After @llfarms opened the discussion on Steemian’s vision for Steem about a month ago I’ve been wanting to take part with my own view. The problem has been that I wasn’t sure how all of my thoughts really aligned together. I know what brought me here and why that had value to me. What I haven’t been sure of is what the real value of the platform is and why I keep holding these tokens over things that I view as more valuable financially.
If you didn’t already know I’ve long viewed that the only money that has true sound value is Bitcoin. I’m very confident in that fact. That being said I still find value in Steem’s ability to provide an uncensorable communication tool. This was especially true when Google+ dropped my collection on Bitcoin news that I had worked hard to build a very strong following on. Having a place where I could post whatever I wanted, about whatever I wanted, to a large community meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about sharing within a community who’s administrator could deny me access to.
With that bit of background before us I want to use this time to brainstorm in my own mind what I see in Steem. I don’t want you to expect this to be financial advice or honestly even technology advice. It’s honestly probably not going to even come across as a very coherently written idea. It will however give me the means to see what I think my vision is and, hopefully, document why I arrive at that decision.
Researching Other Visions
I like the idea of sharing ideas. When I look back at history I can often feel amazed at how quickly we’ve advanced as a civilization and I credit this, nearly directly, to opening communication lines. Sharing and validating others opinions and reasoning can help you merge their logic and find your own path towards truth with a better foundation than what you may have started with. That’s why before I decided to write out my own thoughts I wanted to sit down and read other Steemian’s visions.
Note: Don’t take my excerpts of these great Steemians for any value or representation. Instead please check out each author’s vision for yourself and you’ll find much more insightful thoughts than I could attempt to pass along. These are just pieces that stood out to me and may have helped shape my Steem vision.
Since @justineh started this trend I figured it’d be best to begin by viewing her opinion and seeing where the base format for this post derived from. After reviewing I really liked how she referenced that Steem can be a place for crypto newbs to come. I share this mentality and it actually is a key reason why I don’t like the idea of removing any content rewards from the inflation pool. Distributing to the same pool of content producers allows everyone to compete for the same dilution.
I then jumped over to @exyle’s D.Tube video about his vision. I often find a lot of his thoughts insightful and appreciate his content. He talked about how Steem enables multiple visions within it and that it all comes tied back to being stored to your one account. You get all of the benefits of everyone’s vision but you don’t necessarily have to be tied into their services or community.
This seemed to be echoed in a part of @whatsup post when she talked about Steem’s diversity of apps for varying levels of content. More importantly she hit on a key fundamental for me that the platform is open and that anyone can participate.
@theycallmedan also hit on the idea of Steem being an immutable home-base. Sure you could create your own content home-base by running your own website but there’s a value in connecting your home to the wider neighborhood. This was the whole idea behind web 2.0 and why connecting together enabled a higher participation than interacting on single websites.
I really appreciated @paulag’s viewpoint towards Steem as a tool for enterprise. I really liked the classification outlining Steem as an intangible asset. It was an excellent written piece.
What is Steem?
While I found value initially as a communication tool there is much more to Steem than just finding a way to send out your content. Steem is the foundation for the world’s best public information distribution systems that currently exists. This is because Steem incentivizes user interaction through the distribution of tokens to users who provide valuable information for the network. These tokens are what powers the user’s resources to interact with the network but also their influence towards the communities their tokens represent. This means that power is constantly being diluted and thus encourages them to continue to provide as much valuable information to their communities as possible.
While this information initially was focused around content it has recently changed to data as well. This makes Steem a direct competitor to other data processing networks like Ethereum or EOS despite having a different data processing technique that relies less on trustlessness and more on distributed systems. This means that, to me, Steem is actually on it’s way to not only being one of the best public information distribution systems but also one of the best systems for organizing computational systems that is available.
I think that Steem has been on this new path for a while now though I would argue that the introduction of Hardfork 20 is what finally made it a viable option to say that it is no longer just about content. The reason I give HF20 so much credit is for it’s introduction of Resource Credits. If you’re not familiar, RC allow for allocating network resources in the form of a standardized value derived from your Steem Power. This gave Steem a governance model that allowed for charging for allocating resources based on their computational costs.
My Steem Vision
I view Steem as a cooperative business built not atop contracts and business law but rather through the use of computational value. We are each earning shares of the business (Steem) based upon existing vested shareholders (Steem Power) determination of our contribution to the network. The amazing part is that anyone can join the coop and begin contributing and thus earning a portion of the company in return!
The goal of this coop is to bring information into it and organize that information for the entire world to be able to access regardless of membership to our coop. Think Google but utilizing direct shareholder voting for all business decisions on what company projects are rewarded with our newest levels of growth (inflationary rewards pool) instead of electing business executives to operate the business.
We aim to achieve this vision by splitting information into different communities. These communities may be simply a community tag such as /art or a more curated community information source through tokenization models that determine that particular community’s structure for processing information.
Regardless of organizational structure, all of this information is then stored in an immutable ledger that is open for the entire world to access and process in their own preferred method. We replace the concept of trusted oracles for information with distributed data provided by mass consensus.
That’s where my vision leads. I view Steem’s value proposition as providing a network where anyone can share events of their lives and contribute towards an overall consensus of the world’s events. This can then be applied to each post creating a massive knowledge graph that can act to serve as oracle from events across the globe.
What it means to be an oracle
This application will be far more valuable than anyone could dare understand when smart contracts are running the world yet need trusted sources of data as inputs. We have a system that can track trust over the life of an account’s growth meaning that accounts that have spent years providing valuable, trusted information will be able to serve information in return for value.
Imagine being the most trusted Los Angeles Lakers fan and being teamed with other trusted fans to record scores. Anyone wishing to wager will value your community’s approval of the scoring events. They would be wise to agree to a consensus of the top fans earning a portion of the pot of their wager in return for bringing a consensus to the actual event.
While I used sports as an easy example it could be far more than that. I could write example after example of where social consensus can be extremely valuable but that doesn’t mean that Steem is guaranteed to be successful. Instead we must focus on a vision of providing this goal and introduce tools that could better read this data.
What is your vision for Steem? How do you see it fitting in the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem? Share your thoughts by sending out your own post using #steemvision and let me know what you think of my ramblings in the comments below!