Blurt is a social blockchain and a decentralized, cryptocurrency-based blogging platform that’s launched on the 4th of July 2020.
Just like Hive, Blurt is a hard fork of the Steem blockchain that seeks to keep all of the good things of its parent and sister blockchains and few to none of their weaknesses.
Blurt aims to become a diverse and vibrant social blockchain community that values and rewards intellectual and financial property, while promoting free speech and social engagement.
The Birth of Blurt: a fork of the Steem Blockchain
As stated above, on July 4th, 2020, a new Steem hard fork occurred that gave birth to the Blurt blockchain and a new cryptocurrency called BLURT.
All existing holders of STEEM coin as of May 20, 2020, at block 43,526,969 would have received an airdrop of the BLURT coin on a 1:1 ratio.
This means that if you held STEEM you have been airdropped 1 BLURT for every 1 STEEM token that you held at the time.
So, for example, if you had 2000 STEEM coins as of when the snapshot of the Steem blockchain was taken — May 20, 2020 — you will automatically be credited with 2000 BLURT coins.
Yes! You can call it free money — because that’s exactly what it is — But that’s a story for another time.
Why Was a Fork Necessary — Just to create new free money?
Usually, every blockchain hard fork happens because some person or group of people believe they have a better idea and can do better than the existing system.
Being part of the existing community, these members could just submit a proposal(s) that the community will vote on, and decide whether to implement or not.
What happens is that, when these change-makers cannot get the community to implement their “important” solutions for a better blockchain/community, they opt to forge their own path.
And that in most cases involves forking the existing blockchain to create a new one or in rare cases creating an entirely new project from scratch.
Most dissents go for the former — forking — because it’s obviously easier and faster, to get started and running.
But then, what are the main reasons for Blurt forking the Steem blockchain?
Aside from the possibly many “insider” reasons — whatever that is — leading up to the dissent, some of the reasons for this particular fork is the desire by some members of the community to create a healthier and more cohesive community as can be seen in the major changes highlighted below.
I asked to know the main reason(s) Blurt forked off Steem in their Discord channel and an admin (a founding member) named Megadrive gave the following response:
“ Blurt forked Steem pre-HF23 when Steem wiped balances of over 50 accounts, Blurt was meant to restore these balances and also be a neutral fork that included all accounts previously excluded in the Hive fork. We also wanted different economics such as no downvotes, the other chains can be very emotionally taxing with downvote wars and malicious whales silencing people with their downvotes. Simply have a look at how a major Twitter influencer left Hive https://hive.blog/@cryptofinally”.
Overall, the project seems much focused on creating a unique identity for itself as it is significantly moving away from its Steem parent and sister Hive blockchains.
Thus effectively dropping off some of the seemly controversial features and functionalities of Steem and Hive and creating its own unique mix.
Some of the things Blurt do differently include but are not limited to:
- Blurt did not copy/paste all Steemit users and content as Hive did. They are starting clean and fresh from scratch, hoping to grow from the ground up, rather than “steal” users and content from its parent and sister blockchains.
- Blurt completely removed the downvote button — something that’s being seriously abused on its parent blockchain and Hive most especially by reckless, and malicious whales. Thus we expect there will be more positivity on Blurt as a community is supposed to love each, rather than have the big guys suffocating the efforts of the little players.
- On Blurt every action or operation you perform costs a fraction of a BLURT — between 0.001 to 0.01 BLURT depending on the operation. The fees charged varies based on the size of the transactions a user carries out on the blockchain. This means that small transactions like votes will still be quite cheap, however it discourages malicious behaviour as exhibited by a spammer that initially “Cock Blocked” the Blurt launch by continuously posting 64kb of pictures of exposed male parts. The fees were soon after introduced to make this 64k of spam very expensive, now costing 6.4 BLURT!. All on-chain activities cost resources and having to pay even if it’s a negligible amount ensures that bad actors do not deplete network resources by flooding the blockchain with useless activities. This makes me believe in the economics of Blurt and see it to be a viable platform as it places value on everything and effectively discourages spam behavior. You will have to think twice before you do things on Blurt, which helps to eliminate all the unnecessary actions users take. Plus the whole fee thing was implemented to stop the massive spam the new platform received from haters at its inception.
- Blurt seems to value content more than Steem and Hive — at least so it seems in my first few days on the platform so far. The rewards for my content on Blurt so far have been far more encouraging compared to what I earn on Steem and Hive where I have been for a long time. On Blurt it doesn’t even matter whether you’re new or old, your content will gain equal traction if it adds value to the community.
- Blurt has no free lunch for new members. Creating an account on Blurt costs 1 STEEM or HIVE coin respectively and it’s easy and instant. So creating a Blurt account will take $0.25 from your pocket in STEEM or HIVE. Plus you can only pay for a Blurt account from a Steem or Hive account. So in case you do not have those and don’t want to create them just so you can pay for a Blurt account, then you will need someone with a Steem or Hive account to help you make the payment. At least that’s the state of account creation on Blurt right now. In the future things may change.
- Blurt will be implementing the one stake, one vote feature for establishing consensus witnesses and created a regent account with a controlling stake or special weighted vote to protect the chain and see out the founders’ vision while the chain is still in its infancy. The regent account can vote on witnesses and DAO proposals and will be fully depreciated over a 2 year period in 24 equal monthly reductions until its emptied.
- Unlike Steem, Blurt does not have Blurt dollars Stablecoin. All Steem accounts with Steem dollars balances will be credited with equal Blurt tokens.
- Most likely, Blurt will be moved to another consensus protocol — probably Cosmos-SDK — at some point during the first two years.
I am not shilling the Blurt blockchain already.
It feels more peaceful, healthy, and rewarding publishing and engaging with other community members on Blurt compared to its parent and sister blogging platforms.
More so, I like the fact that Blurt is forging its own path rather than steal from its parent and sister chains.
That speaks a lot about the Devs because they didn’t choose the seemingly easy path to stardom.
These guys look like people who are ready to work their ass off to build the project they dream of from scratch and they earned my respect for that.
I am well aware that there’s a long way for the community to go and everything is very far from being perfect but Blurt seems to be going in the right direction so far.
What’s more, it’s free from the drama that usually accompanies forks such as the Steem Vs. Hive debacle.
One thing I would love to see immediately though is making it possible for new members to create and pay for their account without having to have a Steem or Hive account.
Similar to the way I can create and pay for a Steem or Hive account without having to have either already.
It’s a wasteful duplication having to create a Steem or Hive account in case I don’t currently have one just because I want to create a Blurt account.
It doesn’t make any sense to me — you’re literally taking your customers through a competitor’s store before they can buy from you. This seriously needs a real and fast rethink.
I believe this will make it easier and faster for new people to join the platform if creating an account is direct and simple.
Thankfully, according to Megadrive, the team will be adding coinpayments.net to the payment methods to obtain a Blurt account or simply add direct support for ETH, LTC, BTC, etc.
Whichever is the case, it’ll be a welcome development as it will make creating a Blurt account easier and even faster, especially for totally new members (those without Steem or Hive accounts).
Also, one of the admins in their discord group mentioned paying for account creation using a credit card, but that’s a really terrible idea — to me. I can’t even think about that.
Using various direct account creation services as is on Steem and Hive is the most thinkable solution and the Dev team should be thinking along that line rather than a credit card or taking new members through Steem or Hive.
One more thing, the STEEM whales that received BLURT as airdrop has dumped the hell out of the coin and it’s trading at a superlatively cheap price — $0.01 — as at the time of writing this post.
Compared to STEEM at $0.22 and HIVE at $0.26 current market rates, Blurt is dead cheap right now.
We hope after the dump is over, we will begin to see some upward tick in the price of BLURT coin as the community grows.
We’re certainly starting from the ground up and I’m excited to be part of this project already.