Just before the last financial crisis there were a whole lot of economists who predicted how good the following year was going to be and then, wrong. But, without breaking stride, they wiped clear their previous predictions and replaced them with how obvious the crash was, now that they had hindsight with which to evaluate.
This is the same through history where predictions of the future are rarely revisited to see how accurate they are and as a result, those who predict are not held accountable for their predictions which means they can happily have a career of being incorrect. Oracles who can potentially guide behavior, but have no responsibility for what they say.
I think that in the not too distant future, a lot of the predictive information we rely on is going to be blockchained and immutable which means that it is scrapable and more easily cross-referenced across what we think and, what actually happens. In time, technology will be able to create a trust profile of those who accurate and the confidence level they may have. This will happen with economic, scientific, political and futuristic predictions - among others.
Prediction is never completely accurate however, some predictions can help create self-fulfilling prophecies, if those who put them forward have enough influence to affect behavior and introduce ideas. For example, while there are plenty of things that are yet to eventuate from the book 1984, I think there is also a fair bit of overlap where we could say that George Orwell predicted the future in some way.
Prediction is an artform where some of what we know is combined with a creative mind to explore where reality could lead and the science-fiction genre has likely had a great deal of influence over the science disciplines as while they predict, the scientists close gaps. It is somewhat of a symbiotic relationship like between the architect and the engineer.
I am not a great predictive thinker, but at the same time, I like thinking about the paths that we could take and how one component affects others. Last night Steemit Inc posted their burnup report about RC delegation pool creation and it reminded me of a post I wrote 10 months ago to the day about what I speculated could happen. I re-read it and thought I would post it here (typos and all) to see how predictive it was.
At the time, the SMT release was slated for March 2019 which didn't eventuate but, I think the relationship to what I wrote applies quite well to the SCOT tribes we have seen over the last two months. This is quite a long post but, I do think it is interesting to sometimes take a look back and see what we thought the future looked like. .
It is also good to remember that this was written seven weeks before hardfork 20, where resource credits were introduced.
Hope you enjoy and if you do happen to make it through this large read, I am interested to see what comments you might have about it.
[ a Steem original ]
From here on, this is the original post:
RCs to SMTs: Looking under the future
So, I wanted to make some pretty diagrams or something like this but I don't have access to a suitable tool at the moment and it is 2 am.
What are RCs again?
- RCs are required to give access to blockchain bandwidth
- RCs are only present when Steem is powered up
- RCs don't have voting power
Ok, the last week has spawned lots of conversations about RCs but I would like to explore future uses just a little bit more. This will of course depend on RC delegation being enabled but I believe that is a formality and just a matter of time while other parts of the infrastructure are developed.
Again, this is a speculation post so don't count anything as fact.
As I see the RC creation, it is something that had to happen for scalability. Not necessarily blockchain volume but account volume. As I said the other day:
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. This number would mean that all Steem is active and no account has more than 30.
Future onboarding is going to mostly be handled by the Dapps and communities. This has two massive benefits once RC delegations are in place.
Firstly, they have RCs available to claim discounted account credits that do not degrade and can be used at any point in the future to create a new account. This means they are bankable and RC regeneration can take place. You will notice that this is ongoing now and you will see some large SP accounts and Dapps looking like this:
This is a really good thing as essentially what they are doing is preparing for bringing on more account holders.
Secondly, empowering communities and Dapps puts the responsibility of who they bring in on them. A community can pool their RC resources to both create accounts and give those accounts access to blockchain usage through RC delegation. As communities, they are likely to vet their signups more stringently than a free-for-all system. What this likely means is friends and family will be signed up and we have a Facebook-esque organic growth.
The Dapps are also responsible though and they are able to set their terms and usage through their own decentralised system that means a sign up can have immediate access but is reliant on the platforms RC delegation if not willing to buy in. This delegation allows them to post and earn still on the platform, just not by self-voting from the start.
The Spam killers
Talking of self-voting. As it stood, the only way to affect the old bandwidth issue was to increase Steem in an account through delegations. This shifted the vested voting power of that Steem to the account which obviously has unintended consequences as it not only allows the account to Spam, it allows it to draw from the pool. It is an issue already but if there were 5 million accounts doing the same, it would make a massive dent in the pool.
RCs stop the leakage through bot army curation account and tiny automated self voters because even though they could cast a vote, they have no power to vote with. At the moment to keep accounts active they have applied a 10x discount factor so even very small accounts have access and, we have seen Spam return.
Once signups are coming through the Dapps and communities using their RCs, it is going to mean those same credits can be revoked if a particular doesn't meet terms. What those terms will be are up to those communities and Dapps and how they choose to organize their platforms. Revoking RCs from an account that doesn't have Steem is essentially going to hamstring it as we saw except, once delegations are in place, it is with precision. Of course, that account can always buy and power up some Steem or buy more delegation in RCs but, there is a cost. Gone will be the days of free abuse for value.
There are more parts to this but I want to move on.
RCs powering SMTs
SMTs are slated for release in March 2019. Previously, it was unknown just how these might be enacted because in order for them to be able to have their tokens made, they will need to buy Steem to hold but, how much Steem can they buy and, will it be enough to onboard because, they can't rely on a Steemit delegation to give their users bandwidth on the Steem blockchain. RCs fix this, kind of and it is pretty exciting in my thinking at least.
A Dapp buys Steem to create its token to reward its user but doesn't necessarily need millions of Steem to do so which means if a user joins there, they have to buy Steem at least to interact to be able to earn SMTs. That is a big hurdle. But with RC delegations, they can be empowered to move without having to buy Steem as the SMT can delegate fro its own RC pool. That pool might not be the Dapp's own, it may be delegated to them and they just grant the new account a small amount of bandwidth so that account can start consuming, interacting and earning.
Now, I have about 25,000 SP which creates 50MM RCs. Let's say I keep 1000 SP worth for my own use which is plenty (2MM). If I were able to delegate 50 SP blocks of RCs out to enable new users, my account's RC's could empower 480 new users with ample bandwidth for a startup account but, no voting power and no loss of my voting power.
Remember voting with SMTs?
Now, some might remember that it will be possible to vote with STEEM POWER and SMTs at the same time. This is a very important facet of the upcoming system because it means that an account could for example delegate RCs to an SMT project and possibly get some SMT in exchange and still hold Steem voting power. This means a project would not only have RCs to delegate to new accounts but there will be Steem to also vote on those accounts. Potentially, a project could do something like reward the delegating voting account curation in Steem and a token while the posting reward is in SMT only.
That is just a pure speculation example but there is much, much more versatility having RCs available (once they are delegatable).
Opposing forces for distribution
As I have mentioned several times now, SMTs and RCs are in tension with each other because RCs are created by powered up Steem. This means that if there is value on RCs, selling them becomes harder. Less Steem on the market while people want Steem means higher prices which will force sells. Selling Steem reduces RCs which drives prices of them up. It is the Sellers dilemma to decide which is the smarter move.
Those who are the most likely to sell in quantity though are those who have quantity, the large accounts who have built and then held waiting for prices to do just this. So, they slowly sell some and the larger accounts are not quite as large and powerful each round while there are an increasing number of small accounts growing in power. Steem distribution happens and this will in turn give more active voting accounts and RC bandwidth to the SMT accounts.
The view from a new account
It all sounds quite complex at times doesn't it? It isn't necessarily so but for a new account joining up through an SMT Dapp hoping to earn a Token, they need not see or understand any of this when they start. A Dapp can essentially shelter a new user by providing access without them knowing about Bandwidth cost and rewarding them in an SMT without them knowing about Steem.
This would be much like the average Youtube user not understanding how to actually monetize their content through Youtbue's mechanisms. Nothing stops a user from finding out and trying it though and I would imagine that there will be many content providers creating just that type of information.
People often mention that there needs to be a consumer class here and RCs are able to empower that group and provide access to those who have no interest in actually earning from any of the platforms. But, it doesn't restrict anyone from buying in and earning in a multitude of ways either or, building an account from scratch and earning on the various platforms. All of this will be free for new users unless they want to play some of the earning games outside of just posting for reward.
It is a win/win scenario no matter what position you are in.
Community building community
What all of this does is empower, incentivize and reward growth of the platform by giving the responsibility to the community itself. A Community of accounts or Dapps who can onboard for themselves and have it in their own best interests to have accounts who are adding value rather than just extracting it.
One thing that has always been a problem on Steem is that there is no incentive to "police" the community as flags aren't rewarded. What RC delegation means is that at least for the new accounts coming in, a lot of the policing can be done through revoking or reducing RCs and their factoring. This stops a lot of Spam. Of course, there is still the problem of large accounts abusing but as distribution happens this will reduce and, SMTs could come up with some more clever ways to reduce their influence also if they so choose. For example, there is nothing Stopping an SMT from asking for verification and for some, it may be necessary to verify due to their form.
People don't like rules and currently Steem is free but an SMT doesn't actually have to abide by the entire community rules, they just have to abide by the rule of blockchain code. This means that the way one SMT creates its community's rules can be vastly different to another. While one is a free-for-all, another can be much more stringent where under their roof, their rules apply. No one is forcing anyone to join any particular SMT project but the more successful any of them are, the better for Steem.
In the long-run
What this all should do is power Dapps and Communities to bring on new users, new users will put more demand on RCs and therefore their value, this will increase Steem price by limiting supply while under demand, larger accounts will sell some and take profits aiding distribution, which will put more users in to demand from the pools of SMTS and Steem and hopefully in time, there is wide and diverse distribution that empowers many more users across many media types and levels of the economic system. This should slowly start to bring stability in as well as dynamism at individual and decentralized points to open up new markets and potentials.
At the moment we have RCs with a lot of potential to change the way people would have used SMTs but until any of this happens, it is all speculation. The reason I pend so much time writing about these things as even though some of it may not be possible now or ever, it can still inspire new thoughts and developments for the future that make this place a much healthier environment for all of us to operate in at many levels. Some will be content with free accounts and consumption of content alone, some will want to earn, some reward, some invest, some develop and some do all of the above.
What I hope we are creating here is a decentralized community that through diversity of opportunity and choice will be able to cater for all levels of activity and encourage community spirited interaction and value distribution in the process.
Let's see where the next step and the step after that lead us.
[ a Steem original ]