Delegations: measuring and tracking

in #cryptocurrency4 years ago

It’s been more than a year since delegations started on Steem. There are 17.572 accounts that delegated Steem Power (delegators) and 867.578 accounts that received Steem Power (delegatees) since then. The total amount delegated at this moment stands at 126.6 billion VESTS and this represents 32.6% of the total VESTS supply.

The chart below shows the explosive growth of delegations. With it came a lot of controversies because it changed the incentives to curation and posting on the platform, as we will discuss in a future post. But, before that, we will dig into the details on how to collect the aggregated blockchain data and the associated calculations needed to put numbers into this complex discussion.


This would be an interesting thing to monitor if you split it between categories, e.g:
(a) Delegations from Steem (+ Utopian) for account set up
(b) Delegations to voting bots (incl smartsteem, minnowbooster)
(c) Purchases of delegtions from minnowbooster, blocktrades etc
(d) Delegations to initiatives (curie etc).

Probably worth converting vests to SP as well - it's easier for most people to relate to.

This graph is worthless. All you have done is plotted the total number of delegations. Are you aware that nearly all new accounts are given delegation so that they have enough bandwidth to interact with the blockchain?

All this chart shows is that we've had a lot of new users sign up since last spring. And this is certainly not worth $600 from the shared reward pool.

"The chart below shows the explosive growth of delegations. With it came a lot of controversies because it changed the incentives to curation and posting on the platform, as we will discuss in a future post."

This is an interesting debate. I believe that each has its own place in different ways of using Steem. Right now, I am not able to use Steem much so I delegate my SP to Minnowbooster. If I am able to more actively use the platform and curate content then I would want more SP behind my votes and would un-delegate.

Since im pretty new to Steem, i didnt know there was a time before delegating. I have very mixed feelings about it. On one side it totaly makes Sense, but on the other you can gain a lot of influence on the System with enough Dollars in your pocket.

True but isnt that normal in this world & nature? Whatever the system people will game it. I don't mind it but I want delegating to be much less profitable, because people are basically not willing to give away a vote or spend time on curating.

Steem should have built in curation trails so that those who have built up Steem Power but have no time for curation can still support the ecosystem. A curation version of Witness Voting??

It's a difficult debate.

On one hand, yes, this is "normal" in this world. People don't realize how abused all social media is. On Reddit, it's almost impossible to get a post on the front page without buying upvotes. Common accounts like GallowBoob post stuff for people, charging tons of money, and then buy tons of upvotes and get it to the front page. People don't realize how abused social media is. This is completely normal. The difference is this is transparent. I bought upvotes for my companies post for advertisement, and I don't feel bad about doing it here because it's transparent, people know its happening, and we have things like transparencybot that help make it more transparent.

Delegation has also brought a ton of amazing products. Utopian and everything they've accomplished is only possible because of delegation. I firmly believe that Utopian is amazing, and the positives of just having them in this ecosystem outweigh almost all the negatives on its own. To build on that, the MinnowSupportGroup got me on my feet, and I definitely used the community bot there to help my early posts gain traction. There's a lot of good that can come from delegation.

On the other hand, I feel like delegation (specifically, vote-buying) has killed the quality of content on Steemit. Posts like this get to the front page without needing to put any effort into it. No header, no footer, no formatting, no real analysis, no discussion about solutions/alternatives. Low effort content can become popular by just buying upvotes. Delegation has been heavily abused. Rather than occasionally using it to pay for marketing their blog/articles, many users consistently post low-effort content buy upvotes since it can be profitable at times, or break even for most.

I agree that I think it should be less profitable. As someone who uses it for advertising my product, I feel it would be 100% okay if we only got 25%-75% of our SBD back, rather than 90%-110%. Marketing shouldn't make you money, it's an investment into your blog. If users lost money by buying upvotes, we would have much less low-effort content buying upvotes.

It would also mean people would earn less by delegating. I used to delegate to MinnowBooster, but then I realized how much I personally am against it. I stopped delegating to them, and now just delegate to MSP and Utopian. Outside that, I keep my Steem and follow the Utopain 1UP curation trail instead. I get A LOT less rewards than I used to... but at least I know I'm supporting my fellow Steemians on my personal account. I really wish delegating gave less rewards so curating would become the profitable thing again.

I already did a post about this last night, if you want please copy paste into my post.

Best comment ever

Designing incentives is a developing art in the blockchain scene! I think delegating will become less profitable because it is attracting a lot of money.

Well, since Steem has the ability to overcome what social media is today (playball for big commercial players) im havin a hard time to find it realy good to give them the ability. i mean, you could always buy steem and convert it to sp, but if you only need it for a few weeks that would be a financial risk. way more than it is in the system now

"but on the other you can gain a lot of influence on the System with enough Dollars in your pocket."

thats always true when you put markets above people

Yeah, but look at my comment above, there could have been some other way tho. In the end, it prolly wouldnt matter much, its just how @gogreenbuddy said people will always find a way to play the game.

I'm also pretty new to Steemit, what does it mean to delegate SP?

I think you're mostly right. Delegation has a good face in that it gives more options to users using their STEEM but it also has an ugly face because the delegation market as it works today creates incentives to poor content publishing.

It seems like only good looking new ladies, and famous YouTuber's who have moved over to Steemit gain a delegation. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's what I have observed.

Delegation makes sense for those who want to earn passive income. Delegate right and you'll be making money while you sleep.

Some individuals also use their delegations to support community projects.

I think it's one of the best features on steemit.

So, the actual owner of the SP gets a part of the Curation rewards? I thought that money also goes to the account with the delegated SP.

Both of the parties involved earn.
Curation goes to the account holding the delegated SP.

The delegators get paid in SBD and steem. Some steemians earn 100+ SBD per month from delegation.

I'd be curious to see the breakout. How many of these delegations are going to projects that are building upon Steemit and how many are just going to bidbots?

Regardless, the chart is a little sad since it highlights how many people are removing themselves from the platform in some capacity and letting someone else manage that part for them. This focuses and limits instead of growing expanding engagement.

I am trying to calculate the breakout you mentioned. Theme for a future post. Yeah, I see there's a generalized negative opinion about how delegations are working now. I hope that throwing data and economic reasoning into it can help me get a better understanding of this situation.

It would be very interesting how much is delegated to real accounts and how much is delegated to upvote bots.
Because there is a big difference in both delegations. The delegation to a bot can be seen as more a personal investment. Just like the paid delegations to real human accounts!
The free delegations to human accounts could be more seen like an investment into the Steem platform. This will decrease the burn rate and will motivate these to do the same, when they do have the power theirs elves.


@fullcoverbetting, do you know where I can find a comprehensive list of bid-bots? I will try to check out what percentage of delegations goes to them.

Maybe a good start would be steembottracker where already a lot of bots are listed.
Also some information can be found be checking the comments of the @transparencybot
Maybe you can contact them, they maybe will have a good list of the upvote bots.
Looking forward to the results!

Can you overlay number of accounts on this data, or normalise for it? I'd like to see whether more delegations are happening per account, because number of accounts has to be a factor in increased delegations.

When we divide the monthly delegated VESTS by the monthly number of Steem accounts we get this chart:
In fact, delegation per account seems to be growing a lot. How do you interpret this result, @positiveninja?

OK, so it's basically the same pattern as above. I wondered whether when normalised for account growth, if the same trend would be seen. You answered my question, thanks.

Steem is both a social media platform and investment platform IMO. This feature draws more of the investor crowd but in turn, they help fund those that contribute content. It’s all just part of the ecosystem and I think it’s good. I don’t see the harm because content creators benefit form this. Otherwise the “investors” just gravitate or “curate” the accounts with the biggest wallets (ie haejin), magnifying the divide between the “rich” and “poor”. I’ve delegated to small voting bots which helps the smaller accounts get started. Keeps everyone engaged and that’s what steem needs.

Wow, glad to be part of this!

thank you wonderful job

Can you overlay number of accounts on this data, or normalise for it? I'd like to see whether more delegations are happening per account, because number of accounts has to be a factor in increased delegations.

Are you sure that this post is worth 250$+?
You will probably get flags and you will lose money.

If you show me another place where I can find the information about the evolution of delegations as shown in this chart then I think its value is not that great. But if it contains something exclusive then I think it is quite valuable.

I advise you to look at the analyses made by the contributors in @utopian-io where they spend hours to provide deep analyses and representation of the data and they earn a portion of what you have attached to this two liner post, which even I could generate in few minutes.

With it came a lot of controversies because it changed the incentives to curation and posting on the platform

For sure, majority of delegation is for different initiatives... but this cannot be simplify so easily. For example, so time ago for security reasons, I decided to move all my SteemPower from my @noisy account to @noisy.cold (coldstorage account). Later I delegated exactly the same SP back to my @noisy. Thanks to that I will not lose a penny even if my main and everyday account will be hacked :)

Wait, steemit has a cold storage option?.

That's a brilliant idea. How come I've never heard of it.

Sounds like a great Idea. But seeing your post i wonder why it says "Payout declined". Sorry im stell finding my way into the Steemworld, and it can be a difficult one.

Delegations is ok. i do not find any issue as long as Steem allows it. you did a good work on it.

hi there!!!
i think delegation it is growing up because is profitable also i believe it will go higher.

nice post by the way.

good luck!!!
have a good day!!!!

We are experiencing the first baby steps of this crazy growing industry...only about 1.5% of world population is invested in crypto.

People still have to adopt block chain in a big way the uses and advantages are not know to majority of people

Soon Marshall Islands will issue their sov coin, first legal tender crypto! That might help bring it to mainstream investors

Hope It happens soon

In my opinion, Steem is the first blockchain that has daily, actual use that focuses on​ the mass.

I really like your post, so I resteem your post. and this will be a new passion for me. I hope you can support me to continue developing in the world of steemit

I want you to recommend the best software to check cryptocurrency status in real time -

I understood what is steem power, steem and SBD. But what is VESTS??

It is really complex and took me a lot of time to get accustomed to these measures. VESTS is another way to measure almost the same thing as STEEM POWER. See

wow, that's a little complicated measures out there. Thank you so much for the information, this helped!

Thanks for sharing! A link to your post was included in the wiki about STEEM Power (SP). Thanks and good luck again!

Why? This post literally offers zero insight into delegations, other than to show that they have increased since the hard fork was approved last spring.

Hi, I included this post because it mentions SP delegation, I would prefer that the wiki had an article dedicated to this subject but maybe someone create it in the future. Otherwise in the wiki SP article, this link is included among many others so I believe the readers could access different point of views, including your and other steemians comments here. Thanks for replying!

Nice growth!You and I have spoken all these words, but for the way we have to go,words are no preparation. I have one small drop of knowing in my soul. Let it dissolve in your ocean.

What does your chart actually show? You say the total amount of delegated VESTS is 126 bn - your chart ends at around 29 bn?

The chart shows the monthly distribution of the total of 126 billion VESTS.

edit: nvm, I think I got it...

Hello, world!
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You got a 26.89% upvote from @postpromoter courtesy of @verodato!

Want to promote your posts too? Check out the Steem Bot Tracker website for more info. If you would like to support the development of @postpromoter and the bot tracker please vote for @yabapmatt for witness!

If we had begun to know the blockchain years ago, imagine the experience that we would have, and thus approve all the resources that are presented to us. I met Steem a year ago, but since I was a newbie and younger, besides having money to invest, since banks only receive people over 18, I could not do anything, just see how the currency goes up and up.

Delegating is a great way to help new users grow their accounts and ensure active users stay engaged and continue to grow.

A great asset to Steemit

But can I choose not to delegate my SP or is it done automatically when the new user joins the Steemit?

Buying steem in such a cheap rate is really a good idea and will help you to create your digital assets

Thanks for sharing this update @verodato. While people are attracting more towards crypto so the scams and frauds are increasing. Belgium has come up with good initiative to protect or warn crypto investors about online fraud and scams caused by crypto currency. The Belgium government launched a website where you can check any crypto site whether it’s fraud or safe.

We will see the behavior these days to follow up, thanks for sharing!

I would love to get me a delegation but nobody likes me that much.

You got a 72.91% upvote from @upmewhale courtesy of @verodato!

Earn 100% earning payout by delegating SP to @upmewhale. Visit for details!

I feel this passage is very informative, just wondering you put around 300$ into promotion and your receiving a 300$ payout in profit am I correct or?

It is like I put around $300 in promotion and receive hopefully more than $300 in REVENUE (vote value).

that was a smart investment I think I might do the same for my next video hopefully I gain profit off my content, I think my content is definitely something to look at everyday

BTW, this information you show is good. Thank forr sharing

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Check report


I would normally flag this, but today I feel this adds substance to the above content.

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