Thoughts on Voice

in #voice2 years ago (edited), the company behind EOS development, has announced Dan has been hyping "Steem 2.0" for an eternity now. This is it.

How is it? No idea, mate. Thus far, we have a teaser at best. That said, it does give us some indications that Dan isn't going to make the same mistakes he did with Steem again. I appreciate that a focus is on solving much of Steem's problems:

Eliminating the stake-weighted system. To put it simply, every last bit of Steem's problems stems from this system. Some have come to accept it as a "necessarily evil", but it's just pure evil. Ned realised that, and started working on an SMT + Oracle + democratic voting system. I'm skeptical that the Oracle system was ever going to scale. Voice has an altogether different solution, with some way to verify each user as an individual. They don't say how they'll do it, but knowing Dan, the odds are on it being some overtly complicated method that'll lose all mainstream audience in the process. Some rumours suggest it'll use WebAuthn. Either way, like both Ned and Dan, I've come to accept that identity verification is a necessary step to blockchain-base social networking, even if there's significant friction.

Eliminating regressive economics. Steem's other fundamental issue is the ninja-mine that led to rampant inequality. Whilst inequality decreased for the first year or so as the initial miners sold and moved on, things are now trending back in the wrong direction, and it'll always be far worse than the most centralized autocracies today (i.e. Brunei). Added with the stake-weighted abomination, this has meant that the rich are incentivized to abuse the system and get richer.

Voice plans to solve this by holding no ICOs, no ninja mines, and distributing tokens only for social media activity. What a concept! (Just kidding, it's the bleeding obvious.)

There's one potential drawback to this approach - hyperinflation. But I'll reserve any further comments till the economics of token distributions is revealed.

Gamification. In short, turning social media into a pay-to-win system. Or, bidding for advertising, put another way. I'm really impressed with this as a sustainable demand driver. Unlike bidbotting, there's a cost to advertising yourself; but like bidbotting, there's an addictive game to play. It's not gambling either, because if you lose, you get your tokens back plus more. I can't stress how important this is - it's going to decide whether Voice has sustainable economics or not.

Addendum: I should also point out that, crucially, there's no conflict of interest between investors and content creators like we have on Steem. Everyone is selling or buying attention of some kind, and there's no other way of profiteering.

Social media comes of age. A month ago, I had written about Why blockchain social?. My conclusion was that stuff like Steem was a puerile attempt at it, whereas really, the primary benefit was tokenisation, which is something Voice seems to pursue as seen above.

You'll note that there's no mention of "decentralisation" or "censorship-resistance". Whilst a tiny, tiny niche of decentalisation purists are fawning over these buzzwords, the mainstream sees the lack of moderation as an invitation to trolls, hateful people, and other illegal content running rampant. Reading between Dan's lines, it's pretty clear there's going to be some form of moderation or dispute resolution system on Voice.

There's other stuff that's more in tune with the times, i.e. focusing on mobile, microblogging, etc.

Whether any of this works, remains to be seen.

What about Steem? Steem isn't going away anytime soon, but with the coming of Voice, it definitely has an existential identity crisis it needs to resolve. Based on the limited information we have, Steem either has to double down on catering to a tiny niche, or execute a clean slate overhaul to compete with Voice. In its current form, Steem is undoubtedly the more "pure" decentralized system, while Voice is attempting to be an actual social network.

My bias is that I want a social network, and thus, Voice is attempting to cater to my demands. I wish Steem would too, but based on the witnesses' and Steemit Inc's actions thus far, it doesn't seem like anyone wants to build a social network here; but rather a decentralized market of content even if anti-social. That's fine, and I'm sure Steem can carve out its own niche.

PS: I was being unfair. SMTs + Oracles + democratic voting is definitely an attempt at being a less anti-social network, but it seems to be low on the priority list now.

TL;DR: I'm pleasantly surprised to see Voice attempt to address most of Steem's problems and be an actual social network, but I remain sceptical of its efficacy till I see it in action.

Disclaimer: I hold a significant amount of STEEM tokens. I hold zero EOS tokens.


I like your insight. Balanced as usual. What I'm most interested in is seeing if b1 can pull off the invisbility of the blockchain. People tend to become bleary eyed the moment you mention blockchain and social media in the same sentence.

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That is exactly what they are doing. There's not even one instance of the words "blockchain", "cryptocurrency", "decentralised", or "censorship-resistance" used on their website. It's all deliberate. This is what maturation looks like.

I have been hoping for years now that people here would stop using these utterly silly, childish buzzwords and focus on appealing to the mainstream audience.

Things we could learn:

There was 0 tech talk.
They talked to mainstream
They painted their vision
They hit the hot topic pain points of mainstream social media.

They downplayed money, but mentioned it

We are busy eliminating our community

No doubt about it, they are marketing directly to the mainstream. This should be so obvious, to gain mainstream adoption, you have to talk to the mainstream audience.

I'm in the middle of watching a video of Dan talk about his development of BTS, then Steem and now EOS, he does seem to be learning from his mistakes.

Someone recently. described Steem as 'socialism for the rich' - which sounds about right, AND it's a worse form of socialism for the rich than the bail-outs in 2008 - it takes fewer people here to agree to use the system to reward mainly themselves no matter how little they do/ how much shit they cause.

You could look at the proposed changes like this - reside over a shit system that encourages abuse, the top 100 get stinking rich why the platform value declines - this leads to slightly less for the rich - they tweak it again so as to kill of the emerging middle class and earn themselves a bit more.

It's system collapse isn't it?

Unless we've already had that and we're the few weirdos clinging on irrationally?

I'll be keeping an eye on Voice. Especially now that I've realised I did stake my EOS successfully - I don't have much, but I really like the concept of actually 'owning' part of the RAM.

Hopefully The Voice will allow for new account creation with names of less or more than 12 letters, otherwise it probably won't go anywhere just because of that - people tend to like their names.

"Socialism for the rich" is a hilarious oxymoron. But it's true of the "bad socialism" we have seen in the last century, and Steem is no different.

Lol, the system collapsed a long time ago, in 2017. As for the proposed changes, it's just lipstick-on-a-pig. Whether that makes the pig look better, you decide, but still remains a pig. What we need is a complete overhaul from scratch, and that's what Voice is doing.

Nothing wrong being weirdos, or should I say... divergent from the norm. Just realise that if you make a platform for a certain niche, it'll remain a niche platform.

While I'm clinging on, I don't see that as irrational, since I'm not here for tokens, but for the market that tokenization might bring censorship resistance. Personally, I see potential to be rid of some of the plague of profiteers if Steem is wrung dry of substantial value by those profiteers and abandoned by them. I expect there will be an aftermath of such a collapse. We'll see how things work out.

I agree with your overall thoughts here, but full KYC with government docs needed and full name displayed on platform (all things coming directly from him) is something you would go for?

I get the need to solve the identity issue and that most people in mainstream have no issue with a bit of “proof of human”, but full KYC to use a social platform?

I can’t help but feel that focus is a bit extreme.

I can't find any official information for exclusively requiring "full KYC with government docs", just random chat logs and hearsay. That certainly does not qualify to be the "special authentication system" that they are promoting. I'll reserve judgment on the matter till we have full and final details on their methods of authentication.

PS: Oh, you're @llfarms!

True, no official documentation. I am just going off of what Dan personally stated when asked about it. That all of course could very much change.


Again, this opens many doors for blockchain.. especially government contract doors which if I was a gambler would say that is where their goals are.

I get the identity issue needs to be solved, but it does feel quite odd for full identity to be displayed as well as needing full KYC.. but then again, you can’t have an election on the blockchain without that I guess. 🙂

oh, you’re llfarms!

Yes, sorry I should have gave you a heads up! Haha. I hope you are doing well!

Yes, I saw the some of the same logs, but after I published the post. We shall see how it turns out. Like I mentioned in the post, I fully expect it's something cumbersome that'll alienate much of the mainstream audience, which something like this would. I'd love to be pleasantly surprised though, so I'll wait and see what the final solution looks like, which countries it'll be available in, etc.

Hope all's well!

From the business/investment perspective, today was a great day to be an EOS investor. What a show! They showed to the crypto world that EOS team is strong and innovating, they showed a potential use case for EOSIO. Trying to look like Apple and Steve Jobs lol, I think was impressive. And also getting Coinbase to endorse them, is a big score for EOS team. Steem community has been begging Steemit Inc for years now to do a fraction of what EOS pulled off.

In my opinion, it is a case of two extremes. Steemit Inc pulled itself away for complete decentralization, let the community decide what happens. Voice seems like will be somewhat centralized, otherwise not sure how they are going to achieve what they are promising. I agree, there are more questions now as to how they are going to implement. But it does sound interesting.

I still think the stake-weighted system can work with a proper economic system. Maybe a little bit of competition will bring forward innovation and forward thinking.

In light of this news, I saw an article with some positive remarks​ about Steem here.

Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

Yes, there's no doubt that is doing a decent job marketing their products. I remain skeptical about EOS as a network, but their software is pretty good.

The prudent approach is going to be a combination of centralisation and decentralisation going forward. Get the best of what both methods have to offer. Centralised layers on top of a decentralised platform is the clear trend going forward. Even Steem is dabbling in it with Hivemind.

I'm not going to beat this stake-weighted dead horse any further... If you can make it work, it'll be the first plutocratic system in the history of human civilisation to work, and surely worthy of a Nobel prize.

Now you mention the Nobel prize, I will need to think/work hard on it :). If only there was enough time for everything. I know I could make it work if I was a whale :). All it takes is a million SP and a vision. I think there are some visionaries emerging who will take Steem to the next level. As I told you at the beginning​ of the year, this year will be good for Steem. I hope.

You told me in 2017 that I should stay. It's been all of 2018 and half of 2019, and things are still going downhill. While you're free to your own religious beliefs, all the evidence points to the contrary.

PS: Of course, depends on what you want from Steem. I want a social network. With downvote wars incoming, I'm getting the hell out of here. You may see it as a "necessary evil", but I want no part of evil. I'll still hold on to my STEEM as I think that'll appreciate, though.

lol, you are confusing reasons for each year. 2017, 18 were for your wisdom and guidance. For 2019 I specifically said it will be a good year for Steem. It is already happening. I think and hope. :)

I want the same thing you want, a ​ social network that works. When I see evil I run. I tend to focus on good though​ and ignore the evil.

How do we get you to power up your Steem? :) lol joke. But seriously trading steem is probably more profitable than powering up.

Seriously? Half the year is over, and the community is more divided than ever. I hope there's some miraculous turnaround, but it's best to learn from the past and be realistic. Even if there's said miraculous turnaround, given how bad first half of 2019 has been, it's only going to be an average year, lol.

I'll power up millions when/if everything is overhauled to be democratic and sustainable.

Miracles do happen. :) If it doesn’t happen feel free to mute, ban, and undollow.

You should write a post for a perfect stake-weighted system on a social network.

I have written for years about how stake-weighted is abysmal garbage. I think at this point even its proponents agree it's bad but a "necessary evil".

That the two people who created it are rushing to abandon it should speak volumes.

Also, I'm not unfollowing you unless you take a dark turn into being a tinfoil anarchist.

In steem platform we can earn but in voice we can earn voice tokens but will not be able to sell it.
Anyway I just see steem platform as a mirror of our everyday life and we just have to look at its bright side.

What makes you think so? I'm sure Voice tokens will be listed on exchanges.

only thing that makes sense in their vision is if Voice tokens could be exchanged for eos on some kind of internal platform, if you can buy them then whole concept of people decide what is good and not algorithms, money and corporations, crumbles. If you can buy tokens then money decides what is popular. and in few months you get steem trending page.

If you can sell them, then someone can buy them.

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When Dan was here he said that's he's hating that stakes, working in B1 he said (a couple of hours ago) that he is against kyc. Being libertarian is so difficult I guess)) It's not him, it's evil companies where he is working are making bad moves))

It's not companies that are evil, it's people. Being liberatarian would be a lot easier if people were benevolent.

will U pass the kyc on Voice?

We don't know if they require KYC. We'll see what their verification system is like when it's released.

as far as I understand, If one wants to claim their rewards, he should make complete kyc

Maybe so, I'm not able to find enough information. We shall see what the final verification methods turn out to be.

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The solution I have read that @dan is implementing is biometric ID. That's totally a dealbreaker for me. I will never use biometric ID voluntarily. The risk of being hacked is lifelong compromise, and could actually prove existentially harmful. No potential benefits from using social media outweigh that risk to me.

"...the mainstream sees the lack of moderation as an invitation to trolls, hateful people, and other illegal content running rampant."

Censors always reveal their weakness, since their inability to sustain factual reality is their need to censor. That may put me in a niche group, but it is based on facts, rather than some need to be one with a herd which imparts unnecessary risk. Herds are possible to corral, and thus subject to being slaughtered en masse, metaphorically speaking, at least.

I'll live with the risks facts impose, since the real world isn't safe, never has been, and never will be. Only those dependent on false security - security theater - need reality to be censored.


Yes, that certainly puts you in a niche group. Voice has broader ambitions to target the mainstream.