Hello Steemians, today we’d like to tell you about an improvement we’re making to the ICO featureset of SMTs. As you may have heard, we recently unveiled our SMT wizard at Steem Fest 4.
The SMT wizard will make it easy for anyone, not just developers, to launch their own full-fledged cryptocurrency with 3-second fee-less transfers and powerful features like Proof-of-Brain. In that demonstration @vandeberg and @gerbino created 3 cryptocurrencies on the Steem testnet in under 10 minutes! One of those demonstrations was what they called a “Binance-style” launch.
The “Binance Style” Launch
SMTs have the ability to set a “Soft Cap” which is basically a fundraising goal that does not result in the termination of the ICO. This differs from a “Hard Cap” in that it is a fundraising goal that does result in the termination of the ICO. With a Soft Cap in place, the SMT creator can distribute different incentives based on whether a user contributed to the ICO prior to, or subsequent to, the Soft Cap.
The Binance-Style ICO was intended to highlight these options. There was only one problem; Binance’s ICO featured two Soft Caps meaning that it had 3 tiers of incentives.
Guiding Principle: Maximum Flexibility
When determining what features to add to SMTs we asked ourselves what features would effectively give developers the “most bang for the buck.” We then ask whether we can abstract the parameters of the feature so as to maximize its flexibility. For example, SMTs can have a token inflation rate. But we don’t limit developers to just one token emissions rate that we judge to be “ideal,” we enable them to configure their token emissions rate based on whatever “graph” they want.
If you can describe how you want your token emissions rate to change over time in a mathematical formula, you can specify that formula when you are creating your SMT and the Steem blockchain will faithfully execute that code. For an incremental increase in the amount of work required, we unleash practically unlimited flexibility.
N Tier ICOs
With respect to the Soft Cap, we realized that the work required to go from 2 tiers, to N (meaning any positive integer) tiers was relatively trivial in comparison to the degree of flexibility it opens up to developers. In addition, while the improvement would (and did) only take a few days of work at this stage in development, adding this functionality after the release of SMTv1 would have presented significant challenges.
That being said, truly allowing for N tiers would create some maintenance challenges, so we decided to cap the number of potential tiers to 10. The benefit of this approach is that going from 10 tiers to N tiers at a later date would be easy.
Because the ICO tiers are used during contributor and founder payouts only, we were able to make this change like a “surgical strike." We were able to add this data structure and operation (which is trivial) while only having to modify the payout mechanisms. We then modified the tests designed to check the internal data structures that are being changed.
This work is now mostly complete and will go live on the testnet shortly!
If you haven’t already, please check out our demo of the SMT Wizard at Steem Fest 4 to learn more about SMTs.
The Steemit Blockchain Team