Hive: It's Time to Change Direction

in #hive3 years ago

Two and a half months ago, I wrote a post about Hive's possible future. At the time, the HIVE price was over $0.24 and over 2000 satoshis. The HIVE price is currently around $0.13 and nearing 1000 satoshis, with an overall ROI of approximately -50%. HIVE is currently #134 in market cap.

I stand by this statement that I made in one of my comments:

"We clearly don’t have experienced social media devs and marketers. Our number of social media users is in the single-digit thousands after four years. But our chain is based on this primary value proposition...and it’s not working. Waiting for spikes in interest and FOMO purchasing of cryptocurrencies isn’t a successful strategy for the main product we have to offer."

HIVE continues to inflate at an official current rate of around 8% per year. There is no demand to absorb this inflation. There is not enough interest in the blockchain to attract large numbers of new users and to retain them. We have no experienced social media developers, designers, and marketers. The notion that "network effect" is going to be achieved via social media on this chain has not and likely will not materialize.

The token giveaway and distribution scheme is not working.

I don't know what will convince this community of these facts. It's convenient to ignore them as long as people can acquire and cash out the tokens for some minimal profit. But the profits continue on their steady decline and the number of bloggers on the chain follows the same path.

It isn't necessary to drive off of the cliff. We can turn the wheel and head in a different direction.

People come to crypto for different reasons but the primary one seems to be: To make money. In order to make money, they need to invest or trade tokens that can appreciate over time or have enough trading volume to take advantage of short-term swings. At the moment, Hive doesn't have much of either.

Another reason to get into cryptocurrencies is to use them as transactional currencies and to facilitate payments. I think this is where Hive can excel. We can take advantage of 3-second block times, free transactions, and personalized account names. These are features that many end-users want.

We have additional features on this chain that can also be marketed to those people, such as savings accounts and an internal marketplace for HIVE and HBD. We have most of the features and functions necessary to promote the blockchain to a large crowd of individuals and businesses looking for payment processors and other similar financial tools.

This is a much better proposition than trying to pull people from "Big Tech" on the basis of "censorship resistance" that most users don't care about - as evidenced by their unwillingness to leave the major social media platforms. It's also a better proposition than trying to convince popular social media personalities to move their operations to Hive in order to "get paid for posting," particularly when the potential pay is much lower than what they already get from advertising and sponsorship on their own. In other words: We cannot compete with existing social media platforms. And that's not even considering the huge differences in the interfaces and how communication between users is limited here.

So as I said in my previous post, we really need to consider getting rid of the social rewards from Hive and reducing overall inflation. Then the focus should be placed on improving HIVE Dollars and the financial tools we offer. In addition to that, we truly need some world-class documentation and APIs to attract more developers to this chain.

We will not achieve greater rates of adoption and development without better documents and tools for developers.

Tapping into the crypto developer community and making it easier for non-crypto devs to get involved with this chain should be our primary focus. We've wasted over 4.5 years trying to make social media happen on the main chain and it has gotten us nowhere. It's time to fish or cut bait - and I don't see anyone with waders and fishing rods around here.

There can still be rewards-based social media applications on Hive. There will still be gaming on Hive. We can still have witnesses, a development fund, and staking rewards. None of that necessarily has to go away or should go away. We just don't need everything crammed onto the main chain when it ends up making the chain unappealing to most potential users and investors.

We have seen that non-blogging applications on Hive can be attractive and popular, even to people outside of our bubble. We've even seen social media interfaces like LeoFinance do quite well on Hive with their own token distribution. It is absolutely possible to be successful outside of the primary value proposition for Hive's social media and token distribution scheme. Those efforts can be expanded and we can focus on making Hive's underlying financial tools more attractive and more robust for an exponentially greater number of users and investors.

This is not an either-or proposition. We can have it all. But we can't have it all on the base layer of Hive. After 4.5 years, it has proven itself to simply not be attractive. It's time that we choose a better direction.

It's one thing to go down with the ship when the sinking is unavoidable. It's not a noble thing to stubbornly head right into the iceberg. We have been heading for the iceberg for years, the alarms are going off, many people have already jumped ship, but much of the crew and passengers continue to shout, "Stay the course!" as the ship inexplicably goes on full-steam ahead.

It doesn't have to be this way. Let's do the thing.


I'll repeat what I said in another place.

I am a big fan of taking social media out of Hive, turning into a dapp on a native smart contract, moving rewards to a smt and keeping the same look and feel of "hive" but as a dapp rather than the entire point of the blockchain. Then we will be far more attractive to projects like Gods Unchained, Crypto Kitties, and the next best thing™

I would like to see the core Hive functionality as attractive to dapps as possible, not social media dapps, not reward pool dapps, all types of dapps.

The reward pool puts a strain on the Hive token to the point any new investor that comes here needs to participate in posting, curating, and abuse fighting to keep up with the loss from inflation, loss from others doing it better than them, and the loss from reward pool privilege you see taking over trending.

Custom JSON is the only real support we have for Dapps outside of transactions. It is very difficult to build a trustless system using custom jsons without building a 2nd layer p2p network.

Hive Engine is a good example of this. It is centralized and the only way to protect against them up and leaving is building new consensus layer (aka Hive Engine witnesses). This is the same for every other dapp that wants to come here and build a trustless system.

The thing is, most of the dapps that want to do something like this (Hive Engine, Splinterlands, and other games) are "interactive" and performance is critical. With stacked conensus layers you are going to see even slower response times than what you see on Hive now.

I think the two biggest things we can do to make Hive take off is get native smart contract support so we can build trustless systems without a second consensus layer via trustless transparent smart contracts and reducing the strain on the primary Hive token. Then we will have something everyone wants and it will be hard not to successful. This is something I think people would want to invest into. Look at how bad ETH is for this sort of thing, then look at how many people using it anyway and how much ETH is worth. Imagine giving them that same experience without the large variable unpredictable transaction fees and slow confirmations?

Just to be clear, I don't want to get rid of the social layer of Hive, I want to see it as a dapp in a smart contract using a SMT reward token on a more flexible Hive blockchain, one of many potential social media dapps. To average joe user, there would be almost no change at all to the social media experience if done right.

This is a huge undertaking and a radical view, and not something I think that can happen right away, but I think it would be a drastically change Hive's attraction.

As someone who works on a Social Media dapp (also a game marketplace) I don't think blog based rewards are valuable enough (now or ever) to successful/business-minded content creators to leverage such high inflation from Hive into them.

Moving this aspect over to an SMT is intriguing and has great appeal and the Hive token should be more general and less social media specific. Empowering business minded communities with SMT is also of interest. They can perhaps still be used to help sort posts algorithmic-ally and purchase promotions etc and hopefull exchange quickly and easily for Hive or other tokens.

Also for a social media app maybe the best thing that could be done is to focus on all the other things this blockchain can do... so less focus by developers and hive evangelists on the social aspect is actually better for social dapps. Besides, It should be up to the apps to promote their own features and successes... while being highlighted from time to time by those showing the diversity of what can be done on Hive.

I don't know all the angles of this discussion and am listening to see which direction my thoughts should go but those are my thoughts as of now.

99.999% agree with this. It is time to take what we have learned over the last 4.5 years, look at what makes Hive unique, and leverage the hell out of that that for the benefit of everyone.

RP is a feature but people without vision make it the bug.

2nd layers without great use case hard to scale and slow to adoption. While moving existing social layer to 2nd layer would probably do better. Like build some use case into 1st layer and after some adoption and uses cases move to 2nd layer, etc.

Technically I think smart contracts are bit more complicated than plain SMT...

Since you brought this example, the makers of Gods Unchained are releasing a ZK Rollup, called Immutable X imminently for all NFT-related developers. 3,000 TPS, <$0.01 tx fees, 0.3 second finality, all backed by the massive, decentralization and security of ethereum. (See here: ~~~ embed:1318730386822754304) This accelerates up to 100K TPS when Ethereum 2.0 Phase 1 releases in 2021. twitter metadata:SW1tdXRhYmxlfHxodHRwczovL3R3aXR0ZXIuY29tL0ltbXV0YWJsZS9zdGF0dXMvMTMxODczMDM4NjgyMjc1NDMwNCkgVGhpcyBhY2NlbGVyYXRlcyB1cCB0byAxMDBLIFRQUyB3aGVuIEV0aGVyZXVtIDIuMCBQaGFzZSAxIHJlbGVhc2VzIGluIDIwMjEufA== ~~~

So yeah, Ethereum is much better for this sort of thing than Hive will ever be, not to mention its compromised consensus mechanism. But even if you were OK with the compromised consensus mechanism, EOS does most of this much better, with orders of magnitude greater funding. The boat has sailed. IMO, Hive has to get back to square one, come up with a completely new vision and overhaul, and best case scenario will be a niche outlet for those use cases. Personally, I feel the best approach is to be a chain specifically for social, gaming and NFTs, with very low inflation. While a majority of these projects (Reddit, Gods Unchained, Rarible etc) will be on Ethereum, especially now with technologies like ZK Rollups solving scalability, I believe there's a case to be made for a very niche but sustainable future for Hive focusing on these niches.

PS: Can't even post a damn Twitter link on Terrible. See here instead, it's the pinned thread:

PS: Can't even post a damn Twitter link on Terrible. See here instead, it's the pinned thread:

In my opinion, letting unit price and ranking on CMC drive your technical decisions is not the best strategy. That is an eternally moving goalpost. Aside from many people with significant stake built it by gaming or exploiting the system, it basically shuts the door behind those people in regard to participating in base chain governance organically. If it needs to eventually be done for survival sake, so be it, but...

Many arguments for blog reward removal are based on the premise that additional functionality is there (I.E. SMTs, etc.), that I think most of us can agree is needed. Either way we need this additional functionality. Hive Engine has been a decent stop gap, but we need a more robust base layer.
Let's get this built and in place. In theory, the demand for base token post rewards and base chain posting should diminish because people will be too busy posting from the interface for their shit tokens. At that point, perhaps this argument will become more self-evident and can be revisited.

We have seen that non-blogging applications on Hive can be attractive and popular, even to people outside of our bubble. We've even seen social media interfaces like LeoFinance do quite well on Hive with their own token distribution.


These days, I'd rather spend time on some of the games and focus on certain tribes than mingle with most of the so-called "content creators" on the chain.

My take away from this is the need for a new foundation of Hive. If the censorship resistant blogging doesn't make us gain traction, then what will? The chain hemorrhages funds with only a minute return and only games seem to bring eyes and usage now.

Maybe we need a promotion that will give people a reason to join? Oh wait, we've tried that...

How about freedom?
No one cares.

Maybe the "rewards"?
History has shown how that works out for anyone new.

The disgust with other social media sites, Maybe?
Not likely, humans are not willing to change their comfort level. Learning scares most lay people and this new thing will just make them run.

We still have gaming!
What chain doesn't? Ohh, we have splinterlands, weee. That has done nothing for chain adoption.

At this point something has to drastically change or else we will be sitting in an echo chamber of a few thousand people in a world of billions. At some point the wake up call happens and I really hope this chain is able to rise to the occasion.

But his all comes from a user of the chain, not a dev, so what the fuck do I know.

until Bitcoin breaks 20k and Ethereum and other coins break all time highs alt coins will bleed. Once everyone is pumped and in profits they will feel more like gambling on alt coins. its just how it goes. The problem is not Hive the problem is the market.

The problem is Hive. We're at #134 market cap. Waiting for a random pump of the general crypto market is not how you get ahead. It also doesn't address our user problem.

Not to mention, most people don't look at page 2 and beyond on CMC or Coingecko.

We need to make Account Creation free and easy again
Back in the days when we could send people directly to for easy quick signup, we did grow in users by great amounts, and for every X user we got Y amount of them invested and powered up. A numbers game really.

Then came the restrictions and RC. All of a sudden we were no longer going to be progressive but conservative due to a fear of Noganoo stealing the best names.

afterwards, there was no way to target groups on the Internet to just come and create an account anymore, everything stagnated as new users now had to either pay for an account or get an account from someone who had accounts to give, this problem destroyed any efforts we did in marketing and we gave up trying to onboard new users, it was just too hard after the restrictions came.

I suggest we remove anything restricting new accounts from being created for free. Onboarding needs to be as simple as to just send people to and other front ends and have whoever that wants sign up in a few very easy steps.

I am certain it will be profitable for everyone, and we should do it quickly

Account creation seems very easy and totally free these days. Thanks in part to what @hiveonboard was able to do, we've integrated it into and have had hundreds of people use it without issue. Maybe it won't scale to millions but that's not an issue we have presently.

And then there are some tools that help with auto delegations to those you help onboard ... peakd will be integrating that for people that jump in as well, making it so they don't have to worry about RC issues. And then next HF the RC pools will eventually make that need unnecessary in the future which will also be great.

So from where i sit getting people accounts is no longer much of an issue for us.

...and have had hundreds of people use it without issue. Maybe it won't scale to millions but that's not an issue we have presently.

It needs to be easy and free so that we can onboard millions of users, hundreds of millions of users, a billion users.

The only reason we have the system we have now is because Ned Scott Panicked. It was intended to be free for users to sign up, but someone came up with the idea that new accounts needed to cost 3 coins burned as a blockchain creation taxation. Then they came up with a compensation, you know... those free accounts we can "RC-Mine" in such a small amount of accounts that it is not worth it to marketing. Your site would run out of accounts in a matter of hours or minutes running twitter or google ads and similar.

What we need is the main account creation system to be zero coin cost as originally intended so we can target and onboard large amounts of users.

It is a numbers game, for every 1000 new user we get 1 new investor

Technically, it is currently not possible to onboard millions or billions of users on a blockchain. Blockchain space is super expensive. But it is possible to onboard professional crypto-inclined content creators who enjoy the benefits of crypto and censorship-resistance.

I am super bored of hearing "it is not possible". Of course it is possible.

Excuse me, sir. You're using too much common sense ITT. I'm going to have to ask you to tone it down a tad.

This is valid concern and if Hive social media layer is moved out of core, it will be possible to remove RC and those restrictions as well. Make it like btc and eth, come create account easily and start using suite of dapps

So how come nobody seem to develop anything to make the doors open to new signups? Are we waiting for the price and trading-volume to completely delist us from the exchanges?

I wouldn't say nobody. After recent hardfork, once things stabilize, we can as community choose our priorities. Everyone has their own image how Hive should evolve and nobody stopping anyone from building solution and offering to community. Meanwhile, we already have easy signups It is not as scalable solution as I would want but until better solution is proposed and implemented, it should be ok.

Just as a thought experiment, let's say one month from now there's a hardfork so all inflation is cut in half. And let's also say that it has zero effect on the marketcap. What would the next step be?

If all we did was cut inflation, I’d say that we should go forward with the rest of the plan. Just cutting inflation doesn’t do much.

I agree.

Indeed. Compounding inflation is going to sink us completely. Main chain should have a steady supply of coins to make things robust, 2nd layer solution, apps, games can have their own thing as they already do have. Main reason why ethereum is still strong is because the supply of the coin is predictable and steady, Steem, early mining, insane inflation, lock periods, more inflation, when you step back and think about how every idea failed miserably and most of Hive community still thinks 9% inflation on Hive is a good idea is insane. Only a miracle can save this system or some insane bull market that happened few years ago.

Long powerdown time put us nearly 0 interest from outside hive bubble. Hoping to keep price by reducing liquidity hasn’t worked out.

Reducing power down time will also have zero impact.

I would still prefer 4-week power down than 13.

I see no purpose in reducing power down time. Other than even more down pressure.

Now, if we were to come up with a solution where 4 weeks is the default and there's additional incentives for 13, 26, 52, 104, 156 weeks aso then I'm absolutely game. People could still power down but at the pace defined buy their lock-in period.

Lowering the PD time because "proof of brainers" want faster liquidity is merely a form of propaganda in my eyes.

And the downward pressure is assumed. Do you see STEEM having problems with its price with a shorter PD time? In fact, price is higher than HIVE.

Pressure goes both ways. Nobody in their right mind would want to play with a low liquidity coin where slippage becomes a real concern.

At 3% default interest, with +8% default inflation and another on average 10% inflation from conversions, there won't be another side to the downpressure. But I don't think that is a big issue. But there's just nothing compelling about lowering it either.

Nobody will come and buy, unless some FOMO can be generated. You can get more and risk-free without those inflation issues on other platforms. And then I don’t have to chase curation rewards either to beat the average inflation.

I don’t know what’s going on on the other chain. Couldn’t care less, I don’t call that, and its overlord’s empire, a blockchain. But I think JS doesn’t want any haircut.

Anyway, I stick with my original reply. ;)

Reducing power down time will also have zero impact.

You and Marky said it better than I could.

Let’s double down on what works instead of repeating what doesn’t work ad nauseum.

Everybody seems intent on skirting the layer 1 issues and that is a mistake..I guarantee it.

I've already pitched what needs to be done but while people are sitting with their dicks in their hands other alt tech platforms are scooping up conservatives.

I saw you were chatting on the same discord and perhaps you didn't see but seems rather y'all are seeking solutions that are oblique to what is the straight line to the goal.

It's ok to be a squeaky wheel but what matters in the end is the direction that wheel is going.

Fact of the matter is anticensorship is one of the primary selling points of Hive yet y'all don't seem too interested in onboarding those most affected by it.

It makes me curious of the mental process around whoever was involved in trying to onboard Anthony Fantano (back in the Steem days). Like bruh, that MFer is left af and he has no incentive to be fucking around with alt tech nor his followers. Lack of insight is the problem.

Many of us have been calling for gutting inflation rewards on the common reward pool for years now, and I still remain firmly in support of this move. Or at least an interim solution that sees inflation drop to 2% or so, before we have the vision for a complete overhaul.

Another reason to get into cryptocurrencies is to use them as transactional currencies and to facilitate payments. I think this is where Hive can excel. We can take advantage of 3-second block times, free transactions, and personalized account names. These are features that many end-users want.

While this was certainly a legit use case for Steem in 2016, I'm afraid this is no longer relevant.

  1. The DPoS consensus mechanism has proved to be a catastrophic failure, and after the Steem debacle no one will trust this network with any significant value. DPoS cultists love to point how the fork proves that it works, but it really doesn't. Steem is still under 51% attack, and will forever be. Despite how flawed PoW is, this would never happen there.

  2. Even if people were OK with the severe decentralization and security compromises DPoS brings, there's a far superior version of it out there in EOS. They have raised $4 billion, pushed hard on various fronts, and still failed to capture any meaningful economic activity. Hive has no chance.

  3. But that brings me to the biggest issue, all of this is now possible on Ethereum. ZK Rollups are the single greatest innovation in crypto since bitcoin invented blockchain, and ethereum made it programmable, in my opinion. Today, we have services like Loopring Pay and zkSync which offer <$0.01 transfers with 0.3 second finality for ALL ERC-20 assets. Other dApps like Gods Unchained are also starting to integrate similar technologies, and I'd imagine within a few months scalability will no longer be an issue on ethereum. Wallets are starting to integrate ENS names. E.g. you could open on account on Status with ats-david.snt.eth for free; or pay something to secure ats-david.eth or ats-david.crypto or whatever. So the account names thing is no longer an advantage either. And of course, all of this achieved with the massive decentralization, security and network effects ethereum brings.

Today, there are only 25 people at most who can run Hive profitably. IMO, there is only one or two of these with any sort of credibility and reputation in the crypto space, most of them are random yahoos, conspiracy theorists and opportunists (No offense meant, you know this is true). Do you think people would trust this network, with a history of consensus failure, with any kind of significant value? I certainly wouldn't and no one I have spoken to with any real stake in crypto will either. As a contrast, the Ethereum 2.0 Medalla testnet has 100,000 validators, with more likely being present for Ethereum 2.0 when it launches. That is what massive decentralization looks like. This is the very steep cost to giving away free transactions without a revolutionary technology like ZK Rollups to optimize them.

Finally, Reddit is introducing tokenization on ethereum with some scaling solution like zk Rollups (they haven't decided yet). Why on earth would anyone use Hive?

In my opinion, the best case scenario for Hive now is to completely overhaul the system to be a niche outlet for social media and gaming.

PS: Hive is #151 on Coingecko today. Damn, how far we done fell. This is now the single greatest failure in crypto, for what was once a top 3 project.

Based on current evidence you're completely right, people aren't interested in sticking around and we can't compete.

However, we've never actually paid anyone significant amounts of money to develop a social media application - I mean PeakD has been put together for hardly any funding, and it's not bad for free!

It would be nice to actually pay Devs to just put something world class together, or just pay the LEO team from the DAO as they're on the case with a working model.

However I get the impression that there's not enough HP interest to get such things funded, so I think we've no chance of giving Hive as a blogging chain a real shot.

I don't necessarily think reducing the rewards pool is a bad thing, I'd hate to see it go altogether though.

As to marketing, that is a real tragedy - I mean the twitter campaign, I'd best not say anything as there's nothing good I can say about it.

I think that's a case of 'anyone thinks they can do it' but clearly everyone whose involved is just crap at it.

We probably are fucked already. As someone else said in the comments, who fucking looks at page 2 anyway?

100% agree with what you said, but I think the transition should be slow. We can't completely remove rewards instantly as that will cause massive selling. Maybe start by reducing inflation a little bit, then using SMTs and airdrop one for the social media usecase.

Lots of work ahead as always.