Steem is an amazing technology. It's the biggest decentralized social network ever, and has sprouted a new type of economy that has rewarded at least tens of millions of dollars of pure value to it's organically built community.
We built and released dozens of cooler projects than any eth/eos developer has ever been able to ship, despite the millions in funding around these financially bigger blockchains.
Steem is worth $0.29 right now, still worth about 4 times as much as it's all time low, but 20 times less than it's all time high.
Steemit Inc has firmly communicated their intentions to slowly step back as the arch-leader of this blockchain with their recent announcements and actions.
Most community projects are struggling financially. As a consequence, development and new projects release has clearly gone down. Existing projects update less often, and innovation is basically non-existent. Witnesses are also concerned, as their earnings drastically reduced. Even AskSteem (a search api used by many apps including dtube, steempeak, etc) is shutting down.
So? What's wrong?
I've seen tons of blathering by witnesses or project owners these days... On discord, telegram, slack, or even steemit itself. These people try to identify the current issues, and how to solve the issues. How to re-organize. And how to make steem's future great. They say we need blockchain developers that costs XXK$/year. We need a new landing page. Also we need to implement new solutions for on-boarding users. That's all complete bullshit or ignorance as usual. These people are all either failing to recognize the real issue of STEEM, or intentionally trying to distract the casual users with mindless conversations.
The forsaken feature
What if I told you that there is one very important feature that has been working intermittently through time. Probably because it has been neglected in terms of development. But every time it's been working well, STEEM's value in satoshi and dollars has been growing, alongside many new accounts being created. Everytime I talk about this feature to other Steemians, they call me an idealist, and change conversation...
It's the feature that helped STEEM survive when it was worth $0.07, and the one that convinced 95%+ of my readers to register in the first place. The promise of a network where we would directly reward real humans based on merit instead of computing power. I'm talking about the Proof-of-Brain™ monetary distribution feature. That's the closest thing we can get to the original Satoshi's vision. And many of you were already here when it was working, and you witnessed the power of it with your own eyes, otherwise you wouldn't have stayed.
And the funny part is that nothing broke technically, it's just humans who adapted to the rules, and built truly complex systems in order to cheat the proof of brain and earn from it programmatically or systematically. These programs or systems have different names, such as: bid-bots, curation trails, app delegation, ninja-mining, upvote as a salary, and so on, but are broadly referred to as 'financial tools'. In reality, they are just breaking the rules to their advantage, and still the community has welcomed them with open arms, as if they didn't understand that any penny made by these robots, is a penny less that goes into the reward pool.
With lack of proof of brain, the incentive for playing the game normally is nulled, and no one feels like engaging or registering anymore, even less powering up. If you want to fix proof of brain, and STEEM as a whole, there are two solutions:
The hard solution would be to refactor the proof of brain algorithm, a critical part of the steem blockchain where inexperienced developers will risk breaking the consensus and forking the chain. And then you'd need to allow SMTs™ to use the feature with changeable configuration through time, so that we could adapt to any type of new abuse, a bit how video game producers update their games to detect cheaters or 'nerf' certain strategies. If SteemIt Inc can't, would you do it?
The easy solution is to make the majority of users change their mindsets. Make them stop thinking of STEEM as a way to make money. Educating them about the original purpose of rewarding the largest number of real humans, and being generous with your own upvotes when you make a real human connection. Of course that means no delegation to your favorite bid bot, nor powering down and selling the stuff on binance. Rebooting your brain to make steem work again. Would you do it?
That's what I thought :)