It has been a rough month or so for cryptos and STEEM, but potentially big things are coming!
The Steem blockchain has seen some positive press and price action recently, but it hasn't been enough to overcome the general downtrend in the cryptocurrency markets, mostly led by Bitcoin. It would be great to see more decoupling among "alt" coins and Bitcoin - to have on- and off-ramps directly between STEEM and local currencies. But as it stands, nearly all coins will continue to be steered by the sentiment and volatility of Bitcoin.
For now, we can only ride out the downtrends and hope that Bitcoin can either get its act together or that traders begin to actually look for valuation metrics in viable blockchains. There seems to be a lot of hope and hype when it comes to cryptocurrencies and their respective blockchain development (or lack of development) and it's something that should eventually correct as the technology and markets mature. The one benefit we have here with the Steem blockchain is that the viability is being proven daily, the user base continues to grow, transactions remain fast and free, and the network has become the largest in terms of daily transactions...all while still operating at far less than 1% of its capacity.
If we were to compare the STEEM price to the top cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash - there is still some rather large upside potential. The lowest market cap of these four (Bitcoin Cash, or B-Cash...Hi, Roger Ver!) is currently ~$15 billion. If STEEM reached that valuation in the crypto markets, the STEEM price would be over $50. At an Ethereum-level market cap, we would be looking at over $250 per STEEM. While these prices may not be likely any time soon, it is possible that the Steem blockchain can see similar valuations based on actual utility and use.
However, there's still a long way to go and plenty of work to be done. So on that note, let's get into some project updates.
News and Announcements
In my last witness update, I announced that I would be working with the Steem Poker League (@spl) to bring sports contests and possibly fantasy sports to their site, Lucksacks.com. The idea is to offer both the sports and poker communities an opportunity to earn chips through a variety of poker freerolls and free-entry sports contests. These chips can then be used for buy-in games and exclusive sports contests - all on the same site with its verified users. Development for both poker and sports is ongoing at this time and we hope to begin early testing of sports formats in the next month.
In the meantime, I began sponsoring a weekly poker tournament on Lucksacks.com - the SPL @ats-witness 20 SBD Freeroll. This is a weekly Saturday tournament that pays out a minimum of 20 SBD in prizes with additional SBD given out for "bounties" on other players. You can find league information and the latest post about this tournament here: ATS-Witness 20 SBD Freeroll - Saturday, February 3rd
This is going to be a fun project to work on and I hope the community can see the value that it can add to the blockchain and the network overall.
But wait! There's more!
I am also currently in early development of a new web app for Steem that will take contests and photography to the next level! I don't want to give too much away right now, but what is under development is a proven model that can attract large numbers of people to our blockchain via social media due to its widespread appeal. And not only could this become a huge draw for non-Steem users to join the platform, but there will also be a component to it where users may be able to actually spend the Steem currencies on-site.
The team for this project is being assembled now. Coding has already begun. Web/Interface design will begin soon and updates on the project will come when we have something to show. These are exciting times!
Make sure that you stay tuned for updates on all projects!
Since launch of the @ats-witness node on November 21, 2017, zero blocks have been missed. It continues to run near-flawlessly on a 32GB RAM server with no observed downtime. I have held off on upgrading to 64GB for now, but will likely upgrade this month or next month, unless there happens to be an enormous drop in user activity over that period.
My interest rate parameter is still 0% at this time, as Steem Dollars are still trading well above the intended $1.00 peg. My price feed bias will also remain at 400% for now, despite the current downtrend across the crypto markets in general. Until I see confirmation that prices are indeed in a downtrend outside of the current market-wide trend, or unless the existing or new tools are used/implemented to address the pegging issues, my bias parameter will remain as is. I will continue to monitor prices and make any adjustments as needed.
Rewards from my last witness update were 37.985 SBD and 6.62 STEEM Power. I transferred 38 SBD to my @ats-david account for recurring witness expenses and associated project costs. The SP has remained in this account.
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