Will Steem developers fix/upgrade the Steem Dollar? (Multicollateral Steem)

Now we know from the design of multi collateral Dai and other similar projects that it is possible to have a stable token. In particular the Steem Dollar was supposed to at minimum hold the peg to the USD. The Steem Dollar failed entirely, both to hold the peg to the USD and failed to provide any interest for those holding the Steem Dollar which further reduced it's popularity.

My argument in favor of upgrading the Steem Dollar is based on the facts below:

  • SMT launch is now imminent. This gives an opportunity to focus development resources on the Steem Dollar and on producing a stable token for Steem..
  • SMTs can be applied to potentially back the Steem Dollar or any future stable tokens which launch on Steem.
  • The launch of a stable token on Steem can be achieved using the new Steem Proposal System and I highly recommend someone produce a proposal for this purpose.
  • It is my understanding that the main product Steem offered was not Steem Power but the Steem Dollar and this is shown in the charts of 2017 where the Steem Dollar spiked to over $10 showing that at the time there was a lot of demand for a stable token. Steem in my opinion squandered this opportunity and Tether took the volume instead. 

My conclusion and recommendation

Someone in the Steem community who is reading this will you please create a proposal to create a multicollateral Dai equivalent on Steem? If it is possible to port multi collateral Dai to Steem by working with the maker team then let's do that and if not then I would be willing to vote for any proposal which will promise a stable token which also provides at least 4% annual interest.

Comments 19

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14.10.2019 12:43

Many are calling for SBD to be scrapped but I think it will have its place now with SMTs it would make for a relatable pairing if fixed for the internal trading market! It also helps make ecommerce for goods and services easier for consumers and businesses

I think SBD is a viable part of the ecosystem and if we can have more use cases it can showcase why we need it

14.10.2019 13:10

If SBD is scrapped so is Steem. Without a stable token there is no reason to hold your wealth in Steem when the value could drop by 40% or even 100%.

14.10.2019 13:36

Once upon a time there was an incentive to hold your wealth in STEEM POWER and earn interest and rewards for curation. HF17-20 killed that scheme.

14.10.2019 13:41

So fix it. We have Steem Proposal System but can't use it for something like this?

14.10.2019 13:59

It would be nice but don't hold your breath.

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14.10.2019 13:17

Right but you realize Steem was around before Maker. So why is Maker so much more competent? Also why not use the Steem proposal system for something useful to benefit all of Steem? I cannot think of anything more beneficial.

14.10.2019 13:39

You might be one of the best people to make a proposal for this @dana-edwards.

Are you a developer?

14.10.2019 14:40

I can code, and I'll help come up with the proposal, but I don't want to be the developer. I think there are plenty of much more skilled developers in the community more suited for that.

I think creating the proposal needs to be collaborative. I've put my ideas in my blog and my latest is this: https://goldvoice.club/steem/@dana-edwards/fix-upgrade-the-steem-dollar-toward-a-proposal

Not only is Stable Steem feasible, but a full decentralized derivatives exchange is feasible, using lessons from the paper I cite in that post. in fact there are multiple other papers which show how to properly do pegged assets and derivatives but for some reason Steem developers don't want to go that route.

I suggest applying layer 2 to this so that we don't even have to trust the redeemers.

14.10.2019 16:47

Thank you for sharing your ideas @dana-edwards.

14.10.2019 21:10

DAI is a different kind of beast. SBD leverages on witnesses to maintain the peg, which they failed to do so because many profitted from the broken peg or argued that an SBD with a price >1$ was good for the platform, because "heh, high price is good!". There were even discussions about whether or not to retain the peg or leave it 'float', how shortsighted is that? I think you are dreaming too high and asking for too much. Sorry to pinch your baloon but I've lost faith in this platform already.

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14.10.2019 13:35

Why? Why not try to save the platform? Why do you post on the platform if you lost all hope?

14.10.2019 13:37

It is my opinion that for an asset that has the objective of being a stable pair for another one (in this case USD) using a volatile one as collateral (steem) it has to have a backing of at least 2 to 1.

The changes introduced in HF20 had the aim of preventing SBD to be overpriced by removing the mechanism that prevented the printing of more SBD when the open market was overvaluing it.

We all know what the end result was...during the bear market SBD holders had the incentive to convert their asset to steem and sell it on the open market to prevent or mitigate losses and in the process increased the effective inflation of steem to 17% creating more selling pressure for the underlying token further eroding the peg.

In it's current form SBD is just a source of instability for steem and it should be ditched or fixed.

The idea of having multiple tokens as collateral is good in theory only if the backing assets are not correlated. Being that the crypto market pretty much moves in the same direction regardless of which coin you are looking at I don't believe that it would make much of a difference.

The problem with paying interest is that it has to come from somewhere. Banks are able to do that because they charge a fee on their loans. DAI charges a stability fee if you want to close your CDP. In essence MAKER acts as a bank that loans the value of one USD to all the parties that open CDPs.

In a way the steem blockchain charges a fee to anyone that converts their SBD if you aqcuire it above it's intended value or if the debt ratio exceeds 10% since you would not be getting back the value of one dollar if you do it (assuming that you buy it when it's priced at one USD).

A conversion under those conditions in a stable or bull market is beneficial to steem holders as it would be equivalent to burning steem. In light of the fact that the market is prone to downsings and in a long term downtrend it backfires (remember the 17% inflation we had in the last year) I am in favor of using a different pegging mechanism.

What I propose is the following:

  • Have a 2 to 1 backing.
  • Remove the virtual supply and instead create a hard coded smart contract where 10% of the inflation is used to create sbd.
  • Cap the issuance of sbd to 5% of the supply (this would ensure a 2 to 1 backing).
  • Allow anyone to create sbd by sending steem to the smart contract in a similar way as how bitshares and Maker do it with BitUSD and DAI.
  • Pay interest but only if the external price of sbd is above a certain threshold (this could be a dinamic mechanism that uses the witness price feed to estimate the rate to be paid).
14.10.2019 18:45

My argument is that Steem being the exclusive backing for Steem Dollars is why the peg couldn't hold. It was based entirely on the assumption that Steem itself could hold value without anything backing Steem. Maker works because there is multi collateral which is set to back it so it's not like Maker Dai is going to be backed exclusively by Maker tokens.

And this is basic derivatives. You don't really need 2:1 to hold a peg. You just need a better underlying asset. For example if you used actual USD to back BitUSD then it would hold the peg. Because BitUSD was backed by BTS is like trying to build a house on a shaky foundation. So my suggestion is build the house on as stable of a foundation as you can (which isn't really going to be USD elusively) and if you want to see how to do it right just look at the Libra whitepaper which explains exactly the right way.


14.10.2019 20:15

Maker works because there is multi collateral which is set to back it so it's not like Maker Dai is going to be backed exclusively by Maker tokens.

Currently DAI is not backed by multiple assets...yet. The upgrade that will allow this is scheduled to go live on November 18th so that is not the reason it has held the peg. In addition to being over-collaterized the stability fee and the DAI savings rate play a role in maintaining the peg.

In the end these financial instruments can only hold the peg if the underlying asset(s) have enough stability and value to back them up. As I mentioned before I am still not convinced that multicollateral backing is enough to achive this. In my opinion you need a basket of assets that are not correlated in addition to an adjustable interest rate that can influence the supply and demand for the stable coin.

14.10.2019 22:53

All of your points are valid and I agree. This is why we need more discussion.

15.10.2019 13:29

Some ideas you present are not bad. The idea of letting people generate SBD by sending Steem to the smart contract is good. The problem, why limit it to Steem? What backs Steem then? If Steem were backed by SMTs and not just generated out of thin air then this might work but when Steem is being generated out of thin air of course it doesn't work.

Interest has to be paid for the simple reason that if you are pegging to something unstable like the USD then you are already losing wealth for anyone who holds their life savings in that peg. If there is no interest then no one will be willing to choose this over Dai or over a lot of other better things like gold. I do know you need a plan to generate the interest and this can be generated and the revenue from that generation shared as interest.

14.10.2019 20:25

This post has been included in the 203rd edition of The Steem News - a compilation of the key news stories on the Steem blockchain.

15.10.2019 21:34