Hardfork 0.20.0, codenamed Velocity, it's scheduled to be implemented on September 25th at 11 AM, EST, pending a super-majority approval (17 out of 21 witnesses must agree).
Despite the fact that this hardfork will NOT implement the long awaited Smart Media Tokens, it will drastically change the way the Steem blockchain works. Most of the changes are for the best. To be honest, all of them are positive, in my view, and just a few are somehow still open to discussion, but none of the major ones.
After perusing the official announcement, I decided to make another translation from Tech to English, leaving out what I considered to be either too abstract, or too technical for my usual audience.
The changes are organized by areas and there are 5 areas in total: Blockchain Interaction, Account Creation, Curation, Blockchain Economics and Development.
Let's take them one at a time.
1. Blockchain Interaction Area
These are changes related to how the users are interacting with the blockchain, from posting to getting rewards.
Resource Credits Instead Of Bandwidth
The current bandwidth allocation system will be replaced with a new one, based on Resource Credits. I wrote extensively about this here, a few weeks ago.
Comments Every 3 Seconds
As of now, there is a 20 seconds buffer between 2 comments (an anti-spam measure). This will be replaced with a 3 second limit, which is basically every block.
Beneficiary To Be Paid In Mixed Tokens Too
That means SBD/STEEM and Steem Power and not only Steem Power. As of now, if you set a beneficiary to a post, they will be paid only in Steem Power.
2. Account Creation Area
These are changes related to how user accounts are created on the Steem blockchain.
Creating Accounts Using Resource Credits
On top of being able to create accounts by spending STEEM or Steem Power, users will be able to pay for a new account with Resource Credits. This means they may potentially pay nothing (if they generate enough RC from their activity) for a new account creation.
Discounted Tokens Pool
Every account created like this consumes a special token form a token pool, which will be controlled by witnesses. Furthermore, the price - in RC - of such a token may vary based on supply and demand. So the cost will not be linear, but decided by the market.
Burning The Delegation Power
The delegation power account creation won't be possible anymore, because the Steem Power used to create a new account will be destroyed / burned (technically sent to the null account)
3. Curation Area
These changes are related to how users are receiving curation based rewards.
Smaller Reverse Auction Window
The current reverse auction window will be reduced from 30 minutes to 15 minutes.
Redistributing The Self-Voting Curation Rewards To The Rewards Pool
If you vote your own content within the reverse auction window, you will be getting 100% of your voting power, a part of the curation from other voters and the actual rewards from being voted. With HF20, the self-voting curation rewards will be redistributed to the rewards pool (basically they will increase the potential rewards of all the users on the blockchain)
4. Blockchain Economics Area
These are changes related to how the tokens are created and what are the inflation / deflation rules.
New SBD Printing Rate
HF 20 will introduce a new SBD printing scenario: between 9% and 10% the printing will go linearly from 100% to 0%. Meaning that between 1% and 9% SBD will be printed normally. The idea is to maintain a 9% debt to ownership ratio. This change seems to be dictated by market factors, which saw in SBD a very attractive speculation vehicle.
These are changes related to the actual development of the platform.
Testnet Before Public
Although this may seem like a very minor thing, I want to point out that this is the first hardfork (in 19) where third party devs (like me, for instance) can have access to such a tool. I see this like a sign of Steem becoming a mature community (Ethereum had a testnet from its very early days).
And that's pretty much it. Like I said, a lot of changes. In my opinion, all these changes will contribute to a much smoother onboarding experience, which is something that the Steem blockchain really, really needs if we have any ambition of going mainstream.
Again, if you want to read a detailed description of all the changes, please have a look at the official announcement.
I'm a serial entrepreneur, blogger and ultrarunner. You can find me mainly on my blog at Dragos Roua where I write about productivity, business, relationships and running. Here on Steemit you may stay updated by following me @dragosroua.
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