Steem-Engine is a smart contract platform where you can create tokens and use those tokens to empower communities. I hope this month a bunch of things go live that are currently in various stages of development with a lot of the work already functioning on the testnet:
The New Dex
Opt in KYC
It's a pretty huge list. Progress has been good on all fronts, and I think it's time to share the rough outline of the plan.
The New Dex
@beggars has been leading an effort to revamp the website with @lion200 and @bait002. You can see the dex at next.steem-engine.com. It's pretty fast, works currently, and we're getting ready to take it fully live. You can see normal things like candlesticks there, and the design for the services while not perfect is less wonky than we had it before.
This should really upgrade the visual aspect of what we're doing by an order of magnitude and as we flesh out more pieces make it easier than ever to create and trade tokens and build your community (tribe).
@harpagon is leading the effort with a team full of Steem Engine witnesses to decentralize Steem-Engine. The general decentralized community doesn't have a singular spot where we all agree on terms that are being used. The US government has it's own set, and other governments have their own set. So, let me try to talk through what we're doing and why.
Currently the dex is decentralized enough for the lawyers to think we meet the definitions required by law to be a dex. This is mainly due to the data being stored on chain and the steem-engine.com website having zero ability to centrally adjust balances. The ledger is maintained by the secondary node and the data is maintained and verified by the blockchain itself. Being a centralized exchange in the US is a pretty shitty place to be. Being a dex actually has some nice carve outs. Either way, we've been functioning as a DEX under the standards that the USG seems to abide by (though they're not the most reliable people so who knows how this changes over time).
That said, it's not the perfect definition of decentralized. There's still a lot of control that @harpagon has by running the one real node that's used for the system to make changes that can effect everyone. So, we're looking to decentralize governance, make redundant servers, and improve stability for the system with the P2P layer.
This layer isn't theoretical. It's currently functioning now on the testnet. We're hoping to take it live later this month. With that we'll have a rotating set of witnesses bringing our side chain composed of sub-blocks of the steem chain together. They'll get compensation for this too. It'll mean there's a new inflation source of ENG. Initially that ENG will go to witnesses (200k), steem-eng to run the public site (200k), and the mining pool (100k) for a total of 500k annually. It will also mean we'll stop selling ENG for 1 ENG per STEEM on the site. The market will do it's thing and there will no longer be an upwards range on price of ENG.
Already on the testnet is a working smart contract for issuing NFTs. @cryptomancer is leading this project, and he's been nothing short of amazing and incredibly professional to work with. Really exceptional communication skills which I feel the need to highlight!
Anyways, the NFT contract is working and we're now getting the market contract working, and simultaneously starting the build out on the website to create a showroom for NFTs. There will be more details as we get a little closer to market launch, but we've trying to make a uniform system for listing that also allows NFT creators a lot of flexibility with what data/properties they want in their NFTs. I'm going to encourage as much data live off chain as possible, in part by charging for more than 3 properties per NFT. The apps should really be hosting the properties. The NFTs should really be more about ownership. Not everyone agrees with that, and that's ok. We're going to allow it to work differently than what we think is best.
So, if you're an artist, game designer, have a collection, or have a store with unique and distinct items of the same type then I think you're in luck! Please start thinking about how you could utilize NFTs to sell your art, to monetize your community, to store as an in game option (tradable on a secondary market), or represents the keys to certain documents. Whatever! There's tons of possibilities with these. Oh, and because Steem has fast free transactions you don't have to worry about fees being worth more than what the NFT represents!!!
Opt in KYC
I've been working with my attorney for a few months to put in place a company wide plan to allow us to be money transmitters. When we start it'll likely only be in a handful of US states. Don't blame us. Your state governments are ridiculous and this industry has been heavily protected by American Express and Western Union. Anyway, money transmitter license is what the USG requires to legally send money in various forms back and forth. With this we'll be able to start buying/selling tokens for USD, trade restricted securities, and even get into issuing stable coins. We can also conceivably work with tribe token owners to figure out a scheme that works for all parties to have us buy/sell your tokens for USD.
You'll be able to continue trading token to token without KYC on the site (this is why it's opt in), but if you want to interact with us via USD there's gonna be some KYC involved. If you don't like that, which is ok, you don't have to participate on that side of things or use the dex at all.
It's been a long shitty crypto winter. Development of this open source project has been a lot slower than I had hoped for and more costly in terms of the amount of steem paid than I would have ever believed. That said we've made a ton of progress and I'm pretty certain December is the month that so much of it is going to come alive. It's gonna be crazy. Should be fun.
Oh yeah, and one more thing
There's two options for how to grow this thing. The first option is we make ENG worth a ton of money and then centrally spend a shit ton of money trying to grow the ecosystem. The second is we help other coins rise and allow their communities to attract people here. I prefer the second approach. To this end we have a plan we think will help tribe tokens grow in value. Allow the tribe tokens to pay for NFT issuance.
There will be a set burn of 100 ENG per token, and then there's a cost per token issued. The costs are flexible but currently we're going to charge 0.001 ENG per max token, and we're also going to allow tribe tokens to be used for the cost. So, if you want to create 1M tokens on the platform it will cost you 1000 ENG (~$100).
The first tribe token we'll accept is PAL. The rate is still tbd but likely 0.01-0.001 PAL per max token supply. Here's hoping that if you can burn other tokens to generate NFTs that more people are likely to see value in the tokens and if the price of the tokens start rising I hope to see a lot of activity on chain.
I don't have a set cost for allowing tribe tokens to be used for payment yet. It'll be in the thousands of dollars range or something like 5% of token supply. I might be able to work out a monthly cost if that's something that you're looking for.