The good, the bad and the ugly

in newsteem •  2 months ago  (edited)

My last post/rant may have given a wrong impression, and I want to make some things clear.

I still love the EIP. It definitely has a net-positive effect on the platform, and I'm thankful to @kevinwong and @trafalgar for their consistent pushing to get it done. While I stand to my opinion that the curve change was unnecessary and harmful, I have the strong belief that this isn't the end of history, and we will see further improvements in the future. Some of the top witnesses like @blocktrades and @drakos agreeing with my perspective shows that clearly.

Old ideas like diminishing votes for repeatedly voting the same authors or even keeping votes in a closed circle are being refreshed, as a recent brief conversation with @kevinwong showed. SBD being a nice idea which unfortunately doesn't work in practice is another thing people discuss again, and maybe we will see the end of them soon.
And of course there's the option to drop the STEEM reward pool completely with SMT, which doesn't sound too bad to me either.

All in all, we're on a good way - it will take time, sure, but I'm confident we get to the point where I'd like to see the platform. What's important is that people see that change is possible, and keep discussing ideas for improvement.

As a vote of confidence, and to further empower the anti-abuse battle we're fighting with @curangel right now, I decided to convert most of my shitcoin holdings to STEEM over the next weeks and power up substantially. 20k done already, a lot more to go. That's what abusers get for starting a downvote war instead of adapting to the new ways :)

I'm sorry for bystanders who get dragged into those battles, like @m31 who received some downvotes today only because she's excited about curangel and I resteemed her post. I hope the community keeps stepping up against those bullies, who use extortion in the hope to be able to continue their extraction. That doesn't work, and the natural reaction is that they just pull more attention on their schemes.

A big thanks goes out to all the brave people using their power, knowing absolutely well that retaliation will follow. It's the power of the crowd, and if we keep working together we will be successful. They can't downvote everyone!

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Seeing people like you regaining trust in STEEM is one of the most positive signs that we are on the right, or let's at least say a good way! :)


Very well said bro!

Old ideas like diminishing votes for repeatedly voting the same authors or even keeping votes in a closed circle are being refreshed

Already about two years ago, I wrote the following in a post:

"How about if after each vote on a specific account (including one's own account) each further vote on the same account would lead to significantly less curation reward for the voter and less profit for the upvoted account? Thus, when upvoting an account which I had already upvoted before, my voting power would be smaller than in case I upvote an account which I didn't upvote before."

However, I had the impression that witnesses and bigger stake holders were not interested these days.

Unfortunately mitigation methods like this aren't as simple to implement as it seems at first, because most of the times there's loopholes that render the whole effort moot. Believe me, most if not all of the witnesses would be happy to have a bullet-proof system that just works, but they won't agree to building in hurdles that just affect the honest users in the end. It's part of their job to think these things through and find out how big the probability for it to really work is.
Smooth commented about the idea under this post, and I'm afraid he's completely right with the assertion that it's not a viable solution (as about always when he has something to say :D )

I know that it's not so simple to implement and also not 'perfect' (already these days some replies mentioned the problem of users with multiple accounts), but I do think ideas like this could partly make 'circle jerking' less profitable and less easy to execute.

It's part of their job to think these things through and find out how big the probability for it to really work is.

Good to know that they are seriously discussing these things.

If something is not perfect, and at the same time it hurts honest users, it shouldn't be implemented.
Exactly my point about the curve when I think about it that way :D

  ·  last month (edited)

I don't see how it would hurt honest users: even my best friends I don't need to upvote several times per day (or even every day) ... :) And I still could do that, if I insisted to, I just had to accept somewhat lower returns.

For example the curation window hurts me much more than diminishing returns ever could, as I never try to upvote any post within the first five minutes after it has been published. I can't find good articles that fast if curating manually (only auto voters can) and even if I did, I couldn't read and evaluate them within five minutes. As a result nearly everybody with a comparable STEEM power earns more curation rewards than I do ... but the good thing is: I don't care that much. :)

Anyway: you prefer the current state to solve the problem by downvoting abusers it seems?

Well no, I don't. But at least it's kinda visible when they stick to the same account and don't constantly switch through several. It's not really a solution, because it would hide the abuse even better when someone decides to do it.

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

Look folks; I may not be as smart as many of you, but I recognize excitement when I see it. I have seen lot of positive posts/interaction after the HF, which led me to crawl out under my rock.

You are the leaders of this movement. So with great power comes great responsibility( and perhaps humility). We, the users, will look up to you for direction and support. We can provide support too, but we demand your honesty. Now this is not an easy thing to ask, not in today's world anyways.

We like for you to understand and be humble, that collectively Steemit as a whole is not even worth a small start-up company. I am sure you like to change that. But so far in 3 years + time, we have seen little real growth in terms of price, front-end user interface and usage. Please do not get me wrong. There are too many positive changes to list, if we like to list them, but most of them are internal to the system and few outsiders will appreciate it. I am hopeful and I trust you. I know collectively you will make this platform better. Price will follow.

There are people like me out there, if you show the positive direction of a project they will support you, with lot more than you can imagine. But show us what you can. You are already doing it.... just do it more, do it better.

PS. I up-voted for visibility. I am fortunate that I do not need income from steemit.

Hey pharesim, I regretted my snarky comment on your rant.

I'm glad that people are trying to do new things.

Hurray for shit-coin conversions!

Retaliation was always a possibility, but hopefully the majority of the community are now together in thinking the new way is better than the old.

No just the majority that are reaping the benefits of the new way which partly came at the expense of the lower tier. Yes something had to be done about bidbot abuse, guaranteed but taking from the poor and giving it to the middle class wasn't the answer.

I want to add that the concept of being poor is often even more greedy as the concept of being upper class. What I mean by that? If more are creating new accounts for exploiting a system, you see more "poor". And they are, from a perspective of quality. So the idea really is to achieve a true reputation with others and not only with "a system". Add quality, add richness to the community.

And then I want to invite the dolphins and the whales to acknowledge content creators and community supporters individually somehow with three or even more figure delegations instead of trying to "fix the poor". #newsteem

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

I agree with that, no doubt. It wasn't those of that mindset I was talking about. The HF change was just another example of a few bad apples wrecking it for the rest.

But leave no doubt in your mind that some of those who made it to the top did it in a similar path as those you mention of some on the bottom, by creating alt accounts to their own advantage. Writing, commenting and upvoting their own content.

Instead of hardfolking in disadvantages to the lower tier or forming exclusive circle jerk tribes their focus should be on eliminating alt (sybil) accounts.

One of the reasons they don't is because of the potential that within an unregulated system they fear someone else may be able to easily find a way to steal their bounty. They don't want to put all their eggs in one basket in a wild, wild, west atmosphere. On the other hand they have no problem seeing other people lose their eggs to save their own.

And of course there's the option to drop the STEEM reward pool completely with SMT, which doesn't sound too bad to me either.

Meaning no more 50/50 rewards option so that 100% SP would be the norm?

No Steem at all I think he's referring to.

No, no more rewards in STEEM/SP at all. Rewards would be in SMT, STEEM would only work as fuel for those tokens.

There of course could be some SMT named, say, STEEEM and inherits all original STEEM setting and even an identical airdrop to all Steemians (excluding Steemit maybe lol) ... Then we will still have a "STEEEM" working ... Well, if people are willing to behave accordingly of course...

So where would the Steem created by inflation go if rewards were no longer in Steem?

Currently it’s 65% to authors/curators, 15% to hodlers of SP, 10% to witnesses, and 10% to the DAO.

Inflation would be reduced accordingly

The 65 would be gone but the 15/10/10 would remain?

Am I the only one who thinks that’s a really, really bad idea? 😅

Details aren't fleshed out, it's just an idea for now.
Why do you think it's bad? What's the continued need for a steem pool when authors and curators receive SMT?

I think keeping Steem rewards is important precisely because it's the token with utility. It has intrinsic value, that SMTs probably won't. If content is important to the platform, I think content producers being rewarded in Steem makes sense. I think Steem, the chain, works better when Steem, the coin, is distributed more widely and evenly across more people. I think Steem in too few hands was really the problem that needed to be addressed, and EIP was the solution that let symptoms be addressed without addressing the root. Like you, I think downvotes and 50/50 are positives, but I think the curve is net negative and in the long run exacerbates the problem.

We'll see.

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What's the utility of a reward token? Where's the intrinsic value in that?
Content is important to attract people. SMT can be a way to bring content. If they wouldn't, we wouldn't need them.

The chain doesn't care how widely distributed the utility token (the one providing RC) is, as long as there's a way to provide the users with the RC they need to interact, which is what RC pools will be for.
The concentration in a few hands is a problem for reward distribution only, and that can be solved better with SMT than by hoping that steem distribution will become better in the future.

What is the continued need for steem if everything converts to smteees!
As gas tokens like eth?
No, thanks.

I get the poetic justice, though.

What's the need for steem now, besides being the source for RC?

The effect would be to rather dramatically reduce the supply of new Steem, not just immediately but long into the future. If Steem Power is the fuel for Resource Credits, what happens if transactions on the Steem blockchain grow by several orders of magnitude?

The needed RC for a transaction are (simplified) available_sp / available_blockchain_resources
The available resources are constant and not dependend on the SP. Less supply means you need more SP to get your share of the resources, which results in more demand for STEEM.

No, you are not alone.

That's why they are advancing it, it's their calling card. lol.

FYI Golos have adopted similar model already. They have abandoned Steem code base completely, under the hood it's an remastered EOS fork.
For posting/voting you earn golos tokens, that would be sort of "SMT".
And the system token cyber is paid to block producers only.

How is it doing? Is the user base growing? Do the tokens retain or gain value?

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

It's probably too early to draw conclusions after just one or two month.
It was a not-so-happy divorce, accompanied with delisting from Bittrex.
The user base is split between Golos classic, which do maintain the original code ( but "forked out" the CyberFund affiliated accounrs) and the new CyberWay blockchain with the Golos application on top of it.
The CMC seems not to be aware of the fork and just do mix data for both chains together.
Anyway the volumes are tiny and the prices are on bottom.
Afaik there's some big p2p interchanges of cyber tokens for golos classic tokens with the exchange rate 1:1 going on now.

You must be feeling like Downvote king of steemit
If steem price goes more down it will be bad for all of us and our investments

  ·  last month (edited)

The PoB concept is vastly flawed, no one will ever have enough resources to police the blockchain if mass adoption comes to happen. It's just so easy to abuse the system, I can't imagine how a sustainable economy can be built on a system with such flaws.

What do you think about having a PoW or PoS for the native coin instead? and keeping the PoB concept for SMTs?

That's the idea of getting rid of the steem reward pool mentioned in the post. I think i like it, but opinions are split as some comments here show.

and to further empower the anti-abuse battle we're fighting with @curangel right now

You, sir, are a godsend.

There are always a hiccup when starting out a new thing, we just need to give it some time and everything will be ok.

Heh. Time alone does nothing, it requires work too. Where "just give it time" led us before the last HF is the best proof for that ;)

just trust the process!

  ·  2 months ago (edited)Reveal Comment

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So if you vote an author in this #newsteem, your rewards will diminish?

There is an idea floating around that if you always vote the same persons, and they constantly vote you back, that's not helpful for the platform as a whole to grow, so the rewards for those votes could go down. There's no decision to implement this yet, it's just a thought being played with.

OK. Cool.

The idea itself is powerful. People can already use this as a basis for downvotes if they think it is unhealthy.

And that happens, the @curangel delegators go after those mostly. Problem there is that this causes a lot of retaliation flags. Our delegators are shielded, so it's the compilation posts that get the main part (and are routinely greyed out on the main interfaces). A few used their personal ones, and are targets now too.
Unfortunately that holds a lot of people off from joining the effort. I try to push the idea that "they can't downvote everyone", but with very little success. That's why I would prefer a solution built into code.

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

Unfortunately I'm pretty certain that hard core abusers (we all know who they are) will evade it using various round robin combinations of accounts, as well as stake moving (which can be done invisibly every 13 weeks, which is probably enough to stay ahead of detection, almost entirely if not entirely), while innocent non-evasive users and valuable contributions which should be perfectly legitimately be consistently rewarded over time will be caught by it, so I can't support the sorts of ideas I've seen proposed, but I can't rule out there might be others that could work.

13 weeks to move the stake are a long time, I was thinking about something going into effect in a shorter time. But yes, balancing it in a way that doesn't hurt valid rewards too much while still affect switching accounts would be difficult, and trying to enforce a culture of constantly looking for other authors to reward could backfire by annoying users.

I definitely do not feel like I could come up with a working system, so for now it's just a slight hope that keeping the idea around leads to someone else doing so. Until then we'll unfortunately have to live with the situation that those battling the abuse do that with a personal cost.

I hope this part of the community has the longer breath than the ones who deserve their rewards to be reduced.

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

I didn't mean that moving stake would be the only evasion, but using various accounts in a round robin nature to obscure the relationships would be enough to evade, temporarily, for 13 weeks, and then after that a whole new set of accounts could be used.

Anyway, I'm probably long term bearish on the global reward pool so I hope we can see all of these measures including the minnow-hurting low-end curve as temporary stop gaps until we can move to community-specific pools which can decide on whatever sets of rules (at least within allowable parameters) that work for them, not trying to force one approach onto everyone.

Wow, thank you so much for this great post. My heart beat so fast. Wishing all the luck Steemians. Thank you everyone for keeping steemit alive. I was so worry after HF21, I stopped posting, so afraid of being downvoted. Many negative hearsay but I kept my track on positive aspects. I am not wrong, because my poorly made post earned. Anyway, I tried to post better than before and thank you there are people who upvoted me whom I never seen them before. Downvoters are there too but I know it's my wrong using of tags so I keep on learning. #newsteem I love it. And these post give me more happiness.
Steem on.

Nice though very impressed

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great to read - I also see some improvements. With more people of the whale group downvoting obvious shit I can really live - I totally trust @kevinwong - a cool guys - not convinced by certain others though that raped the reward pool in the past but who am I to criticize.

I really like SBD, but more on that on another post.

I think the reward pool is one of the best things about steem/steemit. I'll admit as a person who hasn't invested any money into the platform I can see why those who have want to get away from the reward pool.

Completely agree that I'd rather see experimentation even if it's wrong, then just constant bickering with no changes and improvement!

There is a long way to go, but these steps are the only way we are ever going to get there, missteps included. I hope that in time the people who have decided to retaliate instead of try something new will come around to a better way for everyone. Many of them have for far too long been comfortable and safe and it has given them a false sense of security.

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I'm kinda half/half on the reward curve. On one hand the curve is exactly what makes self-votes spread over tons of comments and posts makes not lucrative anymore. On the other hand it makes it more difficult for smaller authors.
Maybe on the long term we have to adjust the exact dollar value of this curve accordingly to get the best out of both worlds.

Similarly with SMT, I think the best way to take care of this is doing it organically and not forced. After introducing SMTs certain communities will start paying out in SMTs and find use cases and sinks to establish a value. After a certain time then these SMTs could slowly take over and Steem distribution can be reduced.

I do not think that a hard cut would be good, especially seeing the already low author activity.

We don't really have a problem with spread votes. The current biggest issue are vote circles, and most of them have a stake high enough to bring them to the winning end of the curve.

I was more talking about "before EIP" where this was a common practice. Right now we don't have that problem because of the curve, since its not lucrative. And if the votes are big enough you can detect and downvote them easily. (Not so much when the votes are 1$ each).

Even vote circles, should be easily brought down with downvotes nowadays. Shouldn't it?

Not that easy unfortunately, as the risk of retaliation makes a lot of people stay away from the bigger ones.

Detecting bigger self-voters/circlejerks only works at amounts which are way over the threshold. Raising it can't be a solution either, as that would affect even more honest accounts. Imo it would be possible to set up analytical tools which can detect the kind of abuse we're trying to prevent. Yes, that would require more effort, but it wouldn't hurt all the small accounts in the same run.
In war terms, I think of it like the difference between a targeted strike on an enemy key figure, and carpet bombing the whole town. The latter is easier to set up, but at what cost?

that's the spirit :)

Great post

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People who never participated in downvoting, but get retaliation flags because they were too close to someone who did.

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Maybe the curve just seems overkill now with the low price, low activity. But it's still doing its job, including helping out with downvote fatigue and forcing abuse up to at least a couple of bucks instead of farming cents. It'll be much more obvious in its effectiveness when Steem has high price, high activity (and maybe low powered voting will feel less of a pinch).

Btw I think moving the current Steem (and its inflation) to an SMT is probably not the best play in the near future. Exchange listing issue + secondary tokens rarely take off + barely any demand for Steem as a bandwidth token (and my as well be using normal platforms if the reward pool is not the primary thing really). I believe getting posting/voting incentives right is our main competitive edge, although it remains to be seen if it can actually work well, especially after UI, curation tools etc mature. It's a meme by now, but I think "Communities" will help a lot.

As smooth mentioned elsewhere, one main reason why SBD is failing is likely simply because of Steem's declining value. I used to think its better to get rid of it, but a native stablecoin is probably important for mass adoption. Still seeing the face appeal of just one Steem token though.

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

Exchange listing issue

Exchange listings are far less needed because SMTs include a very efficient internal market and can always be traded for STEEM.

barely any demand for Steem as a bandwidth token

If that were the case there would be barely any demand for Steem today at all. Well, there actually isn't, unfortunately, but distributing a lot of it for free that many people dump either quickly or slowly would seem to only make matters worse.

In fact, most demand for all cryptos is probably speculative, that includes speculation on future demand (such as future demand for a bandwidth token should usage take off) as well as simply speculation on shorter-term supply and demand factors, which again would seem to be helped not hurt by better scarcity and less of it being printed and given away.

The main negative I could see would be less distribution and less potential bootstrapping of Steem (in both STEEM and SBD forms) as a future currency among Steem users, which could give it large future demand. But on the other side of that is demand for STEEM as a reserve currency for SMTs, and the fact that people can trade some or all of their SMTs for Steem which might still help with distribution.

While it does what you describe, at the same time it empowers big abusers as high power circles and self voting whales - of which we still have quite a few who nobody takes care of. On the backs of the majority of small and new creators.
As I said before, cent vote farms should be approached by blockchain analysis, not with an approach that hurts honest cent voters.

About SMT replacing the steem pool I have no strong opinion, I can see positives, but your remarks have some validity too. I don't see external exchange listings as too critical because of the option to convert internally and use steem for on-/offramping, and the demand for a bandwidth token can not be evaluated before SMT are live. But I certainly agree that it should not be a short term priority, we need to see how SMT are accepted first.

Regarding the stablecoin I disagree. But I also still value my holdings in BTC instead of fiat, and want crypto to replace it ;)

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

I don't see the curve empowering big abusers and self-voting whales, they already have high power regardless. Any effect of the curve on them is negligible (few percent maybe).

The positives and negatives on small accounts and small votes are more debatable but this doesn't seem to be a large stake circle/whale issue at all.

I did a round of tests, and the results for when the threshold is reached are indeed lower than my subjective impression so far. A few percent of a high vote still translate in quite a lot of small votes, and when they had higher values the bigger ones would go down some more than the curve effect boosts them right now. It's still just a few percent, but that doesn't invalidate that it's on the back of the small ones.
My focus certainly is on the lower end, where it has the big impact.

#antibullying is very important. I can't believe they would target resteems. Steem is becoming friendlier, bur there are still a few bad guys, so we need good guys to get em

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From one shitcoin to another.. :)
Or maybe a non shitcoin? :0

The bullies will decide ;]

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A coin I use on a daily basis hardly qualifies as shitcoin to me. It's subjective of course ;)

In the long run, it's not the bullies who will decide ;)

Some bullies were part of very early miners..
So yea, already an advantage and if they establish more bots like Bernie does, they will long run also gain more sp (nobody is flagging him) and scare off user, investors, Devs..

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"Bernie" is probably one of the most flagged accounts in STEEM's history, his last posts have been downvoted below 0 rewards ;)

2-3 posts

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Downvoted by haejin, which was the reason for them to be written.
Even besides those, @theaustrianguy said "in STEEM's history", which is very likely to be true.

Good Job.

Bernie downvoted (or still does) single users harder than he got hit by that few 0 reward posts.. :D

XD that guy

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absolutely !

Old ideas like diminishing votes for repeatedly voting the same authors or even keeping votes in a closed circle are being refreshed

I like to hear this. Didn't know it was even an option but it seems that it could bring more engagement, distribution and motivation especially to small users here.

Thanks a LOT for your work on the blockchain, especially with @curangel since I know you mostly because of that.

After seeing abusive behaviour towards curators happening, I must say that I will change my ways and help in downvoting abusers. It's a tiny downvote but hopefully it will encourage more people to use it on abusers.

Curators are the gold of this blockchain and whoever is abusive against them, doesn't understand the concept of Steem and is only showing his egoistic views.

To (minuses) war!

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..changing the altcoins for steem is what I will also doing..I believe in steem and high and lows are a normal thing I guess..up..follow you..resteemed..

We should bring steem inflation to 2%...😳😀

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Thanks @pharesim for your effort to discover dishonest curation and defending the small account in this ecosystem. I voted for you 100% please bear with it because my account has small stake and also my power was busy voting for content who watch in our videos. We need more people like you who makes this community a better place everyday. Good job :D

I never understood the logic of the curve change. It really seems to have created a two tier reward distribution system but, in general the EIP has brought about other good things to compensate.
It is great also that there is so much talk going round about how to improve things further. Am I right in thinking that it will be the next hardfork before we see any of the possible other changes?

I think so, yes. Focus is rightly on SMT, and they should be rolled out as soon as they're finished. We survived the last years which were a lot worse, so we're not in a real hurry...

Great to see some attitude and be thoughtful in regards to what happens in the steem blockchain. For sure we need some Cops around to ensure the healthy development of the blockchain and what it stands for and the values it treasure.