Is Dlive just another corporate acquisition?

9 months ago
5 Min Read
916 Words

I was reading the other day that Dlive was acquired by Tron founder, Justin Sun and I was wondering about this considering decentralization because obviously, it is not and can never be as it has an owner. Doesn't this just make Dlive YouTube or Twitch on a blockchain? Well of course, there is nothing wrong with that, but at some point what this means is that it is going to face the same challenges that all other centralized media does and that is, the temptation to restrict users. Again, there is nothing wrong with this either, I just find it interesting.

I actually find it funny that people complain about the behaviors of centralized platforms and the way they manage their user resources (they definitely aren't thought of as human), as they are private enterprises, companies designed to make profits for shareholders. Of course profits are going to come before users because that is their duty as corporations. It isn't some kind of community duty for these corporations to act in the best interest of the people, it is up to the community - the users - and as we see time and time again, most are going to go for convenience of usage while complaining about how they are treated in the same way a teen will complain about their parents rules... But...

"While you are under my roof..."

The problem is that we as the consuming teens keep choosing to live under their roofs as we are akin to the millennials who never got a job and earned enough to move out and get our own place. I think this is visible on Steem also, as while this has the potential to be our own place, many are still unwilling to front the money for the lease, even though that "money" can be earned on the platform.

The thing with Steem is that while any business built upon it can be acquired, including Steemit Inc, Steem the blockchain cannot be, or at least not easily as it would require buying from many thousands of people who are all negotiating separately. This is a pro and con of course, but I believe that the pros outweigh the cons as I would rather have the relative security but volatility of a distributed network than live under the yoke of centralized control.

Dlive was always designed to be acquired as it had startup angel investment put into it (20M if I remember correctly) and that means putting in an exit plan. That makes it no different to any other startup looking to get in, make some hype and sell to the highest bidder. I wonder, how many of the Dlive end users are profiting from the deal? I will have to look into the details later. This isn't bad per se, but none of this is user focused.

Steem operates differently and while it can house something like Dlive and a thousand other media delivery applications, the platform itself cannot be sold out from under stakeholders and users, even though every application has the potential to be as they are on the layer above the blockchain. I wonder what happens to the Dlive users if Tron decide it is not performing well enough and cut access to the blockchain? Back to Lino?

I think this is quite interesting to think about as essentially anyone can run an experience on the Steem blockchain and no one can really do much about it as the infrastructure is open to all to utilize, which is part of the censorship resistance. And another part of the censorship resistance is that because this is the case, no pressure can be placed on any point to remove some other application or content without a massive amount of consensus between distributed witnesses. This means that the Steem blockchain can have anything connect to it for the transaction capabilities while still having centralized governance of the application itself, including the content hosting as Steem only holds text data.

What I do think needs to happen on Steem however is that the developers have to start seriously considering the User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) of their applications and start building places that end users love, not because it is decentralized or because there is earning potential, but because the design is fluid, convenient, beautiful and engaging. If we are building for Web 3.0, it shouldn't look and act like it was created in 1996.

For those that might be worried about Steem not getting bought by Justin Sun, it was never a possibility and all he could buy would be Steemit Inc and whoever else was willing to sell their Steem to him. While savvy, he doesn't seem like the kind of person who wants to empower end users, he looks like someone who wants to own the platform - all of it. Nothing wrong with that approach, but that makes it much the same as what we already have a great deal of in the world, the desire of another mega corp.

The next few years are going to be interesting however, pay attention to what you want and make sure where you spend your time helps you get to where you want to be. Some places like Steem empower you as an owner, others allow you to be an employee.

Taraz
[ a Steem original ]

Onboarding


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