Gokul NK

@gokulnk

Building a case for “Steem Power Perpetual” SPP Token

For those of you who have not heard of Steem, it is “A protocol for enabling smart, social currency for publishers and content businesses across the internet”.

What is Steem

Steem is one of the very few blockchain projects out there with a working product that has been in use for more than two years and has more than a million users (10,27,790 users as on 2018–06–07T06:32:40.430Z).

Most of the people have a misconception that “www.steemit.com = STEEM” which is farthest from the truth. The irony is that even many of the users who have created accounts on www.steemit.com are also not aware of the difference.

www.steemit.com is just one website or interface for STEEM blockchain.

STEEEM is the underlying blockchain that empowers many websites and Dapps like steemit.com. There are many popular interfaces like www.busy.org, Esteem, https://d.tube/ , https://www.dlive.io/, https://join.utopian.io/ and https://alpha.steepshot.io/browse/hot

The challenge

After having used Steem for couple of months I can think of at-least a couple of challenges that the platform has. But the one important handicap from the perspective of using Steem/SMT for a third party application is the timelimit on earning potential of your posts. All payouts occur exactly 7 days after your post or comment is made. So only the up-votes you garner in the first 7 days materialise monetarily.

Steem has a duration for 7 days for deciding the worth of articles. we can look at it in two ways

  1. It is kind of agreeing that the life span of the articles are seven days.
  2. Steem incentivises new content on the platform.

Upvotes on Steem platform are a feedback mechanism to decide how the resource pool should be distributed amongst the contributors. When this is the case I don’t understand why we need to set a limit of 7 days for the upvotes. While the upvotes after seven days are not considered in distributing the resource pool amongst users who add value, that feature is still present. So it also opens up suspicions that the team might have kept it open to see how that works and may start taking the votes beyond 7 days into consideration for distributing rewards pool at a later stage.

An example from Lukestokes’ feed

For example if you take Lukestokes’ post about smart cash https://steemit.com/smartcash/@lukestokes/my-smartcash-story

you can see that there was a payout of $58.29 and there are 362 votes casted till date. By querying @steemsql I was able to find out that 228 votes led to a payout of $58.29. But there have been close to 134 votes that were cast after the payout time. Not many people are aware of the 7 day restrictions initially. Generally when they come across some good they up-vote under the assumption that the author would get some rewards which is not the fact.

Half Life of content

“Fresh orange slice in half on a rustic cutting board” by Jonathan Pielmayer on Unsplash

If you consider the half life of a facebook post or tweet the limit of 7 days might reasonable. But posts on Steem blockchain can be similar to facebook posts or tweets but most of the times they are similar to posts on medium which are longer in length and are generally like commentaries or tutorials. For posts of this nature the limit of 7 days seems to be a limiting factor.

Is this stifling adoption of Dtube

Even during comparison of d.tube with youtube.com this is one major shortcoming which I think is holding back d.tube from going mainstream. As a video content creator it is only fair that you expect to make revenues from the video over the long term and not just for the first week after creating the video. If you look at some videos on youtube you will realise that many good videos are not discovered for a long time but once it gains momentum it goes viral to break records.

Steem shouldn’t deprive good content of long term revenue generating opportunities

By sticking to the 7 days deadline we are limiting the revenue generating opportunities of Good content on the platform. If we need to have serious content writer and professionals from various fields then we need to address this. We were planning on building an application of late and Steem blockchain was a perfect fit as our produce was in the learning domains and content centric. But due to this 7 day limitation we have put it on hold and are searching for a better alternative.

Possible Reasons

I could only think of couple of reasons for this limit.

  1. It would have made sense to keep this limit in the initial stages of the platform as new content had to be incentivised. While this might have made sense in the initial stages, I think we should get rid of this limit now. I have also come across scenarios where people duplicated their content time and again as they had spend time in creating the post but they didn’t find enough audience first time around and though the post is getting upvotes post the payout time they are not rewarded any amount for the same. If we let go off this limit we can avoid this duplication of content. Also when writers know that there content has better revenue generation potential even if their content is discovered at a later, they will spend more time on research and making their articles worthy of readers time.
  2. If the limit is not kept then calculating the curation rewards might become too costly calculate. I am not sure if this is entirely true. Would be nice if somebody from the dev team can verify this.

Solutions

I am not sure if removing the limit altogether is a feasible solution. So my suggestion is to create a new token called “Steem Power Perpetual” which would be in addition to current set of Steem, SB and Steem Power Tokens. This can be an inflationary currency so that the existing reward pools are not affected. There can be a separate rewards pool of SPP tokens which will be distributed on similar rules as that of Steem Power but it would account all the votes casted after the previous SPP Payout. Since this is an additional long term token the vesting periods for this can be much longer and also to reduce the computational load the calculations can be done every month or so. Users will get paid in this token towards the end of each month which will also give them a feeling of fixed returns. As the articles get more popular and SEO friendly these articles will also have more scope of fetching higher monthly payout. Quality articles which are timeless will have better potential for earning SPP.

How will these SPP tokens gain value and how much they be valued.

“A one dollar bill leaning against the wall on a glossy surface” by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Like any other token the value of this token will be based on demand & supply and utility. Since this an additional and long term token people who feel that having high quality timeless content on the platform will increase the value of the platform can start staking these tokens. Since I am of this opinion I wont mind buying these tokens from various authors. To make sure that authors don’t have a lockin may we can have a lock in after the first transfer. That is the first person who receives the tokens will not have a lock in but the person to whom he sells will have a lock in. I am not sure how feasible this is, but whats the harm in thinking out loud :P

Can you think of any utilities for this coin which can increase the valuation of the coin?

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