There was an update from @Steemitblog saying that the system is now stable after the patches but they also mentioned something that I think that people tend to overlook or perhaps not think much about at all.
The first thing of interest to consider is:
The RC system has delivered the ability to create “blockchain subsidized” accounts, which means that it now has uncapped the scalability of the platform’s account system by introducing the possibility of account creation into the quadrillions of accounts.
A quadrillion or "into the quadrillions" sounds like a bit of overkill but, is it? How many bank accounts are in this world, how many do you have? How many accounts does a business have to separate accounting functions? How many emails do you have? How many various accounts are there in a population of 7.3 Billion people that the Steem blockchain could handle and, now think that due to immutability, that account can only ever be used once. A content platform might use many accounts to separate out their data in various ways. It is better to be ready just in case.
But, here is the more important thing that people don't really consider:
Prior to HF20, the hard limit of accounts was in its best case defined as the total available STEEM supply divided by the amount of STEEM spent to create an account.
The total supply of STEEM is: 295,277,992 STEEM
But, it isn't just the amount used to create the account as we saw last year. As price rose, activity on the platform skyrocketed leaving many accounts with low SP stranded without bandwidth to post, much like last week. The 'bare minimum' for an account was 14.5 but 30 was the recommendation. If there were say 1 million accounts active at the same time and each needed 30 steem power to operate, how much is required? 30 million Steem. If there is 10 million accounts, 300 million Steem are required.
Yep, the entire market supply would have been needed to give 10 million accounts the 30 Steem required to function and that was on the recommendation of when there was about 50k active users, not 10 million. That means the 44 million @steemit has must be active and delegated, it means that no one is able to have more than 30 SP active and those with more have to delegate it to those with not enough. See a problem with the old system and scalability?
But, there is now an RC system that works as a middleman multiplier which means that accounts with more than the recommended 30 will still be able to delegate (eventually) their unused resource credits to empower new users without losing their ability to function in anyway themselves. But, resource credits are still a limited resource, a commodity which puts a value on them.
The more people that come on, the more demand on the blockchain and more demand for resource credits. However, resource credits only exist with active Steem meaning, powered up Steem. 10,000 Steem creates 20MM resource credits. If the Steem is powered down, 20MM Resource credits are lost from the potential resources. As price of Steem rises people sell and RCs diminish making the pool smaller and therefore scarcer. But there is more to this than the price of Steem or the value of RCs.
As we know, there are only about 15,000 accounts who have more than 250 SP on the system. This may or may not be enough to support the RC needs of 10 million accounts but once RC have a value that encourages powering up, it means more people will power up which in turn allows more people to have 'free' access to the blockchain. Essentially, it puts the responsibility of the growth of the community on us, the community. If we want Steem to onboard, it will get to the point that we need to stand our ground (hold Steem powered up) and pull some weight. And, the value of Resource credits encourages us to do so.
There is about 50 million Steem currently stored on exchanges, what happens when that Steem can be held on platform powered up and still passively earn by leasing Resource credits to where they are needed, do people keep it there or will they pull some of it back to earn on?
When it comes to price and value of STEEM vs RC, they are in constant tension with each other as reducing either of them pushes one of the prices up. Power down, RCs go up in value, Power up and Steem goes up in value. Some people have predicted that the value of RCs will eventually be very high and many don't understand why.
If we look at a large news website that publishes many stories and allows comments, how much Resource credits do they need? They would be unlikely to buy the millions of Steem required to get the bandwidth but can do it by leasing RCs, The system has to be able to scale for those potentials if it is going to do what most want it to do. Just in case.
I haven't thought enough about all of this yet but I am slowly working my way through trying to build a workable picture of how all of this is going to operate as we move forward. I am fairly certain that the Resource Credit creation had to happen for scalability because even if the infrastructure could handle 10+ million accounts, there isn't enough Steem to power them. Remember, powered by Steem. The RCs are powered by Steem too but allow for much more variation in how that Steem is used without losing the account capabilities of holding Steem powered up.
The more I look at all of this and regardless of all of the immediate turmoil, the changes made should give more options to accounts with Steem and actually make it cheaper or free for new accounts by being able to leverage unused resources to empower new accounts. The Dapps aren't the only ones to benefit though, remember that communities are coming.
A community would be able to pool its resource credits and both make accounts and empower new members to be a part of the community without that member needing to pay anything. A community can bring in family and friends and immediately give them access to the blockchain and immediate support as they are onboarded through the community who cares about them already. Essentially, resource credits will allow the organic growth that other social sites have by connecting people directly though their pre-existing social networks, quickly, easily, efficiently.
The infrastructure isn't here yet but, it will arrive. Potentially.
A few more thoughts to think upon.
[ a Steem original ]