Let's put the security of steem to the test

in #steem7 years ago (edited)

We assume that the steem blockchain is secure because we believe at least 10 of the 19 witnesses are unique individuals with different backgrounds who will not act nefariously against the system. We also assume that these witnesses won't collude with each other nor will they accept bribes.

I have an idea that could improve the power distribution, if it is being gamed then the security of the steem blockchain is questionnable. I say let's put it to the test!

The idea is to create a list of users. A percentage of the total voting power will be allocated to users on that list.

Users who want to be on that list will have to be approved by at least 10 out of 19 witnesses ( the majority). This should prevent witnesses to vote themselves ( multiple accounts) on the list or vote for bad actors ( Again assuming the steem blockchain is secure)

Who should be on the list?

Well, ideally it would be users who have contributed positively to the platform, users who are verified unique individuals, users who can be trusted to vote for good content, users who are very active within the community ( active last 7 days.etc..)
But there will be no real requirement,it's up to each witness to decide.
If witnesses want to put pedophiles on the list, and the majority of them ( 10+) want that, then the steem blockchain is not secure.
The idea though is not to be too selective as the whole point is to solve power concentration issues. This list would represent trustworthy users of the community so the more we have the better.
Users could be voted out of the list at anytime by witnesses if they abuse the voting power or misbehave.

This idea could merge with another idea

Recently I proposed a solution to the distribution problem that you can find here https://steemit.com/steemit-ideas/@snowflake/what-if-i-told-you-i-ve-uncovered-a-top-secret-community-this-community-is-so-secretive-that-if-you-want-to-work-your-way-up-its

Here is a repost of the proposal part

The idea is to have 6 different influence/power levels within the community. Users within each levels will own all together a certain percentage of the total voting power which means that all users in the same level will have equal voting power.

Level 1 ( newbies) - users with < 1000 SP - owns 3% of total voting power (vest)
Level 2 (plankton) - users with < 5000 SP - owns 8% of total voting power (vest)
Level 3 (minnows) - users with < 10 000 SP - owns 13% of total voting power (vest)
Level 4 (orcas) - users with < 25 000 SP - owns 18% of total voting power (vest)
Level 5 ( dolphins) - users with < 50 000 SP - owns 25% of total voting power (vest)
Level 6 ( whales) - users with < 100 000 SP - owns 33% of total voting power (vest)

Now this is only one part of the proposal, these levels alone do not solve the problem of the increasing difficulty to gain influence as price rises. To solve this issue we need to adjust SP level requirement so that each level do not exceed a certain amount of dollar value.
At today's price those SP level requirement are reasonnable and accessible to everyone. In order to obtain level 2 a user needs more than $115 worth of steem power. Someone who wants to reach whale level would need more than $11500. Which to me seems pretty on target. I do not pretend to have the right numbers ( limits), these could probably be a little bit higher, however definetely not millions of dollar for whale level, not even in your wildest dreams!! Levels should be accessible to all in order to be meaningful and appealing to users.
The price of steem is constantly moving so the best would be to set those limits in dollar and have the SP level requirement constantly adjust to match the limits.
If this isn't feasable then parameters (limits) could be changed manually when deemed necessary, if the price goes too high and levels becomes too difficult to reach for users.

Basically the issue with this proposal was that it was vulnerable to sybil attacks. This problem could be solved by the first idea where witnesses vote people to be on a particular list.
Essentially both ideas could merge.
We could have 6 lists corresponding to the 6 different levels above, the first requirement to be eligible for a certain list would be to have the required SP in your wallet. Once you have enough SP to be say on list 3 ( level 3) then witnesses can start voting for you, if they approve you on the list 3, you and everyone else on that list will own a certain % of the total voting power ( 13% in my example )
Note: I don't necessarily believe that this should be applied for all the voting power on the platform (as in the proposal above). I think witnesses would have way too much power if this was the case. But a list/level system could be created for only say 20-25% of the total voting power, which will improve distribution a lot.

Final words

I'm sure some steemians will say "don't break the contract" or some whales might not be happy with such change.
I want to tell them that steem is a very new technology and it should be allowed to evolve and adapt. There is a clear issue with regard to influence and distribution, we should not ignore it. Change is a good thing as long as it benefits the community as a whole. Also this is just an idea, nothing concrete or anything. It's all food for thought at this point.

Levels should be accessible to all in order to be meaningful and appealing to users.

Today what's happening is very problematic, users keep buying steem power but barely notice any difference in the influence that they have. At some point they will stop buying steem power.

If we want to please everyone, there will have to be some trade offs along the way though at some point and I think adjusting the parameters or creating new models to slighty benefit average people over whales is a winning strategy because these people will represent 99% of steemit users in the future

TL:DR : The steem blockchain is secured from sybil attacks by witnesses. The main problem to solve the distribution issues is sybil attacks. Let's use witnesses to solve the distribution issue.

Do you want to put the steem blockchain security to the test?

Let me know in the comments below


You want the witnesses to vote on each user to determine if they deserve extra voting power?

My bad, I should have been more clear. Deserve is not the right word here.
The idea is to determine who is a unique individual and who is a sockpuppet. There could be specific requirement in place to determine that and witnesses would have to put users that fit requirement on the list.
If we can’t trust witnesses to do this simple task I'm not sure how we are supposed to trust them with millions of dollars…

It is not a matter of trust - as a witness, I think this is a really bad idea! As the site scales to millions (possibly billions) of users, I would have to spend my time each day reviewing every person on the site to see who is worthy of the list. Where would I find the time? I would probably need to hire a full-time staff! :)

[Edit] Also, how am I going to be able to tell who is 'good' vs. 'bad', 'real' vs. 'fake'?

I guess you are right it's difficult to do as people will create elaborated shill accounts. Even profil verification picture can be faked, and yeah it would take a lot of time too. Trustless guilds are by far the best solution to solve distribution issue. Do you know how would curation rewards be allocated in a guild?

I've created two posts with proposals, but it is very much up in the air right now.

This is a very simple proposal, although it does not get into actual 'guilds'. It would just be allowing whales to delegate their voting power to another user:

Here are thoughts on actual curation guilds: