What kind of economy do we want to create in the Steemiverse, as well as in specific Tribes (such as Natural Medicine).
Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash
Right now, most of us fall in the trap of looking at the price of STEEM in relation to what it is worth in fiat currency (e.g. USD, AUD, etc). This has always bemused me coming from a cohort who believe that fiat currency is the devil and look at smart[crypto]currency as a financial revolution.
Has anyone else noticed the obsession of what the price of STEEM is?
This presupposes that the intention for earning STEEM is to take it out of the system and exchange it for fiat when the price is right.
Let's just look at this behaviour from a different perspective.
How would you feel if foreigners were coming into your country, earning money, and then sending it back to their home country without investing in the local economy?
That's draining resources from the system in order to nourish an external system.
This is why we have the concept of Proof of Stake (and delegated Proof of Stake) in Steem, right? By 'powering up' your STEEM, or your LOTUS, or your PAL, you are putting your trust and faith and "stake" into the system, into the local economy.
So the local economy needs to have means to exchange and move the currency around. If I'm holding STEEM, LOTUS, PAL, or any other token I want to be able to use it for more than just voting on other people's content.
This is starting to happen with Splinterlands and Steem-Engine. The SteemLeo crew are beginning to offer services in exchange for LEO, and soon Natural Medicine will be doing something similar with LOTUS. The Homesteaders Co-Op also have an online store where Steemians are selling their products and services for STEEM/SBD as well as USD. So it's beginning to happen.
The problem is when we are selling our goods and services in the Steemiverse, we're still pricing ourselves in fiat currency. For example:
- A Beta pack of Splinterlands cards (sold out, by the way) is US$2.00... or roughly 15 STEEM. This is the amount a new account is delegated and start with.
- Graphic layout services on HSCO is US$75.00... or over 557 STEEM
I have no problem with these prices, mind you, so this should not be interpreted as some kind of rant against capitalism. Far from it.
What I'm pointing out is that the Steem economy and the value within it shouldn't really be measured in terms of an external currency. I wonder how we'd all go if we started thinking a little differently about all of this.
So people used to pay me AU$150 for a therapy session when I was practicing professionally (Chinese Medicine). Australia is a very expensive country with a high standard of living, we have a relatively high minimum wage and labour conditions, so our prices are comparably higher than other affluent nations. So a session with me is just under 10% of average income earner's weekly pay ($1634 according to recent statistics).
Would I charge this amount in a country such as Indonesia, or Nepal, or Nigeria? Or would I adjust my rates to be in line with the standard of living in that country?
When I was in Japan earlier this year, I bought about 80,000 JPY to have on hand as spending money. When I was over there, everything I bought was valued in JPY — not AUD or USD. I didn't convert the prices in my head into AUD, because that was not going to help me. I had 80,000 Yen, and so needed to budget and adapt my thinking to the Japanese economy, not what I was used to in Australia.
Conversion rates are only useful, in other words, when we want to convert one currency into another.
Were I to offer my services in the local Steem economy, it would be roughly 720 STEEM, or 12000 LOTUS. Clearly, it would be madness for me to do that.
What am I worth?
STEEM (and all the SE Tokens) hold a different value to us in the Steemiverse. Most minnows are stoked to be getting 8-15 STEEM payout per post. My last post is sitting at about 8 STU, which means for me that post will have earned me maybe AU$2.00. I can't do much with $2 where I live....
... but I can do a fair bit with 8 STEEM on the blockchain!!
Because we value things differently in this financial eco-system than we do in our respective offline worlds.
If we are running businesses in the 3D world (some folks call it the "real world" lol), then we are going to have expenses we need to cover that are valued in fiat currency, so we need to accept that.
Can we, on the other hand, start to consider what STEEM, or LOTUS, or PAL might be worth to us within the context of this eco-system instead of always comparing it to the fiat currencies we are used to?
I've recognised this as my biggest hurdle when considering pricing and value in terms of STEEM and LOTUS, because I am so used to thinking in terms of AUD. And I know I can transcend that thinking, because that's what I do when I am in a foreign country, using the local currency.
While 1 STEEM is only worth ~ AU$0.20 in Australia, how much is it worth in the Steemiverse?
Consider this: setting up a SCOT Tribe platform (the nitrous instance) on Steem-Engine costs 1000 ENG, pegged to STEEM... or a little over AU$200.00. There is no way I could find a developer in this country who could build that for me for that much money — it could realistically cost 25x that!!
That's a bargain!
And that's the kind of economic thinking we need to start adopting and modelling in order for each and every one of us to begin to create a local Steem economy.
I'm throwing it open to you....
What are your thoughts on this?
How do we do this?
Take care, and keep Steemin'!