Whales are good to have as investors, but they can also do a great deal of damage if they choose to maximize in their best interest at the cost of the community. As I have said recently, I would rather Steem lose a few large investors than keep them at any cost where they degrade the value of Steem as the short-term potential price reduction is well overshadowed by the long term value potential of a healthy Steem ecosystem and transaction economy.
I wrote a post this morning that was looking at putting small amounts of investment into crypto to frontrun the institutional investors expected to arrive. In my post I mentioned the slot machines and drinking culture of those on pensions and social support, but this is also true for people who earn their money. However in the comments section, I took it a little bit further with some "Google re-Search" just to have a look.
In regards to the slot machines where the state is NSW (Australia):
Those 25 locations and their 8900 slot machines draw in 890,000,000 dollars AU a year on average (2017) which in USD is about 600 million dollars worth or, 10 times the STEEM market cap. Not just that, the average for the state is 57,670 a machine and in Australia there are:
If we use that as the Australian average to get a ballpark figure of how much the slot machines are making it is 11,534,000,000 or if there are too many zeroes there, 11.5 billion AU which is 7.8B USD or - 205x the market cap of STEEM. That is Australia only, albeit that there is one slot machine for every 114 people.
I also mentioned sinking into drinking:
So Australians spend 40% more on Alcohol than they do on slot machines. No surprises there.
My point is though that for the most part, this is disposable income that Australians are willing to spend on just two forms of entertainment that are both not generally considered "healthy" in higher amounts of use.
You can click the link below for a prettier and more comprehensive display of Australian spending habits but, this is a short list from 2016.
You might notice some interesting comparisons there with things like the average person spending twice the amount on recreation than medical, 8x more on fashion than gadgets and that recreation budget is 20% larger than what Australians spend on all their cars, a place where pretty much everyone owns at least one car - it is actually 0.72 cars per person - all people - not just those who can drive.
If you are viewing on Steemit.com you might have seen the feature of Brosino, a Steem casino set up run by @ats-david and @guiltyparties. While I myself do not play these games at all, we can see from the money churning through the slots in Australia that there is a fair bit of interest in them and on EOS, pretty much all the transactions appear to be gambling related.
The entertainment and recreation industry is absolutely enormous at a global level, but it is powered predominantly by low end users where the volume comes from the masses, not the very rich. You aren't going to see too many billionaires sitting playing the slot machines in Vegas and it is because of this that STEEM really doesn't need very large investors, it just needs large enough numbers of investors.
Just in case you didn't know, the population of Australia is under 25 million and most people don't play the slot machines. What that means is that means is that a subset of the people are pouring 7.8 billion USD into those pokies (slots) and if they instead for a year poured that same amount into buying STEEM, the price would be
7.8B/325M= 24 dollars per STEEM.
Well, that math doesn't work like that of course, it would be much, much higher. It would be higher because there isn't 325 million Steem available, there is only 120 million because there is over 200 million staked at the moment. Just for shits and giggles though and without considering the curve etc, at 24 dollar Steem, instead of 53 cents, my 50K STEEM stake vote would be worth around:
10x a day.
So, we don't really need whales to invest a million or two into Steem, we need millions of people to find Steem entertaining enough to put a few dollars in here or there. The direct effect on price is the same of course, but the indirect results will be quite different as rather than a large amount in the hands of a few, the apps, Dapps and communities can have small amounts spread out amongst many users who's main goal of coming to Steem isn't to "win it big", it is to be entertained, to waste some spare time and to empty their penny jar occasionally by using and rewarding the things that they love, one dust vote at a time on top until a popular post is made of 100,000 tiny votes.
Once they recognize that not only can they do much of what they are already doing but also get a few extra coins and along with it access to and ownership of their entertainment profile allowing them to tip forever, how quickly would it catch on?
Currently in the digital world there are ongoing discussions about ownership rights and how the business models are taking heavy advantage of creators by middle-manning and creating dependencies on single centralized platforms. There are privacy, copyright, censorship and monetization discussions as well as the growing concerns of employement potential loss through automation and AI. At some point, people are not going to be only looking to be entertained, they are going to want to earn on their data generated that has become the most valuable and narrowly held commodity on earth.
It really doesn't take many users to completely change the economics of Steem and at the current price, all of the liquid Steem would be able to be taken by 3.5 million people with a 5 spare dollar note and they would eat have ~33 STEEM. The cost of a coffee where I live.
Yes, we have whales of good and bad nature here and to those who are of the good, *Thank you! And to those of the bad, you aren't needed for Steem to survive and definitely not for it to thrive. It would be nice if you took part though because then we can move faster. When things change, they can move very, very fast and we just have to make sure we are ready and capable.
Obviously, I am bullish long-term, just gotta work through these teething pains.
[ a Steem original ]