Hardfork20, Resource Credits and what you can do
Most of the users on Steem blockchain would have seen the following image in the last three days.
It was estimated that more than 99% of the users were not able to perform any operations like posting, commenting, voting and resteeming. It was due to the changes in Hardfork 20 which is employing a better algorithm for calculating the cost of various actions on the blockchain. Each of these actions use computing resources and there is a cost associated to it.
Moving from bandwidth to Resource Credits
Earlier there were only two parameters namely bandwidth and voting power. Bandwidth was required for performing every action on the blockchain. While bandwidth was a good starting point for allocating resources to the users based on their activity history and the overall bandwidth available for the network. But it was not good enough. Bandwidth put all these actions into a single bucket and didn't differentiate them based on the amount of computing resources each of these transactions consumed. So the users performing high resource actions were incentivised by the users performing actions that consumed less resources. This had to be changed and the Resource Credits was a step in the right direction. As stated by the team it is critical for establishing the sustainable pricing of blockchain operations on Steem.
Problems with Hardfork20
While it was made clear in the Hardfork20 announcement that there will be some issues nobody expected that this would be the magnitude. Even before the Hardfork there were people who were raising concerns how things were planned. You can check out this feedback by @ats-david below
As guessed by others there were issues after the Hardfork. But nobody expected that 99% of the users of the platform will be locked out and will not be able to perform any actions. This was a bummer. Hopefully we should have fixes for this by next 24 hours.
Find your Resource Credits and mana
The situation has got a little better now as RCs have renewed for many users and they are able to interact with the blockchain. You can find your Resource Credits and MANA from steemd. For example you can find @steemladder details from https://steemd.com/@steemladder
While these are all important parameters, you can limit to checking out Enough credits for approximately: which is most important for the general users.
This gives you a fair idea of how many more comments, upvotes and transfers you should be able to do with you current RCs.
Witnesses Feedback and witness pledge
Many of the witnesses have expressed their displeasure with the way this Hardfork was pushed by Steem inc. I think this mishap also will lead to better communication to the top witnesses. Remember that the top 20 witnesses have a major say in the way things are run. Though currently most of the code is being developed by Steem inc they will go live only if the majority of top 20 witnesses accept these changes.
There is something called witness pledge going on where witnesses are pledging what they will be doing going forward. I think this is a good practice and will let us know what these witnesses are planning. One that is clear from the Hardfork20 is that top 20 witnesses should be technical enough and should be involved enough in the community.
You can read the following two posts to get some idea about witness opinion.
@taskmaster4450 makes a counter argument saying that we are all early adopters and we should be ready to face these challenges. While I agree with the points he makes I agree with the other witnesses that it could have been handled much better and there is not excuse for not doing it.
Road Ahead and Continuity
As stated in the latest update by steemitblog restoring continuity is the primary goal of the team now.
The team makes a suggestion of multiplying the resource budgets by 10x. I think this is a good quick fix for the short term as it will enable users to perform ten times the number of actions that they are able to perform now. This should definitely improve the user experience of the users on the platform. This also makes sure that important changes like Resource Credits can still stay and will give enough time for the prices to find equilibrium. Once the team is sure that the prices have stabilised and will not affect the experience of the users, they can set it back to normal(That is removing the multiplier).
RC costs are already changing and they might reach the equilibrium soon. Even before the Hardfork20 it was kind of agreed by many that the comments are rewards intensive and hence their prices should be more than that of the Votes and transfers.
The above image is an analysis by @holger80 which you can read on https://steemit.com/steem/@holger80/how-strong-are-the-rc-costs-changing
What can you do?
Try interacting as much as possible on the network. Or atleast as much as your RCs and MANA allow you to. It is a dynamic system and will take time to calibrate. For the system to calibrate it needs enough inputs and our actions should help the system calibrate quickly. More the number of inputs lesser time it will take to calibrate. With the 10x multiplier coming anytime today you don't need to worry too much about using up your RCs and MANA like you used to do for the last three days. If you are unable to comment or upvote fret not, check back in 24 hours and you should be able to interact seamlessly.