It's time to start paying attention to Steem

in steem •  20 days ago

Since the Steem blockchain officially launched and produced its first block on March 24, 2016, a lot has happened. Steem has transformed from a project that many cryptocurrency investors initially thought was a scam / “pump-and-dump” campaign, to an established and respected blockchain project with several of the most heavily used decentralized applications (DApps) in the blockchain industry.

Today STEEM is one of the top 50 cryptocurrencies (based on market capitalization), and is getting ready to position itself as serious contender for the top 10 cryptocurrency projects once Smart Media Tokens (SMTs) launch in Q1 of 2019.

In this article, we will explore the Steem blockchain and STEEM cryptocurrency, looking at both the positive aspects and negatives. The goal of the article is to be as comprehensive of an overview of Steem as possible, so those interested in Steem can learn more about it.


[image source @podanrj]
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Disclaimer

Before we get too far into the article, let’s get the fun “legal” stuff out of the way..

This article does not constitute investment advice. Everything in this article is just my own personal opinion and observations. Anything that could be considered a prediction of the future has no guarantee of coming true. It is possible that information in this article is (unintentionally) inaccurate or incomplete. Do your own research before making any investment decisions. The author of this article holds STEEM tokens as well as several other cryptocurrencies.

Steem’s History

Steem is an established blockchain project that has been around for over two years, and there is a lot of history with the project (both good and bad). Not everything has gone exactly as planned; mistakes have been made, and some of the decisions made along the way may not have been the right ones in hindsight.

It is interesting to see investors pouring billions of dollars into ICOs each year. It is understandable why though. ICOs are easy to speculate on. There is no product yet. All that there is are hopes and dreams of a future yet to come. It is easy to imagine what an ICO could become, when nothing has been built yet.

A live project is much harder to speculate on. We know what the project will do. We know the mistakes that have been made. We know what its limitations are.

While many would point to the mistakes and shortcomings of a project as evidence for investors to stay far far away, I believe there is a lot more to be learned by reviewing what has happened to see how the project is evolving. To quote Steemit’s Content Director @andrarchy, I would much rather see a project that has “gotten punched in the face a few times and is still advancing forward” than one that is still in the conceptual stages and hasn’t had to deal with anything major going wrong yet.

Let’s start by exploring a few of the things that didn't go so well for Steem.

Questionable Launch

If you look at the launch (and re-launch) of the Steem blockchain on BitcoinTalk.org, the reaction from many was far from pretty. A lot of of commenters indicated that insufficient documentation was provided on how to setup a node, the project seemed like a scam, and many suspected it was just an elaborate pump-and-dump scheme by the founders.

Later, one of the founders (Daniel Larimer, who also founded EOS) wrote an article titled How to Launch a Crypto Currency Legally while Raising Funds, which explained why the project was launched the way it was. What it boiled down to was that in order to not be considered a security, they couldn’t pre-allocate any tokens to themselves (or others), and they had to complete the currency and protocol prior to launch. Yet, at the same time, they wanted to acquire a large portion of the initial tokens for themselves in order to fund the ongoing development of the project. They accomplished this by mining a large portion of tokens for themselves after the blockchain was officially and publicly launched.

While it may initially seem shady for the founders to have mined a large percentage of coins for themselves, the intention and use of those coins is really what matters. If you fast forward to today, it is pretty clear that Steem was not a pump-and-dump scheme. There was a long-term vision for the product, and that vision is in the process of being carried out today.

What is interesting is that if an ICO were to award the founders and core development team with a large share of initial tokens, investors would not really have a problem with that. Many blockchain ICOs allocate 30-40% of their tokens to the founders / dev team. The main difference between what these ICOs and Steem did was that with Steem there was no ICO - so any initial tokens had to be acquired through mining.

Incomplete Product

When the Steem blockchain (and front-end website steemit.com) was launched, they were launched as an MVP (minimum viable product). The majority of features that would be necessary in order for Steem to compete with Reddit, Facebook, and other social media giants had not been completed yet.

Over the past two years, the development team has been building features around us. We have seen basic stuff like follows and sharing (called “resteems”) added, as well as more advanced features such as escrow payments and the ability to collaborate and share post rewards among multiple authors. The project has come a long way already, and new features continue to be developed and added, but there is still a lot more work to be done before the platform will truly resemble what most users expect to see when they think of a social media platform.

While it is easy to look at a completed product that is already well-polished and has all the fancy bells and whistles to attract and retain users, it is much harder to look at a work-in-progress project and see the product for what it will likely become. Steem is still a “work-in-progress” project. What you see today is still only a preview of what it will likely become over the next 1-2 years.

Token Distribution and Misuse of Stake

There is a small group of people who were very-early-adopters, as well as some large investors who have bought into the platform since its launch. This small group of individuals (combined) holds a very large stake in the platform, and collectively they have significant influence over the decisions of what content gets rewarded, and which witnesses are voted into (and out-of) power.

A lot of users have become upset when these large stakeholders (i.e. “whales”) have used their stake in ways that benefited themselves (or their friends) more than the community as a whole. Users have also gotten upset when large stakeholders have downvoted content from other users in ways that have not always seemed right/fair. (This has especially been true in cases when the stakeholders in question have been the founders.)

Even though each user's stake is theirs to use however they choose, the feeling of unfairness that has arisen due to the inequality of stake among the users has harmed the user experience and perception of the platform.

Over time as new investors buy into the platform the control of this “small group” is being diluted, although it will likely take a significant amount of new investors coming in before the influence over the platform becomes more widely decentralized.

Steemit, Inc. Witness Voting

When I first joined the platform, the rumor on the street was that only the super-early-adopters and people that were friends with Dan L. / Steemit, Inc. were voted in as witnesses. It was also implied that witnesses had to go along with what Steemit, Inc. wanted - or they would be voted out.

While that may have been the case early-on, it does not seem to be the case anymore. Myself (and several others) who had no prior connections to any of the early adopters or Steemit, Inc. have made our way into the top 20 witnesses by working hard and proving our worth to the community.

Back in March 2017, there was a hardfork where the witnesses were not in support of the changes that Steemit, Inc. proposed (hardfork 17). Steemit ended up changing the code and releasing a new hardfork (18) to one that the witnesses did support.

Since that time as well, the Steemit, Inc. employees who were running witness nodes (such as @roadscape) have suspended their witness campaigns, and Steemit, Inc. employees are no longer participating in witness voting.

To me, this demonstrates a huge step forward in that the core development team (Steemit, Inc.) is respecting the wishes of the other stakeholders, even though they still technically have an overriding stake.

Steemit, Inc. Communication

One of the bigger complaints about the project when I joined was that the communication and transparency from the core development team was severely lacking. Nobody knew what they were planning to work on, promises were made and never kept, and there was little explanation for any decisions that were made.

Over the past six months, they have made a complete “180” and have started communicating regularly with the community. Their account (@steemitblog) has been making regular posts every week, and they have been doing an excellent job telling everybody in the community what they are working on, and what we should expect to see happen. There are also now open lines of communication between the core dev team and the witnesses, community developers, and several of the largest stakeholders.

User Onboarding

When I first found out about Steem, they were not accepting any new signups. I applied to be added to their waiting list, and eventually got an email a few weeks later to create an account. For an “everything now” society that wants to have everything right away, this was a little bit of a deterrent; but at the same time I felt that I was on a list to join a cool new exclusive club.

The primary (free) signup service to create an account has been streamlined a bit, although there are still often long wait-times for users. If you go to https://signup.steemit.com/ you can apply for a free account by verifying your email and phone number. The signup is free, but expect to wait 1-2 weeks to get an account.

Alternatively, third-party services such as Blocktrades.us and AnonSteem have sprung up, which allow users to pay a small fee to instantly create a Steem blockchain account. More information on the available signup services will be covered in a section below.

Steem Features

Now that we have explored some of the shortcomings of the project, let’s look at some of the things that Steem does well at.

Three Second Confirmation Times

Unlike the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, where sending tokens to other users often takes several minutes (sometimes hours), transactions on the Steem blockchain are lightning fast - confirming in approximately three seconds. This means that users can transact with each other in real-time, making digital payments via the Steem blockchain practical for everyday purposes.

Easy to Remember Wallet Names

Most blockchains have difficult to use wallet addresses like 38hDQKmMgJQeK74USYuP4SRWnots2rk5h7 (BTC) and 0x7157Da4744f3df0CC2B42a02f1229d25D2b00E5A (ETH). This makes sending payments very difficult for “regular people”. With Steem, a person’s wallet address is the same as their account name (such as timcliff), which means it is much easier for users to send tokens to friends or businesses.

Vested Stake Instead of Transaction Fees

With most blockchain protocols (such as Bitcoin and Ethereum) every time you make a transaction, the blockchain charges a small fee to process the transaction.

With Steem, there are zero fees for all transactions. Instead, the blockchain requires users to purchase and “vest” some STEEM (i.e. HODL for 13 weeks) in order to freely transact. As long as users are holding a small amount of vested STEEM (called “Steem Power”), the blockchain allows them to transact for free. The more Steem Power an account has, the more they are able to transact.

This makes the Steem blockchain an excellent candidate for projects looking to use microtransactions, or games such as CryptoKitties which require users to complete multiple actions in order to play the game. This allows businesses and users to focus on what really matters - i.e. playing the game - rather than worrying about how every action taken will result in fees.

High Volume of Daily Transactions

Application developers who are interested in creating blockchain powered DApps that may need to support millions or billions of transactions per day should seriously consider the overall capacity of the blockchain network they are building on.

Steem is one of the most heavily transacted blockchains in the world. With over 1M transactions per day, the only other blockchain producing more transactions is EOS. Steem is one of the few blockchains currently in existence that is positioned to scale to supporting billions of transactions per day.


[Image source blocktivity.info]

Annual Inflation

The Steem blockchain originally launched with 100% per year inflation. Back in 2016 this was deemed unsustainable, and the inflation rate was lowered. This got changed along with several other improvements to the economic system of Steem as part of hardfork 16.

Since hardfork 16, the inflation rules have been defined as:

Starting with the network's 16th hard fork in December 2016, Steem began creating new tokens at an annual inflation rate of 9.5%. The inflation rate decreases at a rate of 0.01% every 250,000 blocks, or about 0.5% per year. The inflation will continue decreasing at this pace until the overall inflation rate reaches 0.95%. This will take about 20.5 years from the time hard fork 16 went into effect.

Digital Content on the Blockchain

Steem offers users the unique ability to publish and store different types of content directly and permanently into the immutable ledger of the blockchain as plain text. Once stored in the blockchain, data becomes available publically for developers and front-end websites (such as steemit.com) to use.

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Censorship Resistance

Because the content that is stored on the Steem blockchain is distributed across the globally distributed network of decentralized Steem blockchain nodes, there is no single place that the content is stored. This means that it would be very difficult for an authoritarian government or party to force the removal of any content. It also means that if individual websites (such as steemit.com) decide to censor what content they display via their website, users will still be able to access the uncensored data through other sources.

Rewards Pool

The users who produce content and other types of contributions are adding value to the network by creating material that will drive new users to the platform, as well as keep the existing users engaged and entertained. This aids in distributing the currency to a wider set of users and increases the network effect.

The users that take time to evaluate and vote on contributions are playing an important role in distributing the currency to the users who are adding the most value. The blockchain rewards both of these activities relative to their value based on the collective wisdom of the crowd collected through the stake-weighted voting system.

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DPoS Governance / Hardforks

By defining the rules for when a hardfork occurs, the witnesses elected within the DPoS framework can quickly and efficiently decide on whether or not to move forward with a proposed hardfork, allowing the Steem blockchain protocol to evolve more rapidly than most others.

The Steem blockchain has already successfully forked 18 times, and each time a hardfork has occurred, only a single chain has persisted after the fork. This is very different than what frequently happens on other blockchains when they decide to fork, where the result is often two separate chains after the fork (such as what happened with Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin Gold).

Because the witnesses are elected by the stakeholders, they are naturally incentivized to vote in favor of changes that are in the best interest of Steem. This positions the Steem blockchain (and other similar DPoS protocols) to uniquely and quickly adapt to changes in order to continue innovating.

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Decentralized Exchange

The Steem blockchain offers a decentralized token exchange, similar to the Bitshares exchange. The exchange allows users to trade their STEEM and SBD tokens through a public decentralized peer-to-peer market. Users are able to place buy and sell orders, and order matching is performed automatically by the blockchain. There is also a publicly accessible order book and order history which users can use to analyze the market.

Users can interact with the exchange directly using the blockchain’s Application Programming Interface (API), or use a Graphical User Interface (GUI) such as the one on steemit.com.

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Payments Through Escrow

The irreversible nature of blockchain transactions is an important security feature, although there are many cases where users may not be comfortable sending their tokens to another individual without a way to get them back if the other user does not hold up their end of the agreement. The Steem blockchain provides a way for users to send coins to each other along with a third party designated as an escrow service. The user acting as the escrow service is able to determine if the terms of the agreement have been met, and either allow the funds to be released to the receiver or returned to the sender.

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Hierarchical Private Key Structure

Steem employs a first of its kind hierarchical private key system to facilitate low-security and high-security transactions. Low-security transactions tend to be social, such as posting or commenting. High-security transactions tend to be transfers and key changes. This allows users to implement different levels of security for their keys, depending on the access that the keys allow.

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Stolen Account Recovery

If a user’s account is compromised, they may change their keys using their private owner key. In the event that the attacker is able to compromise the private owner key and change the password on the account, the user has 30 days to submit a previously functional private key through Steem’s industry-first stolen account recovery process, and regain control over their account. This may be offered by a person or company who provides account registration services to Steem.

It is not mandatory for the registrar to provide this service to its users, but it is a feature that is available for registration services to offer their users if they choose to support it.

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Multi-Sig Authorities

The Steem blockchain allows an authority to be split across multiple entities, so that multiple users may share the same authority, or multiple entities are required to authorize a transaction in order for it to be valid. This is done in the same way as Bitshares where each public/private key pair is assigned a weight, and a threshold is defined for the authority. In order for a transaction to be valid, enough entities must sign so that the sum of their weights meets or exceeds the threshold.

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Multiple Reward Beneficiaries

For any given post there may be a number of different people who have a financial interest in the reward. This includes the author, possible co-authors, referrers, hosting providers, blogs that embedded blockchain comments, and tool developers. Whatever website or tool that is used to construct a post (or comment) will have the ability to set how rewards from that comment are divided among various parties. This allows for various forms of collaboration, as well as a way for platforms that are built on top of the Steem blockchain to collect a portion of the rewards from their users.

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Other Positive Aspects of Steem

Beyond the technical capabilities of the Steem blockchain, there are many other positive things happening with Steem.

Gateway to Cryptocurrency

Steem is often called the “gateway to cryptocurrency”, because it is specifically designed to attract, onboard, and retain “regular” everyday users. As more people join and begin using Steem-powered apps, that is more people being introduced to cryptocurrency. It's a real gateway to the decentralized world.

Lots of DApps with Real World Adoption

The Steem blockchain has several of the most heavily used DApps in the blockchain industry. The most frequently used DApp is steemit.com, which receives over 250k unique visitors per day, and continues to grow in popularity. There are also hundreds of additional functioning DApps built on top of the blockchain which are being used by “regular everyday people.”

Just to highlight a few of the popular DApps built on Steem:

  • Steem Monsters is a collectible card game where card ownership and game results are all published and verifiable on the Steem blockchain.
  • Utopian.io is the only platform rewarding contributions to Open Source projects by utilizing a decentralised, vote-based reward system built on top of the Steem Blockchain.
  • Fundition is a decentralized crowdfunding platform which uses the Steem blockchain to raise money for projects.
  • SteemPeak is a crisp and clean user interface that users can use to interact with the Steem blockchain (similar to steemit.com).
  • DTube is a platform similar to YouTube that allows users to upload videos and receive cryptocurrency rewards based on their content.
  • What - Q&A is a decentralised Q&A platform on the Steem blockchain that rewards users for asking & answering questions.
  • Steem Snake is a variation of the classic Snake game where users can play and earn STEEM.
  • DLive is the first decentralized live streaming and video sharing community, built on the Steem blockchain.
  • D.Sound is similar to DTube, although it is specifically designed for musicians and creators of audio content.
  • SteemGigs is a freelance services marketplace (similar to Fiverr) that accepts STEEM cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

Community Developers are a Priority

The core dev team has been focusing on building out the infrastructure and documentation to support third-party developers who are interested in building DApps on Steem. Their Developer Portal is receiving regular updates, and there is a SteemDevs Discord channel where developers can talk with each other about the projects they are working on and receive/offer support.

Steemit, Inc. is Hiring

The core development team has been (and continues to be) focused on hiring new talent. Interested parties can check out their available job listings at https://jobs.lever.co/steemit.

Community Contributions to Hardforks

As a testimate to decentralization, community developers have started contributing changes to the blockchain code to introduce changes that have support from members of the Steem community. In the upcoming hardfork 20, there are multiple changes included that were developed by members of the community and submitted to the official GitHub repository as pull requests.

Tapping into the Steem Community

Entrepreneurs in the cryptocurrency sphere have discovered how much potential there is in tapping into the Steem community. There are around 100,000 active users on Steem who have an interest in cryptocurrency, with multiple platforms available to reach the entire audience.

  • The Byteball cryptocurrency project had over 70,000 Steem accounts register to use their platform after offering an airdrop to Steem account holders.
  • When developers launched the alpha version of Steem Monsters, a collectible card game similar to MTG or Hearthstone run on the Steem blockchain, they received over $200,000 worth of card sales within the first two months.

As the platform continues to evolve and more users sign up, there will be even greater opportunity for developers and projects to get involved with Steem.

Looking Forward

Advertisements

Online advertisements are a billion dollar industry. As the Steem community continues to grow, there will be more and more opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses to market to the Steem community in the form of ads. Once the size of the community reaches critical mass, the potential for a large increase of capital into the ecosystem focused on advertisements is likely.

Coinbase Custody

Coinbase Custody is a digital asset storage solution for institutional investors. They recently announced plans to consider adding 40 new digital assets, including STEEM. If they move forward with the listing, more institutional investors will have the opportunity to add STEEM to their portfolio.

Smart Media Tokens (SMTs)

Smart Media Tokens will introduce new ways for publishers to monetize their online content and user-bases, based on the existing Steem blockchain technology. The protocol changes to support SMTs (scheduled to be completed Q1 2019) will add the capability for projects to launch their own tokens on the Steem blockchain, similar to how the Ethereum blockchain supports the launch of ERC20 tokens.

Unlike ERC20 tokens however, SMTs will also support the same types of features and properties that are available with STEEM - such as feeless transactions, three second confirmation times, and distribution of token emissions via a proof-of-brain rewards pool.

With SMTs, projects will be able to conduct ICOs in order to acquire funding to launch their project. This will fuel the growth of new powerful DApps built on Steem, as well as tap Steem into the billion dollar ICO industry.

SMTs will also allow niches to develop within the larger Steem ecosystem, by allowing a community to form their own token distribution among their members, while having full influence/control over how the rewards pool for their SMT is distributed.

Other Information about Steem

Account Creation

Unlike BTC and ETC wallets where anyone can create a free wallet address out of thin air, new accounts on the Steem blockchain must be registered and paid for. There are several ways to create a new Steem blockchain account in order to securely store tokens and interact with the social side of the blockchain.

  • https://signup.steemit.com/ offers one free account (paid for by Steemit, Inc.) to each individual who applies. It requires a unique email address and phone number to verify a user’s unique identity, and the verification process may take up to two weeks. This still remains the primary signup method, since the account creation is free.
  • BlockTrades.us offers a paid account creation service, where users can instantly create a Steem blockchain account by paying a small fee. They accept BTC, ETH, LTC, STEEM, and several other cryptocurrencies.
  • AnonSteem is another paid account creation service, with extra support available for those who which to remain anonymous. Payments are accepted in BTC, LTC, and STEEM.
  • SteemCreate is a paid account creation service that accepts payments via several major credit cards.

Steem Wallet Apps

There are several wallets that can be used to securely hold and transfer STEEM tokens:

  • steemit.com has a built in wallet that is available to users after they login.
  • steemwallet.app is a fast and secure open-source wallet for the Steem blockchain, available on iOS and Android platforms.
  • Vessel is an open-source desktop wallet for the Steem blockchain that you can run on your computer without needing to run a local instance of the blockchain. Technically the wallet is still in “alpha”, although it has been in existence and heavily used for over a year. It is one of the most popular wallets among the community, and is trusted by many of the large stakeholders. Users can download and compile the source code, or simply download the pre-compiled executables. The wallet is supported on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.
  • eSteem is an all-in-one wallet and platform application with advanced escrow and vesting route features. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, as well as PC, Mac, and Linux devices.

Steem Blockchain Interaction

  • cli_wallet is the officially supported command line interface wallet for the Steem blockchain. Using the cli_wallet does require you to download and compile the Steem blockchain source code, or use the officially supported docker images. It is possible to host and run a local instance of the Steem blockchain and connect the wallet to that, or connect the wallet to one of the public RPC nodes.
  • There are also officially supported JavaScript, Python, and Ruby libraries that can be used to transact with the Steem blockchain.

Longer Term Investment Options

The Steem blockchain offers STEEM token holders additional benefits if they decide to “power up” their STEEM tokens. Powered up STEEM tokens become locked into a 13-week “vesting” smart contract called “Steem Power” (SP), whereby the tokens cannot be transferred or traded for as long as they remain powered up.

SP can be “powered down”, which turns the tokens back into liquid STEEM over a period of 13 weeks, so they can be transferred and traded again.

Some of the benefits available to SP holders include:

  • Ability to make more feeless transactions on the Steem blockchain.
  • More influence over the distribution of the rewards pool.
  • Earn curation rewards by voting on content.
  • Vote on the witnesses who power the DPoS blockchain.
  • Passive income options.

Many SP holders use their influence over the rewards pool to incentivize and reward the users who are making the greatest contributions the platform. Voting to reward contributions that are likely to add value to the Steem platform is an indirect way to make the value of their STEEM tokens go up.

SP holders may also decide to delegate their influence to projects and communities that benefit the Steem platform in various ways such as Curie and SteemStem.

There are delegation markets where SP holders lease the use of their SP to other users in the community who would like to have additional voting influence.

Businesses who hold SP can use their influence to incentivize bloggers who write positive things about their products or services.

Oracle-D is a service that SP holders can use to have new media continuously produced for them by professional content creators. Because the content creators are paid with rewards from the Steem rewards pool, the SP holders do not actually have to pay to have content produced. In fact, the SP holders can even earn a dividend (called “curation rewards”) from the money that the content creators earn from their articles.

Exchanges

STEEM has been listed on several of the major cryptocurrency exchanges, allowing investors to purchase STEEM tokens using other cryptocurrencies such as BTC and ETH.

Some of the exchanges where STEEM can be purchased include:

Conclusion

[image source @kabir88]

I hope this article has helped to inform you about everything that is happening with the Steem blockchain and STEEM cryptocurrency. If you have any questions about Steem, feel free to reach out in the comments below or email me at timcliff.steem.witness ‘at’ gmail.com.

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Whoa! What a read. I love it 1000% first thank you for posting the history and the future of the platform in a comprehensible post.

I came across this platform by accident over a year ago and I liked the concept, almost seemed too good to be true at first and realistically I am pretty close to computer illiterate, especially this whole blockchain and crypto thing was a foreign concept to me. With all it's flaws I never regretted it and it's given me the opportunity to learn a lot, still have a lot to learn but I think i'm one step ahead of the rest of my peers that still ask "WTF is bitcoin" . I keep informing them of steemit being the future of social media which I always believed from my early days here, sure it's not perfect but it's just growing pains, for a while with the lack of communication I was almost wondering about it's future and if anyone even cared. Clearly with your article that is a big yes and makes me optimistic for the direction the platform will go in the future.

I really hope coinbase adds steem as one of the currencies and that would probably cause investors to take the platform more seriously and possibly attract more users. The trending page and bidbot abuse still needs to be addressed and I don't think it's the first impression we want new users to get but it is evident that some of the bot owners are starting to take more responsibility as to what their business promotes.

One thing I would like to see is being able to buy steem directly from the platform via credit/debit card or whatever without having to buy thru a third party or having to buy another currency to convert, or perhaps someway to make gift cards exchangeable for steem, could be used as a promotion tool in stores as well, kind of like a apple card. That is the one crypto project I really believe in because of it's fast and painless peer to peer transactions so far.

Overall , even without much computer knowledge, I found steemit easy to learn, seems overwhelming and much more intimidating than it actually is at first with all the information to take in. I still struggle to explain to my friends what is steemit and how it works and get them to join but I will share this to my other social media because you did such a great job at explaining the platform, better job than I will ever do!

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I really hope coinbase adds steem as one of the currencies and that would probably cause investors to take the platform more seriously and possibly attract more users. The trending page and bidbot abuse still needs to be addressed and I don't think it's the first impression we want new users to get but it is evident that some of the bot owners are starting to take more responsibility as to what their business promotes.

I am hopeful that communities and SMTs will help to address this issue.

One thing I would like to see is being able to buy steem directly from the platform via credit/debit card or whatever without having to buy thru a third party or having to buy another currency to convert, or perhaps someway to make gift cards exchangeable for steem, could be used as a promotion tool in stores as well, kind of like a apple card. That is the one crypto project I really believe in because of it's fast and painless peer to peer transactions so far

I think everyone wants this :)
The problem is it is difficult to do in terms of the regulations in the US.
Hopefully someone will eventually implement it though.

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I think many of the problems we face today will be solved as more tools come online...I have faith in Steem and have for a while. Kind of hard when shit's getting rewarded rather than good content though. It's going to be interesting when Steem comes back from this dip, as we might have whole new whales...or at least dolphins and orcas.

In regards to the ICO's dolling out tokens to themselves...everyone does it...but it doesn't mean that people think it's right, or that investors don't consider how much they kept for themselves. It has an effect. When you put it in full context, how Steemit mined Steem is kinda cool actually in a way, especially if at that time anyone was technically capable of mining Steem. I wish I had known about it then. Not like I have a mining rig though.

As for the CryptoKitties...not possible on the Steem blockchain. We aren't Etherium. We can't do the whole distributed app thing. That means that we have to make any apps centralized in some way, or work cross-chain. We can do ownership of assets though! I hope SMT's allow you to launch coins with different capabilities, then we would be able to have things like CryptoKitties. If we were to do them on Steem today, we'd have to have a central server, or set of servers, that were crunching the numbers to make the kitties.

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Regarding CryptoKitties, it is not possible to do in the same way as it is done on Ethereum, but it can be done using a process called 'soft consensus'. It is what SteemMonsters uses, and is explained here: https://steemit.com/steem/@steemitblog/steemit-interviews-steemmonsters.

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I had read that interview when it was first published, but I had mostly just sort of skimmed it. I read it carefully just now and I'm still not quite sure how they use soft consensus...but while reading it I did kind of have some ideas on how you might be able to do a fully distributed app on the Steem blockchain.

The only way I can really think of possibly doing it is by having people run software on servers and their home computers to validate "transactions" and then pay them with proceeds from the game for their services. That would sort of lose some of the benefits of Steem, but you have to pay for servers. So, rather than running servers yourself, you would have a sort of smart contract that pays people for running servers for the app.

Perhaps you know of some other resources to read on this? I'm going to be doing a deep dive into it for the next few months, as I would like to eventually figure out how to do some kind of blockchain based games and apps. Even if I never end up making anything successful, learning's fun.

There are also extreme benefits of figuring out how to do this on Steem. Plus, I like Steem.

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The basic idea behind soft-consensus is that a set of rules are written for how to interpret the data on the blockchain, and the application follows those rules. The blockchain itself will not reject blocks with "bad data" (that doesn't follow the rules), but the application layer will. It is 100% publicly auditable, since the data is all in the blockchain.

Great points brought up here.

One point that was missed which ties to a post I wrote this morning is the fact that the distribution of STEEM is spreading out. With the reward system the way it is, with 75% going to content creators, this means that there are many more people earning SP today than when I joined 13 months ago.

Also, we are seeing a lot of SP delegated from larger accounts to the applications, thus making them mega accounts in terms of their voting power. This is important because they go around upvoting the content that is placed on their platform, a great deal which is done by smaller accounts.

This is furthering the push of SP into the smaller accounts, giving them even a greater percentage of the reward pool.

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Yeah, you're right that the distribution of Steem is spreading out. In some ways that sucks, as it feels REALLY hard to get substantial upvotes, but it should also mean that it's harder for some accounts to abuse the system to get upvotes on their crap.

Great article written in a balanced, open and honest way. Resteemed!

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Agree 100%! also resteemed!

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In the interest of fairness, and not just a Steem cheerleading session, here's some info on the problems with Proof-of-Stake, Delegated or not.

Also, when the ENTIRE CHAIN froze and locked out people, I'd consider that a rather big "oopsie" that should be mentioned, in addition to the abysmal retention rate -- 13%.

Reference:

A topic not emphasized enough with PoS protocols is their lack of resilience in dealing with WORST-CASE SCENARIOS. For examples: extraordinary events that could knock offline or partition a significant portion of the network, or even the entire network. Or the risk of stolen/purchased private keys.

https://medium.com/@hugonguyen/proof-of-stake-the-wrong-engineering-mindset-15e641ab65a2

I encourage people to look into the technology deeper than a "everything is great" post. And I'm not even getting into the bot-infested problems Steemit has, either. That has been covered elsewhere.

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The incident was fully explained here: https://steemit.com/steem/@steemitblog/steem-blockchain-patch-issued

In my view, what happened was dealt with appropriately, and I saw the incident as more favorable than unfavorable in terms of the way it was dealt with.

In terms of technical details, it was much less about DPoS vs. PoW, and much more about a corner case in the consensus logic built on top of the DPoS technology.

As blockchain consensus logic starts to become more and more complex (as many of the functions on Steem are) the possibility for unexpected scenarios and glitches also increases. Incidents such as this are likely to become more prevalent as the blockchain industry advances.

Having the blockchain freeze up is actually what you want to have happen in a situation like this, because it prevents the unexpected scenario from turning into something more serious like a loss of coins.

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I have severe reservations about a system whose acceptable failure mode is "stop everything", especially when it keeps getting touted as the "best" solution and the "most transacted" chain.

I'm sure you can see how both of those goals diverge?

Also, why don't more exchanges carry Steem to begin with? You've obviously been around for a while, what is the reason for severe lack of fungibility?

To be honest, I'm not holding my breath. The reason you need complex "solutions" to these problems is because the underlying PoS forces you to -- and by doing so, they're just bandages over the problems Proof-of-Stake introduces -- either directly or tertiary.

Its just like Ethereum and their gradual realization that they can't scale, so they come up with increasingly complex answers instead of refactoring their base assumptions.

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I'm sure you can see how both of those goals diverge?

Yep. Obviously never ever having a single software glitch would the the goal.

Also, why don't more exchanges carry Steem to begin with? You've obviously been around for a while, what is the reason for severe lack of fungibility?

We are a top 40 coin (not a top 20). The integration with STEEM is more complex than other chains. Many exchanges also want $1M+ listing fees. We have been getting added to more and more exchanges though. Higher marketcap would help.

To be honest, I'm not holding my breath. The reason you need complex "solutions" to these problems is because the underlying PoS forces you to -- and by doing so, they're just bandages over the problems Proof-of-Stake introduces -- either directly or tertiary.

I'll have to disagree with you here on a technical level. The glitch we are talking about would have happened on a PoW chain too, if the consensus rules had been written on top of a PoW chain. It had nothing to do with PoW vs. DPoS.

Its just like Ethereum and their gradual realization that they can't scale, so they come up with increasingly complex answers instead of refactoring their base assumptions.

Can you elaborate on how the issue we are talking about is an instance of STEEM running into a limitation that needs complex answers, and what the base assumptions are?

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While I can empathize with your exasperation with the sort of empty optimism that often replaces deeper analysis, I'm a bit confused with your outrage that all or most posts about STEEM on the STEEM blockchain are generally optimistic about its future. Most people with a more scathing outlook tend to leave the platform or become relatively inactive eventually.

Also, though an unprecedented and rather scary event (many blocks being missed while the chain froze), what would be a better way of dealing with a similar anomaly than halting things so that everything remains safe until a solution is found and adopted by a supermajority of witnesses, in your view?

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"Most people who hate us, leave us, so what's the big deal?"

It matters because given the abysmal 13% retention rate, when you only have a bunch of hooray-henries populating your platform - then there's something amiss.

The best question would be - "Why does Proof-of-(mis)Stake have this kind of edge case where we shut the whole thing down?" Here's the answer -- because its an inferior solution that requires trust of other nodes by its very design.

Everything bolted on top is because of this base flawed assumption. It adds complexity and gives "edge" cases a huge leg up in happening more than just "once in a while."

I'm here to watch the PoS fail-train come to its logical conclusion. Someone needs to witness it without being blinded by unicorn-vision - if only to write the sober post-mortem the day after.

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Yeah, the terrible user retention rate is one of Steemit's biggest problems, at present. To be clear, I would prefer to have both "hoorah-henries" and "hellno-hanks" around, because it makes for more enriching discussion.

I think you have me wrong though. Just because I invested heavily in STEEM doesn't mean I believe PoS will be a sustainable system in the scale of decades. I'm too uneducated on the underlying technology to conclude that with confidence. I also don't think it will keel over tomorrow, next week, or next year, though.

You still didn't answer my question:

what would be a better way of dealing with a similar anomaly than halting things so that everything remains safe until a solution is found and adopted by a supermajority of witnesses, in your view?

but I'm guessing you would say there is no real solution because DPoS is an inherently dysfunctional system in your view.

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To be clear, I would prefer to have both "hoorah-henries" and "hellno-hanks" around, because it makes for more enriching discussion.

Hey @d-pend. I suspect that through the same premonitory steps and walkarounds of @talltim, there are yet a few coherent and eloquent "hellno-hanks" here with some interesting and illustrative stuff worth a read to enrich healthy discussions. Maybe everything is not lost and the "hoorah-henries" won't run away with the trophy so easily yet. };)

I'm kinda curious what would you think about that?

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That was far from a cheerleading session. He actually started off the article listing the problems. Perhaps yours could have been mentioned as well but what platform or technology doesn't have those.

As to Proof of Work vs proof of stake opinions may differ but I know where I stand and we'll see where things end up.

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The only thing mentioned were early start-up issues, not the entire blockchain seizing up like a suburban dad having a heart attack from shoveling too much snow off of his driveway.

And no, the PoS vs PoW isn't an opinion - its technical merits and drawbacks that aren't touched upon, because every post about Steemit is rah-rah go team - instead of taking a hard look at why it functions the way it does.

Steemit is going to have to do something radically different to change that 13% retention rate, that's for sure. But I doubt they have the will to refactor a system they're obviously emotionally invested in.

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I think that Steemit will fade into the background as other projects emerge on its blockchain. The seizing up that I've seen has been on other blockchains.

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Interesting - care to list any? Also, were they PoS based?

Inquiring minds want to know...

SP can be “powered down”,

then why is it that many users are hodling?
it makes the platform look like monopolized specially when one gets to join and see how it works voting on one's own posts or comments

it also makes it look like you need to keep Steem or earn less even if your posts provides value

one experienced investor's few questions about it are ... why would you need to have so much SP just to have that much weight of voting influence? What good of an investment it would be if you can't sell and profit from it when the price is ripe ? How is this community different from the blue pill holders which empowers those who have more as well?

Would the reward pool be refilled during the HF20 like it did during the HF19 ??

I hope you get to reply, thank you very much.

PS upvoting my comment for visibility

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why would you need to have so much SP just to have that much weight of voting influence?

The reason that influence is based on the amount of SP held is explained in the Steem whitepaper.

You can calculate how much an upvote is worth based on current conditions using this calculator: https://www.steemnow.com/upvotecalc.html

What good of an investment it would be if you can't sell and profit from it when the price is ripe ?

There are multiple ways to handle this. One would be to have some liquid STEEM ready to sell, while keeping the rest powered up. Otherwise, long-term holding is an option too.

How is this community different from the blue pill holders which empowers those who have more as well?

I'm not familiar with that protocol, but the Steem blockchain is designed to empower those who hold more SP tokens more than those with less.

Would the reward pool be refilled during the HF20 like it did during the HF19 ??

There are no changes to the rewards pool planned for HF20. You can read all of the changes here.

Fantastic article with a great history.
I was interested that EOS had more transactions than Steem and looked into it.
I'm not sure what is causing the high EOS transactions but it is not real activity like on Steem. All the EOS dApps combined only have about 10% of the 60,000 daily users of Steemit. See https://dappradar.com/eos-dapps

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Block.one knows marketing. Whether it's real activity or fake, some people will fall in the trap - it proves that the production network of EOS is capable of running those 10 Mil tx/day. I believe we should prepare well and do something similar on steem too, because it wil prove without possible doubt that it can handle that amount.

Yes it will have a cost in terms of the size of the block log as @gtg was saying but you can't advertise for free. Being up there in blocktivity.info with a 8 640 000 tx/day (that's 100 tps) for a production blockchain with about 200 000 active users has a huge value for investors, and this is what we are talking about here.

Is the marketing potential of being up there in blocktivity with 9 Mil or 10 Mil tx/day worth the increase in the block_log size ?

I am both an investor - I know what investors look at.
And I am also a witness, @lux-witness, so I can gauge the two sides of the equation

My opinion is that the marketing value of reaching 100 tps on the steem mainnet is amply worth the cost of having to deal with a larger block_log

@timcliff, what do you think? What do other top witnesses think?

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I agree. If a fairly simple technical change can put Steem in the 10 Mil transactions per day league it’s worth doing. You’re right that it will get investors attention.

Posted using Partiko iOS

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I am against it. My view is that in time, the blockchain with the most 'real' activity is going to be the one to win out over the others. We don't need to generate fake transactions just to get better numbers.

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Thanks for replying. Unfortunately in real life the best product does not always win. Betamax vs VHS is the typical example that is given in this cases, but it's not the only one.

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True,the Bitcoin is not the best coin from the technology but still remains market cap leader because it was the first coin...

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It steem, it is mostly bots.

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Yeah, you're right...

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Yeah, there seems to be quite a bit of unusual activity surrounding EOS.

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A few accounts are spamming the network.

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Great article!
I just shared it on Twitter (31.3K followers): https://twitter.com/iLoveSteem/status/1036617270917832712

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You should've waited for the 11am Steem Blast ...

Great article @timcliff, thanks for taking time to write this up. Also, thanks for listing steemwallet.app

Shameless plug:

Interested in Steem and it's community? Come to the annual gathering, SteemFest 2018, this year in Kraków, only a couple of days after Etherdevcon which is organised pretty close by. Make it a Eurotrip!

Why is Steem not listed on DappRadar?
They have ETH & EOS apps but Steem Apps are much larger. Another reason Steem is not getting the attention it deserves.
This popular tweet re dApp usage just ignored Steem completely!

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We had some discussion about that in our discord channel. It is something to pursue further, but we believe it is related to the way they measure the success of the DApps. Steem is an entirely different model, and our DApps probably wouldn't work for their ranking system.

Very interesting information Tim. Steem platform is one of the most innovative blockchain projects. What I like about it that is provides free transactions and also rewards the content creators and curators. However, there is one bad thing about it, it is highly addictive. Today, I competed six months on this platform and in this short period, I have learnt a lot from this platform.

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I agree its a bit addictive, but in a good way, encouraging you to create good content, rather than trawl though cat memes and trolling.

This is jammed packed with vital STEEM information. This should be the renamed The STEEM Bible v1.0.
I will continue to spread awareness where I can.
I love this last statement and chart. This will be my selling point to potential investors.
0914ABCF-0DDB-4E0B-8C08-61FB0FBF39AC.jpeg

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Steem is just getting ready to take off. It is so new and people are scared of change, even if that change can make them money. People are also scared of cryptocurrency.

Thank you Tim for this amazingly well written and very instructive article!!

As a newbie to Steemit, this provides me with a good perspective of the wider Steem ecosystem, its developments to date and current advances. I also discovered some new cool DApps which I'll be trying out soon.

Just awesome!

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This is a wonderful introduction into the history of Steemit, well written and as another newbie I can say I am happy I found this on my first day here.

One of the best, and most exciting articles I had read about STEEM.. Resteemed!!

We need a D-Tinder dapp !!!! There is your billion dollar idea, your welcome.

Great article and analysis of the Steem platform and ecosystem @timcliff. Upvoted and resteemed/shared.

On a side note, I was wondering if anyone knows when Steemit Inc. plans on removing the "beta" from the Steemit platform.

IMO, Steemit Inc. should also have a marketing budget for the platform in order to raise awareness. Does anyone know if they do have one?

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On a side note, I was wondering if anyone knows when Steemit Inc. plans on removing the "beta" from the Steemit platform.

I don’t think anybody knows.

IMO, Steemit Inc. should also have a marketing budget for the platform in order to raise awareness. Does anyone know if they do have one?

@andrarchy would be the person to ask about that.

Great job Mr. Man!
You've got patience, to have written on a go a comprehensive review such as this...
You're the boss!
Respect!

Well written article on Steem Blockchain which can be used to help new users understand the platform.

Amazing article. However you left out a mobile dApp that is by far the fastest and best way to use Steem: @partiko

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I went back and forth on that one. It is probably within my top 10 favorite Steem apps, so in that sense I really wanted to include it. If I were talking about Steem to someone inside the community, I would definitely bring it up as an app to check out. With this particular post though, for attracting outside interest, it doesn’t really offer any unique sound bytes. It is also extremely unlikely that a reader will actually be downloading any of the apps out to try them out. Since from a content perspective it didn’t really add anything unique to the article (even though the app itself is awesome), I decided to leave it out.

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I must say fair point -

I've just started using @partiko and love it. I'm especially impressed by the 'voter upvote weight display' when you click the thumb button.

But fair point on it not being a 'first in' thing. Steempeak is much better for that.

I'm impressed by your 'analytical depth' - just please have a (short) holiday soon so you don't burn yourself out!

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Thank you for mentioning us!

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I'm especially impressed by the 'voter upvote weight display' when you click the thumb button.

I've got over my obsession with gaming the leader board.

Silly idea.

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Steemit have apps too?

Very informative and well-written article: it deserves a translation in multiple languages... could I translate it into Italian, @timclff?

👍🏼 Resteemed with joy! 🙏🏻

A big hug from @amico! 🤗

Posted using Partiko iOS

This post is so well-written and informative that the only weakness I found is the subpar Steemit.com interface. Gen like this deserves better looking front-end lol. Btw, is the SMT supporting any smart contract function? That would be great if we have this feature.

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Use SteemPeak.com

Smart contracts: no, but similar functionality can be done using a processed called 'soft consensus' which is described here: https://steemit.com/steem/@steemitblog/steemit-interviews-steemmonsters

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I second the steempeak.com recommendation. It simply craps all over steemit.com.

Very smart article! There's just one important thing missing: @steemmonsters

edit: already done. Thanks!

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It is in there

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Thanks, Tim! :)

What I'd like to know is when the UI will be improved? We have had promises stretching back over 2 years regarding the 'communities' feature and fixing the tags.

Every time I bring this up all I get is tumbleweeds... I work really hard on my content, I create tags, post to existing tags and all of that content just disappears after 7 days.

Will this ever be addressed? Will we ever have communities?

My guess is no and no, but it would be nice to get your view on it @timcliff.

Thanks
Cg

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Well first of all, check out SteemPeak.com. It is way better than steemit.com.

The reason tags are broken is a blockchain issue. They are not planning to fix it, since the plan is to move that logic out of the blockchain code and into hivemind. It still may take some time before that happens though, unfortunately.

I know communities are still one of the top priorities for the dev team. I also know they still have a ways to go on the development. It should get done, but probably not super soon.

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First of all thanks for the reply @timcliff I really appreciate it, especially such a speedy one! :-) ...

Well first of all, check out SteemPeak.com. It is way better than steemit.com.

I was going to, but then Steemconnect was asking for owner or masterkey even though it says steempeak only wants posting authority. So that kinda freaked me out, but if you say it's safe then I guess I'll try it.

The reason tags are broken is a blockchain issue. They are not planning to fix it, since the plan is to move that logic out of the blockchain code and into hivemind. It still may take some time before that happens though, unfortunately.

Yeah, 2 years in, I guess don't hold my breath right? :-(

I know communities are still one of the top priorities for the dev team. I also know they still have a ways to go on the development. It should get done, but probably not super soon.

I just don't understand why this isn't near the top of the list of priorities. Better user experience = more users = more activity = higher steem price.

It's just really frustrating. Anyway I'm a little less frustrated now because at least now I know what's going on.

See you at Steemfest? :-)

Cg

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I just don't understand why this isn't near the top of the list of priorities.

It is. There is just a lot of work to do before it is completed.

See you at Steemfest? :-)

Still trying to convince my spouse. We’ll see :)

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It is. There is just a lot of work to do before it is completed.

Fair enough! :-)

Still trying to convince my spouse. We’ll see :)

Yes! Show her pictures of the beautiful city of Krakow and the cheap air BnB prices. 1 week in Krakow in Nov is less than 1 day in Madrid!!!

Cg

I think if some one knows nothing and read just this article he will buy steem and use this platform. Its like whole history and future of steem just in this post. Hats off @timcliff. Simply amazing. You told about lot of those stuff which I am interested to know.thanks a lot

Posted using Partiko Android

This article has to become like Genesis 2018 for each steemian. It is something amazing, hard work, easy to read. I am wondering is there anything @timcliff hasnt included into it.
Most likely not.

Posted using Partiko Android

Hi @timcliff!
What do you mean with 250K unique visitors per day? All kind of visitors? STEEMIT users and non-STEEMIT users?
Is this an official stat or just approximative?

Maybe we should remember that STEEM has about 1 million accounts, but only 50K are transacting (readers are not included).

Here another stat.

Was just thinking about those numbers.

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Its more like 60k daily users (on Steem) and that is 6 times all the daily users of all the dApps on ETH & EOS combined, which have a combined market cap 130x higher. So there is a real mismatch between actual usage and market cap.

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So true. That is something many started realizing a few months ago with the help of sites like https://blocktivity.info/ that compare blockchain activity metrics of different platforms.

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That specific statistic is simply unique visitors to the steemit.com website. The source of the data is linked.

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Do you mean Alexa?!?
Alexa traffic is not accurate at all... everyone knows that.

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The number of accounts transacting is an important number too, but it does not count people who just visit the site to view/consume content. The number of readers is expected to be significantly more than the number of users 'transacting'.

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Yeah I know that... and those are transactions of the whole STEEM blockchain.
Anyway Alexa is not reliable. Google Analytics is a better option, or something similar.
Thanks Tim for your replies... and I like this post!

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Agree, but we have to work with what we have. GA is only available to the site operators. We can't run it on Steemit's website and collect data externally.

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Yes of course.
BTW... was checking my Witness votes... why weren't you on my list?!?
Now I voted for your ;-)

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Thank you :)

Perfect breakdown! I recently had an argument with a friend who was of the opinion that steemit was a pump and dump scam because of the circumstances that surrounded the launch of the platform. Suffice to say, after the discussion he is willing to give it a try again!

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Great job!

This is great! What a kool and comprehensive read! I've been around for a minute and I knew I didn't know it all, who does, but this actually let me know how little I do know. There is a lot going on and offered via the steem platform? I've saved this one for later and will resteem it for my followers. Very nice job. Easy on the mind and eyes, not too long but packed full of GREAT info! Much appreciated! Thank you!

I think overall this is a pretty good post and I do commend you for going into more detail about the issues that occurred on launch which continue to plague this platform. Most the time everyone just tries to sweep all that under the rug and pretend it didn't happen and then if a peep comes out of my mouth how ridiculous it is I'm just a complainer. I have often wondered how many of the Witnesses were employees of Steemit INC. I didn't even realize that @roadscape was.

Again the write up was good but I was triggered the entire time as well. I don't know if we can really consider the other ways to connect to STEEM DAPPS. They are important and have made some really great progress on what they are doing but for all practical purpose they are just a different entry way to read and write to the blockchain in the same way essentially. It would be different if it was set up more like EOS or Ethereum where contract code can be uploaded to the user account that would totally add different functionality programatically. Like suddenly someone's account on here could be a blog but someone elses account could be like going to a website essentially that would have an interactive game.

I laughed when I saw the thing about Steemit INC hiring. They always seem to pretend to be hiring all the time. At least Austin, TX is more enticing to most people than Blacksburg, VA if they ever do get around to hiring anyone. (Yes I saw they hired a CFO)

In a lot of respects I somewhat consider this post a throwback post.... like a circle jerk post from 2016 when we were all excited and the first massive dump was occurring. But the reality is the price is lower now than it was 2 years ago.

Let's be real. There are probably about 100 people involved in this entire thing that have made enough money from it to say it was worth their time. As far as content creators are concerned there have probably been less than 10 people who it turned out OK for them. Then there are the witnesses and the founders / employees / early ninja miners.

That's terrible..... and it is getting worse. As time goes on there will essentially be no content creators who can come on here with $0 and earn enough for their efforts to support themselves. That isn't good for a supposed content platform with a crypto worth over $250,000.

SERIOUSLY...... no one on this platform can support themselves unless they power up a fuck load of money like @jerrybanfield did or @exyle . Then it is a question of when you are going to get dumped on..... not if.... when.

Then let's pretend the top 40 witnesses are profitable. It ends up being a good deal for them and then let's pretend 10 people end up making anything worth their time blogging and then we add in the whales, founders....etc.

YOU KNOW MY BIGGEST WORRY....... I can't really pitch STEEM because there is too much of a chance people who invest will get dumped on and if they try to blog they will have wasted their time as well when the price implodes.

So I have reached out to @jerrybanfield about reactivating his Witness node and I will manage it and try to climb from 35th on back up. Clearly it is a waste of time for me to run a witness node unless I can work a deal with him to be in that slot.

Most of the witnesses don't have any real incentive to seriously solve the issues here. So at the end of the day you guys can just keep collecting your handsome rewards.

I don't even know why I read the post or typed any of this shit out. I'm just wasting my time here.

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It would be different if it was set up more like EOS or Ethereum where contract code can be uploaded to the user account that would totally add different functionality programatically. Like suddenly someone's account on here could be a blog but someone elses account could be like going to a website essentially that would have an interactive game.

Check out https://steemit.com/steem/@steemitblog/steemit-interviews-steemmonsters, including the part about 'soft consensus'.

I laughed when I saw the thing about Steemit INC hiring. They always seem to pretend to be hiring all the time. At least Austin, TX is more enticing to most people than Blacksburg, VA if they ever do get around to hiring anyone. (Yes I saw they hired a CFO)

They have already hired quite a few people actually. I've talked to some of them.

As far as content creators are concerned there have probably been less than 10 people who it turned out OK for them. Then there are the witnesses and the founders / employees / early ninja miners.

I was making decent money here as a content creator, even before I was a witness. Nothing to quit my job over, but it was a nice 'side hustle' that was worth my time.

I do not argue though the fact that earning as a content creator here sucks, and a lot of improvement is needed on that front. I'm hopeful that with communities/hivemind, we will see improvement in content discovery, which should hopefully help a lot. We'll have to wait and see though. SMTs also have a lot of potential too.

YOU KNOW MY BIGGEST WORRY....... I can't really pitch STEEM because there is too much of a chance people who invest will get dumped on and if they try to blog they will have wasted their time as well when the price implodes.

I guess I do not see this. Anyone with a large stake has had plenty of opportunity to dump at this point, even at significantly higher prices than we have today.

Most of the witnesses don't have any real incentive to seriously solve the issues here. So at the end of the day you guys can just keep collecting your handsome rewards.

You are talking to one who does.

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I think that the SteemMonsters situation is very perplexing and intriguing at the same time. I never got into Magic The Gathering so SteemMonsters wasn't necessarily up my alley but when I look at it I'm not entirely sure how the game play is really going to work or how the game play would take place online.

I can imagine maybe some mechanism where they were on a centralized server and how people could play against each other with the cards. I don't really know how they are going to do it.

I'm actually being neutral about that project and I'm blown away by how much they earned selling those cards when the game play wasn't announced and there doesn't seem to be a way to play the game yet.

The community is certainly the most powerful thing here and SteemMonsters seems to have effectively leveraged that fact. It will be interesting what they come up with. In my mind it would make more sense to build part of this on the EOSIO software using the Non-Fungible Contract Code.

https://github.com/unicoeos/eosio.nft

But again I don't know their exact plans and all that.

The jury is still out on communities/hivemind and SMTs in my mind. I just don't know exactly how it will change the game. In some respects I think SMTs could be a great thing or just further fracture off different platforms and the reward pool would be pretty small over on the different 3 party sites. I just don't know. It will be interesting.

A lot of the dumping can happen repeatedly like we see with Dogecoin or other cryptos. They can go in and out of it and really effect the price. There is too much power in too few hands...... plain and simple.

STEEM is technologically the #1 crypto in my mind. It is better than EOS because of the more extensive code base and relative ease of use to be on here interacting with the blockchain.

That being said I wouldn't say that it is "undervalued" There is a reason that it has slipped from #3 position on CoinMarketCap to #37. The market has spoken and the vast majority of people's experience on here hasn't been enjoyable. That is why the attrition rates are so bad and they always have been.

You might have something to lose if this doesn't work out. I'm not really sure. I know I have essentially lost money here and devalued my time so bad it is terrible. That is what happened to the majority of us.

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There is too much power in too few hands...... plain and simple.

No disagreement from me on that. The only real solution to this though is going to be new hands coming in.

You might have something to lose if this doesn't work out. I'm not really sure. I know I have essentially lost money here and devalued my time so bad it is terrible. That is what happened to the majority of us.

Well, you are still here. That says something ;)


We would probably agree point-for-point on most of your complaints and issues with the platform. There is no doubt that the state the project is in today is not going to lead to mainstream adoption.

A lot is happening though and there are many efforts underway that I think have potential to change a lot of the things that are wrong. I'm pretty bullish on the platform as a whole based on where I think it will end up in the next 1-2 years.

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I feel that my airdrop solution from Steemit INC is a plausible solution but I don't think they will do it in a million years. It will attract new people as well but I just don't like the feeling of solely trying to bring new people in to invest money in the project as a way to get us out of our investment. That is why I think there has to be additional revenue streams like Ad Revenue. Why is Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter using those models? There is a lot of money in it. I feel we can have the best of both worlds. Ad revenue Plus Crypto...... it could be the best of both worlds.

I'm extremely stubborn and also I have been researching what has worked and what hasn't and ultimately will take those findings to a new chain / platform. Steemians with a certain rep and a relatively small stake will get an airdrop on the new platform as well as EOS holders. Not a 1 to 1 distribution. An equal distribution to try to get things off on the right footing.

The community that has been built here has always been the most powerful thing. I won't forget about the Steemians

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Re: advertising - stay tuned for my next post. I have something that’s been in the works for a while :)

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Sounds interesting. I will keep an eye out for it.

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Why would you want to run a witness on a site that you can't "pitch". Why would anyone want to vote for your witness on a site you can't pitch.

Only 28.4% of Steem is liquid, so it is one of the least dumpable tokens. I've made $15k ish blogging in my spare time without any special skills. I don't even pretend to be good at it. I've been on Trending exactly once when the reward pool was broken. lol.

I get between 20-100 comments on nearly all my posts. I am not sure what experience you are having or what your expectations were, but I see it differently.

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Because if I was able to run a witness here I could end up in a position to make a bigger difference and hopefully those differences would eventually make STEEM pitchable. There are a lot of people who would want to vote for my Witness because they know I'm someone who isn't afraid to ask the hard questions and go to the problem and make a problem. Example: @charlieshrem is collecting witness rewards still but is too embarrassed to even post his blog on here so he posts it on Medium.

https://steemit.com/steem/@brianphobos/steem-witness-blogs-on-medium-instead-of-steem

tweet-to-charlie.png

Also I'm willing to be on videos and be front and center at events and have the technical ability to run the witness and seed nodes and also contribute additional testing and issue solutions like I have done for EOS recently.

https://github.com/EOSIO/eosio-project-demux-example/issues/25

There are a lot of people who want to see me in @jerrybanfield 's old witness position.
https://steemit.com/steem/@brianphobos/response-to-jerry-banfield-s-exit-from-steem

The common trend though is it isn't people with super high powered accounts. It makes sense. The high powered accounts just hang out with each other and trade votes and with no vote decay on the Witnesses they just hang out there indefinitely.

I'm glad you have had a good experience on here but a large percentage don't have a good experience and that is why the attrition rate is terrible and we have dropped from #3 on CoinMarketCap to our current position.

We need some Witnesses that are willing to get in there and ask the hard questions and call shit out and also get work done and be supportive of this community.

Does it make sense that @furion is still where he is at when he is working on another project and doesn't do anything with STEEM? Does it make sense that a lot of the witnesses are using their rewards to fund their EOS development?

The whales and Steemit INC has spoken! Solidifying the slippage further down on the CoinMarketCap list.

At this point it becomes timing your entry and exit right and trying to not get dumped on and devaluing your time too much.

So in 20 years it will be extremely difficult to earn Steem. I am surprised the price is so low right now.
1700 upvotes! I think you might be the current leader of the Steem blockchain.

Even though each user's stake is theirs to use however they choose, the feeling of unfairness that has arisen due to the inequality of stake among the users has harmed the user experience and perception of the platform.
@TimCliff

Making @Steemit more fair

Problem

Keeping posts visible

Cause

Heavy stake weighted flags can make a post invisible.

Consequences

While on Steemit beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the result of flags making posts invisible results in:
  • A shoddy UX.

          Experienced Steemians may attempt 
          to "reveal" a post for themselves.
    
          However, will someone finding the same 
          post shared on Twitter, Facebook or
          hyperlinked through another post or 
          article, attempt to "reveal" the post or 
          skip revealing the article?
    
  • Would search engines like "almost dead" links?

Suggested Solution

Do not allow flags to make a post invisible.
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Making posts invisible is one of the main features of flags. When a user posts a malicious link or spam, hiding the post/comment is the intent.

Wow a post that very informative and look that a lot of work had made good job

Really well written article, really deserves all the upvotes it currently has!

Being a long time member of the Bitcointalk forum, I definitely remember when Steemit was first announced there. You're completely correct that it had a very negative image fir the first couple of years.

I'm happy to say that things have started to change. I'm seeing more steemit-related threads there that are rather positive. Steem still doesn't have the same amount of buzz as some other projects, but together we can hopefully change that!

As far as I see, STEEM is the only token that actually serves for something. We put it to use every day, which is way more than it can be said about the other 56349 coins out there!

@timcliff This is all great news, I hope steem keeps up with the improvements. It is the only one of it's kind as of yet, but the competition is coming. As I mentioned my last post, I have begun promoting steemit on the front of my business. Steem on! :-)
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Very informative. I really need to learn more about other steem platforms. I tried steempeak and maybe it was just the fact that I used it on my mobile phone but I was not a big fan.

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For mobile, check out https://partiko.app/. It seems to be one of the most popular mobile apps.

I'm going to tweet this at exactly 11am EST for the STEEM BLAST

This is so helpful as it allows me to speak more intelligently on Steem and promote it to those around me! Thanks for the great post!!

Great article. The public opinion on Steem seems to still be based on things that have changed over time or will change in future updates. Great post to share with your friends who might have been away from Steem for a while! 😉

Resteemed this post to give it a bit of exposure. Thank you for this contribution! 😄

@DUnite supports this content!

Very helpful article :)

Woooaah!!😲
Das ist echt bemerkenswert, wie sich die Geschichte der Steem-Blockchain von damals, über die Jahre hinweg bis heute entwickelt hat. Somit freue ich mich umso mehr, ein Teil dieser wachsenden Community zu sein und den Wandel, der Steem Blockchain in Zukunft miterleben darf.
@timcliff ich muss Ihnen ein ganz, ganz großes Lob aussprechen für diesen Beitrag 👏☺

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Danke :)

This post was excellent. Really details a lot of the strengths and weaknesses of Steem/Steemit.

I find that one of the larger issues with the platform and its growth is a result of such useful information staying on the platform; it often doesn't get thrown out into the public domain through advertising and word-of-text posts on other websites enough.

While Steem is host to a lot of really useful DApps, most of them aren't innovative enough to really attract people, similar to how CryptoKitties did. The DApps we have are more useful alternatives to existing services that the average person would stick with.

It's as if the tools have been offered, but that breakthrough creation that really has people flocking to it is yet to be created.

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I think several of the DApps listed in the post are quire innovative. Plus, once SMTs launch - I believe the number of entrepreneurs and developers building on Steem will go up exponentially.

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Oh yeah, there's definitely a lot of innovation; I just feel we haven't yet had that one DApp that just perfectly fits the Steem blockchain just yet and really hits the public.

In a way, that just shows how much of an infant this whole thing is -- it's exciting, really. A lot of things can happen real soon.

Just wow. So much information here! But I love articles like this...because I'm one of the confused. Trying to learn all I can about this stuff. I'll be reading more of this in pieces, but you've done a great job with this. I'll let you know when I get all the way through...I should be an expert by then!

The most informative and comprehensive write-up about Steem. Thanks, Tim! Happy SteemBlast Day!

Thanks for cooking this up @timcliff, will be sharing this around!

Tim, this an excellent synopsis of Steemit's history and present condition. Really well-written, and filled in some gaps for me since I wasn't around in 2016. Thanks for all your hard work!

Your article is written perfectly. You have cited all the necessary information. To consolidate all this information in just one article and in such a way is commendable.

Such a great write-up! Steem is seriously undervalued compared to top cryptocurrencies...

A fantastic overview, Tim. Really found the older history of interest as well! Thanks for sharing.

Brilliant article and probably the best post to hand over to non-steemians and potential investors. Thanks for the work, Tim!

Thanks for this great post @timcliff. This post is a must read for any potential investors. I will share this post to my new Facebook page 'Best of Steem by Spectrum Economics'. We should try and make as much useful information about Steem available as we can.

It's such great informative article, I resteemed it for me and my followers!

best article about steemit ever.. @timcliff is a legend and a really nice guy. IF you ever wondered whether steem and steemit was legit, here is your exhibit A. Jolly Good Show :) and agreed on many points raised here, both negative and positive !

your words has given me the hope of hitting the steem to target price of $10 in very near future.

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Me too :)

This post contains a lot about what steem stands for. Heck I would have to bookmark it if ever I find myself needed to pitch steem to an investor!

Thanks for putting this out. Resteemed and shared to other social media platforms.

Bravo! The most complete article about Steem ever written. I hope the you have sent this to influencers and publications, and that they are taking notice.

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There will be a lot of sharing going on as part of the Steem Blast campaign :)

wow dude! That's an epic post, I learned quite a bit about STEEM and steemit. I have been working this morning on the STEEM blast, check it out.

All you wanted to know about STEEM and more! It's the blockchain with Proof of Brain reward system.

Users value other users content. You like it, vote it up and the value will transform into money.

You're the best Tim, long live STEEM!

Shared this brilliant post on Twitter and Linked-in, great work Tim!

Really well written and detailed article!
Of course shared on Twitter: https://twitter.com/enzam01/status/1036721710718967809?s=20

Tim you out did yourself on this one great write up thanks big my friend.

Amazing read, so well thought through and written, and very encouraging as a user to read something like this coming from one of the top users.

Honestly i can't compare anything to steem. . Steem is specialized and tbh it will always have a place, unless another social media block chain tries to overtake Steem, but people like to go general over specialized. I think specialized is the play for blockchain platforms right now.
Thanks for sharing this awesome article. It's well written

Great timclicff publication.
You have done a great job in gathering the most valuable information about the steem blockchaim. It's only a matter of time for people give it the value that Steem really deserves.

Wow!…Your article cover up whole history of steemit.
Keep it up;)

A good and clear post, more info helps taking better decisions.
@timcliff may I translate this post to Spanish with your authorization? there are large Spanish communities in Steemit and this info must be read by everyone. Just let me know, Thank you and the whole Steem team because you are changing lifes forever, you can´t imagine how much and how many lifes have been changed so far THANK YOU

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You may, although I believe there are a few others working on this. Nothing wrong with multiple translations, but I also don't want wasted effort / double work if it is not necessary.

This was an incredibly helpful and informative post. I am so excited to be a part of steem during this wonderful time of expansion!!

A great summarize on how we use the Steem blockchain, both graphs of the features of STEEM and the history in comparison to other social medias are really remarkable. Awesome work!

Thank you for this very comprehensive report, with all the links. I am still working through all the articles in the links, I must say some of them are above my head, but nevertheless it is very informative.

Great article. Thanks for sharing. I have a better understanding of the business model.

Yes. Maybe some day Steem will go above $1 again. Hope so... some day

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I'm hoping it goes much higher :)

I've been trying to take time to learn about this platform and currency, you put tons of very good info here, easy upvote for me thanks so much

Wow - great article, like the blue paper + !

Resteemed and shared on twitter (although only to a measly 3K followers).

Posted using Partiko Android

What a great piece of information about Steem.
I appreciate all the details, it will also help me to get some info when presenting the project to newcomers.
Thank you!

Even though this is your own opinion, you have a good point of view! I believe in what you said and I believe in Steem Currency or Steemit. Crypto is still young, there's a lot more will happen very soon and I believe in the future of Cryptocurrency.

This is really a great post. I joined steem this year january and although steem has have his own ups and down, i never regret joining steemit and i hope to also continue on this great platform. This is a really a well wriiten post about steem and i love it. Thanks for sharing ths with us

Great article that really covers everything, the good and bad about this blockchain. Overall I am very positive about the future of Steem but the lack of communication last and early this year is still something that frustrate me since I think we could have been in a much better place. Nevertheless you are doing a great job and I hope the positive trend with regular communication from Steemit.Inc will continue.

Great article and summary of what STEEM is about !
I hope we’ll come close to the mainstream success other platforms had.

Posted using Partiko iOS

Wow, the amount of information in this post. I'm bookmarking this and it's a great thing to share with people if I introduce them to Steem and to join.

It's odd that I have only been earning Steem and steempower but no longer SBD?

Wow that was a post and a half. You have put in some serious effort thre and it does deserve a resteem

More information to go with. Thank you Tim Cliff for putting this together.

Steem just seems like a dream cryptocurrency.

Wow! What a wealth of good info @Tim cliff. And overall, it is positive to me. Just the right combo of tech details and a "high level" overview. Well done!

Fairly new "in here" and I have one critical question, if you wouldn't mind. Is the distribution of blocks to be produced by a particular witness "automated" somehow directly in the open-source code (by their ranking on the list)? Asked differently, are human agents involved in any way, in that process?

If this has already been addressed by you or someone somewhere, to protect your valuable time, just a link would be very much appreciated!

So as not to miss future posts like this, I am now following you. Also resteemed.

All the best to you, as we work to build the value of our Steem blockchain!👍

P.S. Am not clear on whether I can still upvote at this late hour. I have gone ahead and done it anyway, assuming worse-case scenario, there no negative consequences.

Posted using Partiko Android

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Blocks are scheduled in 21 block rounds. 20 of the 21 blocks are assigned to the top 20 witnesses, in a randomly selected order. The 21st block is assigned to one of the backup witnesses. The selection of the backup witness is a weighted random selection based on the amount of votes they have (i.e. witness 21 is more likely to be chosen than witness 22, since 21 has more votes). This is 100% automated.

Upvoting past the 7 day payout is allowed, but it doesn't affect the payout anymore.

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Thank you for the prompt response @timcliff!

Looks like a lot of "power" concentrated in the hands of the top 20 vs. any of the others. Ideally, to me, we should be promoting decentralization ...

I clearly need to read up on this more. And understand this better. I won't take up anymore of your valuable time.

Thanks again!

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