When I first stumbled upon Bitcoin I instantly saw a use for it, for the idea to eliminate current services around the world such as Western Union and other payment processors. Obviously the markets and price action caught my interest at first as well and I wasn't really in it to make the world a better place, more so to enrich myself first and then maybe see how I can help making the world a better place. The more I read about the discussions around it, why it worked, where the innovation and invention was and why it was a big deal it started to dawn on me.
Trust. Trust is a weird thing in the world, there are a lot of things we believe we trust until the floor is suddenly removed from under our feet. People trust the governments and the banks because of laws around them, it's just how things work and how they've worked in forever, but when there suddenly are some actions that make all of the above powerless the trust is quickly gone. If you ask people in certain countries about the trust they have in their governments or banks it will quickly get controversial, we've all read the news of how quickly things have gone south in certain countries and in the end the people that have suffered the most have been us, the people. That was one of the big things that Bitcoin was set out to solve, not having to rely on trust, trust instead being placed on math which is a lot more trustworthy than most things created by the people and help up by the same people.
Looking at middlemen services around the internet at the time we all understood why they existed, most things had to do with trust and escrow services. In order to send your payment to person x living in country x you needed a service that would take care of the payments, ensure you'd get what you paid for and at the same time guarantee that you'd get your money back if something went wrong along the way. It's all fine but as a lot of other things in the world they were powered by greed, companies either being a monopoly where they knew there was a need for them but not many other contenders around could increase their costs at will and so they did. The amount of money they made from simple things such as people sending money abroad was staggering, you'd think there would be easier and less costly ways but there weren't and companies attempting to do better often didn't make it as far because the giants made sure they wouldn't so they could remain in their thrones.
It's the same everywhere and in every section really, the internet was new, a few people saw opportunity and made moves quickly. Then they were too big to fail and made sure the smaller ones starting out would. This is where I saw Bitcoin thriving and eliminating all these services altogether.
Over the years I have to admit Bitcoin and crypto in general are still lacking in utility and using the advantages they provide fully, but that's just something that takes time. At the same time a lot of projects and services arose such as exchanges that became really big and made it harder for smaller ones to get up to where they were at, this power allowed them to do the same mistakes other services before them did. Change the rules, fees, vision and other aspects of their services which most of the time ended up costing the regular people. In some ways it ended up costing them deeply, such as Mt. Gox and whatever is going on with Bitfinex's alleged hack. I think people need to start learning what decentralization and true trustlessness really means and I am hoping we see decentralized services rise to the occasion to show them that things can be done in this manner now instead and will be a lot more secure and in favor of the people.
Having said that I see the same mistakes going on on Steem as well, we're still in the early phases so I understand why there is a need for these services and why people will keep using them, but I for one want to be part of the solution to eliminate these in my eyes unnecessary services completely. I'm all for creating for profit businesses on Steem but they should be able to give you a service that is worth the fees you are paying them. Games and other entertainment ones are clear why they will cost you and have fees, over time people will realize how cheap it is to host these businesses and services on Steem, similar to how cheap it is for witnesses to maintain their servers after the Steemit team has been working on lowering the requirements needed to run them.
My plan with @ocdb was not just to give the underrewarded authors a way to continuously grow their stake on Steem by providing original content, it was also to show how relatively easy it is to create a service which doesn't need to be taking a x % cut each time for what it does. Unfortunately there are many here today that do and continue doing so and it mainly costs the delegators and users. Again we have the power to remove these services, they exist right now because we use them. Maybe there are not enough of other options out there right now but they are coming and I for one will make sure they will continue coming even if it costs me to get them there because that's what decentralization is for me. Services and projects that don't constantly keep taking a fee and making it more costly for SP holders and users instead empower those users and stake holders to the maximum of what our blockchain and its current rules can.
It is looking brighter though, I see many of these vultures decreasing in size, those having created them decreasing in stake and distribution thriving. I am looking forward to Steem not only making news about being feeless in transactions, but also most of the services right now riddled with unnecessary middlemen being feeless as well.
Thanks for reading and thank you to many of you seeing the same vision as me and delegating to the fully non-profit @ocdb and growing it to one of the biggest accounts on Steem at this moment. I hope I will be able to bring you some new services soon in the same fashion, stay tuned. :)