking community. So from the author’s perspective Steem is not attractive.
  2. From the developers’ perspective it is also not attractive. We as developers have zero motivation to build apps because of incentive structure and a huge hassle of finding a way to pay for the registrations.
  3. The Russians are used to earn in their national currencies: ruble, hryvnia, tenge, etc. So dollar as a payout currency is not the best option for us.

As a result, we approached Steemit Inc. and got an agreement on the following terms:

  • 10% of the GOLOS tokens from the initial 1 month phase will be distributed to the whole Steem community
    Updated based on community feedback:
    (every account with more than 7 (STEEM + SP) and at least 1 curation action) or (every account with more than 100 (STEEM + SP).
  • 10% of the crowdsaled bitcoins will be payed to Steemit Inc for the license. I will explain the rationale for our crowdsale later in a whitepaper.
  • Our official PR campaign, site and all communications will be done in Russian as our target audience is Russian speaking public. This is the only official post in English about the details of the deal and the upcoming project.
  • cyber•Fund hires a dedicated team of developers for maintaining the forked blockchain in accordance with a core protocol. This dedicated team will also contribute to the original Steem blockchain.
  • cyber•Fund reserves 1% of GOLOS tokens for the exchange in case there is going to be a Chinese Steem-based social network.

In exchange Steemit Inc. will support our project in the following ways:

  • A code review before the launch
  • Overall support across different communication channels
  • A receipt of a feedback from the Russian speaking community

This is how we see the distribution of the GOLOS tokens after the first month:

  • 60% to the crowdsale. 10% from raised bitcoins goes to Steemit Inc.
  • 10% sharedrop to the Steem community as a license payment on VESTS and STEEM in form of GP (Golos Power). Snapshot time is 12:00 GMT 29 September 2016
  • 10% to cyber•Fund to finance the Golos launch
  • 10% to cyber•Fund to donate users for their registrations and for development
  • 7% to the founding team as a reward for the launch
  • 3% to the miners in the first month

The crowdsale will be uncapped for the first 24 hours, and then capped at $3M in bitcoins.

We are going to use almost identical emission curves, allocation & supply curves as Steem does.

Subscribe to the official @golos account on Steem to have updates about development of the Russian speaking project. Our team is looking forward to your feedback.

Shiny Golos team
Golos Team: @vitaly-lvov, @pioner, @litvintech, @misha, @hipster, @creat0r. + @val and @marina in background.

Official site:
Crowdsale start : 15 October 2016
Extended details: To be published in Russian


From the perspective of Steem this of course sucks a little bit that you weren't able to use the existing blockchain.

But from the perspective of Russians this seems to be great news! The country really needs an uncensorable social media platform. Combined with a fast and free cryptocurrency it might be a real game changer.

That might be also a real problem for you. Kremlin doesn't seem to be very happy with free and open discussion. Former VKontakte CEO was fired and he had to flee abroad because he didn't comply with authorities.

Weren't able to use steem? Why do you say this? Am i missing something? I didn't see anything that made sense as a rational reason for simply cloning steem in a new language and with a new brand (and asking for 3 million and 7% of the stake up front to do it). In me it seems like steem is being cloned and stake weight (aka vested interested in the chain) being ignored for another metric that can easily be gamed being put in place.

If this were actually Innovating I would be so pumped. I don't enjoy saying this, but instead I see this more as capitalizing on an early perception of uneven distribution + language barriers to co-opt steem and divide the community. I understand social networks largely up to this point have been somewhat geographically bound to a few locations (like fb not making it in china for instance), but this seems like a bit hamfisted attempt to either fix something (in the wrong way) or worse...a way to make lots of money while slapping those who powered up in the face, and the whales who powered down, but spent lots of money on building things for steem.

Like I said though...if there is information I am missing, I would love to be proven wrong.

oh really

Golos for Russians could become more than money making machine. It is a great alternative to the existing social networks that are censored and controled to some extent by the government (including Facebook).

Are you afraid that the government will come after you? They might get really angry if they can't have any kind of control over a social network.

This will be an interesting experiment for Steem technology, the broader blockchain industry and Russian speakers worldwide who may benefit from a Russian focused platform. Looking forward to watching this grow. Congrats!

I hate to say it ned because I love the vision of steem. But this to me is not an experiment. It is forking the code and dividing the communities over problems that could have been fixed with customizable front ends for steem.

To me they are getting not only to clone it, but a code review by the people working on steem in addition. An Experiment would be to actually try to build something we need using another chain.

not to mention i18n is built already (not sure if @misha did a pull request, but it s question of time.) not to mention @misha already built a feature that auto-detects country then recalculates $numbers to local currency using yahoo-provided exchange rates. this works locally, and can be merged into repo.

but still forking makes sense - different token distribution, another (not dollar) currency binding (probably this also won't make sense for you. :) ), ability to tweak logic of tokens flow (it s probable that steemit solutions are biased culturally - like all solutions people make daily), different copyright policies - ton of reasons possible.

The proposed solution of having a different chain still doesnt solve all of this. Additionally steem itself is capableof creating steembacked(enter fiat here).

Want to be paid in steembacked gold instead? Its possible!

Hate the game, not the player:

Laws being what they are, AFAIK, this is the best solution.

Not to mention the as-of-yet-unsolved issue of machine translation. It fails to capture nuance, and nuance is the key to writing well.

What laws specifically make this a necessity and in what jurisdiction?
I want to know details.

As for hate. There is no hate only genuine (and valid) distrust of intentions.

There is no need to translate content, just need to translate the few words on the actual interface so that russians understand how to post, create an account,etc... Afaik golos will not translate english post to russians anyway, they just want russians to post russian content and they can do that just fine on
The only needed feature is an option to select prefered language so that russians can only see the russians content if they wish to.

Be prepared for Chinese to be next )

Korean, Chinese, Hindi and all the other countries were fb is not as popular

Steemit and the likes are directly competing with facebook so you can add to the list every non english speaking country.

I am Russian -Speaking. I don't think it is a good idea. If there is any "language barrier" (personally, I don't observe it at all - here we have many talented authors writing in Russian) ) I can say, that here SHOULD be one.

Less than several % of the total community, and only those who understand English. Most of the Russian speakers do not know and do not care about English.

They say that yet the platform is not very competitive with what Facebook offers. Facebook is not a blogging platform. Facebook isn't a vote trading control panel either. You don't have to worry about trading on markets to use Facebook.

At it's core Facebook is image sharing and instant messaging which is why they bought Instagram and WhatsApp. They buy up any competitor they can in those spaces.

They need to add binary data to the blockchain and give us profile pics at the very least. A drastic shift in focus to the user experience, signup funnel and onboarding process needs to be implemented in order to ever even hope of competing with the likes of Facebook.

For the time being Steemit is a competitor to BitcoinTalk.

Missed this comment before I put in mine!

I wonder if the same experiment could be applied to the Chinese market, especially considering China's stance on creating 'copy-cats' of nearly every social media site that is directed towards the Chinese populace.

This is a tactical mistake for Steemit Inc. @ned. You could just develop a multilingual frontend for instead of promoting and welcoming a diaspora.

@ned - It seems like it is probably too late to undo this, but IMO this does seem like a bad thing for the long-term future of Steem. Do we want to end up with a separate blockchain and currency for each language?

I don't know how 'technically easy' this is, but one alternative you should consider is to keep Steem as the foundation currency but have 'forks' of different "Steem Powers". I wrote about it here in this article, although at the time I wrote it - it talked about more things to split over than just languages. It definitely applies to this scenario though, and could be limited to just language splits if we didn't want to introduce more splits than that.

Alternate Steem Powers - Evolution of Steem - An Idea for Supporting Multiple Independent Steem Based Communities

as @officialfuzzy pointed out it is maybe a bad idea for the steem holders interest ...
They could just fork steemit "the front end" and make it appealing to Russian speaking people and just get your support (votes) for a RUSSIAN-CURIE like project that they could establish...

Why wouldnt front ends customized for russian (a project we've been spending a bit of time and steem earnings on mind you) with a steemit backend be better?

I really fail to see the benefits here.

Because the Russians want to be whales too. Did you not hear that guy, he complained about a $131 post, he wants more.
Ned is probably not confident enough in his own project so he is betting on multiple horses at the expense of steem power holders. Might sound harsh to say that but I honestly can't think of any other reasons. Or maybe selling the proprietary tech to companies was the plan all along.

I don't know what Ned's motivations are so I'll let him speak for himself...but I can definitely say the people who I think are being hurt most are the ones who actually sacrifice for the project.
I am not hurt nearly as badly as others so I am not nearly as worried about myself, but I will certainly say this changes the dynamic for me substantially. The Diaspora will come...but heck you have to admit the hope of receiving 17% total of the tokens given out seems like a relatively easy way to make 3 million up front and a lot more money dumping (while all of the steem token holders get a small, non-weighted amount of GolosP as SP in the new system).

Or maybe selling the proprietary tech to companies was the plan all along.

That would be a nightmare ! I don't want to think about it

That was the original plan of Graphene. I'm not sure if it applies here.

lol this is like a bitcoin dev say go dash!

by reading @officialfuzzy and others comments, it's really had to make my mind around this project. Absolutly valid points have been made here. Forking a beta product can be challenging especially when it comes at maintaining the community unite. I don't know all the technical details but i see this as an experiment to have other try a product in a way that best feed their need. We don't know what will come up but we can learn from each other and share our work in a way that benefit the entire Graphene Community. If every country come up his Steem fork and it coin, it will be base on our underlying technology and help grow our ecosystem faster. Maybe we can do this differently but I believe in free market and let see what happen...We are all trying and maybe we would find out that it was not the best solution. If golos project grow faster that Steemit, may be we would learn from them. I do support the project . Facebook is not the biggest social network in every country.

Actually what is happening here could be done in a way that doesnt divide the communities and feed the trolls who already said it was a ponzi.
They could make a chain that serves a purpose to help graphene like I posted above in the innovation" section. These are places we actually need help. This is a quick grab for money imho. At least until someone respond and gives me reason to believe otherwise. Trust me I am hoping I am missing something big but on the surface and knowing the history this looks like plain old greed and impatience all the while stepping on steempower holders faces.
More and more I start seeing why traders just buy pumps and then dump them on the longterm holders.
Now they are going to say its Ponzi x2. And would they be wrong? Technically yes. to the Starting to ask the question guys and gals...

The author made mistake here : "The Russians are used to earn in their national currencies: ruble, hryvnia, tenge, etc."

Russian national currency is ruble. Hryvnia is currency of Ukraine. Let Russians invent whatever they want, I'm, as Ukrainian, won't enter this project ... You know why.

The author does not speak English fluently. It meant to be "The Russian speakers ...." as there are Russian speakers in every post-Soviet country, including Ukraine. Nobody forces anybody to switch to Golos. If you don't use Russian, it is not meant for you.

make a ukranian one and fork golos. then require them to review your code and basically launch it for you. Then you can give them a small stake in it for the favor. In addition you can create 1000's of fake accounts w/ over 7 GP and an upvote and sharedrop on them all the while saying "look we got rid of whales" (when in fact they just tricked you to trade one set for another---who will try to enforce language restrictions no less).

you re mistaking language with nationality; and nationality with country as well

Great, that's exactly what we've been waiting a long time

For what it's worth, I think this is fantastic. It's been clear from early on that Steemit is structurally antagonistic towards non-English communities. I don't mean that people are actively trying to prevent non-English from working here, I just mean that the fact that our whales are English speakers means that there's essentially no payout available for posts in other languages.

Thanks for the sharedrop!

I was sure something big will come from your team!
Congrats and I wish the best!

...obviously resteemed!

I must admit I can see the negatives of this initiative now
Why don't you fork the steemit front-end, the site and make it appealing to Russian People...
I am sure you could get the support of some whales to vote for some Russian content with your team making a RUSSIAN-CURIE project...

Google translate translate.

I admit I didn't thought about the consequences.
I was focused on the tree and I missed the forest!

I still <3 you bro. Lol

Great initiative. The Russian-speaking community is enormous, but a lot of passionate and open-minded people couldn't gain and contribute here due to various reasons, especially language barriers.

Hopefully, with Golos launch, these problems will be resolved, and it will be a new milestone in the development of Russian blockchain community.

Why doesn't the Russian community instead work with the community to help build solutions here?

@fuzzyvest I wanna be clear:

In china and russia when "the uncle" is prohibiting something, it is stated as something akin to "various reasons."

BTW: "the uncle = the man"
2nd BTW: In China, it's Xi daddy "xi baba"

I don't blame you or anyone for their first reactions to this ,but I strongly encourage each of you to dig deeply into this and attempt to learn as much as you can about the contexts within which these sites will operate. It is not the same as our context.

Мы здесь не получаем денег.

that is because it is in open beta! lol
there are plenty of ways that smart people in steemits community (or even these proposing cloners could build that would empower the community to all be able to read eachothers content regardless of spoken language. Instead we will be divided.

Now you have to speak English if you want to be heard and read on Steemit. Russian-speaking community will never be bigger than English-speaking community. However, Golos could be self-sufficient as there are several hundred millions of people for whom Russian is a native language.

Today a friend of mine failed to sign up on Steemit having this error message

Could it be related to this Golos announcement?

Update: no, I was told that Steemit seased to sign up from ru-Facebook long ago.
Well, by the way my abovementioned friend do have about 800 friends and 130 followers, does it make any difference?

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