Long term security

How will BEAM remain secure in the long term as the reward dwindles into insignificance and it won’t have the constant large backlog of high-fee paying transactions that Bitcoin does, to make make up for it?

Is the finite supply cap an unbreakable social contract, or could BEAM decide to adopt a tail emission in the distant future, like GRIN had since launch?

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This is less of a concern to me, Beam emissions in the medium-range future still have sufficient reward to keep the network secure.
As for the long term, no one can predict, ASIC might come, GhostDAG might kick in and other new inventions that will shake up the mining ecosystem of Beam (and many other coins).

On top of that, it looks like Beam is the move to a voting mechanism that will allow it to adjust to the perhaps changing security/mining. To my best understanding, the end outcome of the DAO is to have the power to change all and any aspect of the protocol, not just the Defi layer (but this will be a long gradual shift of power I guess)

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Great question THANK YOU>

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Does that include the emission itself?
Could the current supply cap ever be changed?
Could BEAM ever move away from PoW?

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To my best understanding, it does include all you mentioned.
by I do not know for sure

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I hope the DAO can’t vote on every aspect of the protocol especially critical things like emission schedule or inflation. To me the protocol must have some forbidden changes on those aspect. Inflation is stealing economic value from holders. Beam is already with a supply cap as ‘‘social contract’’ when you buy it. There is other coins who opt for tail emission models including a very popular one and a competitor. Any fork that support inflation will be seen as an hostile attack from my wallet perspective.

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And failing security due to insignificant block subsidy is not?