Although I am not a fan of people shilling every crypto platform they come across on Steem like some people do here, I am a fan of other platforms growing. I don't want Steem to be Facebook. Yes, I want it to be successful and take large amounts of market share from the centralized platforms and their greedy, privacy destroying ways but, I don't want it to be the only option in the crypto content space, ever. Not that it really has a chance to be anyway.
The reason is pretty simple. Decentralization.
the problem with the large, centralized organizations, corporations and governments is that they have the tendency to use their power more and more to satisfy their needs over the populations they claim to serve and over time, get slow and inefficient at even doing that. Part of the ideas of decentralization is to spread risk and enhance innovation and opportunity across larger nodes of control which due to their diverse nature, will keep negotiating terms in a free-market process. Essentially, a decentralized community can develop itself, for itself by incentivizing players within.
The cryptospace is very, very young and the crypto content creation platforms are even younger. Mainstreaming is still some way away even if we consider that on Steem all 1.2 million accounts are individuals. Yet, the competition between platforms is fighting for the current scraps instead of pushing the entire idea of decentralized networks out into the world.
What I love about Steem is that it is slowly picking up the decentralization pace and this should gather even more speed with the Introduction of SMTs. But, there is smoke.io, whaleshares.io, EOS developments and the like who are all coming into the space and vying for users. The problem is that each new platform is vying for users from the same pool, pre-existing crypto users.
One of my criticisms about Dapps that will hopefully change with SMTs is that they are all largely inward facing, meaning they are looking to onboard users from Steem, not attract users from off Steem. Coming SMTs and now RCs empower them to be much more autonomous in their development approach and give them room to move in the way they onboard and, the rules they use on their own platforms. This gives them power of differentiation but still powered by the underlying Steem infrastructure.
Even though it is possible that all forms of rewarded content can be catered for on Steem, it is unlikely that every Dapp is going to solve the problem of a niche community in a compelling way. As an example, Even though Smoke.io is a rival for users, it is also weed-centric meaning that it creates a space for a small but growing community as usage laws change around the world. But, it could also be a secondary platform for those same users who might have a much more public and general facing on Steem and it doesn't stop a user from posting across to whaleshares.io that might have a different experience and varied opportunity again.
If the idea is to get the world on decentralized platforms, there is so much market volume that there is space for hundreds of various chains and thousands of Dapps that serve various niche needs. The other benefit of having many chains is that it reduces the resource needs for any one chain meaning that scalability and maintaining speed is much less of a problem as many can share the load.
What might be a decent thought philosophy moving forward is that even though various platforms and chains are in competition on various aspects, they lay within the framework of decentralization, empowering real people and sharing value across the entire user base. There is more to it than just content and social media though.
Essentially, as mainstreaming decentralized networks take place it will be possible to empower all kinds of fields from scientific research, to medical and education systems. Due to the nature of the network, rather than a pointy peak taking the lions share, value generated can be shared broadly and globally. This means that we as a global community have some possibility to drive our own progress and, be directly incentivized and rewarded for doing so. This does take a paradigm shift though.
Currently, we are acting much like where we have learned our behaviors from which is a world that has become continually more volatile due to power being held in the hands of too few. Why would we go about replicating the same thing again digitally while we have the technology to spread decision making, risk and reward accurately to where it is needed? Of course, we are a long way from closing the gaps we need to close but there is the potential and the space there for all of us, no matter what crypto holdings or what chain we might be on to benefit ourselves and, all of those who hold nothing and do not know what a blockchain is at all.
I see what we do here as part of a discussion what has been going on for our entire species' existence and that is, how do we improve life. We have have made many mistakes and to continue further some must be corrected but, we have also made a great deal of progress and created tools that can help with correction and further innovation. While people argue about short term gains, the world is slowly shifting under their feet.
The cryptoshere is currently an economic pin prick but soon, there will be no stemming the flow. The goal is to develop where we are interested in for markets we are interested in well enough so that when they arrive, they will be able to find the tools and materials needed to build themselves a home.
[ a Steem original ]