Thoughts on Reducing the Power Down Period to 4 Weeks from 13 Weeks Currently

8 months ago
3 Min Read
687 Words

Yesterday Steemit invited us on their steemmitblog account to give our feedback on the possibility to reduce the power down period from 13 weeks as it is now to 4 weeks.

It was normal for Steemit to ask for this feedback, in my opinion, because the proposal regarding this matter has a large support.

But as I mentioned in the tutorial from a few days ago, polls using Steem Proposals System only measure support, so "yeses". They don't measure "nos", or "I don't know's" or other options. Even if other ways are needed to quantify different options, a large support is something to consider.

Understanding that, Steemit asked for feedback, positive through votes on the proposal, negative or nuanced through comments on their post, or through your own post.

Before I offer my two cents, I wrote a while back, when the proposal was published, a compilation with the available options and their pros and cons, as I saw them. This may be a good reading material in the context (including comments):

Now, about reducing the power down period to 4 weeks...

Here are my thoughts on this.

In my own case, a shorter power down period would be beneficial, because I constantly move SP from my active accounts to my inactive SP holder account. I would do that quicker.

In general, while I don't think reducing the power down period to 4 weeks would hurt us, the balance between liquefying SP / vested STEEM / interest rewards needs a better solution.

There is however the risk that if we take the easy solution of reducing the power down period, we won't consider any alternative solution for a while, because the assessment will be the problem has been dealt with recently, and other issues will take precedence.

Reducing the power down period to 4 weeks attempts to please all and will possibly end up not pleasing anyone.

The better solution I am referring to, would not be something that can be coded in a hurry to include in the SMT hardfork.

The options 4 & 5 from the post comparing the alternatives seem good candidates for better solutions to me. In one of them, we fine tune the rights offered by two having two staking pools, in the other one we fine tune the interest received based on the duration of the power up.

As for the instant power down choice, I had this to say:

If the 5% fee were to be implemented, I am more inclined to support it, if it were opt-in based. And the opt-in effect should be delayed (2 weeks, 30 days?) in order to prevent someone who compromises an account to opt-in and automatically withdraw. As for the destination of the fee, I'd allow options, regarding the destination: @steem.dao, @null, maybe @steemalliance if they can take this kind of funding.

Those who would opt in assume the risk that if their accounts become compromised after the delay is over and the opt-in becomes effective, all SP can be cleared out by the person controlling their account. On the other hand, they will be able to "withdraw" SP at will and at any time, less the fee.

Those who don't opt-in would be protected from immediate SP "withdrawals". They would see a notification if a person controlling their compromised account attempts to opt in for immediate withdrawals, and have enough time to react (as in get back control of the account and opt out). Much like power downs that are initiated but don't pay anything before a week.

But we do have this to think about, a comment by @chrisrice on the same post:

You forgot to mention that a long Power Down time frame like 13 weeks prevents exchanges from voting for Witnesses and SPS Proposals.

He refers to the fact that if the power down period is very short or we have instant power down, exchanges might be tempted to vote for witnesses using (partial) STEEM holdings of their clients they have under their control. They may be deterred by the 5% fee to withdraw immediately though...