While everything concerning the upcoming release schedule of Communities and SMTs is up in the air, I think that it is good to actually think about what the benefits of them are.
What I see as one of the major advantages of SMTs is that they have the chance to enable a digital community without even having to have monetary value. We put a lot of emphasis of course on token value, but stars, hearts and thumbsup are also tokens, it is just that the market for them is out of reach of end users. SMTs changes this.
Reddit has Karma points and while they generally do not mean much outside of the ecosystem, on the platform they are seen as vital as they change possibility and experiences of the user base. An SMT can do the same of course and can enable and empower a user base without having any external value, but, at any point those same tokens could become valuable if people decide to start trading them in the marketplace and on exchanges.
It is hard to really predict what some tokens would have if they were tradeable across accounts, but just like some of the surprising collectibles out there, the values could become significant organically without any applied economic measures. I think this is exciting and I believe that some of the comunities that are able to offer compelling tokenized experiences can increasing their value without having to engineer to do so.
What is probably one of the most important things of SMTs to consider for Steem is that they offer an endless supply of inflation pools without having to interact with the Steem pool at all. This means that each token has the possibility to do what didn't happen well on steem and that is, start with a fresh distribution model that will hopefully be healthier.
One thing that many people do not actually consider is that due to the independent nature, an SMT can outperform Steem, while still running on the Steem blockchain. With their own pools, experiences and potentially their full community, an SMT could outpace Steem for worth while leveraging the blockchain for free. This is of course quite a tall order, but if you can imagine Splinerlands attracting several million players to it, the cards that are transferred across Steem could hold immense value while still transacting for free. Concurrently, there could be 10 games and communities doing similarly.
There is massive potential for SMTs in this regard and my hope is that with all of the SMTs running upon Steem, there will be a huge increase in the demand for Steem itself. But, the total value of all of the tokens could be well above what Steem is as an individual market cap. This is definitely one of the most exciting things about the potential of SMTs as they are independent tokens brought together along the one blockchain, but can be configured in a wide array of ways to cater for their individual audiences.
Tokenization of the internet has been in full swing for a very long time, but as I said, the marketplaces for them are out of reach for the normal users. Essentially, Facebook and Google have already tokenized the internet in many ways, it is just that the tokens might be out of sight. But, it is all of the tracking of interaction that adds the value to their business model as they productize and on-sell it to marketer, corporation and government.
Blockchains allow for the UI skin to be removed and the mechanics of interaction be seen and processed by end users. This means that the value that is currently so lucrative for a narrow band of corporations, has the possibility to be distributed out to the end users instead of those who have essentially commandeered the internet and made it their own, and us their tenants.
As I see it, even without external monetary value, an SMT can create a much better user experience as it gamifies whatever kind of world it support. It just takes looking at the stats pages of online gaming to see how important it is for many people to rank up and unlock achievements, even if there is no financial gain to do so.
One of the issues we have had on Steem is that a lot of the emphasis is put on direct earnings from the inflation pool rather than building digital worlds that end users are willing to actually pay for, as they do when they buy a game or an upgrade for one. This shift takes time, but SMTs will be able to reset much of the distribution and relabel what is important.
On top of this, there is the investment opportunity as while Steem may be hotly contested as the base token for the entire blockchain, a new SMT gives all investors a fresh chance to take part, and if they are able to get in early and help build the use case for a token, the rewards may be enormous. This is especially true as time moves forward and more and more businesses are looking to get in on blockchain, as there can be those who can aid them and essentially build a tokenized community from one that is already generating a lot of value.
SMTs are very exciting and while most of us are probably looking at them from the perspective that we already have experienced in crypto, there are many ways that they will be applied and integrated that we have not yet considered. One of the conditions of being early adopters into an industry is accepting that conditions are continually going to evolve, and as more and more participants arrive, the faster and more diverse the evolutionary pathways will take. At least until standardization, which is still some way off.
SMTs give the opportunity for fresh starts for users, communities and businesses and opportunities that may not be possible otherwise. New inflation pools, the chance for new influencers and comunities to form and businesses to develop that are yet to be imagined.
While there is always FUD in the moment, the long view is looking promising.
[ a Steem original ]