Earlier today, @theycallmedan did a post, as did @tarazkp (here) about the possibility that Steem’s inflation rate would be significantly lowered with Steem still going to witnesses and hodlers of Steem Power (and, I’m assuming, perhaps the Steem DAO) but that authors and curators would instead receive their payouts as Smart Media Tokens. I think it’s fair to say that Dan was at least somewhat opposed to the idea and Taraz was leaning towards being okay with the idea (edited: at some point in the future, see his comment below). My apologies to both if I’m misstating their thoughts. I’m tentatively neutral-ish and don’t yet have a strong opinion either way.
I remember seeing a few comments about this idea last fall. It also came up at SteemFest4 when during one of the panels someone asked @vandeberg about the possibility of it happening. As I remember it, he thought that the change would be fairly easy from a technical viewpoint.
Having STEEM being strictly a utility token would be a huge change from the current system where it’s both the fuel that runs the Steem blockchain and the token that authors and curators are paid in. As it stands, if authors and curators sell their STEEM to convert it to fiat or another crypto, much of the price/value of that STEEM is a function of its use as the fuel that runs the Steem blockchain. But if a “SteemSMT” was distributed to authors and curators, what would that token’s price/value be a function of?
If we look at existing Steem-Engine tokens (granted, not quite the same as SMT’s), there are a few that have viable use-cases to bolster their price/value. DEC and ENG for instance. But many/most S-E tokens have prices/values that are essentially speculation-based. Would a “SteemSMT” have use-cases for a price discovery mechanism? This seems very unclear to me at the moment. But it’s possible that at some point after the Hard Fork introducing Smart Media tokens, various use-cases would emerge.
If Smart Media Tokens were used for rewarding authors/curators instead of STEEM, it might have the effect of encouraging STEEM hodlers to think of themselves more clearly as investors and the reduced flow of new STEEM could make the existing STEEM quite valuable given its status as a utility token, assuming that use of the Steem blockchain increases significantly in coming years.
Disclaimer: This should not be construed as financial advice. I am not a registered financial advisor; I don’t even play one on TV. Do your own due diligence. Batteries not included. Objects may be larger than they appear in mirror. Some assembly required. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.