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RE: (Very) Basic stuff Steem needs to fix: my personal list

in #steemlast year

Disagree with both the analysis and conclusion of #1, but all of the others are good points, albeit at varying degrees of specificity and implementability (the last few are especially vague). I'd be all for #2 and #3 and I think they bear the greatest responsibility for Steem having a terrible reception in the market, which in turn leads to the price declining almost always, though the 80% ninamine and accompanying 800K STEEM/month sell off (essentially more inflation) are part of it too.

Ironically I think #3 alone might be the most serious problem and at least the long-lockup component would be very easy to address without any sort of profound platform or code changes (just change 13 weeks to 1 week). But several people have been and I guess are still thinking that long lockup is a good idea, as hard as that is to believe.

BTW, more support for @burnpost not only reduces immediate inflation but could be seen as a vote of confidence for #2.


The ninjamine will always be the dark cloud that hangs over Steem, and will hinder growth and perception for years to come. Unfortunately, it is what it is, and as I mentioned, I'm just extrapolating from the bad hand we have been dealt. I'd like to see a fork (not Steem) by some people which addresses these issues though, and see how that goes.

We'll have to agree to disagree on SBD. As you can see in the comments below and elsewhere, it's largely unpopular, and at the very least needs an overhaul. If mechanisms were devised for SBD to hold roughly $1 without exerting a significant debt burden and consequently inflation on STEEM, I'd be happy for it to stay.

Yes, #3 is pretty straightforward. I understand there's differing opinion among witnesses (as with SBD), but hopefully perceptions will align over time.

I've supported Burnpost since day one. It definitely signals for significant changes so burnposts are no longer required.

I've supported Burnpost since day one. It definitely signals for significant changes so burnposts are no longer required

It doesn't, up until now, signal much because its participation has been low (1-2% of reward pool). Even back when SBD was radically overvalued meaning that 1 STEEM sent to burnpost in liquid rewards would buy 10-15 STEEM from the market and then reduce inflation by 10-15 STEEM, it still only had very small participation (albeit slightly higher than when that clear 'bonus' went away).

Possibly the EIP changes making direct milking more difficult will increase participation and build stronger signal to lower inflation. I have noticed some of the vote-selling bots starting to use their extra vote power on it. Maybe if you can't just outright reward yourself, it then becomes more attractive as a second choice to at least help protect the value of your investment.

I'd say 1%-2% of the reward pool for effectively burning one's own curation rewards is quite significant.

You can still get some curation rewards for burnpost, although they will often be poor, and likely will get worse over time.

"But several people have been and I guess are still thinking that long lockup is a good idea, as hard as that is to believe."
At first I also thought locking up Steem for three months is a good idea to keep the value of Steem, but after I have read this blog post (and some of the comments under it), I see that it is not. A shorter period (for example one week) would be better/good in my opinion. Some people think that even one week is long, and 48/72 hours would be good, like in the case of the EOS blockchain.

With the way content voting currently works, the shortest we could do would be one week. That is needed to prevent the exploit where you can vote, power down, then power up to another account and vote again (potentially even doing this more than once). So a change to one week would be easy, but a change to less than a week could only be done with other changes such as making payouts faster (shorter voting period)

Yes, I also mentioned in this comment that the payout time on the Steem blockchain is one week (7 days). I think that one week (7 days) for the power down period would be completely ideal, but the author of this blog post (@liberosist) calling it "the worst case scenario". I wonder how many Steem witness would agree with the one week (7 days) power down time?

Informally, there probably isn't a lot of support for one week but there may be sufficient support for making some reduction, maybe down to a month.

Personaly I would support the return to the initial 2 years power down time, because I think people with long term goals them should decide how to distribute inflation.
However the short-term investors are needed too.
So the solution could be to have two pools.
The second pool we could destribute to those who are keeping funds in safe ( locked for 3 days) and did not move it for 1 month.
The distribution between two pools could be vitnesses voting parameter.

If we get rid of the content reward pool, what is the value driver for steem? (not saying I am against it, just trying to understand what would give steem any value in that scenario)

Pretty sure I answered this on the thread somewhere (but possibly another discussion) but I recap: Efficient blockchain with significant user base and innovative fee-free model. In-built social layer is useful even without on-chain rewards (and requires RC and therefore Steem to use). Current and future third party apps/games driving demand for RCs and therefore Steem. SMTs and communities with their own reward pools (driving demand for RCs and therefore Steem, also using Steem as reserve/bridge currency). SPS as an alternative rewarding mechanism (albeit all evidence points toward smaller/less inflation being better). Reward pool could remain even if not funded by inflation; it could be funded by advertising and fee revenue (though I think this works better on a subcommunity and not global basis; just my opinion, not necessarily right). There are probably other reasons. There are roughly 75 blockchains with currently numerically more value than Steem and few if any of them have a 'reward pool' (I think none) and Steem does many things better than many if not most of them. The value gap is a challenge to the idea that Steem's current setup and assumptions about model as a value creator vs. a value destroyer.

Another possibility would be to keep the pool but simply make it smaller. The 8.5% inflation is part of the challenge as claimed by this post. The post claims inflation should be 2% or less. There might be a bit of room in there for a smaller reward pool, while still having one.

If we continue on the current trajectory, the 8.5% will eventually go down to 1%, and the reward pool will be a lot smaller, but the reward pool will still be 75% of total inflation even then, meaning chain security declines to 0.1%. Relative to other chains that is probably too small or at best a big gamble.

Interesting thoughts, thanks. I don't think steem is failing because of the reward pool (at least not the idea of having one in general anyways), but it may be part of it. Overall, it is an interesting set up because the reward pool is what brings people in (and is also the major source of inflation/dilution), is it possible that perhaps the current model only works with a big enough user base, perhaps something in the millions or tens of millions? We never got to those levels to find out if that is indeed the case. I still think steem's potential is bigger with a reward pool, but we were yet to come anywhere close to realizing that potential for a whole host of reasons. While eliminating the reward pool would likely slow down the decline in prices, it may also put a cap on steem's potential user base size, to some degree.

Nobody knows what is best. I'm not 100% convinced for eliminating or scaling back the reward pool but open to the idea. I'm mostly just making the bast case here I can for the idea as presented in this post and then people can make up their own minds.

One thing is for sure, Steem has been a massive disappointment and not well received either by the market or by user growth, and people can debate the reasons and whether and how those might be fixable. Beyond the initial observation, It is all speculative though.

What about consulting some professional economists and bringing them in here to advise on the best economic setup in order to give and steem the best chance for survival long term? Currently it looks like a bunch of developers and non-economists (no offense to anyone as they/you are all very smart people in different areas) throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. What about getting some professionals in here for some input? That seems like it would be well worth the money spent... what do you think?

In practice that is basically up to Steemit at this point as no one else has any budget for it. Witnesses are struggling just to justify expenses and time including 24/7 on call (top 12 are now paid about 13K USD per year), and stakeholders/investors are all heavily under water without even all that much left (my current stake in Steem which was once worth approximately 10 million USD is now worth approximately 100000 USD).

I made that exact suggestion to Steemit 1-2 years ago including some more specific detail on what sorts of experts would be best able to help; it all fell on deaf ears. By this time their available budget is also likely greatly reduced, albeit some of that is probably by their own choices to limit reinvestment of past gains back into the project (my opinion and somewhat though not entirely speculation; I have no visibility into their private books or finances).

SPS may have some available funding at some point (not yet as the pool is still being filled) but for all the same reasons (i.e. low price) that is also limited and has competing demands.

Mostly it seems we need to bootstrap and improvise at this point, as would any startup with limited funding, because that's pretty much what we are.

Also worth keeping in mind that "professional economists" is pretty broad and the number with specific expertise in the relevant sub-specialties is far smaller. Many if not most or all are likely to be highly paid working for major tech companies and other far better funded blockchain projects (and in some cases those overlap, so both).

Thanks for the in depth response, I appreciate it.

Regarding the funding, I would imagine just getting some consulting work done would be feasible using the SPS, or perhaps steemit,inc funds as opposed to a full time position? Inc seems much more open to trying things now than they were 2 years ago when you suggested something similar, perhaps it's worth bringing up again?

It may not be worth the money, but paying someone/someones to come in and outline what they think the best economic setup is for long term success might be all we really need. I can't imagine a consulting job like that would break the bank, though I can't say for sure what that might cost.

Getting a professional in economics and a professional in social media to help guide us in the right direction seems like the right move to me if they/we really want to make this a success instead of having everyone on here play economist or social media expert.

Inc seems much more open to trying things now than they were 2 years ago when you suggested something similar, perhaps it's worth bringing up again?

Other people have brought it up repeatedly. It's not an obscure idea.

That being said I agree with you they are open to more input, and I think something like this could have a chance to happen if the Steem price ever recovers and Steemit's budget (as well as SPS budget) improves to the point where there is more interest in expanding/hiring.

I would reiterate though, that relevant and highly-qualified economists and social media experts are in high demand, with in some cases almost unbelievable levels of compensation available from big tech companies and well-funded blockchain projects, and such expertise won't come cheap nor will it be easy to find someone like this looking for work.

I would actually somewhat fear Steemit bringing in some marginally qualified B players with poor understanding and bad ideas and it doing more harm than good. I don't think that is without basis.

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