The last days have been really interesting. If for some reason you have been living under a digital rock, it is already well spread news that Justin Sun/Tron bought Steemit Inc.
What a have been seeing around here is three kinds of reactions:
- The usual positive wave that "everything will be awesome now! Steem will moon now!"
- The also usual doomsday wave screaming "RUN TO THE HILLS! THE END IS NIGH!"
- And the majority "WTF IS HAPPENING?!?!?!?!"
Now, while everyone agrees that all the information that have be published so far hasn't been very clear about what future awaits the Steem Blockchain (Not Steemit Inc., that is already settled), after some reading and thought i am able to draw some very solid conclusions about what will probably happen.
But before the stones start to fly in my direction, let me be really clear here:
Part of my real-life job is to try to figure out the most probable scenarios that can happen based on the information that is available, and this article is only this: my evaluation of what we know and what we don't know, and what would be the probable moves of the actors on the present situation. You are free to make your own conclusions.
Now, let's get to the meat of the subject at hand.
First, the facts
1 - First, the obvious: Justin Sun bought Steemit Inc., with the objective to make Steem blockchain part of the Tron ecosystem
While in theory, the Steem blockchain as we know today, can exist without Steemit Inc., it would be really stupid to say that everything would be the same without this main company supporting the blockchain.
Without Steemic Inc. there wouldn't be developers being paid to focus on the development of Steem front-end/back-end and it would be way harder to have STEEM and SBD being traded on major exchanges.
So, even with all the disappointments that we endured all these years, without Steemit Inc. support, Steem would probably be way behind in development state.
2 - Along with @ned stakes, the brand, the image and the employees of Steemit Inc. are part of the deal
Again, Tron might not be able to own the blockchain, but everything that is associated with Steem is part of the deal.
That include physical assets, servers, marketing assets, brand, copyrights, comercial relations, employees, and everything else that is owned by Steemit Inc.
3 - There is a final objective, but no final plan on how to achieve it
One thing that is pretty clear on everything that was published by Tron foundation (Including Justin Sun Live stream on 02/16) is that the end goal is to have Steem working on top of the Tron blockchain.
Some of you might not want to believe that, but it is pretty clear on the first official release published:
TRON and Steemit’s development teams will immediately begin working together to bring Steemit and other Steem blockchain based DApps to TRON blockchain
And if you still don't believe this is the final objective, read this:
Together, TRON Foundation and Steemit Inc. will look to create further value for their users and to augment their advancements in decentralized technologies, including moving old STEEM token to a new TRON based STEEM token,(...)
Justin Sun and the TRON foundation objective is pretty clear, even if they still don't have a clear plan of how this will happen:
They want to move the Steem ecosystem to the TRON blockchain
4 - Justin Sun know exactly what he bought
I have seen the argument being thrown around that "he have no idea what he bought".
Please, don't be fools.
The first rumors about this acquisition surfaced on december 2019, and i have no doubts that way before that, Justin and his team were already studying everything about Steemit Inc. and the Steem blockchain.
Even if they started the research only on december, 2 months is more than enough time to an experienced team fully understand all the inner workings of this blockchain.
Also, nobody acquire a net worth of US$ 200 million (estimated) by throwing money at random stuff to see what sticks.
5 - Steem have what Tron is lacking: Active community and diverse dApps
Steem might not look very active right now, but it still have a thriving community.
Everywhere you look you can find different communities with different projects: Content Curation (@ocd, @curie, @qurator), Travel (@travelfeed), Photography (@photofeed), Art(@creativecoin, @onchainart), Science(@steemstem), Finance(@steemleo), Games(@splinterlands, @steem-ace), and a lot others.
Meanwhile, Tron dApps is almost all about gambling.
And it's no secret that Justin's objective for Tron is to make it the biggest and most used dApps platform
6 - Justin Sun have close ties to exchanges
He already owns one (Poloniex), and being one of the top 20 cryptocurrency in market cap, it isn't hard to understand the he have easy access to the major exchanges like Binance and Bitfinex.
This is important to remember, because altough a cryptocurrency/blockchain can exist without the exchanges, it gets pretty hard to it's users get monetary value if there is no way to convert their tokens in "real-world" currency.
And this will continue to be true until we reach the day where cryptos are seen as equal to fiat currencies by everyone.
Also, Poloniex was pretty quick to announce that they will be supporting the STEEM token swap.
7 - Steem blockchain can still exist, even if Tron don't support it as real blockchain (not a Tron dApp)
This one is pretty simple. As we can see by the Tron official statements, their objective is to have a Steemit dApp working on the Tron blockchain.
I might be wrong here, since i am no developer, but i don't think it is possible to have a blockchain work on top of another blockchain.
There is the possibility of Steem becoming a side-chain, but that would mean keeping two development teams working on two different languages.
8 - A token swap means that you are giving one type tokens in exchange for another token
And don't be fooled: A token swap is part of the plan.
"Your STEEM token will turn into nothing"
The most likely scenario
Don't get me wrong here. The Steemit brand, and the Steemit dApp, and the STEEM token will definetly grow in this situation. There is no doubt that it is on Justin Sun best interest to make this deal work.
The problem is: The Steem blockchain as we know is not part of Justin Sun plans.
Here is what i see how this will play out:
1 - Justin Sun acquired Steemit Inc. and it's assets
2 - A big chunk of Steem developers now work for the Tron Foundation
3 - Steem developers and Tron developers start to work on how to "translate" Steem code and tokenomics and how to implement it on the Tron blockchain
4 - With the new Steemit working on top of Steem, Justin Sun start to market it as the real Steem
5 - Justin use it's influence to get all major exchanges to change the old Steem token for the new SteemTron token
6 - The swap starts, Steem users are now offered the new SteemTron tokens in exchange for the old Steem tokens
7 - 90%+ of Steem users migrate to the new Tron version. After all, if they stick to the old chain, they won't be able to sell their tokens anymore, and Tron Foundation have enough resources to provide incentives.
8 - The Steemit Inc. Stake doesn't matter on the old chain anymore, because it will also be swapped for the new platform.
9 - From this point on, Justin Sun/Tron don't care anymor about what will happen with the old chain.
10 - A small part of the community will stay on the old Steem chain (now not able to use the name, because of brand rights), and try to "rebuild" it.
But is this good or bad?
The answer to this question lies more on what you value more on Steem.
I know a lot of users got here looking for another way to make some extra money (me included), be it creating content, be it investing or speculating on the token.
But also i see a lot of people that percieve another set of values, including freedom-of-speech, and sense of community (wich i became after some time using this blockchain).
Neither of these groups are right or wrong, and honestly, it's pretty useless to judge one side or another.
But at some point in a near future, everyone will have to decide what they are looking for, because a divide between the "Tron Steem" and "Classic Steem" will be inevitable.
And the worst of it all is that, unlike other divisions on other blockchain communities (aka forks), it was possible to be part of both from an equal starting point.
This is something that won't happen here. You will have to choose where you will keep your STEEM.
And i really wish that everyone make the best choice possible.
No matter what happens in the future, i want to give a big thank you to everyone i have interacted with here. This place already gave me a lot of things more valuable than the money i receive from my posts!
(Don't worry, i am not leaving yet, and i will see you around)