Let's Talk About Decentralisation


We like to think that cryptocurrency, for the most part, is decentralised. We are told by those that create them that the network is a decentralised network in which the users are responsible for change and improvements to the network. While some stick to that more than others, the truth is, they're lying to you. None of it is truly decentralised.

Since the bear market began we've seen massive losses across the world of cryptocurrency. Many have simply been killed off as a lack of interest in a constantly shifting market, regardless of what that cryptocurrency had originally offered. While that is the case, many cryptocurrencies have managed to not just survive, but maintain a lot of their value.

While hundreds of cryptocurrencies saw massive growth in both users and market price during the bull market, most were met with that growth not only disappearing, but decreasing from its original numbers. It's fairly simple as to why: the central authority that governed the cryptocurrency did nothing to innovate and hold in those users. The features they offered to begin with were simply nothing of value.

Steemit Inc is one of many central authorities that had saw massive growth and price movement as a result of the bull market, but had done absolutely nothing during that time to welcome such users in. It relied entirely on the market price, rather than offering new reasons to stick around. Rather than using those funds they've been dumping on us all to say "Hey, we know why you're here, but this is why you're going to stay here."

Those that have survived and managed to keep some of their value and users had done so because they not only had a very public roadmap, but because they listened to what people said. Those central authorities ensured that value was constantly added to the market through useful changes and features that the users and developers had mentioned.

If you haven't yet figured out what my point is, it's this: decentralisation is nothing short of a facade. There are decentralised manners in which the network relies on, but it's governed by a central authority that is expected to maintain and provide value to the network through constant change. The most change we have seen since the bull market is Steemit Inc quickly scrambling to ensure their stake and very existence survives.

The users have been hard at telling Steemit Inc what needs to be done to address inflation, poor UI, and features that would be beneficial in making users both old and new happy. So far, we have been given a downvote button and the yearly hardfork which still doesn't really address any of the issues that have been thrown out into the void.

Whether or not Steemit Inc really cares is a good question. Change seems slowly and lazy as fuck compared to the vast majority of other centralised authorities. Finances are not a valid argument when so many have performed the exact same actions via premines, or even thriving on donations from the community alone.

The problem with the word decentralisation is that it encourages this sort of practice. It allows lazy development cycles or poor management to take no actual action as the argument that nobody is truly an investor of any company takes reign. It allows people to enter the market and get absolutely burned while the developers can continue as is. Now, I realise that this post seems overly negative on Steemit Inc's performance, but honestly, fuck it. There shouldn't acceptance of this. It's why so many other cryptocurrencies were just left to bleed off and die. People abandoned the projects and moved on to those that are listening, and are constantly communicating in a manner in which the users can get what they want not only seen, but implemented.

While I've seen Steemit Inc staff state that the value isn't in market price, but instead in the features and technology provided itself -- a quote from Jeff Bezos regarding Amazon's own performance early on when questioned about the company's share price -- it holds ignorance in believing that the market price isn't directly connected. Claiming that value doesn't stem from innovation, or that Steem's users don't have the right to complain about price because they aren't shareholders, just users. It's just yet another example of the facade of decentralisation.

If Steem was truly decentralised, we would have dethroned Steemit Inc a long time ago and advanced faster. Applying constant features and improvements, having votes on changes we'd like to see and when; what's more important and addresses the needs of users, which are investors, investors of the network's future. Rant over.

Comments 6


Interesting thoughts, thank you for the carefully considered post. Here are my opinions... I believe that the unlimited staking feature is completely unnecessary and problematic, not a ponzi scheme, but pretty darn close.

Steem would have been better if every account only had the ability to power up 500 SP and no one could receive more than 500 SP delegated. This would give people the ability to delegate SP and use SP to upvote stuff, but it would make everyone's opinions and free expression fairly equal. It would also have eliminated the pyramid scheme-ness of the system and just make it something where everyone locks up 500 STEEM as SP.

As for decentralization, yeah, Steem is not really decentralized because DPoS is not actually a true decentralized protocol. Its a republic protocol, which is fine and dandy and has its uses, but ideally, not for money management.

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16.08.2019 16:20

Thanks for the comment.

Your thoughts on the ponzi-like system of Steem is one that reflects the entirety of cryptocurrency and even fiat/stock markets themselves. The early users are the most rewarded.

I don't think there is really a right or wrong method of distribution, given each has its flaws. The problem with a fixed SP amount is that nobody would really earn anything at all considering the rewards are distributed per the dollar price. Which is why now you make more Steem per post than you would at higher prices.

It would also mean that there's still not much of an incentive to keep any of the Steem/SBD you make and increase selling pressure. Goes back to the thing I said about there being no real way of fair distribution.

16.08.2019 16:28

my insight increased, 🙏

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16.08.2019 17:20

Hello @namiks, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

20.08.2019 05:02

Hi @namiks

Just bumped into your profile just to realize that we seem to share a number of interests. In particular that we both share a similar passion towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology :)

It allows lazy development cycles or poor management to take no actual action as the argument that nobody is truly an investor of any company takes reign

It's hard not to agree with you. Steemit seem to be an excellent example.

Good read. Post a bit to old to upvote. Till next time.


30.08.2019 07:15