In the last weeks there were many discussions about the future of Steem and with it a lot of insatisfaction in relation to the democratic process on Steem. This is mainly based on how little influence most users have on the election of the top 20 witnesses since they mostly depend on the votes of a few of the biggest whales.
Besides hanging around on Steem, I am doing a P.h.D in Blockchain Consensus which not only involves the algorithmic side but also analyzing the game theory aspects of consensus in distributed ledgers.
The fault in the System:
Fortunately, in the case of Steem, we can quickly figure out where the problem lies.
Which has been proposed other times already on the chain as well by @ats-witness https://goldvoice.club/steem/@ats-witness/steem-witnesses-vote-number-and-decay
Why can each user elect 30 witnesses, why not 10? why not 5?
Let's analyze this using a small example:
If you can elect 30 witnesses: One account with enough stake to elect 1 of the top 20 witnesses also has enough stake to elect ALL the top 30 witnesses! If you can elect 10 witnesses: One account with enough stake to elect 1 of the top 20 witnesses only has enough stake to elect half of the top 20 witnesses!
I think the example above pretty clearly shows the entire problem. The more witness votes the top stake holders have, the more influence they have and the more centralized the system is.
Delegated Proof of Stake is already heavily critized for its centralization problem and not enough, one of the main weaknesses of Proof of Stake is the Monopolization problem because the biggest stake holders have an evergrowing influence on the network.
This, combined with giving the top stakeholders so much power in this democratic process is a heavy problems in terms of decentralization.
Each account can elect only 10 witnesses.
To reduce the problems, I propose a transition period to give people enough time to order their witness votes.
During this period, after the hardfork, every user still has 30 witness votes but is now able to order the votes after their personal priority.
After a certain period is over (at a specific block), the latter 20 witnesses are then discarded.
Users which did not order their list specifically will lose the 20 last witnesses they voted (Based on the Data of selection).
Will it help the Steem price:
To be honest, we don't know, but, I actually think yes.
One of the big reasons Steem is not very interesting for crypto investors is the heavy centralization aspect which could be heavily improved through this process.
But not only that, with this proposal, new investors are also motivated to stake their Steem since they can have now a much bigger influence in the democratic process on the Steem blockchain.
Is it realistic to be accepted:
Now, there are two mayor hurdles in this process:
1: The Top 20 Witnesses
The top 20 witnesses will not be too happy about this because they will be afraid to lose their positions up there in the sun.
2: The Stakeholders
The top stakeholders will also not be much interested in losing their influence in the chain and might want to elect witnesses which are against this proposal.
In the end it all comes down to one question:
What is the best for Steem?
We have a decreasing price, stagnant user numbers, decreasing market cap rank and worse, people on the chain, especially the dolphins and other small users feel left alone by the witnesses and heavily overruled by the big stake holders.
Yeah, witnesses and stakeholders can maximize their position on the chain by maintaining the current course. But, in trade, their investments will lose value and maybe one day being a top 20 witness is not worth it anymore.
Thus, doing what is the right for the chain should, naturally, overrule the egoism to increase the value of their stake and not to increase the stake they have.
I prefer having 10k steem at a price of 1$ than 100k steem at the price of a cent.
What is necessary now is that the community works together, pressures the witnesses and starts a discussion about this proposal.
@jondoe did a great job pressuring steemit on their last posts to give some feedback to this proposal and from Steemit itself @gerbino pointed out that he was in favor of such a change but that for that a discussion in our community would be necessary
The proposal is definitely not set in stone, and if you come up with better ideas you are invited to join the discussion under this post.
We need a more democratic process, better communication and more transparency of the witnesses and I think a good way to reach this is by simply reducing the number of witnesses each person can vote on.
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