Steem Hardfork 21 and 22 Updates Overview and Thoughts

This is another episode of the Cosmic Crypto Explorer Podcast where I go over the main two updates of the Steem Blockchain Hardfork 21 (HF21) and briefly mention HF22.  I also give my thoughts on these two updates.  If you'd like to read a transcript of the podcast it can be found posted below the video.

Welcome crypto enthusiasts and curiosity seekers.

In this episode of the Cosmic Crypto Explorer we’re going to be talking about Steem and its recent code update. At the time of recording, Steem is currently worth about 16 cents per coin or token.

Recently the Steem blockchain had its 21st hardfork, or as it’s called, hardfork 21. For those not familiar, in the most basic terms a hardfork of a blockchain is when the blockchain upgrades its software and starts running on a new version, often with various improvements and changes.

So as you would expect with Steem’s HF21 there have been some changes. The biggest changes, the changes people will notice the most are with the reward distribution and the reward amount.

Here’s a really quick and basic summary of the way Steem and its dapps work, like its main social media network You post something and people can vote on it. The more people vote on it, the more Steem is assigned to that post. After seven days the amount of Steem assigned to a post is divided between the post author and the people that voted on the post. The idea behind giving rewards to people that vote on posts is it’s supposed to encourage people to find and vote on quality posts so that quality posts are rewarded, and the people voting on them and helping them to be discovered get rewarded too.

The division of rewards is being updated so that the author gets 50% and the curators, the people that vote on the posts, also get 50%. The basic idea behind this is it’s supposed to further incentivize people to find and vote on good posts because their curation rewards will be increased.

This update isn’t without controversy though, as some argue it will reduce the amount of rewards the authors get and thereby people won’t post as much or they’ll find different platforms to post on. The counter argument is that because curators will receive a higher reward posts will get more votes overall leading to the authors actually getting more rewards.

The other update is a change in the calculation of how rewards are assigned to posts. The new calculation says that people that earn a small amount on their posts will earn even less under the new system, while people that earn more on their posts will earn even more.

Of course there’s concern with this too because many think this will drive away new users as they’ll have less incentive to join the network. The counter to this is, well… I haven’t heard a good counter to this one yet. If I was going to guess what the counter might be, it would be that perhaps this new system is supposed to encourage people to make really good posts so their posts will earn enough to be in the higher earning category. Something like that.

I think the whole thing is an interesting experiment. I can understand why they would change the reward system to 50 / 50. I don’t know if it’ll actually make people vote and curate more, and if it will lead to better posts receiving more votes and more rewards, but I can understand why they’re trying it.

Making it more difficult for new users to earn rewards though… I’m not sure that’s such a great idea. If anything it could drive even more new users away from Steem. If new users aren’t getting any sort of reward or payment for their work they might just find somewhere else to spend their time where they do get rewarded.

Not only will it be interesting to see how these changes effect the Steem community in general, it’ll also be interesting to see how they effect the value of Steem.

The Steem team has also since released hardfork 22 which was just a small bug update and doesn’t change the way the system works.

I’m going to keep posting on the Steem network and just watch to see what happens. After all, there aren’t that many alternatives that work in a similar way to the way Steem does at the moment, with the current best alternative being Publish0x, although it’s based on something of a different model than the Steemit social network.

So that’s some of the latest information about what’s going on in the world of Steem and my thoughts on it. Remember to like, comment, and subscribe, and let me know what you think about these recent Steem updates.

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