What is steem attempting to solve? (community question)
This basic question that we must all answer will end up being the working principal that should drive the community towards a common path and goal. There are multiple answers to this question, not all of which are correct.
As a 30K+ SP shareholder, I've invested significant sums of money and would like to see this platform succeed. But I find it difficult to understand what exactly success really means.
This blog is intended to explore my thoughts and hopefully find a common ground with the steem community on what we are trying to achieve. My initial thoughts were that we are trying to get crypto into the hands of the everyday people. i.e. Access and Distribution of Cryptocurrency
A Currency MUST be in the hands of many users to be useful
One of the main goals of any currency is to be in as many hands as possible so transactions can occur. So perhaps the answer to what problem steem is trying to solve, is how to freely distribute cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, I realized that this is a rather poor answer because the demand for any cryptocurrency as a replacement of fiat currency is extremely low. Partly because we live in a stable society in most parts of the world.
Current forms of money transfer are slow by crypto standards, but the reality is that it isn't as big of a problem as crypto enthusiast make it out to be. And that's largely because money transfer has been institutionalized by big banks. They have spent billions to create the infrastructure that exists today. The general population has little if any need to migrate away from credit card systems and if they did, they would do it themselves instead of letting someone else make the infrastructure.
But what if we aren't looking to replace these institutions? What if we're interested in something else? What if the real problem is that people don't have a way to credibly exists on the internet? Steem could solve that by way of SP, but that doesnt make too much sense either because you would have a considerable stake that's locked down in SP. We can be credible and poor, they are mutually exclusive things.
Let's look at steems motto. Get paid to blog.
Nothing worth doing is easy. Nor does it make money easily. Likewise, successful blogging is no easy tasks if you want to get paid for it. The reality is that 99% of the "blogs" on this platform are not worth anything but humor or a smile that an Instagram photo gets. A quick assessment would be to ask yourself what constitutes a successful blogger and if that measure of success can be replicated on other platforms. It won't take many people to realize that blogging for money, even if its cryptocurrency, is not generally feasible for the general public.
Key players who can share information in a coherent and organized way should be paid for their knowledge. Websites such as skillshare can do this successfully, but fall under the user paid subscription model. Steem wants to open that door for all users which is great until reality sets in and we realize that it is human nature to take advantage. Hence the community developed vote bots and continuously choose to "promote" blogs that do not exemplify steem's goal.
Much of the problem lies in inefficient use of resources which leads to masking of real issues. Public nodes have subsidize vote bots, allowing for ridiculous ROI's of 10-25%. In classical finance view, this is outrageous and there should have been an arbitrage to balance the ROI. That arbitrage never existed because the vote bots access to blockchain data has been subsidized by steemit inc.
Ironically, even when the nodes were (and still are) free, no one developed anything because the ROI on votebots was simply too easy to obtain. If vote buying users are now faced with a loss in order to "advertise", (which is the correct way to operate) , would it still be profitable? The answer would be based on the quality of the content. That puts us back to steemit's motto of "get paid to blog".
So what problem is steem trying to solve?