Bounty 20 Steem: Should we fix SBD?


12 days agoSteemit5 min read


I've been thinking about SBD lately and how we should deal with it. Clearly the intention in the white paper of a stable currency that reflects the USD price is not working.

As a recap directly from the white paper:

"....Steem Dollars were designed as an attempt to bring stability to the world of cryptocurrency and to the individuals who use the Steem network....."


So I am going forward with the assumption that SBD is to be a

  • Stable currency, pegged to some other currency (in this case the USD)
  • The purpose of such is to protect users from price fluctuations (i.e. money earned should not have to be sold to protect its value)
  • there is a bigger vision for steem than just blogging and SBD are to be useful as cryptocurrency to entire industry and not just steem content creators

A design flaw that makes everyone money

There has been quite some debate about SBD on Steem in the past and it will likely be hard to change anything at this moment.

The reason is that any price of SBD above the $1 brings value into the ecosystem, without any direct cost (other than the loss of SBD utility). Everyone that gets any sort of rewards in SBD has been overpaid dramatically. Specifically content creators have had their rewards multiply.

This money basically is coming from the market. As people on the market overpay for SBD people who earn and sell SBD benefit. So in a way this is free money flowing into the Steem ecosystem paid for by traders/investors. That makes steem grow at no cost. No wonder everyone loves this idea.

High SBD is good short term and bad long term

Because the value that is flowing into steem from the high price of SBD is really good for content creators this is really good for growth of new users and keeping existing users active. it also helps with wealth distribution. So this is simply fantastic.

In the longterm however the objective of SBDs is stability and without it they have no utility. Even worse the advantages that they are supposed to bring are not available to users. So while the there seems to be no cost for not having working SBDs there clearly is one. It is just not as noticeable in the short term, while the advantages of high sbd price is clearly felt by everyone. Immediately.

But imagine how great it would be if you could trust that SBD's are stable and one could use it to park value. Essentially the entire value of TUSD could be captured by SBD and flow into steem. If that were the case the steem blockchain would be more than twice as valuable.

Fix it in the long term and in a way that increases the price of steem

So I would suggest to let SBD go on as it has right now until its value comes down to its peg or at least close. Then however I would suggest to fix the design flaw that it has and make sure a volatile SBD price cannot happen again.

Allow people to create SBD

One of the great things of Steem and SBD is that the debt ratio can never be more than 10%. As such there is no problem creating unlimited amount of SBD. Therefore we can come up with a solution like @timcliff suggested

  • Allow users to buy SBD by converting STEEM into SBD
  • The conversion from STEEM to SBD should have a fee that is set by the witnesses (it would be their job to make this so high that the system cannot be exploited)
  • This fee can either be burned or used for marketing or development purposes
  • Steem used to buy SBD should also be burned

How this would increase the value of steem

If the utility of SBD would create lots of demand for it, the price of steem would increase. At first price of SBD would go up, this would then trigger arbitrage opportunities, which would increase demand for steem, which then would increase the price of steem.

Imagine the entire crypto market using steem as stable currency instead of USD, this would catapult the price of steem. I think the value of a stable currency is still vastly understated by most people in the space. In the end no cryptocurrency is money or currency as the most important attribute of such (that most often is omitted) is stable value. As such steem could be the only real currency in the space, if only we would get it right.

I think it is better to fix a faulty design than to forget a good vision. SBD are essential for making steem more than just a simple blogging site but a whole financial system that can change the world. In order for that we need working SBD.


I am sure many of you will have interesting ideas about this so I look forward to your thoughts. In order to encourage you to share them I have put a 20 Steem bounty on this post, which will be shared among the top level comments, depending on how much upvotes you will get from me (80%) and from the community (20%).

This is from the bounty project we are working on with out witness steem-bounty, which we will announce in the short future.

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