The most overlooked topic in crypto is token distribution on stake-based networks. Using decentralization and premine in the same sentence on a stake-based system is an oxymoron. There is a good reason it's not talked about. When big players in crypto are moving towards centralization yet are trying to appear decentralized, the industry at large will ignore the most important metric; it just so happens that neglecting this one metric can make any entity extremely rich and powerful. We've seen the rise of billionaires in crypto left and right. These networks control the future of our free internet.
I usually don't go this way about getting my point across, but sometimes you just have to say it how you see it.
It's not about getting to a place they (they = powerful interest) won't; it's about getting to a place that they can't. If they can get an inch, miles await—let the free market choose its path, find the weakness, exploit it with infinite money until you control said network. You often hear of the "good ole days" of free speech, now it's all seeming agenda based. Censorship went from conspiracy theorists to competing business models. It's happened time & time & time again.
The major issue here is not knowing who is shadow banned; if you silence somehow, you need to tell the world at least. Creating fake viral narratives and silencing others, and acting as if it's the free market's doing leads to very bad outcomes.
Remember youtube when it first came out? Well, it started out very free speech because it wasn't dominant. Free is what rises to the top; they let it rise to the top just to take it over. Taking it over too soon will strangle it and make it fail. Achieve mass network effect, milk the effect for whatever your agenda may be, usually to make more money and power. As per web3, Hive has shown you can't buy a community; taking away the ability to money attack something is their kryptonite. Why is Hive being shadowbanned, yet tons of centralized coin have millions of followers and is clearly not being shadowbanned? How could so many Hiver's accounts get banned, yet Justin Sun, with millions of followers, does not get banned for relentlessly promoting Tron? The answer is simple, let the centralized chains gain mass adoption so they are easy to take over.
It's not so much that I care what their intentions are; I'm focused on getting to a place where it's irrelevant.
I've been banned from Twitter. I know writing about this stuff, calling out the obvious, showing how to opt-out of web 2 into web 3 will be heavily censored. You can't censor me here. My words live forever here. So, I will speak to them to the fullest extent. I am the tree in the forest. Whether anyone will hear me is irrelevant. I'm here, and I remain, and so what I've built and spoken. Give me that, my planted seeds, and one day they will grow. I will continue to apply the pressure, remain consistent, and not voluntarily budge an inch. I don't care what your agenda is. The moment my freedoms are being threatened for whatever reason, I will resist, I will innovate, and I will build out of whatever hole I'm thrown in. The most important thing is to speak your truth, your mind, your words are yours, they belong to you, and it is our natural right to have the ability to be heard. No one has to listen but demand your right to be heard. Free speech is the layer 1 for civilization. It cannot become centralized. It must be distributed and free.
Stake-based systems are the future of web 3. There will be only 1 mass adopted PoW coin, and Bitcoin (BTC) has an almost insurmountable lead vs. the next PoW coin. As we gain more adoption, expect to see more and more vicious 51% attacks until any PoW token that isn't BTC is delisted from all major exchanges due to security issues. The point here is PoW, when it comes to web 3, is a store of value, being that BTC has very low TPS. Anything built outside of BTC will need its own security. There is a big misnomer that things will be built inside of BTC, which is incorrect. They will BRIDGE to BTC, communicate with it. This is like saying SPK will store videos on the Hive blockchain, no that is false. We are storing videos outside of Hive while storing the file names on Hive as an immutable ledger "truth table" to be recalled at any time.
I do not consider DPOS alone as a token distribution model; it must be combined with another form of distribution for reasons I'll explain below. Token distribution can only be done in so many ways. The goal is always to try and get as many tokens in as many different people's hands as possible and make the barrier of entry as low as possible in all ways (knowledge, awareness, cost to participate, time, etc.). The main three we know of are proof of work (PoW), proof of stake (PoS) & more niche/underrated is proof of brain (PoB.) I've seen several variants of PoB as well, mainly using your brain to distribute tokens as a stake hodler.
DPOS without PoB or some form of a variant of token distribution built-in is the absolute worse way to set up token distribution. That's why I was highly surprised looking back at Dan Larimer, inventor of PoB, leaving PoB style distribution for EOS, which is just purely DPOS without any other token distribution methods— this is a glaringly oversite on paper and leads to centralization in practice every time.
Moreover, having a short unstake period lets exchanges take over the chain using custodial funds on EOS. For creating what I consider the greatest governance model in history, DPOS + PoB (Now + DAO) with a long lockup to something that is the exact opposite was just a big mistake.
Also, thinking you can get the entire supply (minus small inflation) well distributed in just one year, via a hyped-up ICO, during a bull run was a major misstep as well. No one knows how long is best for a initial proper token distribution; however, I am very confident in saying it's much longer than one year. My belief is the token should start at zero supply. Everyone has a fair chance to obtain it at the start of distribution, and it's very slowly distributed over many, many years, eventually coming to either a cap or very low inflation paired with proper sinks.
Having a token sale that lasts a short period has so many downsides that stifle the ability for decentralization to flourish. First, less than 1% of the world knows about crypto now, way less know how to participate in an ICO, even less deal with the risk (both legal and potential scam) to invest. This means that the ones who buy ICO tokens are mainly insiders, people who are very deep into crypto to see potential in the underlining protocol.
The point is your distribution is going to a very, very small potential group of people. Token distribution is in terms of decades, not months. You just can't rush how the token is released for the sake of a large capital raise if your goal is censorship resistance. Tokens distribution should be as future-proof as possible instead of being in the "right time & place" to buy tokens for dirt cheap in bulk, thus controlling most of the supply from the start. People on Hive that stack are helping others stack as well, new users getting upvotes on their intro post, and encouragement to give to new is always there with PoB.
With PoB, we have people on Hive who don't even know what an ICO is, have never used another crypto before, and just come here to enjoy the utility. That method of gaining tokens lasts forever on Hive, that distribution to ANYONE in the world, not just crypto-savvy insiders.
The most important aspect of these web3 platforms is control over governance. Systems that involve premines and ICO's thus centralized token distribution don't magically become decentralized down the road unless a community forks to a new chain and slashes the founder's premine out. Those in power will always stay in power or transfer that power to the highest bidder. Hive is apples and oranges when comparing true censorship resistance to EOS. Maybe EOS is meant to favor the centralization of its protocol by exchanges; it's certainly helped its market cap.
Market caps are extremely easy to manipulate, esp if there is a premine + large ICO raise for marketing. Choke supply with the premine, spend millions marketing, low circulating supply gets eaten up, and that's how you get these ridiculous multi-billion-dollar market caps on these ghost chains. 99% of the top 100 is 100% speculation with zero actual use cases. Speculation only lasts so long until the free market demands utility, and that utility will be dropped to the lowest possible amount due to competition from the free market. Speculation is akin to a passing cloud, whereas utility is the sky.
I'm also highly surprised at Vitalik's move to PoS with ETH; the premine was fine under a PoW model where tokens could not be weaponized and used to centralize the chain. The move to PoS, coming from a premine + ICO (sold to insiders), is the absolute worst thing you could do if you seek censorship resistance. PoS is a terrible token distribution model for a layer 1 chain, especially if you have a premine & ICO. The tokens go to those who have tokens and there is no incentive to spread them to increase the network effect. This means the rich get richer, with their premine and cheap ICO tokens, making it impossible for any normal person to catch up. Once in PoS, you will not see a "community" decision that is accepted that goes against the wishes of the ETH Foundation. It's meme governance.
The rest of the eth forks are all premine centralized token distribution, maybe a few I'm overlooking, but for the most part, esp anything top 100, all centralized token distribution on staked-based chains and or minority hash rate PoW coins. Both will end up either centralized or relentlessly attacked into oblivion.
Token distribution is paramount on any stake-based chain. PoB provides unique incentives to "give away" to be rewarded yourself. It's a twist on normal PoS, where on PoS, the staker simply sits back and collects 100% of the reward with 0 incentive to distribute the token to anyone else.
Before the EIP, this technology had a much worse problem than the current one we face today, and that was the plague of vote-selling. "Bidbots" dominated the network, and the only way to get trending was to buy votes. It was a terrible system, and when free downvotes were introduced, it literally whipped them out overnight. What this did was incentivized people to upvote others instead of selling votes/self-vote. Of course, you fix one problem just to get another one in different clothing; Removing downvotes isn't an option, or you'd see rampant abuse, but we can look to game theory the best weight for a DV & rethink the number of free DVs, but that's a whole other post I'll get into next week.
It's a tough dilemma, and to be honest, PoB is groundbreaking. It isn't easy to solve how you create an environment where people share, in a world where it's dog-eat-dog. You need to hit all points, greed & punishment, properly. Greed meaning, if you curate correctly, you'll win. If you abuse the system, you are punished (downvotes.) In any system, when you create coins, there is a punishment mechanism. In PoS, if you fail to do your job as a validator, you lose funds as a punishment. It's the same concept. Since DPOS focuses rewards on a smaller set of people, since the tech here requires very little overhead, we can afford to pay witnesses much smaller than other networks with uncapped consensus nodes. This means we can afford to have more variations of token distribution without being hyperinflationary.
In any system, the goal is to have the exploiters do good to make the most rewards. For example.; on Hive, we have someone called Haejin. He was the biggest abuser I have ever witnessed. If you had to create the ultimate bad actor that just exploits the worse way possible while trying to tear everything down in his path, you'd create him. He has access to a very large stake that isn't his. That is the ultimate exploitation because it's not even his stake, so he does not care if Hive does to zero; he just wants to milk as much as possible for as long as possible. These are actually good people to have early in your ecosystem because they exist everywhere, and there is no cure for them. The only thing you can do is set up the game to where good or bad; everyone does the same thing because it pays the best. Haejin went from being the ultimate abuser to what some would consider a decent curator now, far from being malicious now. Haejin realized he would make more by doing good behavior than he would by doing bad. His bad behavior, self-voting with 100% weight on 10 spam post a day, ended up getting his post nuked to zero where he was earning NOTHING with his the stake he somehow has access to. The system forced even someone who I believe hates Hive would love to see it burn, still help the network with good behavior because it's the most optimal. I've seen him upvote people he clearly detests, which is an amazing sign for this PoB in practice. If you can achieve this, you have done something truly rare and is quite the accomplishment. And we are not even done tweaking PoB yet.
While PoB can be improved, and maybe there is another way of distributing tokens in this day and age that actually works. But for what it is, it's working. And if it works a little, it can work a lot. Since every time we have tweaked PoB, we have seen an improvement; this encourages me to keep exploring the topic to its fullest potential. The protocol has been tweaked and tweaked. One tweak, we eliminated vote-selling overnight. With equal curation and free downvotes, we saw people stop self-voting. We recently saw the curation window flatten and lengthen, a great improvement that will further help token distribution. This thing just keeps getting better. There are a few more tweaks I already know we can make that will help, and I'm sure others have ideas as well. This thing hasn't even reached its final form yet. We've infiltrated every country in the world; we are in places no other cryptos can touch due to their fees. We see people flocked to centralized DPOS chains or minority PoW coins due to their cheaper fees. This is not the way.
This is the time to press the gas, see where we can take this thing. No need to slow down; we're about to see the biggest shift in human history.
It really does not take a genius to see what is going on in the markets. Centralized chains are being touted by billionaires, not being shadow banned on web 2. Connecting the dots, I'd say those with power want to stay in power, and there is zero power to be taken in a tough layer zero with the good token distribution. That is the greatest fear of any conqueror. They hide what we have because we have the answer, the blueprint. We showed the world what happens when insurmountable money and influence come knocking, then demanding, and even when it seemed all was lost, we became immortal before the world. People saw even in the bleakest of moments.... there is a way out; there is a way to keep moving forward. That is the last thing any of these web 2 giants want to showcase.
It isn't a coincidence I was banned right after the hostile takeover, but the man who stole millions from us, blatantly in front of all, is still there, scamming till this day with his pre-mined coin collection. It isn't a coincidence the most powerful people in crypto accepted the theft fork and still list steem and work with Tron until this day. Self-respect is easily swallowed by some when money is on the table. It isn't a coincidence that every major Hive-related tweet when it came to that hostile takeover is shadow banned, likes removed, made impossible ever to go viral, to ever been seen again by anyone. They want this door shut; they want this story to go away. It is the single biggest threat to the status quo this world has ever seen. Here, in our little corner of the internet, we stand for what we believe in, we will not budge, and we will not go quietly into the night. Our story will be heard and will be told by future generations. What was done is here is permanent; they can't erase it on Hive. The more they cloak us, the sharper our daggers become. We don't need anyone's permission; we will rise above any challenge they present to us.
We are the kink in the chain. We are the unaccounted for. The overlooked, the misunderstood & the underestimated—the underdogs. We are the passion hidden in plain sight. We are the answer tapped to your back. We are here when you never knew you needed us. We march for those that can't walk. We speak for those that can't talk. We shine a light for those that have darkness. Never forget who we are, why we are here, and where we are going. The sticks and stones will turn to dust underneath our consistent stomp. When history is being made, the most important moments are fleeting, underestimated, never knowing how big the ripple effects are. The domino we pushed over as a community has set forth an immutable path, one that cannot be undone. The implications of what we have done here are world-changing, and it's only when saying things like this seem silly do you know how early we truly are. Without foresight, no one could ever imagine the simple digging of a hole and planting a seed to create a mighty oak.
Hivers, we have dug the hole, and we have planted the seed. If we continue to water, the universe has no choice but to bend to our will and lets us grow as big as our seed allows.
And I'll end it on this. Even with Steem, those of us that valued the fundamentals of web3, censorship resistance, and the new account ownership model, we still hung around despite the 80% ninja mine. People just don't want to fork away and split the community. If the founders with the premine are acting benevolently, many people view that as a good thing. Some appreciate the comfort of a "sugar daddy" who will cuddle the chain and pat everyone on the back, saying good job. Stockholm syndrome is real, and some people just want are not confident enough in their community to do it without centralized backing. There was a large faction that wanted to fork a long time ago, even at the start. And we did see forks; mostly, they died out. It's just hard to convince people to go "your" route and getting an entire community to agree to a fork during peaceful times is virtually impossible. On paper, you think it'd be easy, but in practice, where emotions are large, many various factions with various beef with other groups inside the same ecosystem. Some witnesses on Hive that ran this chain couldn't sit in a room with each other. That's gridlock. It literally takes an alien invasion-like scenario for the entire world to come together. That's who it's always been. Looking back, we were fortunate enough to have such an event and even more fortunate to have a community willing to rise to the challenge.
Now here we are, no centralized backing, no founder, and we are figuring this out together. We're doing it against all odds; not only do we not have centralized backing, but it very well seems that those with large, centralized backing are constantly attacking us, trying to erase our story from history. We swim against the current, and those of us with our eyes open understand what's at stake and how amazing this technology and opportunity is.