In this post I will attempt to explain the following questions which confound most newbies in this platform (including yours truly) as best as I could. I did my homework beforehand but if someone found that some of my statements are incorrect, please feel free to comment or ask questions below.
1. What is a Steem Token Unit (STU)? How does it correlate to Steem, Steem Backed Dollar (SBD) or even Steem Power(SP)?
2. What is SBD print rate? How does it affect my payout?
3. I've always heard about VESTS or vesting shares. What exactly are those?
1. We can think of Steem Token Unit (STU) as a the most basic measurement unit in steemit while Steem and Steem Backed Dollar (SBD) as currencies. STU is also the measurement unit for a post's potential payout. So, the $100 that you see on your post's potential payout doesn't mean that it's worth 100 USD, but rather 100 STU.
If you would go to steem.supply/rewards, you would see something like the below screenshot (take note that the first visit might show you some buggy output, try to adjust the 'SBD print rate' slider):
Here, I will focus on explaining the 'author' portion. It should be a general knowledge that the author gets only 75% of the total payout of his/her post. So, taking 100 STU as an example, what exactly does 75 STU translate into? How much does 75 STU really worth?
First of all, assuming that like most people, you choose the 50 - 50 split between SBD and SP like below
That means, your reward would be split 50 - 50 into Steem/SBD and SP. First, lets see how much SP you can get,
From the screencast above, we can see that the final USD amount for the SP is fixed. The higher the Steem price in USD is, the lesser SP you will get and vice versa. In short,
You can think of SP as 'shares' that you hold in steemit. The more SP you have, the more influence you have on your votes, this is directly correlated to 'vesting shares', which I will explain more in the 3rd answer. They are not-that-liquid as compared to Steem and SBD (currencies) and take 13 weeks to redeem. You can read more here.
Next, lets look at how much Steem or SBD you will get, this is a tad more difficult because it would be affected by Steem price, SBD price and SBD print rate. I will explain more about SBD print rate in the next answer.
For simplicity, lets assume SBD print rate is 0%. This would mean you are getting the 'liquid payout' portion of Steem only. You would not be getting any SBD. And how much you are getting for this portion depends on the SBD price in USD.
You can see in the screencast above that changes in SBD price will affect the final payout of this portion, hence
And, refer back to the first screencast above, where I changed the Steem price's slider, an increase in Steem price will result in a decrease of Steem Power and Steem allocation, and vice versa, hence
So far, SBD print rate is kept at 0%. If this rate was increased, then you would receive SBD in the 'liquid payout' portion.
And, to include back SBD Print Rate in the Steem Allocation formula before,
And to summarize,
We can see that SBD is the one that provides the actual dollar value sense for a post while Steem and Steem Power can be thought of as in-house tokens. Even though Steem also have dollar value in the exchange but SBD is the link/gateway currency to the market, because the price of SBD ultimately decides how much you could cash out in USD.
tl;dr The price of SBD in USD affects the potential payout of your post in USD, while the price of Steem in USD only affects the amount of Steem and SP you are going to receive for your post. If the price for Steem is lower today, you get more Steem/SP and if the price rise in the future, you could cash out Steem/SP for higher value and vice versa.
2. Next, it's the SBD print rate. As you might infer from the answer above, this can simply be understood as how much SBD you are getting for the 'liquid payout' portion, and this print rate is to maintain a certain ratio of Steem/SBD in the steemit blockchain. If you would go to steemdb.com, you could see the SBD interest rate and print rate by scrolling down:
Currently the rules to adjust SBD print rate are as below:
- When the STEEM/SBD debt ratio is between 0% and 2%: The blockchain pays the liquid portion as 0% STEEM, 100% SBD.
- When the STEEM/SBD debt ratio is between 2% and 5%: The liquid portion of the payout linearly changes from 0% STEEM, 100% SBD to 100% STEEM, 0% SBD.
- When the STEEM/SBD debt ratio is greater than 5%: The blockchain pays the liquid portion as100% STEEM, 0% SBD.
These rules are taken from this post. And the rules may be subjected to changes. Why SBD and Steem? Why not just use Steem only, why peg SBD to the US dollar?? Well, as you may read from comments of that post, it's an ongoing discussion.. And frankly, it's hard tokenomics that I prefer not to delve into at the moment.
3. Finally, it's the mysterious VESTS.. It seems like we kept hearing about it.. But what is it actually? VESTS (like the power vested in you), is the measurement unit for vesting shares. You can see how much vesting shares you have by visiting https://steemd.com/@yourusername. And vesting shares is defined as follows:
Ok, I just introduced two big words: total vesting shares and total vesting fund steem. These like the SBD interest rate and print rate are global variables, you can find them at steemdb.com
These numbers will fluctuate. From what I gather (I might be wrong), total vesting fund steem should be the total amount of SP worth in Steem in the blockchain right now, while total vesting shares.. as you guessed it, should be the total vesting shares in the blockchain right now. Each of us, when we first joined, had zero Steem, SP and SBD, to obtain any of these, we need to generate economic activities in the blockchain via creation and/or curation, or what popularly known as 'Proof of Brain'. Once these 'Proof of Brain' work are done and recognized (upvoted) by others, we get allocated (rewarded) with SP, Steem and/or SBD, and with the SP vested in us, we go on to upvote others' posts.. and the cycle goes on. If we rearranged the above vesting shares formula a bit,
We can easily see that our vesting shares is calculated in proportion to the total vesting shares of the whole steemit blockchain. It's just saying that, ok.. now the whole blockchain pool has this amount of total vesting shares based on this total amount of SP measured in Steem, now you have this X amount of SP, how much vesting shares should you have?
Why does vesting shares matter?? Why don't we just use SP? Well, I can tell you that vesting shares are used to calculate something called reward shares, which would ultimately decide how much payout your post is receiving. As to why don't we just drop vesting shares and use SP only.. well, tokenomics? ;)
In the next 'demystifying' post, I will talk about how your post payout is calculated (yup.. reward shares). And why is your payout fluctuates even though the upvotes are fixed? (well, the answer is sort of present in this post..).
Till next time then. Full Steem Ahead~!
Tips for newbies:
Some of these I have used in this post, I will just compile them below:
- You can check your vesting shares, and your detailed activities here: https://steemd.com/@yourusername
- Block explorer for steemit: https://steemdb.com/
- You can check how much you will be paid and other details here: http://steem.supply/
- It is good to read up the steemit faq, plenty resources there: https://steemit.com/faq.html