There are few reasons to be optimistic about HF21. A few bigger fish are communicating HF21 will be the best thing that ever happened to the platform, but with the social part of the platform, comments and discussions, pretty much being phased out by the fact that the curve and reward split changes weren't accompanied by a drop of the dust threshold, comments up votes are as good as dead. If people follow a simplistic economic incentive model, as many think people tent to do on this platform, we can also expect a flourishing bid bot economy ruled by bigger bots powered up by minnow and dolphin delegations as a result of the reward curve economics. And then there is the prospect of bigger and thus worse flag wars. Basically HF21 is a huge gamble that can go wrong on many fronts and will or has gone wrong in other ways. The markets have pretty much rejected HF21 already, so unless things go really really bad, STEEM will probably stay above 0.00001 BTC for a while at least. No sense in selling now. No sense in buying now either though. Without social interaction, the platform is and remains a great core network with blazing fast transactions and an amazing low cost for data intensive DApps. The market cap is currently at about 60M, and that seems about right for the core platform functionality it will still be providing after HF21 hits the chain. The social part though, the part that had massive potential to justify a market cap of 300M or more, that part is now behind us for the core STEEM economy. At least untill way after HF21 has set in and, if this plays out as I have been predicting, witnesses and Steemit inc start to realize how much they miscalculated.
But then, my predictions, while often close, tend to be more pessimistic than the way reality plays out. I predicted STEEM would be between 0.00001 and 0.000015 the day HF21 would hit due to market rejection when Steemit announced the EIP would be an actual part of HF21. With 18 more hours to go and STEEM at 0.0000176, this didn't turn out exactly as dramatic as my prediction, but in the end I wasn't off by much. So maybe I'm too pessimistic about more of the aspects of the EIP. Especially the impact of the failure to address dust threshold concerns, and my assesment that this failure will slowly kill of social interactions as people discover upvoting comments has become a waste of voting strength for all but orcas and whales.
So how to prepare for the worst and hope for the best?
For one, remembering HF20, we should, apart from the fundamental semi-intended long term disruption of HF21, we should prepare for some short term disruption as well. Make sure our voring capacity is almost exausted, maybe down to 20% or 30% when the hard fork hits. You can't vote if you cant transact for a while, so voting away up to 80% should buy us room for up to 4 days of severe disruption.
Secondly, start a full power down, just in case. If things go really bad for us small guys, maybe it will make sense to trade in that STEEM stake for some #creativecoin stake or some stake for some other social scot tribes that doesn't kill of social interaction for all but the largest fish. If things go well, you can always stop the power down. If things go badly, you might not be able to start a power down, so doing it now makes sense.
Thirdly, this is the moment witnesses are going to be showing us what they are made off. If thing go badly, removing your witness votes may not be possible. So instead, I just removed all of my witness votes and given how critical this particular HF is with respect to contingency work, I'm trying to keep my eyes open for what is happening as much as is visible for us from the outside, so I can do new votes after things stabilize and the real impact of the EIP becomes apart.
I really hope I am going to be all wrong about HF21 and everything will play out the way Steemit Inc gambles it will. If it doesn't, I hope these three actions will end up helping me be better prepared for the badness. Better prepared to start living in a post-social STEEM erra.