There seems to be some interesting Steem conversations going on today with the inflation rate popping up, which I wrote about this afternoon, and now the powerdown cycle conversation continues on whether 4 weeks are better than 13.
You know that while I write relatively frequently about Steem and the various aspects of it, sometimes I wonder if I would be better served just minding my own content. One of the strengths of Steem is that pretty much anyone can have a say and even those without stake can be heard, but due to the public nature of it, it isn't like a boardroom. It is more like a playground... at a kindergarten... populated by tired and hungry toddlers.
While I like getting involved with the conversation, sometimes it is wearing and I wonder how "normal" users find it, or if they pay any attention at all. I would suggest that for most users who consider themselves just content creators, they don't care much as long as things work and thy earn enough, as after all, so many talk about having other places to earn like YouTube - so they don't care about decentralization or ownership of the infrastructure and experience.
Do people care about these things if they are earning a lot? I think we are going to find out with SMTs as they do not need to be decentralized and I will predict that some of the most valuable among them will be the most centralized of all, as they will be able to control UX using the token as reigns.
However, for the SMTs to have value which will require stability, the Steem infrastructure they are built upon has to be able to offer speed, scalability and security. Security isn't just against hacks and attacks, it is also part of the stability model which for Steem, will be through decentralization of ownership and resources required for operations.
If Steem was centralized, every SMT, token and community that runs upon has increased risk exposure and are at the mercy of central point of control. And central points of control might start with good intentions, but can overstep their bounds and have their own incentives misaligned with that of all other users.
Centralization kills one of the largest value propositions of the blockchain and will make those building upon it very, very wary as they will not want to invest into a business model that leverages the Steem infrastructure if the controllers can turn their lights off at any moment. This is why I believe that most start ups and tech companies will go it alone until they are bought and assimilated into a larger entity, like Instagram into Facebook.
I think the benefit of developing on Steem is that one can build completely independently but still not need to be alone, still not need to develop the groundwork and wiring needed to power an application. Plus, the infrastructure is designed to get more stable the more people use it and the more of them that invest in, the greater the stability and decentralized security.
Narrow investment sources can pull funds rapidly, decentralized and highly varied sources will always be in conflict with each other and while some are powering down, others are powering up. Through the entire bear market and after all the dumping, there is still 210 million staked Steem on the platform. 66% of stake said, I will see it through and held.
That is pretty good really and if a company with narrow sources lost 97% of its value, they would struggle to ever attract an investor again - unless they had use case. We saw this in the dotcom bubble pop where thousands of companies failed, yet Google, Amazon, Ebay and the like are still around. Investors collapsed their holdings, but whatever they got out went back into what survived.
Whether Steem is a survivor of the bear market is yet to be seen, and while many people might rate it percentage wise against the gains of other coins, that is not what drives the Steem blockchain. Steem is a slow burn and it has been designed to survive a war of attrition and as the hyped and useless blockchains with no activity start to flounder and the investors release their grasp, they will look to put their value into what is going to outlast the rest.
If this is Steem, with every project failure in the industry, a few more investors will take the safer bet, the slower burn - but not that slow they will go back to traditional markets, especially considering the collapse to come. Economic weight will start to surround Steem and then the social proofing will drive bandwagoning and more will arrive. What started as a slow upward shift can turn into a rapid and explosive move - but not a flash-in-the-pan spike that the industry is known for.
Steem is more than a blockchain, more than a ledger, it is an ecosystem. This means that it has economic capabilities like transfer speed and free transactions in a secure and trustless system, but also the potential for a wide array of applications that can support a diverse community of users. These work in tandem to provide an economy, a market place of activities. Through the secondary tokenization layers atop the protocol, multiple token pools and economic systems can support the activities of their user base by creating their own tailored and managed microcosms - and these are protected by the greater environment made stable through the decentralized nature of the ownership model of the Steem infrastructure.
Steem is a massive value loop that once up and running effectively, will perpetuate its growth by creating fractals of itself in communities that become both the suction pads of infrastructure security, and the funnels of onboarding activities that will drive growth and innovation to fractal outward again. I visualize Steem in this way as a very large tree that is developing the roots that will support the weight of all its branches to come.
But, this is the way I see Steem and for you and many others it could be completely different. Sure, you might not be influenced by this or anything I ever write, but my narrative is my own and it works for me. I believe that when it comes to our actions in life, we are driven by incentives that are supported by the stories that justify the why, what and how of our behavior. The fourth driver in the list is the real hook.
I might be wrong, but what if...
[ a Steem original ]