Categories
Crypto

Talent in the Age of Abundance

If you are the most talented one per a thousand people, then there are almost 8 million people like you in the world. And in such a world talent itself doesn’t already mean almost anything, as the value created by any single author is negligible comparing to the aggregate value that is created at this moment by the entire humanity. An amateur poet posting haiku at a writers’ forum could be more talented than Basho… along with millions of other authors whose creations will never reach the mass reader.

This is the end of art as we knew it: content no longer matters, because we live in the age of abundance of information and talent.

The question is how to continue creating intellectual value when its offer far exceeds the limited attention span we humans have.

While in the pre-information era talent was a rare commodity able to attract more than enough attention, now it’s the other way round: we’ve got the excess of talent and the lack of attention. Attention is becoming an increasingly expensive commodity and the main object of trade (the recent Facebook story is an illustrative example of this). By the way, there is also a positive example, namely how one can get paid for paying attention: Brave browser with its Basic Attention Token just approaching to the release of the «get paid» portion of the platform.

The attention economy is replacing the content economy. But if time put in content creation no longer equals money, then it is necessary to find a way to reduce the global competition for attention while letting content creators earn rewards for their effort. Because society still needs people who produce intellectual value if it doesn’t want to degrade.

One of the solutions could be self-governing niche communities that allocate roles, attention, and rewards. Because if a community counts one thousand people and you are the most talented of them in specific aspect (and there is a role for everyone in a community), then things fall into their places again. From mass culture pretending to universality, we are moving on to a conglomerate of many niche cultures.

Steem made such a model possible, and this is only beginning. Soon we will see the flowering of niche blockchain communities which will go much further, setting their own standards and rules of the game. Culture ceases to be centralized, and this is very good news.

Categories
Crypto

The Age of Abundance: DAOs are Coming

We are already living in a situation of abundance, or more precisely—at the point of transition from non-material to material abundance. Here’s how.

The first step towards the age of abundance was the era of the soul, or an abundance in humanity’s psychic life: the world of prehistoric people was densely inhabited by gods and spirits. Ancient myths, symbols, and archetypes formed the basis of religion and culture of the first civilizations.

This cultural foundation gave birth to philosophy which then became the mother of all sciences. So came the second step—the era of the mind, or abundance in the sphere of thinking and rational knowledge crowned with the emergence of modern science.

The rise of science made possible the advent of the third era—the era of machines. Science-based technology has in turn made the processing of matter cheap and affordable. And now we are on the threshold of the fourth era—the era of material abundance.

Many material problems today have already been solved for a large number of people and, perhaps, they would have been solved for everyone, if not for the still prevailing nineteenth-century-world mentality based on the outdated axiom of the scarcity of world resources, as well as greed, miserliness and the habit of the Powers that Be to solve all problems using violence.

Until almost two hundred countries are fighting fiercely for a place at the helm of the Spaceship Earth, world poverty won’t disappear, because the resources that could be directed at its elimination are spent on the struggle of governments against each other and the arms race.

Blockchain technology made possible for the first time in history the emergence of self-governing, self-funding, autonomous communities that can act globally without a central direction. It means that problems that can’t be solved at the level of centralised entities like states or multinational corporations, including the problem of poverty, can be solved by direct interaction of people organised in decentralised autonomous communities.

And while really big projects in this sphere are yet to emerge, the first experiments are already here, with Manna, Steem, Golos blockchains among them, plus some ambitious EOS-based projects coming in the second half of the year. A lot of niche community projects are well underway. My bet is that this year will show us an impressive growth with many opportunities coming. And this is only beginning.

Categories
Crypto

Facebook, Steemit and Social Media’s Decentralized Future

A thoughtful article mentioning Steemit has recently appeared at CoinDesk. The author reflects on how social media can be transformed for good from their current state which he describes very vividly with the words I can only agree with:

The platform he [Zuckerberg] oversaw has killed inquisitiveness and open-mindedness, promoted form over substance, undermined the journalistic pursuit of facts and damaged our democracy — all in the interest of gathering and organizing our data so that we could be sold off as packages to platform advertisers.

Blockchain can be part of the solution by fixing the problems of centralised online media, such as the unashamed exploitation of user content and personal data with zero reward.

In my modest opinion, sometimes things are even better than the author supposes. He says:

Any truly decentralized blockchain won’t have the on-chain capacity to handle the masses of data and billions of posts that any large-scale system would run.

EOS claims it has this capacity. In fact, it’s being built with Facebook-size apps in mind. In its recent release, Dawn 3.0, they have moved from a Steem-like 3 second block interval to a 0.5 second interval, and announced that «Dawn 3.0 only implements a fraction of the potential optimizations that will allow EOSIO to scale.» So, in my view, scaling is only a short-term problem.

Another point I don’t fully agree with is related to Steemit’s «Trending» tab:

One limitation can be seen with the upvoting model in Steemit, which rewards top voted stories with steem tokens and which invariably results in posts about Steemit itself rising to the top of the trending ranks.

My point of view is that Steemit (as well as Facebook by the way) isn’t a «best content first» platform at all, unlike Medium for instance. Steemit’s «Trending» tab shows the balance of powers inside the community, as well as our Facebook feed shows the «balance of powers» in our friend list (which also includes Facebook itself). Don’t forget that one of Steemit’s core ideas had once been one of a Mutual Aid Society. With the coming of paid voting bots things have changed, but not towards displaying best content anyway. But that’s another story.

I deeply recommend to read the article to discover many important questions with no evident answers that need our thinking.

Categories
Crypto

Everipedia: a Decentralized Wiki Based on EOS, IQ Token Airdropping Soon!

Everipedia is a modern and more inclusive alternative to Wikipedia with a slick interface and less bureaucracy. The big news is that Everipedia is going to be decentralized and will become the first app based on EOS blockchain, with IQ, their internal points, becoming a cryptocurrency token. Moreover, every EOS holder will soon be airdropped with some IQ!

Knowledge and crypto both being my passions, I couldn’t resist but asked for an invite, and thanks to the responsiveness of Everipedia team I’m already an editor.

How Everipedia is different from Wikipedia and other wikis?

  • Basically every single thing can have its page on Everipedia (that’s why the name I guess).
  • Every English page from Wikipedia is already on Everipedia to build on top of and improve. (This doesn’t mean it’s ok for users to copy content from other wikis as this has been made not by users and no IQ has been acquired through the import).
  • Everipedia has a modern look and is visually appealing. And you don’t need to use awkward formatting symbols. That said, not every functionality works as expected yet as the transition to the EOS blockchain is in progress.
  • Instead of talk pages, there are discussion threads where editors can continuously discuss news about their favorite topics.
  • Celebrities have verified accounts and can have conversations with their fans on their own page.
  • After Everipedia is hosted on EOS, countries that block Wikipedia (like Turkey or Iran) will no longer be able to block it.

This will be big and I think there are chances Everipedia will become one of the three EOS supported community benefit apps to receive a percentage from new annual token supply. Brock Pierce, Block.One’s Head of Strategy, has recently twitted that

Everipedia is my favorite consumer DAPP coming to market.

With EOS.IO Dawn 2.0 public test network released and venture capital coming, chances are high that other new exciting dapps follow Everipedia example and choose EOS and maybe also use their airdropping model.

If you wish to contribute to Everipedia, ask for an invite in Everipedia Telegram group. The IQ airdropping details will be announced there, too.

Links

My Related Posts

Categories
Crypto

Steem White Paper: A Short Digest

I believe that Steem is one of the most interesting social experiments of our time. If you want to understand what Steem is (and what it isn’t), the white paper is the best place to start. With the recent update of Steem white paper there’s a need to rethink and summarize again its most important points.

The Steem white paper is for the content industry similar to what the Bitcoin white paper is for the crypto industry. It’s a must-read for everyone who wishes to understand not only the ideas, economics and inner mechanics behind Steem, but also where social media and content industry are heading in the near future. We Steemians are in fact very lucky because we already have the experience of living this future.

Having said that, I don’t blame anyone for not yet having read the 32-page Steemit white paper. In the age of microcontent we are normally averse to longer texts. So if you aren’t yet up to the original, make use of this short summary. I have omitted some technical details and less important points, but tried to keep all the essential ideas and principles.

What is Steem?

Steem is a content platform using cryptocurrency rewards to incentivize its participants and facilitate its growth. Еt aims to reshape the user generated content industry and build a million-user cryptocurrency-based content-driven economy.

The main idea Steem is trying to accomplish is that any valuable, meaningful contribution, however small or subjective, should be recognized and transparently rewarded.

Core Principles

  1. Every user is treated as a Steem cofounder and therefore should receive proportional ownership in the venture, be it profit or debt.
  2. All forms of contribution are equally valuable. Contributing attention and creativity is as valuable as contributing cash.
  3. Steem is a community creating services for its members, not for outside users. Steem services are curated content, a stable cryptocurrency with fee free transactions and jobs helping to provide these services.
  4. While other platforms use a one user, one vote principle, Steem is giving a user a vote weight proportional to her vested account balance, so those who contributed the most get the most influence. This is seen as a financial incentive to be constructive to maximize the long term investment value.
  5. Direct micropayments don’t work. On Steem, readers don’t pay authors directly but upvote or downvote content instead, letting the platform transparently determine and pay the rewards. Voting is a critically important contribution worthy of rewards proportional to overall post’s earnings and user vote weight.

Ways to Contribute

There are two main ways to contribute to Steem platform: capital contribution (buying Steem ownership or debt) and subjective contribution (creating and curating content).

Speaking about capital contribution, there are 3 classes of assets on Steem: two for ownership (Steem for liquid and Steem Power for vested assets) and one for debt (Steem Blockchain Dollars, or SBD).

  • Steem is a liquid currency that can be bought or sold on exchanges.
  • Steem Power (SP) is vested Steem which is locked for a fixed amount of time (currently 13 weeks). It’s a long term capital commitment.
  • SBD is a debt instrument that can be converted to ownership (Steem). SBD is pegged to US dollar. SP holders elect trusted individuals called witnesses who are responsible for publishing reliable SBD price feeds so that the actual SBD to Steem conversion price is a median of all witnesses’ feeds.

As for subjective contribution, it’s based on the fact that most people have more free time than spare cash, so instead of buying-in they are given the opportunity of «working-in» by creating content.

Steem is viewed as a conglomerate of communities each having its own beliefs and values and rewarding different content.

To reward subjective contribution, these principles apply:

  • Distribute a fixed amount of cryptocurrency at a time, regardless of how much work is done or how users vote.
  • Reward anyone who does anything even remotely positive. Small rewards help reinforce the idea that bigger rewards are also possible.
  • Prevent significant abuse by using negative voting and limit voting rate by using vote power diminishing with frequent votes.

Content creators receive 75% of what a post has earned, the rest goes to curators (readers who have voted for the post). Everyone gets 50% in SBD and 50% in SP. Comments have their own payout cycles.

Blockchain parameters

  • Delegated Proof of Stake (DPOS) consensus. In Steem, people with vested interest select trusted individuals (witnesses) responsible for including testimonies (blocks with transactions) to the public ledger. There are 21 witnesses in Steem (the 20 most voted for plus one randomly selected from the rest).
  • Fee free. Unlike Bitcoin, Steem blockchain doesn’t charge for transactions as it would make using it counterproductive. Instead of micropayments, it uses bandwidth limit and account creation payment to prevent abuse.
  • High-performance. Steem is capable of 1000 transactions per second and is able to scale to 10 000 or more with some improvements.
  • Token distribution: after December 2016 new tokens are created at a yearly inflation rate of 9.5%. It will decrease for 0.5% per year reaching 0.95% in 20 years. 75% of new tokens constitute the reward pool, 15% go to Steem Power holders and 10% are paid to witnesses.

The Challenge

The biggest challenge the white paper names is to score individual contributions in a way perceiving as fair by the majority of participants. A widespread inequality, manipulation or abuse could cause members to lose faith in the system and go elsewhere.

In my opinion, it remains one of the biggest problems. First, for people from different social and cultural contexts, the idea of a fair reward could differ greatly for the same effort. Second, so far Steem is too small to provide statistically similar rewards for similar effort. And third, rewards depend more on a member’s position in a community than on her «real» (objectivized) contribution.

Sources

Categories
Crypto

EOS Review: Why This ICO Promises to Be Big

It’s time to have another look at EOS token perspectives as its price comes closer to $2 after a two-month-long period of staying around $0.5. Looks like EOS token is on its way to new heights with its market capitalisation now about $1 billion. What is even more interesting, EOS price calculated in bitcoin almost didn’t change for three months in a row, so we can suppose that the market believes in EOS as strongly as in Bitcoin (the orange line below).

Source: coinmarketcap.com

If you didn’t yet decide for yourself whether this token is worth your closer attention, here are some of my observations.

1. The White Paper

The EOS White Paper offers a comprehensive and detailed overview of the platform.

Long speech short, EOS blockchain will be capable of supporting millions of users with lightning fast fee-free transactions while creating a comfortable environment for businesses building decentralized apps.

You can read my EOS White Paper Digest where I summarized its main points.

2. The Team

The team of block.one, the company behind EOS, includes true blockchain veterans.

CTO Dan Larimer has already successfully launched two functioning blockchains: BitShares and Steem. He is credited with inventing the delegated proof-of-stake (DPOS) consensus algorithm and the concept of Decentralized Autonomous Corporations (DAC).

CEO Brendan Blumer is a serial entrepreneur in the technology space since the age of fifteen. He has been involved in the blockchain industry since 2014 and is an active speaker at various blockchain conferences.

The team’s Head of Strategy is Brock Pierce, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist who pioneered the market for digital currency in games. He is the Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, founding board member of Mastercoin (inventor of the ICO), and an advisor to Bancor.

Advisor Ian Grigg is a financial cryptographer with over twenty years experience, the inventor of the Ricardian Contract and co-inventor of Triple-Entry Accounting.

3. Roadmap, Codebase and Beta Preview

EOS.IO codebase is open source with the preview version code and documentation available at GitHub.

The software roadmap is clear and we can see the progress made. Currently it’s already possible for developers to launch a private testnet to run a node, execute transactions, develop and run smart contracts. The next release planned for early December will bring forth a public testnet and developers will be able to test their work in the public environment. It’s highly probable that the token price will moon after this event.

4. The Token Value

EOS is meant to be a business-oriented blockchain operating system, so its token value is tied to supply and demand of resources such as bandwidth, log storage, CPU, and RAM. With a growing market for blockchain-based decentralized apps we can expect a significant demand for native EOS tokens.

Useful links

Related posts

Notes

  • Disclosure: The author owns EOS tokens.
  • All opinions in this post are the author’s alone. You should be aware of the risk of loss before trading or holding any digital asset.
  • This post is not an endorsement by EOS.IO or block.one.
Categories
Crypto

EOS White Paper Digest

Those of you who are interested in crypto probably have already heard about EOS, a new blockchain project of Dan Larimer, the cofounder of BitShares and Steemit, and asked yourself how exactly it differs from other blockchains. Especially if you think about investing in EOS ICO or building apps on it. The best answers yet given can be found in EOS Technical White Paper, but if you aren’t prepared to read the whole of it (about 47 000 characters), then this post is for you.

Basic Characteristics

EOS is a blockchain in production meant to be an operating system for decentralized apps. It will be capable of supporting millions of users and is built for apps as big as Facebook, Uber, AirBnB, or Ebay. It will be free for end users with no transactions fees, unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum. It will be lightning fast and able to compete by performance with non-blockchain apps. It will be easy to upgrade and the upgrades won’t result in blockchain forks, again unlike it’s the case with Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Consensus

EOS software uses Delegated Proof of Stake (DPOS) consensus algorithm as the only one capable to meet the the performance requirements. It means EOS token holders vote for block producers which don’t compete for blocks but rather cooperate.

In case of a software fork the longest chain branch will be chosen automatically, so a blockchain fork can’t happen.

Accounts

All EOS accounts have human readable names chosen by the account creator, like in Steem blockchain. There will be also namespaces like @user.domain available for @domain account owners.

The account creation fees (which are promised to be insignificant) will be paid by app developers. (That‘s why, if you plan to create EOS based apps, it’s important to get as much EOS tokens as possible.)

Accounts and scripts can exchange messages and this is how smart contracts will be defined.

Security

EOS implements sophisticated permission management and multi user control over funds which is the best defence against hacking.

Sensitive actions could have a mandatory delay defending account owners against key theft. Advanced account recovery will provide protection even if the keys are stolen.

Tokens

The EOS blockchain will be resource constrained. There are 3 types of resources in EOS — bandwidth and log storage, CPU, and RAM. Resources allocated to apps will be measured in tokens directly and so will be independent on token price volatility. Block producers will be paid in tokens and will spend these for better equipment increasing the network performance.

3 community benefit apps will be chosen by user votes to receive a percentage from new annual token supply which could be capped to 5%.

Governance

Governance is the process of reaching consensus in cases when no software algorithms can help.

The source of power in EOS are the token holders and this power is delegated by them to block producers. If block producers refuse to implement necessary changes proposed by token holders, they can be voted out.

EOS is enabled to have a constitution, i.e. a p2p contract among its users, and a hash of its current version will be included in every transaction.

The constitution and the EOS protocol can be updated if at least 17 of 21 block producers maintain approval of it during 30 days. Another 30 days approval will be needed to implement the changes. So non-critical fixes will take 1—2 months and important forks about 2—3 months. Emergency bugs will be fixed immediately and glitchy apps will be freezed without affecting the whole blockchain.

Thank you for reading! Feel free to share ideas and information related to EOS in comments!