My Controversial idea for Steem Power- by Charlie Shrem

$ 311.203 SBD


Disclaimer - this is a social thought experiment. I'm not saying this will be implemented or even should be implemented in its current state

Late last night I was having a conversation about Steem Power and an interesting idea was formed. I was asked to write a post about it and see what the community thought.

In life, one of the biggest value to each and every one of us is peer approval. Its what makes the world work. It's why we want to love and be loved, its why we have friends and are who we are. We want to feel accepted and be accepted by other human beings. In comes the digital era and all of this has moved to the internet. We are on facebook, twitter, linkedin, ect. We get excited when someone retweets or shares our posts.

This feeling and acceptance we get is called Social Capital. It's not money which is another type of capital. Social Capital can be purchased to an extend but with diminishing returns. You can buy flashy cars, big mansions and be a part of the elite. However those people usually have a lot of ego and pride and are looked at in contempt by the majority, even though we secretly want to be like them.


Real Social Capital has no bias, you don't need to be rich or poor, good looking or bad looking. In the digital age its about the knowledge you have and the contribution to bring to a community or society. Think Nobel Peace Prize winners, athletes, doctors, or our favorite authors. The best example is Reddit Karma. Karma cannot be purchased only earned. Its why Redditors are a part of the community, they don't get paid for their work in money, they get paid in Social Capital.

Ned has said he wants Steem to be more like Reddit. I agree, but I think Steem should be better than Reddit. Let's get the best content we can get by paying for it in new money creation and social capital. I want to see every magazine, newspaper and high quality content using Steem. I want to see every content creator in the world using Steem.


My wacky idea - let's make Steem Power social capital that can be powered down into Steem but cannot be powered up. The only way to earn Steem Power is by creating or voting on content. Steem Power becomes social capital that you earn by being a productive member of the Steem community, and you get paid in cash for it as well! I propose this will make Steem Power immensely more valuable as the project grows. Think about making money every time someone reweets or facebook shares your post. You can't buy reweets (you can buy robot retweets, I mean human ones) or facebook likes but you can earn them. I'm proposing to make Steem Power that Social Capital and have the ability to power it down.

Content would be paid in liquid Steem/SBD and half in Steem Power, like it is now. This way we can introduce high quality content from newspapers, magazines, authors who have operating budgets and research costs. At the same time they can earn social capital.

The idea could work if everyone had the same opportunity to earn SP. Many people, including myself, bought Steem and powered up. My thought on that is two fold.

  • Replay the blockchain and all Steem Power that was earned by content creation or curation stays in Steem Power. (On further thought, I dont know how fair this is. Replaying the blockchain and changing peoples balances, I'm not advocating it. I would NEVER tell someone what they can and cannot do with their money. I am fiercely against that. This is just a social thought experiment. )
  • All other Steem Power becomes liquid Steem.

We all start on an even playing field when it comes to Social Capital. It only has value if it cannot be purchased. Thats the key here.

Someone suggested leaving Steem Power the way it is and creating a 3rd currency that is paid out called "Steem Points" that acts as the social capital.

We do have a reputation score next to our names- I would go further and allow your score to give you weight in voting and content creation, at the same time allow you to power it down.

OK I know its controversial, crazy and I could be completely wrong on this. It's merely a thought experiment and I'm not a game theorist.

There are questions that remain:

  • How do you attract investors in Steem? We have this question now because with hyperinflation being dropped and moving to new 9.5% inflation next week, the incentive to buy Steem Power is a lot lower.
  • Won't this introduce immense short term selling pressure? Yes, it would. We could have the power down time be a certain lengh of time to mitigate that. I'm not sure how else to do it. There are 3-4 accounts that hold a large % of Steem and I'm not sure how that would work.
  • We'd have a lot of speculators, but how do we introduce long term investors? Maybe moving Steem into savings triggers extra interest. I'm not sure.

I look forward to your thoughts, feel free to call me crazy or a genius in the comments!


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$ 311.203 SBD