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

in #steem5 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?

congratulations! waiting for details

Отлично! Мы этого ждали и дождались! Желаю успехов, это большой шаг для развития не только русскоязычного сообщества, но и экосистемы самого Стима

Well done!

This is a very courageous move . It might be premature with steemit still in beta.

And it might become a sort of competition to steemit which can be good or bad.

I don't know, I have mixed feelings about it. But I wish you all the luck anyways.

Enter the altsteems

This is not necessarily a bad thing, and they're not like, oh, I don't know.... potcoin.

They exist for concrete reasons.

Courageous is not the word I personally would use for it.

Well, I am a polite guy, personally :)

I work toward that as well but when warning bells are ringing...i like to make sure people know. :/

Отличная новость! Ура!!!

Молодцы! Удачи!

Wish google translates api was added to the front end so I could know whether I agree with you. Such is beta software though I guess. Shouldn't cost more than 10k...

This is an excellent piece. Now following and looking forward to seeing your posts. I posted a article earlier about how STEEMIT has the potential to put Facebook in the dark with a +$500 billion valuation. I know that it sounds crazy just thinking about it, but after I started to share it with my followers on Twitter they have suddenly got what STEEMIT is all about. More importantly its potential. If you get a minute take a read of it, it may blow your mind. Cheers. Stephen

What do you think, when Golos go live number of articles copied from Russian sites will decrease?

The part that has me a little concerned is that this new blockchain will not be using Steem as its currency. Is that correct?

Can you please explain more about how these new blockchains that are derivatives of Steem will not be taking away from the value of the original Steem coin?

It seems that the end result is a bunch of Steem copies, each with their own markets and value, rather than everyone in the world eventually adopting Steem.

Correct. Which means it is a competitor that forked steemits code and gave themselves a lions share with NO checks to ensure they will even help.

Thanks for the reply. Just stating the obvious, but doesn't this seem like a bad thing? .. Most people seem to be commenting and voting like it is a good thing. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how this benefits the community. It seems to be doing the opposite.

[Edit] No need to reply.. I Just saw your top level comment.

I was one of them... that had a first good impression!
Fuzzy makes very valid points and I agree with them!
The negatives seems to be more than the positives...
They could just fork steemit the site and make it Russian friendly and even get support from ned or other whales to support a RU-CURIE like project!

If you have a min, please take a look at my reply to @ned and let me know what you think.

Can you confirm you need 7 Steem and not 7 Steem power.

@hipster - reduction from 21 to 5 witnesses is decided or just for testing? Are there any seed nodes available already for GLS?

yes, setting 5 witnesses is for testnet ease of operation.
no, currently our testnet is ran inside founders team, on next iteration it will become public - but still it will be testnet. production-mode GLS net is anticipated nearly on 10 Oct, maybe 15 or 5

ok, thanks for clarification!

Will the gp we receive be visible from The steemit interface or will we need to go to golos to access it?

Will out Steem logins work on the new system or will we need to Reregister?

This makes a lot of sense though I hope it adds value to Steem chain.

  1. No, you will need to check your GP at Golos
  2. Yes, you will be able to use your existing Steem login in Golos

No, you will need to check your GP at Golos

And Golos will be only in Russian. Doesn't seem like a fair method of payment to the current steem community.

I could sell my Russian Id at some point.

Golos people I would aim for a lower voting power exponent. That's the key flaw of steemit.

I don't think that is a good idea. Moreover the initial project (Steemit) may lose something , starting to "bake clones" (not being a proved by time successful model). Why wouldn't you create anything original?

Not may. It will. Plus there has been no response to my response post so i find myself wondering if i did miss anything here.

I find it very very strange that you have gotten not a single response from anyone involved, despite you contributing more to this conversation than the article it self...How could your statements and questions NOT be responded to?

This is why we have hangouts and basically reward projects who come on every single week to provide updates to the community on our beyond bitcoin hangouts. The crypto space is FULL of one trick ponies that just like to make you think you will get rich...when in fact most everything is an illusion to get your money.

I'm not saying these people are intending that...but on the surface it sure looks like something I dont personally trust.

I have spent some time reading the thread and it's not easy to decide to which comment to reply... so let it be this one.

First, Golos team is very hard-working and totally passionate about this project, so I believe they just didn't find the right moment to reply to all the comments here. And secondly, which could maybe even be the main reason, the guys don't speak English very well and every post and comment is a matter of work for them, spending time to translate and put their thoughts in the right sentences to send the right message.

And then, my overall comment regarding Golos - this much more a cultural thing than even a technical one.

The vast majority of the country not only does not speak English, but wouldn't even bother to sign up for some English-based platform, no matter how well the language filter is set up on Steemit.

You may be surprised, but Russian-based social networks have always been more successful in the country than Facebook. And the latter has the perfect Russian interface, a lot of Russian content, targeted ads and stuff. It's a matter of choice. Even people, who sign up to FB tend to use Russian platforms more, as they just understand it better.

So to me the creation of a separate platform "for Russians by Russians" is never a risk of taking users off Steemit. It's an opportunity to involve the audience that would otherwise never consider joining a very new social media concept like this.

Me, I would not leave Steemit for any other similar platform, as it's the multicultural experience what attracts me here among other benefits.

But I will definitely join Golos too to support what the guys are doing and hopefully to see the positive impact on the Russian community!

I smell PRIDE overflowing in this project. tssss

Great News!!!

Еееее, молодцы ребята!

Hi Golos team (@vitaly-lvov, @pioner, @litvintech, @misha, @hipster, @creat0r. + @val and @marina in the background) - I have a few questions about your project.

  • Do you plan to use the code as your starting point for the front-end UI, or will you be creating a new interface from scratch?
  • Do you plan to keep the functionality of your blockchain and front-end website in synch with the Steem/Steemit code?
  • Do you plan to submit any updates you make to your version of the code (other than the Russion language parts) as pull requests to the Steem/Steemit code base?

Great work @officialfuzzy ! I subscribed to golos, can't wait to hear more about this project. I have a passion and love for the Russian people, I was a missionary there years ago. Check out my post if you have a second!

I didn't do this. lol i'm just glued to this thread and stunned that we are going through a reverse merger but again in a seemingly dangerous way.
Where before I disagreed with bitshares "merging" with other chains to make a "super chain" and advocated multiple Decentralized Autonomous Corporations (DACs), I now see a different situation.

"But what is the difference that makes this so @officialfuzzy?"

Well to be frank...this time it is a complete clone with a sharedrop that locks away all new users from steem into gp and gives them no choice in the matter. In addition, it does nothing to add actual Innovative services. If this was a proposed Multilanguage Github or other service, the Russians would become filthy rich without diluting the people who work on making steem's services as robust as possible...and you would see me posting nonstop how amazing this news is.

Those who are bitshares historians will know what i'm talking about.

I am glad you exists!

this coin will not be allowed on Poloniex. Sorry. But very good work here. I think it only shows the power of STEEM tech. Win win for us. Good luck

Are you official Poloniex representative?

Guys, we answered most of your questions in a separate post. It is in Russian, of course. Enjoy reading. Google translate may you help!

@hipster could you explain this part ? i dont get it :
cyber•Fund reserves 1% of GOLOS tokens for the exchange in case there is going to be a Chinese Steem-based social network.

That mean that if there will be Chinese fork we have a right to exchange 1% of Golos to some portion of Chinese Community on their terms