It occurred to be the other day that maybe SMTs just aren't meant to be.
I'm not superstitious, but if I were:
I mean, for something that quite a few folks here have been waiting for since their initial announcement way back when, something that has been billed as the next biggest thing to the STEEM blockchain itself, and something that is supposed to revolutionize the way we think of STEEM and interact with it—for all of that, something else has gotten in the way of their implementation.
I'm not a blockchain engineer, so I don't know all the ins and outs of what goes into SMT development, nor does it matter. In my mind, the work hasn't been so much the issue. If it were just that, and the time required to test SMTs, they'd have been implemented long ago.
If I were a conspiracy theorist, which I'm not, I would wonder who doesn't want them to ever see the light of day. There have been plenty of hard forks since their announcement, yet, SMTs weren't the sole purpose for or the main purpose for any of them. Something else took top priority.
Someone else will have to answer that. I'm not privy to all the ends and outs prior to 2018, at least not personally. Since that time, though, I can take a crack at it, from an ordinary STEEM user point of view.
It seems to me, some of the reasons for not having SMTs much sooner are understandable, at least for a period of time. From November of 2018 through quite a bit of last year, after the Steemit layoffs and before the company was said to be coming out of it, survival was the main priority. SMTs were put on the back burner in order to work on cost saving measures and protocols. All good stuff, and in the end, things that will benefit the blockchain enormously, if ever given the chance.
But what happened before that, during the good times, when STEEM prices were well above $1 USD and before the bear market was even recognized as a thing?
It seems to me that in the giddy days of $1, $2, $4 STEEM, anything seemed possible. Which included working on an array of different projects, all at once. At the very least, there wasn't a sense of urgency.
Maybe I'm wrong, and there's probably more, much more to it, but in the simplest of terms, that's what it feels like.
The hard fork before the layoffs, HF20, was dubbed Velocity and billed as the means by which onboarding users would accelerate. The masses could finally be supported. However, HF20 became about RCs, or rather, the lack thereof, until additional measures were taken to enable more of us, but not all, to function as before.
Fast forward to after Steemit Inc. is said to be coming out of survival mode. SMTs along with Communities are back on track, steemitblog is publishing regularly with updates, including what's happening with SMTs, but then the SPS takes priority, and with it, the EIP gets added and again, SMTs miss another hardfork.
Finally, though, after HF22 is needed to iron out an unintended issue with delegating, it's announced that the SMT code is ready for a testnet and a tentative time for their introduction to the mainnet is given—sometime in the spring of 2020, like April-ish.
Things go along, some updates are given through steemitblog, others through those who are participating in the testing phase, and as 2020 starts to unfold, there seems to be a real sense that, hey, SMTs could finally be a thing, rather than an ever promised, but ever undelivered deliverable.
I actually thought, This is finally going to happen.
Then, boom. STEEM is upended by a series of unfortunate events for the entirety of the blockchain, not just SMTs. Now, the fate of STEEM, not just SMTs, hang in the balance, and where any of it, or us, might end up, is anyone's guess.
I write that knowing I usually roll my eyes when something like that is said about anything. Things aren't usually that dire, even if they seem like they are at the time. And maybe that will be the case with STEEM.
I'm kind of hoping someone decides to take a step back from the brink. I'm not sure who it's going to be. At least, there's communication going on, even if it seems to be taking somewhat of a tangent. The recent talks have been centered more around the Korean Community and the things they want to see removed and/or added, which don't seem to be at the heart of where TRON/Justin Sun and the STEEM human witnesses, or the rest of the community for that matter, are at.
Meanwhile, Communities are live.
SMTs? Not so much.
And to add insult to injury, the next hard fork, as far as it looks right now, will either be to create a new version of STEEM, or to implement some sort of reduction in the power down protocol. And after that, probably, whichever didn't get into HF23. Then the next one will probably have something to do with witness voting or DPOS as a whole.
I don't know. It's like, are SMTs that bad of a deal that even the fate of the STEEM blockchain has to be put in jeopardy and its very foundation has to be dug up and repoured to prevent them from happening?
Some of you are bound to be thinking, SMTs have nothing do with the current state of affairs. The sale of Steemit Inc. with the uncertainty of the Steemit stake, the non-communication between Sun and the Witnesses, the soft fork, the imposing of non human witnesses by TRON/Sun and some crypto exchanges in reaction to said soft fork, and now the governance stalemate is what got us here.
As I said before, I'm not superstitious, nor am I a conspiracy theorist. It's more like, You've got to be kidding me!
Unfortunately, though, not much kidding is happening on STEEM nowadays, either.
Gifs from giphy.com