It is easy for us to get caught up looking at Steem through a lens which magnifies the problems that are on here.
There is no doubt that certain things need attention. Steem is far from perfect yet is making some progress. However, when we look at things, it is best to have a relative basis to work from.
The entire cryptocurrency and blockchain industry is very young. We are looking at about a decade since the Bitcoin White Paper came out. Since that time, Litecoin came out in 2011 with Bitshares in 2013. Ethereum, if memory serves me correctly, first blocked in 2015. Of course, Steem first went live in March 2016 with the first coin distributed by the Blockchain on July 4th of that year.
Not only are we dealing with a young industry but one that is also novel. In other words, everything the developers are working on is blazing a trail. There are no manuals for this. Everything that people are trying in this industry, for the most part, is new. Obviously, there is a lot of coding out there but tying it into a decentralized environment along with the challenges of governance means we all are on a learning curve.
Probably the biggest complaint that people focus upon is the "Whale" problem. Many believe the Whales are only concerned about themselves and enriching their holdings.
To start, all cryptocurrencies have that problem. It is a fact of life with new currencies. The idea is the pot starts in the hands of a few, the stakeholders who support the system, and then spread it out from there. Each month I write a report of how this is happening. Since I joined here, the influence of the Whales has consistently gone down. This is how it is suppose to work.
Secondly, if we look at what is taking place with Bitcoin, they are moving in the opposite direction. It seems the miners are consolidating to the point there are 6 or so mega strong ones with most being in China. This potentially puts that chain at considerable risk.
EOS is another one that is having issues. That chain had an ICO meant to spread the tokens out and it still ended up with almost 50% of the coins in 10 wallets (no say on how many owners there are). We also witnessed the Huobi incident within the past week. Personally, I believe EOS will work these issues out and is still very young but it shows the problems are there.
Another thing that frustrates people is the slowdown in activity. It is often pointed out that many people left and the number of posts are down. This is true. But my question is does anyone think this is unique?
Clicking through to the article we see a significant drop.
Ethereum’s decentralized applications (Dapps) also seem to be feeling the effects of the downward trend in the crypto-money market. From May to October of this year, the volume of users of all Ethereum DApps dropped from a peak of 32 thousand users to just 14 thousand, although in July it dropped to a minimum of 4 thousand.
Please note that is COMBINED.
The average number of users of all network applications remained around 10,000 per day in the last two months. According to data from the DappRadar statistics page, the Ethereum network currently has 988 active applications, of which only three exceed one thousand users per day.
As a comparison, we have this gem from @steemhunt:
Steemhunt traction has sharply increased by 800% in just two months with over 72K monthly active users at this moment.
It is likely that the traffic on @steemhunt exceeds all the DApp traffic on the Ethereum blockchain. This should help put things into perspective.
Blocktivity.info shows a slowdown across the board of all the chains that it lists. I know some call into question some of the data this site uses but it does show how much of a slowdown almost all blockchains experienced.
Looking at the top 5, Bitshares leads the way and they have major issues with internal conflicts and in-fighting. EOS is next yet we know they do not have much running in the way of DAPPs that have a lot of users. Steem is next dropping a great deal this year.
And so on it goes.
The resource credits caused quite a stir after the Hard Fork 20. Obviously, we all know there were implementation and testing problems. That said, we see a situation which caused a lot of turmoil. We are looking at prices of activities that is higher than most expected. But again, is this unique?
EOS went through a similar thing with their RAM. ETH has high costs per transaction that are direct. We don't even need to mention Bitcoin.
Certainly, this is something the Witnesses need to address along with Steemit. Yet, to hold this against Steem when all other chains have issues with it shows a lack acceptance what is going on.
Another area is one that I hesitate to bring up because it is absurd but many point to the price of Steem. This is usually followed up by Steem needs to do this or do that to get the price up. While the suggestions are usually valid, none of that matters this year. Look at the crypto market since the beginning of January. It is a blood bath.
Fortunately, few mention this but it is out there. Some believe that the price of Steem reflective of what Steem or Steemit is doing. My sense is the Hard Fork could have gone off without a hitch and been the best thing to blockchain, ever, and the price still would be hammered along with the rest of the cryptocurrency world. That is just the way it goes.
Steemians can only focus upon what they can control. The only effect we can have on price is purchasing it on the open market. Outside of that, we really are at the mercy of the market. Hence, the best thing is to keep pushing forward in each area that we can contribute and grow the platform.
Certainly there are some problems that are an issue with Steem. A lack of fiat to STEEM is a challenge and needs to be addressed. We also have little exposure on the exchanges. There is a push to get STEEM listed on Coinbase which will help.
Here is a post by @socky that all who have a coinbase account should follow to assist in this effort.
We also see that exposure is an issue which will be handled once Communities/Hivemind is brought out. Steem presently is one big mess of streaming posts that makes it hard for people to be seen.
A lack of a mobile application is a challenge although DApps like @partiko and esteem seem to be popular with the mobile crowd.
Here too, we see Steemians stepping up and solving problems as they arise in the ecosystem. Isn't that what this is all about? Developers/entrepreneurs see a problem and solve it.
My point is that it is easy to focus upon the stuff right in front of us and blow it out of proportion. A great deal of what Steem is going through is not exclusive to it. There are things that the entire industry needs to navigate through.
In my opinion, two of the biggest things affecting Steem are the FUD spread by the mainstream media and the lack of knowledge/acceptance of cryptocurrency by the masses. Of course, we could say they go hand-in-hand.
My optimism about this ecosystem is not about where it is today. I like to look at the progress made since I join 14 months ago and where we will be in another couple years. There are two more major updates on tap, Hivemind and SMTs, one which already has an announced release date. We also see a ton of development that is helping to address a lot of issues. Open creativity and innovation seem to provide that.
I think it important to see separate what issues there are with Steem from those with the entire industry. We are at a point where a ton of development is required, overall, to keep us moving forward. Blockchain and cryptocurrency is far from a finished product. Being an early adopter means having to endure some of the struggles that go along with start ups.
Overall, I feel that everyone who is on here and actively participating will do very well in the long run. It just requires the persistence to hang in here.
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