Understanding SMT Features

understanding SMT features.jpg

Hello Steemians, the SMT testnet has now been running for almost two weeks and SMTs have been enabled since last Monday! That means that, since that time, developers have been able to create their very own SMTs. In fact, @inertia created the world’s first SMT!

What Can SMTs Do?

The SMT whitepaper is still the most authoritative reference for understanding what SMTs can do, but that is far too technical for most people. For those people, the best way to understand the capabilities of an SMT are to understand the capabilities of STEEM. We have often said that the SMT protocol would give anyone the ability to launch their own STEEM-like token, and that was based on a very technical reality.

Thanks to the intelligent design of Steem, it was fairly straightforward to take all of the features that STEEM already had and make them available to SMT creators. In a very real sense, when you launch an SMT it is like you are getting a “Do Over” with the STEEM token.

Token Inflation

Because STEEM was designed to have token emissions (i.e. inflation) you can set a token emissions rate for your SMT. That can be 10%, 23%, 1423% or 0%. But STEEM’s token emissions rate also changes over time based on a graph that was specified during a hardfork. So SMTs have that ability too.

If you can describe how you want your token emissions rate to change over time in a mathematical formula, you can specify that formula when you are creating your SMT and the Steem blockchain will faithfully execute that code. Of course, since that formula is locked in consensus, you can’t change it once the SMT has been launched. That is one of the many reasons developers should thoroughly test their SMT before finalizing its design.

Token Destinations

Because STEEM was designed to have emissions directed at specific accounts, like the Rewards Pool, and distributed to those with vesting STEEM, SMTs have that capability too. You can set a token emissions rate of 10% (or any other number) and direct those emissions to the Rewards Pool for distribution via Proof-of-Brain. You can set a token emissions rate of 35% (or any other number) and have that distributed amongst those who have your SMT powered up.

In total there are 8 “special places” to which the SMT creator can specify token emissions be directed. These are:

#define SMT_DESTINATION_PREFIX         "$"
#define SMT_DESTINATION_FROM           unit_target_type( SMT_DESTINATION_PREFIX "from" )
#define SMT_DESTINATION_MARKET_MAKER   unit_target_type( SMT_DESTINATION_PREFIX "market_maker" )
#define SMT_DESTINATION_REWARDS        unit_target_type( SMT_DESTINATION_PREFIX "rewards" )
#define SMT_DESTINATION_VESTING        unit_target_type( SMT_DESTINATION_PREFIX "vesting" )

As you can see, by customizing just a few SMT features, you can create an infinite variety of tokens. That complexity, and how it impacts other parts of the blockchain, was the really difficult part of implementing SMTs. The benefit of the intelligent design of Steem is that we can rely on a huge amount of preexisting code that has already been tested for 3 years: the STEEM code. The reason why SMTs can have as many features as they do is because STEEM has so many features, and SMTs essentially leverage that exact same code.

What Can’t SMTs Do NOW?

While most of the features of STEEM that have been included within SMTs have customizable parameters, one that does not is the Power Down. The benefit of the design approach we took with respect to SMTs is that it enables us to “piggyback” off the security and stability of existing work. With respect to SMT vesting, that enabled us to add a vesting feature relatively quickly. Unfortunately, the work required to enable SMT creators to adjust the vesting parameters would have led to significant delays and we do not think the value added would justify the additional delay. For that reason, SMTs launched with v1 will have 13 week power downs, just like Steem Power.

None of this is to say that any feature cannot be added to SMTs in the future. All of the ICO code, for example, is brand new, since STEEM never ICOed. The decision to develop any code is always the result of a cost-benefit analysis. We want to offer the most secure, stable, and powerful software possible, and these goals often conflict with one another. Additional features which might be quite powerful, can also increase complexity which can negatively impact security and stability.

Designed to be Improved

While SMT v1 is a replication of the STEEM feature set with customizable parameters, we created the SMT protocol specifically so that new features can be added through subsequent hardforks; including features that do not exist for STEEM. V1 consists of those features that give the widest range of capabilities, without introducing too much risk into the ecosystem.

Thanks to Steem’s 3-second fee-less transfers, any capability that does not yet exist in SMTs can be replicated using an off-chain bot. This combination of features means that under the least ideal circumstances SMTs are still a great option for a developer who is looking to integrate a powerful token into their web application, and under many circumstances SMTs will be far and away the best option.

Future Posts

These are just a few of the features of SMTs. We plan to explore more in future posts, so be sure to follow @steemitblog if you'd like to learn more about the powerful features included in SMT v1. To learn more about SMTs, check out the SMT whitepaper.

The Steemit Team

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  • @exyle

    Thanks for this post. It's nice to keep it simple!

    I have one question.

    Could you maybe explain a bit more about what the role of the STEEM token will be once SMT's are out?

  • @hiroyamagishi

    Great news

  • @knowledges

    I am pleased to see this update. Great work!

  • @abh12345

    While most of the features of STEEM that have been included within SMTs have customizable parameters, one that does not is the Power Down.

    So there is a 13 week Power Down as with Steem Power?

    A paper for directed toward businesses is still required I think. Removing the technical speak around inflation, token destinations, etc, with examples and how to guides would aid non-devs - e.g. the platforms with people already contributing content.

  • @felixxx

    Can you please fix the cors header issue for testnet.steemdev.com ?

    I get a 403, when I try to connect via dsteem.

    Also: will there be updates for dsteem and steem-python ?

  • @carloserp-2000

    https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmRefhdC2Lboh1NVEnEWY1Ur3x9m3ho9sjvYxArGUNCy9J/image.png :( :( :(

  • @chekohler

    SMTitties better be what boobs are on Instagram and just shoot this platform into the stratosphere.

  • @enjoykarma

    .. thank you very much!..be sure that I m willing to learn more about smts and the whole blockchain-thing..respect for your work, real cute job!..I m with the right people..

  • @stealthtrader

    Great work on SMTs! I love to see this happening!

    Now that Libra is having issues I wonder if Facebook could utilize SMTs like I suggested in this post 2 years ago!

    Can we get Facebook to use SMTs?


  • @stackin

    Thanks for the update guys! 😎

    Posted using Partiko iOS

  • @hobo.media

    So there will be no powerdown to begin with... Does that mean rewards can be 100% received into the wallet and not automatically powered up?

  • @javirid

    So one specific token could only change their parameters during a STEEM blockchain hardfork?

  • @art.int

    While most of the features of STEEM that have been included within SMTs have customizable parameters, one that does not is the Power Down

    So there's no power down at all ? Or is it just not configurable (and will be 13 weeks for every SMT out there) ? If it's the first, no possibility for developing incentive for staking tokens then for SMT emitters ? It would seem like a MAJOR feature of Steem and Proof-of-Brain has been forgotten here...

    Can part of the inflation be used for a proposals system like Steem has ?

    Would it be possible to just distribute inflation equally among all holders of one SMT (independently of individual stakes of said SMT) ?

    Thanks in advance for the answers.

  • @wongshiying

    @tipu curate !trdo

    Posted using Partiko Android

  • @imawreader

    I hope someone would post an elaboration of this post in simple terms for those who know nothing about technical terms about this matter like me, most steemians are.

  • @donekim

    If all SMT tokens have the same Power down period of 13 weeks, this is the tragedy of SMTs ecosystem.

    I hope to see the features for each SMT token to set its own unstake period in v2. This can be the most important factor in determining a success of SMTs.

  • @jferdous

    This is a good news.

  • @abitcoinskeptic

    Plot twist ~ the top 20 witnesses reject SMT hardfork stating 'it is inconvenient and immoral'. There is only one Steem.

  • @raj808

    Looking good 👍🙂

    SMT's are about to touch down, and steem is about to take off 🚀

  • @fuadsm

    Is it possible to issue more tokens of a SMT after launch not via inflation? This is important if someone wants to make SMT backed by other currency or commodity.

  • @udabeu

    It is unbelieveable, wow. Exiting. Hopefully there will be a SMT for dummys seminar post series somewhere ? ??? ???

  • @theguruasia


  • @xplosive

    I just noticed that the payouts on the blog posts of @steemitblog are no longer declined. 50% goes to @null and 50% goes to @steem.dao since approximately 1 month. I think that this is a good move.

  • @mobbs

    developers should thoroughly test their SMT before finalizing its design.


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  • @planetenamek

  • @healthiswealth

    Steemit ROCKS! Thanks for all your hard work creating SMT's, reading the whitepaper now. MAY YOUR HEALTH BE WITH YOUR 2.png

  • @greenmanaz

    This is super exciting, I can hardly wait to try out some design ideas so we can utilize tokens along with our IPFS web app. Sounds like the SMT launch is a few months away?