I like to go back and read this post by Dan L. https://hive.blog/steem/@dan/steemit-s-evil-plan-for-cryptocurrency-world-domination back when this whole idea was new and fresh and the possibilities were endless. I like to take a trip back from the start, to remember why I'm doing what I'm doing. Sometimes it's easy to get lost in the thick of the journey, to become lost in the cause, so much so you forget why you took the first step in the first place.
When I got into Steem, it was because of Quora censorship. I went down the Bitcoin rabbit hole and a lot of the great content I was reading was from this unique site called steemit. After hundreds of answers, countless hours and eventually earning "top writer" for 2018 for my work in 2017, I quit Quora. No goodbyes. I had experienced first hand the censorship on Quora, and what it created was this sorta "invisible rules" where top writers would shy away from certain topics, it was like Quora was molding writers to fit their agenda.
The reason I quit Quora was because I like to be free, fly, not have anything weighing me down. Of course, I never shy away from anything, I kept writing, more passionate, rawer, more controversial. Before I know it several of my answers were taken down without notice, some had hundreds of thousands of views and 100's of comments, erased. I never like being an unwelcome guest in anyone's home so I left centralized Quora and joined Steem and never looked back.
Joining Steem back in the day this was before I had made good money in crypto, before the start of the 2017 bull run. I was a blogger, blogging trying to earn my skin in the game, meet new people, but most importantly, understand how the technology works. One reason I don't like to hop from project to project is it is really fucking hard to understand this stuff, it took so long for bitcoin to click, and it took nearly 6 months for the idea of Steem to finally click, and when it did I experienced a sense of joy that was very deep. I understood we had a way out.
What got me interested as an investor was the idea of SMTs. Immutable, tokenized communities. Ah, just saying it wakes the bull up inside me every time. What a wonderful invention. I always viewed Hive as sorta a futuristic city, like something out of StarWars.
You see all these wild characters, some rough, some nice, you have all these crazy alien ways of securing your account and storing your data. Just a decade ago none of this existed, now we are talking about creating our own digital communities with tokens, it's just mind-blowing.
What always gave me the StarWars image when viewing Hive was this post from Dan L. The idea of market places, sovereign currency, immutable communities, games, art, everything and anything all tied together by this invisible force called a blockchain.
If I was to say where we are we are smack in the middle of Dan Ls original plan. We are seeing marketplaces pop up, communities are formed and now we are moving to the final phase, which is a decentralized sidechain with smart contracts.
The social aspect of our blockchain, rewarding content with tokens, was the Trojan horse that injected our blockchain far into the world. We have the hardest thing to achieve, which is a network effect. Now, we are building the tools for second layer apps to build on top of Hive.
What is cool about Hive is it is so scalable that we are even creating smart contracts on the second layer, to make layer 1 as agnostic as possible and to do the job of storing text data in the most efficient way possible.
The second layer is where the apps live, how they build and interact with Hive.
Dan L said it here:
"Think of a side-chain as a Facebook app. It will allow developers to build new games. It will allow people to issue their own currencies. All kinds of robust financial instruments can be built on the back of the Steem Dollar and the Steem network."
When app developers come here, they should have an easy to use the tool kit to plug n play features from Hive directly into their projects. Hive-Engine allows smart contracts, so you get the 1, 2 punch of scalability + feature-rich toolsets.
Another quote from Dan that I thought was interesting.
"We can support a paypal-like checkout process that any website can integrate."
This would be amazing for people to insert "feeless, censorship-resistant tipping" to their sites. Patreon features have been in high demand for a while and if Hive has the capability I believe we should look to get those features built.
I also saw this which was cool:
"We have no plans for doing digital good distribution on our own at this time, but it would be trivial to add." - With Hive-Engine we do have digital good distribution.
Hive being as simple as it is on the base layer really gives it an edge over other blockchains. Smart contracts on layer 2 mean layer 1 can scale more easily. Once layer 2 is decentralized we can have some very powerful, trusted smart contracts to do all the things blockchains like Ethereum can do, except we can do it with zero fees.
When the tide resides, the naked ones (aka chains that haven't scaled) will be shown for what they are. The defi hype can and went quickly, I'd say mostly due to pricing out most of the market with high gas fees. The foundation brought on by the mini defi boom is what we should be hawking, attaching to, and building a bridge with, and layer 2 helps with all of this.
When you sit back and really think about Hive, and the possibilities of what we can accomplish here, it always makes me super excited to get back to buidling! And when I look at that old post by Dan L, and compare to where we are now, all done by the community, it brings be great confidence in the future of Hive.