Normie Talk - HF21 Explained (SPS + EIP) What it is and what happens next

in #normietalk2 years ago (edited)


There has been a lot of discussion about the upcoming HF21, but I feel there has not been a explanation of what any of it means directed to the community itself. I don't feel it has been explained in a way that everyone can grasp and understand while seeing the goal of the proposed changes.

This may be due to different styles of communication or just a disconnect from the user base. Either way I believe it is an unfortunate oversight, and this post is my attempt to remedy that. As I feel communication is extremely important for any community, organization or business.

Full Disclosure- I am not a top witness and therefore am not considered in the "consensus" aspects of this hardfork. I am am active community member and a part of a backup witness team (c-squared) though, and due to my involvement of many projects on this chain I have been included in some "conversations" pertaining to this HF discussion. During these discussions I like to think of myself as a community advocate or representative. I try to ensure community concerns are heard and do my best to keep the community in mind through every discussion. Whether I am the best choice for that is up for debate.. but I figure if I am in such a position I should take it seriously and do my best to represent the community.

So with all of that being said, this is my attempt to explain the proposed HF changes to the community, the best way I can. My goal is to help get the correct information out and give the community a good understanding of what the HF consists of, why those supporting it think it's needed, and what happens next.

I will do my best to keep my opinions out of most of this post (I'll save them for a future one perhaps), but rather try to explain the idea behind these proposed changes... from one normie to another. Therefore I will not be focusing on algorithms or charts (I'll link to those for anyone who wants them though), but rather just try to paint a picture of what the ideas of the changes are as well as the desired effect.

First Things First

What is a hard fork?

A hard fork is a when a change in the main protocol (or code) happens on a blockchain. This normally occurs when changes or improvements to the core code of the chain takes place. In order for these changes to take place, a protocol is released (traditionally by steemit inc here on steem) and then "consensus" must occur for the chain to migrate to this new protocol. Consensus is when 17 of the top 20 witnesses "accept" this change in protocol by beginning to run this new code and stop running the old one. Only then will these changes in protocol take effect. This will be the 21st Hard Fork to occur on The Steem Blockchain.

Here is a good description/analogy of blockchain protocol changes for anyone wanting more information.

Please note-

We are not to this point on HF21. The protocol has not been released yet and there is no scheduled date for when that will occur.

Steemit inc did release a Test Net though where witnesses will begin testing the possible code to find any issues or errors so they can be fixed. The goal of this is to prevent possible issues from occurring (as we saw with HF20), but of course not everything can always be prevented. The test net is designed to help though and many witnesses are actively testing the code currently.

Once testing has been done and they feel it's sufficient, a date will be announced.


HF21 - The Details

This hard fork is made up of two very different and separate aspects - The SPS (Steem Proposal System) and The EIP (Economic Improvements Proposal). I will try to go through each one in a easy to understand way, while linking to more complex information for those that want it.

Part One - The SPS

The SPS, Steem Proposal System or Steem.DAO, is a worker proposal system that is coded into the chain itself. This will be an automated system (no "group" controlling it) that any member of the community can submit a "proposal" to through a front end interface. Stake weighted voting decides what proposals receive funding, and payments are sent out in installments over a time period, after a proposal has been "approved".

The SPS was proposed by blocktrades nearly 5 months ago, and after an agreement from Steemit Inc to fund the development, Blocktrades began building the code.

What is the point?

There are many blockchains in existence that have Worker Proposal Systems (or sometimes referred to as "DAO's) in effect. The idea is a decentralized and automated way to fund things that could improve or add to the ecosystem. This allows anyone from the community to propose something, and if it has enough support from stake holders then it can receive funding.

What can be funded?

Anything. Community members can submit a proposal for absolutely anything. There is a fee of 10sbd's to submit a proposal in place to try to prevent spam submissions, but anything can be submitted.

This could be used for a marketing project, outreach, onboarding, developments to the UI/UX or any other site features. It could be used to hire a management team for the community, PR reps, or some other "role" the community sees as beneficial. It could be used to fund a project idea, a game, etc etc etc.

Think of this as a way for the community to vote and fund projects they see as beneficial to the chain itself as well as the Steem Ecosystem. Therefore depending on Steemit inc. for these items less and less.

It allows the community to redirect some of the shared inflation pool to things that could have a positive impact on the ecosystem and hopefully improve the overall value of STEEM.

Where does the funding come from?

When the SPS was originally announced there had been a discussion of Steemit Inc. contributing a substantial "seed funding" (as detailed in the link above), that amount is now discussed to be 200K STEEM.

It is very important though for the worker proposal system to have sustainable funding to be successful, as well as the importance of it not solely relying on Steemit Inc itself. That means it is even more important that the community redirect sustainable funding from some other place to ensure this worker proposal system can actually provide a service to the community.

Proposed Sustainable Funding Source
On steem we have a shared rewards pool that is sourced from inflation. This pool is allocated to different types of "rewards" as seen below;

rewards graph.png

The idea of this inflation pool is to use these funds to pay for things that add value to STEEM. Currently it's being used to pay rewards to authors/curators through post and comment payouts, a vesting interest reward and witness rewards (paid in SP).

The figures (when combined) look like this currently -

Authors/Curators - 75% | Interest - 15% | Witnesses 10%

As you can see the largest part of the inflation pool is being used to reward content contributions.

The Proposed Change-

Authors/Curators - 65% | Interest - 15% | Witnesses 10% | SPS - 10%

The idea is that since that is the group receiving the largest cut, that redirecting 10% of that inflation to the SPS would be a good place to start. Remember, the inflation pool should be used for what adds the most value to Steem and has the most long term benefit.. therefore improving the price of STEEM for everyone. Many feel the SPS could be exactly what we need to push Steem to where it needs to be, while giving the community control over what is funded itself.

TDLR Part One

The SPS is an automated worker proposal system that was coded by Blocktrades. Proposed funding would be a combination of donations as well as redirecting 10% of the current inflation pool to the SPS itself.

My Thoughts on SPS?
I think the SPS is desperately needed and could be very beneficial for the Steem ecosystem. I think that the inflation pool should be used to fund what adds value, or ultimately that inflation is actually contributing to a decrease in the price of STEEM.

I left a comment on this post of my thoughts overall for anyone interested, but I won't include them here for sake of time and not wanting to include too much of my own opinions.


Part Two - The EIP

The EIP, Economic Improvement Proposal, is something that has come about due to years of conversations about how to improve the economics of the Steem Ecosystem. First conversations about such changes can be seen in this post as well as many other places. This discussion has been debated among top witnesses, stake holders and community members since that time with no actual attempt in change being considered until now.

The current proposal consists of three different components working together in tandem to hopefully improve the economics on Steem. You can see the details on Steemit Inc's post opening up discussion about the topic.

The Three Components of The EIP

1) 50:50 Split

What is it?

This would be a change in the current split of content rewards from Author 75%/Curators 25% to Author 50%/Curators 50%.

What is the goal?

It is no secret that we need more content consumers on Steem. We have great content, we need people to read it and reward it though. The idea here is that individuals would actually profit by curating and upvoting said content, so they will do it, rather than other forms of earning a profit.

Imagine if all those spamming could actually just curate to get a return on their investment? Imagine if large stake holders actually made a return by trailing some of the manual curation efforts? What if it was actually profitable for individuals to invest in steem and reward the valuable content? Would more people do it? That's the idea.

But what about those just spamming and upvoting themselves? No matter of the split they still are getting 100%, right?

Well that is where downvotes come in...

2) The Downvote Pool

What is it?

The proposed downvote pool is designed to help counter this behavior by removing the "cost" of downvotes to a certain limit. Currently downvotes are not "free", in fact to use a downvote you are using the allocated "mana" that can be used for those 10 upvotes a day that regenerate.

Essentially, to downvote something you are throwing away possible ROI you would receive by upvoting something instead. When an individual downvotes something their vote worth, as well as the same amount of reward on the content receiving the downvote is sent back to the shared rewards pool. There is a benefit to the chain of course, as this puts rewards back into the pool to be distributed to all authors, but the individual downvoting has given up ROI of possible curation rewards from casting that vote instead.

This has led to a culture of downvotes not being used by the majority to fight abuse of the shared rewards pool. Leaving us with bid bot abuse going unchecked, self upvoted spam by large and small stake holders alike, as well as extremely overly rewarded content becoming the norm.

Rewards are intended to show consensus from the community- An Upvote is showing a stake holder feels the contribution is worth more than the current reward. A Downvoteis showing a stake holder feels the contribution is worth less than the current reward. At the end of the payout time period (7days) whatever the community consensus is, is then allocated to that specific contribution. It is really that simple.

How will it work?

The proposed pool would just allow 25% "free" downvotes. This means that a separate small pool would be consumed by the downvotes prior to consuming voting mana. Meaning an individual could use a limited amount of downvotes before having to use their "allocated votes" as we see today. There is no "reward" for downvoting, there will just now be a few "free" downvotes to use.

What is the goal?

To encourage downvotes to be used as a curation mechanism, as well as abuse fighting on a larger scale. The goal is for those large stake holders to now be encouraged to go and downvote bid bot abuse as well as self voting spammers who are removing rewards from the shared pool while not returning value.

The idea is that if someone who is currently posting spam and upvoting it now as the option to curate instead and earn a profit(50:50), they may be more likely to do so.. rather than spam and risk being downvoted.

This also applies to bid bot users. If someone is abusing bid bots and is constantly downvoted by the community for doing so they will loose money, as they have to pay for those votes. If it is no longer profitable, they most likely will not do it anymore.

The idea is to reward the behavior you want to see, and sometimes that means showing distaste for what you do not want to see.. and that is accomplished through downvotes.

3) The Curve

What is it?

The curve is a proposal to go from the current linear curve to a convergent linear curve. Steemit Inc's own Vandeburg did a very technical analysis of it in this post as well as an updated diagram from Steemit Inc. seen here for anyone wanting a technical description of it.

I am not going to talk about the algorithms or the curve.. rather just my perceived goal behind it...


Pretty isn't it?

What is the goal?

One of the goals within this EIP proposal is to encourage organic content discovery by discouraging negative behavior. One of these negative behaviors touched on before is when individuals spam and self vote to gain a profit, while adding no value in return. While the downvote pool as well as 50:50 are designed to encourage them to do otherwise, downvotes can only happen if the abuse is seen.

Abuse Fighting

One idea behind this curve is that it discourages those individuals from spreading their stake and this abuse over multiple accounts in smaller reward amounts to avoid being caught. Due to the curve changes making that not profitable, the idea is abusers would be pushed to aim for higher returns and then downvotes could be used to counter said abuse. If this abuse is no longer profitable, the hope is individuals will turn to other ways that are profitable with less risk attached.. as in curation(50:50). Imagine if all the abusers just cast a vote on content instead.. that's the idea.


An additional aspect to this curve is that it gamifies curation a bit as well. Consider with the change to 50:50 that more and more individuals are encouraged to curate content, as they can actually make money doing so. Currently many just jump on a post they know has a big vote coming through auto votes, and sort of race to that "optimum" ROI time.

Currently any vote cast before 15mins has a bit of a penalty to it, as before that time they are forfeiting a piece of their curation rewards pie.. but they also need to get there first. So many individuals forfeit this CR just to be there first, but when curation is now worth more they will be throwing away a good return and will most likely change that behavior.

So when all the popular posts now become a race to the bottom.. as the race to become first now means you are throwing away rewards.. and the earlier and earlier the votes are cast, the less ROI they receive. The goal is that at this point it will be more profitable to find posts that don't have a large number of votes on them, aka the undiscovered gems.

The idea here is to encourage the voting of the minimally rewarded content, as that is where the best profit will be. This could mean an increase to those content creators who go relatively unnoticed or unrewarded, as now it is actually beneficial (and profitable) to vote them.

TDLR for Part Two - The EIP

The EIP is a proposal consisting of 3 components designed to work together to get the desired effect - Improve Content Discovery while discouraging negative behavior.

My Thoughts on The EIP?

Many think I am against the EIP, I even was accused of having "resentment".. I am not either of those things. What I do dislike is how this is coming to be as well as the push to include so many economic changes within one hard fork when we cannot know what affect they will have.

With all that aside though, I believe Steem needs an overhaul.

I believe we need to encourage individuals to invest in STEEM and contribute in a positive way to the Steem ecosystem. That means we need to give them a reason to, that benefits them. I believe that having a system where we depend on altruistic behavior does not work, and most definitely is not sustainable. I believe we need to reward the behavior we want to see with our upvotes as well as our downvotes and make it actually profitable to contribute to the ecosystem in a positive way.

I believe The EIP is an attempt to do these things. I also feel it is important to note that we don't know that these changes will have the impact that is desired, and we won't know until we try them. As there is no way to predict human behavior, all we can to is attempt to design a system that encourages the behavior we want to see.

What Happens Next

- Test Net

Currently Steemit inc has a test net in place where witnesses and community members are testing the proposed code. Discussions are still being had about details, but at this point I believe they are as stands with the idea that further changes can be made when needed.

- Hard Fork Date Scheduled

When individuals feel the testing is sufficient, a date for the hard fork will be released.

- Consensus

On the scheduled date of the HF, there must be a consensus. Which means 17 of the top 20 witnesses must "approve" or "agree" to the new protocol by implementing the code, which will migrate the blockchain to the new protocol. Then and only then does the HF go into affect.

What does this mean for the community?

I think it's important to note that Steem in itself is an experiment, and that is not a negative thing. We are creating an economic society that has never been done before. We are doing revolutionary things... and with anything that has never been done before, there will be trial and error along the way. But without the courage to try new things, explore and experiment, we will become stagnant and not be a part of the revolution.

I believe we are attempting to work towards something better, and these changes are part of that.

What to expect

While no one can "predict" what things will look like after the HF, I think it may be helpful for the community to just have a possible "idea" of what it will look like and what the "hope" is.

Author Rewards
With the implementation of the SPS and 50:50 component of the EIP, author rewards percentage of the pool will be decreased somewhere around 42.2%.

The goal or idea is though that with the combined components of the EIP taking effect, there will be less spam taking rewards and more individuals curating (as it's now profitable to do so). Which could mean even though the author rewards percentage is lower, the reward pool will be bigger (less abuse taking it) and therefore the actual rewards an author receives will actually increase.

I believe these changes will take time to balance out, as with any changes, so I personally think we should prepare for an immediate decrease in the post payout we see. But to keep calm and let the system begin to take it's new form. It is my hope that over the few weeks after the hardfork, authors contributing positively to the ecosystem will begin to see their rewards increase again. This is the goal.

Do I believe that large stake holders who have been relatively inactive or in "set and forget" mode will all of a sudden start manually curating? No. Sorry, I just don't see that. BUT if it is actually profitable for them to delegate to curation groups or follow manual curation trails, then why wouldn't they? It makes sense that individuals will always act in their best interest, and if it is in their best interest to use their stake to curate content (on their own or through a trail), it seems logical that some may do just that. That's the hope.

This also applies to small accounts who are posting spam daily just to farm rewards, with the downvote actively being used to fight this, it will now be in their best interest to do something else... and curation is a possible source of revenue.

I think the community is scared of this aspect and I can understand why, as downvotes have been used in an abusive manner in the past here. But I actually think that individuals need to consider what the majority does here rather than a few and when you begin to think that individuals will do what is in their best interest.. knocking down some of the abusers that are essentially taking rewards from everyone else is beneficial.. and with the downvote pool, they now no longer have to give up ROI on vote casts to fight it.

I believe the first week will be a shit storm, I am not going to lie.. I think it will get a little ugly.. but I don't think "average" users have anything to worry about, as the targets will be set on bigger accounts. I believe the trending page will get a bit of a shake up, but only on the aspect of bid bot abuse. I believe DRAMA will moon, so stock up!

My Advice?
Relax, stay calm, don't panic if a bunch of whales are downvoting each other as quite frankly that just means more is going to the rewards pool that will be allocated to...who? The Content Creators! It's the way the system was designed.. consensus on rewards through up and downvotes, as we all share that inflation pool.

So, continue being you, keep doing what you do and let the dust settle. Then we can establish where we are, and decide on the most beneficial direction going forward.

The Steem Community is strong, and we have survived 20 Hard Forks, we will survive this one too and hopefully thrive. That's the goal.

I hope this post is helpful. My goal here is to simply provide the community who maybe want less of a "technical analysis" style post and more of a "friend to friend" style conversation. My answers are based on my understanding and opinions on the proposed concepts, and should not be taken as anything more than that. (I do want to thank those who have put up with my constant questions and debates at an attempt to fully grasp these proposed changes and their goals. Including themarkymark, Eonwarped, Smooth, Crimsonclad and others.)

If you have any questions or want to yell at me, please feel free to do so in the comments. :)

Much Love and Steem On,


If you appreciate my contributions to the Steem ecosystem, please consider voting for our community focused witness Here

Edit- I will be promoting this post using the Steemium Promotion Service to ensure it is seen by those who may need it most. I have spent 100SBD to do so.


Man I hope this HF gets rejected. Not holding out high hopes for that of course. Why does an obviously beneficial thing (worker proposal system, although funding it from reward pool instead of from vesting interest is... beyond stupid) have to get bundled up with something that at best is a "try it and see if it works" and is actually more likely a "terrible for everyone except bid bot users and delegators/owners" (honestly, we don't have to "wait and see" what behavior changes will come - an incremental incentive to "good behavior" that still doesn't even come close to matching the rewards possible from delegating to bid bots will not have any appreciable change in user behavior - that is basic game theory, we can say with 100% certainty that the vast majority of people will still choose the most self-benefiting course of action, which is still not aligned with anything like behavior we would like to see. Interestingly this will likely drive even more people to delegate to bid bots as there is no risk of downvotes to a delegator there as opposed to self voting, and the new reward curve ensures that you have to use a bid bot unless you are a huge investor to begin with, otherwise you lose out). Gah.

This is much like how politicians work in the US. Take what was a simple proposal for a HF to fund who knows what...which if run correctly will be a good thing and add in a bunch of other ideas at the same time that aren't related so they pass because voting no would be voting against funding Steem's future.

I agree reject this and put it into at least 2 HF's.

I don't see this at all as "terrible for everyone but bid bots". There's plenty to suggest that the equilibrium will shift a bit. Every component to this EIP is assuming maximizing behavior to boot, so not sure where you are getting this conclusion from.

50/50. +Curation leakage, +curation bonus. Less delegators, less upside for bot.

Convergent Linear. Small bids become useless, less demand. Also upside for curation. More effective to downvote higher posts. Less profitable to split votes on many posts.

Downvotes. Risk for bidders, less demand (hence profitability).

I am tempted to say you must be joking, but I will assume you are serious. There is no possible way that the downvote pool can exert negative pressure against bidbot use. The amount of SP controlled by the "pro bidbot camp" if you want to call it that - the amount of SP controlled by users who directly delegate to bidbots, own bidbots, and/or use bidbots, is far greater than the amount of SP controlled by accounts that actively use SP* and oppose bid bots. Good luck trying to win a flag war against bid bots. If you think for one second that any kind of organized campaign to flag posts that use bidbots wouldn't meet organized counterflag opposition, then you obviously haven't been paying attention. The rest of the measures could all have been carefully crafted to create even more perverse incentives to use bid bots. 50/50 curation... you may not have looked at the big picture of curation, bid bots already earn the vast majority of curation under current system. Bid bot operation will be instantly far more profitable. There will be zero change to the incentive to delegate to bid bots, that is currently and will still be the optimal strategy even over 100% self-voting, so predictably, it will be the strategy that the majority of SP holders take to optimize investment. And the worst thing is the reward curve change, which actually incentivizes users to use bid bots. Anyone who can't get a post organically past the threshold where the new curve passes the old curve, will make less than they used to (which is... everyone except whales and the small number of users lucky enough to get whale votes). Anyone who uses a bid bot to get their post past that point in the curve will make more than they used to. Add it all up and we should see a large increase in the use of bid bots and a large increase in the profitability of bid bots.

*The "actively use SP" distinction is drawn of course because of the huge amounts of SP held by Stinc and not used. If Stinc wanted to use their stake to flag big bot use it would be another story of course, but that wouldn't require a hard fork. Stinc could end bid bot use overnight if they wanted to. They don't.

I am not joking, and I seem to have a very different analysis and I'm hard pressed to find a way that will make you see it the same way. You didn't address any of the points I made, but to be fair I should have pointed you at a starting point since I was summarizing the arguments.
See for example Double the curation, double the leakage. Bots have to work to mitigate that, for starters.

Posted using Partiko Android

Part of the problem with this HF is with so many changes at once, they all impact each other. The likely impact of 50/50 curation on bid bots in a vacuum is different (IMO) than the likely impact of 50/50 curation combined with reward curve change. But even in a vacuum, I totally disagree with tarazkp analysis. Even under current system it is easily possible to earn curation returns far greater than 50% by front running bid bots, and yet the sum total of SP spent in this manner is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of SP that bidbots are voting with and the total curation they get. Change the curation % (IMO) isn't going to change the big picture there. A small number of savvy users will see an increase in the return they get front running bots, but in the big picture this isn't even noticeable. If you haven't already, run a query to bring up the top 100 curation earners on non-self votes. It will be populated almost exclusively by bid bots. The big picture is so big that the amount of SP thrown around to front run bots is not even visible next to the mountain of bid bot SP that you can see from space. But more importantly, this isn't happening in a vacuum. You can throw out all the numbers in that post, because the new reward curve changes the math considerably on bid bot profitability - in the wrong direction! A huge swathe of users who are currently able to earn (small amounts) of SP through posting and commenting without using bidbots, will now find almost all of their earnings falling below the dust threshold. In terms of user numbers and not SP, we are talking about a huge majority of the active users on the platform who will see significant reduction in earning. The incentive to use a bid bot to boost your post farther up the new curve is going to be huge.

Hard to say the degree in which this will happen. Even a small nudge can easily change the balance in who delegates, who snipes curation, and who bids. The data may point to total dominance in earnings now, but it also obscures key points including the returns to delegators. It's also at the extreme of what the current incentives pushed forward. And of course it will not reflect what happens with downvotes.

I disagree with your assessment that downvotes won't happen against bot voting, because it's clear that it will. The curve assists here as well because it is more efficient in an impact/rshare to downvote larger posts, and that is where it will be directed. It is admittedly the largest unknown in this mix of changes, as well as the most critical part, but any increase in downvoting behavior will already affect things for the better.

One thing also to point out is that all bot voting essentially needs to go big or go home. Low to Medium size bot bids (in aggregate across bots) will simply disappear. Increases the risk as well as the reward. I don't have the numbers here but it's hard to say how many will continue with it.

There is a danger here as you say. If downvotes don't happen, this behavior could crowd out everything else, although the convergent linear caps the degree in which this can actually happen. I would say that it's also an incentive to downvote the other posts that are now crowding you out, if you are one of those bidders. (Or a bot owner that wants to make it more attractive).

Interestingly, I was treating the system as one big bid bot but the reality is also that they can no longer promise guaranteed returns, and revert back to models where they just do raw bid pricing instead of their min/max ROI parameters. Which can get very weird. There's quite a lot that bot owners will need to do behind the scenes to make sense of this environment, that I even think some may simply just drop out. In which case it may just be a handful of competing large bots at the end.

The smaller authors and commenters will see an immediate impact as you say, though I don't think it goes below dust. You can see in the parameter they chose that it's at worst halving the amounts. And I believe that after all the incentives shift, it will reflect a better distribution overall, which is conditional on the above, which we disagree on. Because as you say, the lion's share is dominated by bots. If you manage to chip away the incentives, you can slowly unravel it to a degree.

Anyway, what you are saying highlights a situation that I admit is a possibility, but I suppose I have a better feeling about the downvote behavior and incentive structure than you do.

Posted using Partiko Android

WE had DOWNVOTING Communities before but what did it changed ... ah YEAH NOTHINGG, only a few get holded for a moment... but shitty posts are all around STILL and they still get paid for it... so this THEORY isnt worthy... i understand the HOPING of this CHANGINGS , but all i can see is, the SOLD VOTE will be more worthy than before because the payout get doubled, and they CREATOR will get LESS... so where is the MAGIC... what will it drives into a better thing ... i cant see it

Your reasoning doesn't follow. 25% Free downvotes is a big difference compared to what we had before.

Posted using Partiko Android

If you think for one second that any kind of organized campaign to flag posts that use bidbots wouldn't meet organized counterflag opposition, then you obviously haven't been paying attention.

Very true @carlgnash

Would you perhaps consider using "enter" from time to time? To separate blocks of texts? It would make it much easier to read.


LOL my fingers are on a direct connect to my brain, I type super fast and tend to spill it all out in a big block. Feedback duly noted :)

Run a bit of historic data through the new rules. It is very likely the bid bot economy will get a huge boost from the EIP. The narrative for the EIP is interesting, but based more in wishfull thinking than in actual data or simulations. But anyhow, there is no stopping this at this point. Best thing to hope for is a contingency plan for when the wishfull thinking turns out not to pan out and the EIP turns out to hurt the economy.

Historic data is meaningless because it does not take into consideration new incentives appearing from the new rules. I fully admit here that if the downvotes don't occur, it will be a disaster. But I have a good feeling about that just based on the economics of it as well as various levels of commitment, and the fact that some already do it even though it costs them right now (obviously, talk is cheap).

Posted using Partiko Android

I had high hopes for the down votes, but after runningthis poll, now I no longer do.

Based on this poll and actual data of downvotes and retaliations from the analysis's I used to run from @pibarabot, I'm pretty much convinced there is verry little economic insentive to make use of free down votes.

There is pretty much a culture of fear and retaliation surrounding the use of down votes on this platform.

There's not much stake represented in that poll. What's the analysis from @pibarabot? There's definitely an economic incentive to use all of the free downvotes, and it doesn't even matter who you are (although obviously the more stake, the more impact).

Posted using Partiko Android

Actually there is a tangible economic incentive not to use the free down votes:


I used to run a daily script that processed all flags done on one week old posts, until Steemit Inc killed my code by implementing API rate limiting a few months back (here is a sample graph of one day. One thing that stood out was that the same accounts kept showing up in different roles, either as flagger or flagee. On closer inspection, a substantial amount of down vote weight could be attributed to some form of retribution for earlier flags against accounts with likely relations (voting proxy or non-standard recovery account) with the flagging account.

I don't know what to make of it except that people flagged despite being retaliated against, and despite the current opportunity cost from doing so. I get that retaliation is a deterrent, but I'm pretty sure free downvotes will be flying in different ways than what you are analyzing. (Whether it holds or does something productive or is ultimately detrimental overall all remain to be seen)

Posted using Partiko Android

Retaliation isn't all bad. Alice and Bob get into it with each other, and that means that Charlie walks away with the money. Maybe Charlie was actually doing something right by not being seen as downvote-worthy by anyone.

That is harmful nonsense. Old data will show what the new insentives are. You can than middel second iteration data accordingly, rinse and repeat, but you need to run the new rules against the old data just once. If you don't, the whole new incentives narratives will be nothing but speculative fiction.

And that's exactly what it is. You can run the new rules on old data, and that's exactly how you get the immediate distribution at hard fork time. But after that, you can't predict anything. I don't see how you can claim that this has any predictive power. After all, you aren't going to be able to estimate how many downvotes are going to be issued, for starters.

Posted using Partiko Android

The troubling thing I still see is people assume inactive/passive investors even want to become/have the time to be active ones in the first place.

Chance are many of inactive/passive just delegate and only check in quarterly or monthly to ensure payments are still flowing. At best they might have someone managing a crypto fund for them charging a flat fee which would not cover the costs of manual curation. It’s not like they are going get a physical letter mailed to their house explaining HF21 by Steemit LLC or the owners of the bot they have delegated to.

Then you have the mind-numbing time consuming and troubling issue of trying to distribute those kinds of votes the large accounts have. If an investor can afford $1 million high-risk investment (which is what this is) chances are it’s not a very large amount of their total wealth or they are able to recover quite quickly if it ends in a total loss. Which means this is not a lot money to them regardless of what curation is paid.

Unless they are high risk-taking junkies in which case I don’t see them being inactive/passive with such an investment when they can shape the landscape to a certain degree and have fun doing so. Either case purely investing for dividends and forgoing the impacts on the initial principal amount is a sure way to end broke. We keep acting like curation dividends is a magic bullet that will fix everything.

An active investor with millions in influence wanting to maximize profit would make their own dapp/partner with others and use it to push users towards it. Not with the goal of earning dividends paid out via curation. Rather massively increase their principal investment entirely. Not to mention I would not be shocked if several projects on the blockchain would already have an evaluation in the millions to tens of millions of dollars if someone wanted to buy them out. Far greater than what their current SP is or what it will earn them in any reasonable amount of time.

End of the day Witness are more or less acting like they don’t have a choice if they wish to remain a Witness. It’s time for everyone else to find ways to adapt to the future landscape. That is after all what we should expect from game theory.

I agree with the not bundling all in one, as do many others. I also agree that this will be a “try it and see” as most economic changes are, but I don’t see the benefit to bid bots here if I’m honest.

I do think that the only aspect of the EIP that will effectively change behavior is the downvote pool, and that will only work if it’s used by large stake holders in a positive way. Many have said they will, but yeah we will have to wait and see for that.

While I don’t necessarily agree with all the proposed aspects or how they are being bundled, I do agree we need to make some changes.

Unfortunately it’s hard to communicate that or come to a consensus as a community as we have many users who also somehow think that “votes should be equal” no matter of stake, or that individuals who have large stake should just give it away for free.. and then those same individuals feel that is completely ridiculous that a small portion of a shared pool (that they don’t even own) could be redirected to a project that benefits the whole chain.

A bit of entitlement and short term thinking, complete lack of understanding of the Steem ecosystem, as well as being ruined with the idea of “come blog and get paid” has left us with unrealistic expectations from both small and large stake holders alike. Plus the rewarding of contributions that only remove value without adding anything in return. If we continue down this path there won’t be anything left imo.

Anyways, I fully support a funded SPS, in fact I would like to see more inflation go to it.. as I think it could add true value. As far as EIP, I’m not sold on it entirely and would very much prefer to see it put forward on its own.. but I do think the tandem of the three components make sense in a way, I just am concerned for what that would look like for many users. As we really won’t know until it’s attempted.

Actually, I would argue that we are seeing the success of crypto social sites that do reward evenly by giving all participants equal voting authority. and LBRY are drawing in the big names from Youtube, Twitter and the other places while Steem gets a link posted at best. Stake-based social medias might just not work, or perhaps most people just don't like the unfairness of the influence it gives the minority over the majority. Either way, I'd say and LBRY, though young projects, are kicking Steem's ass.

And that’s fair to say, but Steem is DPOS... so that’s sort of how this works. There are other alternatives for anyone who does not like stake based 🙂

You are right in saying everyone can choose what they want to use. But telling people "if you don't like it you can go somewhere else" is a very unwise policy for such a small project as Steem. Its still in its infancy and its survival is not even close to being assured, so it should hand-hold its userbase.

Also, DPOS does not have to go to the extreme Steem is taking it. For example, the HoboDAO intends on adding a Loom Network DPOS website to its long-term roadmap, but one's total amount of HBO will not give you wildly large votes over anyone else. The reason for this is that whales are a form of centralization and thus a security risk. Our aim is decentralized journalism, while whales with equal vote authority to stake get to have more opinion than the overall community, which makes no sense for a decentralized system. Its a contradiction in Steem's very purpose.

Uncapped influence based on how much you have staked leads to an all-or-nothing system. This is a problem because most people on social media sites are whimsical and that's just not likely to change. Where is Myspace? My point is that if a social media site demands large investment to get anything out of the deal that its a non-starter strategy.

Saying all that, allow me to make my key point for both the last comment and this one. I'm trying to explain that the market seems to be telling us that our rewarding system based on stake won't work, but that doesn't mean DPOS doesn't work. Resource credits are a brilliant idea and it makes perfect sense that SP stakers receive benefit through a delegation economy of RCs.

Perhaps the world will not accept the notion of whale/orca/minnow/plankton vote levels. We might need to make voting for the reward pool equal, however, the resource credit system can still compensate whales through a delegation market of RCs. The RC system is an excellent way to reward investors because they benefit from all the many communities that desire access to the Steem network.

People are claiming that SMTs will solve the disparity problem and downvoting harassment. I strongly disagree on both counts. The problem with SMTs is that they will almost always be practically worthless. STEEM/SBD will remain what people want because its a universal internet money, while most SMTs will be hardly better than wordpress token features that have been around for years. In order for a token to matter to anyone, it needs to either be useful in many places, or the one place that you can use it needs to be incredibly popular. And this is why the STEEM reward pool system needs to be palatable to more than just early investors like a common pump & dump project, but to billions of people.

Love the idea about the rc credits being and investment vehicle instead of stake based voting. This place would be a lot more fun with more equality of opportunity.

I understand your points and I think they make sense but I don’t actually understand the point of debating whether or not Delegated Proof of Stake, therefore stake based voting, is something Steem should do away with. I am saying it’s what STEEM is at its core. Not “if you don’t like it go somewhere else” more “you came to a DPOS platform, you can’t expect for it to be anything different than a DPOS platform.

This is why communities are so needed. Anyone can make their own economic policy and distribution etc through communities and SMTs while still being on the Steem chain.

I just think we tried it and its not working, that's essentially what I am saying. So, I am suggesting that we refocus toward an RC market incentive for investors and let the crowd employ the "wisdom of the crowd" approach for all content. It would be better than letting the ship sink in my opinion.

Lots of money in it too, think about how rich you are in RCs. Most people with even a small amount of SP have more resource credits than they need in a day. In the economic model I'm suggesting a community founder would have to rent your RCs from you in a like site in order for this late arriver to Steem to be able to provide Steem access to his community members. Investors would love that idea, as they do with EOS. Its turning Steem integration into the shiny new thing that all community founders just got to have.

Oh, this community doesn't have Steem integrated? What a dump! I'm out...

Its the best of both worlds, because the stakers would become much like miners in this system, reaping the passive profits they want and providing a high SBD reward value due to all the money the whales have locked up in the network. In fact, EOS even markets this idea and tells people in its Coinbase course that owning just 1 EOS could in the future be enough to receive "space rent" from a dev team or entrepreneur.

That should be Steem's move toward communities, and it would even allow the users in those communities to feel the system is much more fair, because their votes would be relatively similar in value. In this version of Steem, RCs would be something the average user never even thinks about, because it would be like servers, just something the site administrators deal with. Do that and drop the inflation rate in half and you'll see the investors FOMO right on in...

Its not a wild idea, its exactly what EOS is doing right now and it is attractive to investors. Also, if you think carefully about the SMT concept, Steemit Inc.'s plan kind of is what I am suggesting, only, I am going as far as saying we should de-couple the reward pool from SP and not care about SMTS. The SMTs are nice and would be profitable to STEEM holders, but 90%+ of SMTS are going to be a joke and Steem Engine is already rocking that side of things. STEEM is where it is at, and its STEEM that communities will really want to earn because its universal currency.

I think he is a saying there could be a hi-bred approach like stake weighted voting at the level of Witnesses and Management.

Without allowing those with huge amounts of stake to control the content.

While I don't think that will ever happen with Steem, some of the SMT and community sites might take that approach. I happen to agree that our distibution combined with DPOS is a huge problem with wisdom of the crowd type curation, there is no crowd. There are a handful of account that can take something to the top of the curve or knock them out of visibility and they don't represent a middle line.

Agreed though, it is unlikely to happen, I don't mind that it gets brought up because there are ways to mitigate our distribution issues, even if we don't choose to implement them.

In fact although Palnet's distribution is still wanky, they at least don't have nearly the distribution problems Steem does and while it is still imperfect, it feel it has a better chance of succeeding than Steem based content sites.

Sometimes one wishes a comment were resteemable. This is one of those comments. Spot on analysis I wish everyone understood here.

If you are referring to my comment, thank you. :)

Interesting to hear a confirmation to my idea that using STEEM would best be left to function as a utility token for voting for witnesses and renting out Resource Credits. That's my long-term vision for STEEM anyway. All curation could be done using SMTs in communities where the distributions of the tokens used could be much more even or concentrated into the app owners who'd be genuinely motivated to reward the highest quality content the most.

I'm beginning to think that using the base layer tokens for curation is a failure. That doesn't need to mean Steem as a whole is a failure. Steem has feeless transactions for users and apps going for it. It's also fast and developer-friendly.

Well, we have similar ideas, only, I think SMTs are nothing but buzz. I think it is a mistake for Steem to try to be the social Ethereum, as it seems every blockchain is trying to be Ethereum now. Even Bitcoin Cash is trying to play the token game.

Don't get me wrong, token creation is very valuable, but only a very small number of SMTs will manage to have an economic value. The launch of SMTs would pump STEEM price but then it would experience an unwind similar to Ethereum. I argue that Steem has a different value.

The Steem blockchain was designed to be the backend to future blog and social frontends. In that world, STEEM would be a universal currency on all those sites. No SMT will ever be able to do that.

What I am suggesting is that STEEM holders act like miners, generating resource credits with their stake and renting it out to community administrators and bloggers. The more SP you have the more RCs you can sell. But as for the Steem inflation or reward pool, I would hand the distribution of that over to the "wisdom of the crowd" with equal weighted voting.

This would solve many problems. It solves: Bidbots, Self-voting, reward pool "milking" and downvote harassment from wealthy accounts.

SMTs are a good idea, but if they were the main reward, honestly, I would say Steem would end up going nowhere. Steem needs a universal currency that can be used throughout the web and I believe what everyone is going to want to earn is STEEM itself or at least SBD.

I don't find tokenization a problem in the least. A few dozen have already been created on Steem-Engine. The PAL token seems to be working fine. Its USD value is something like 14 cents at the moment.

But as for the Steem inflation or reward pool, I would hand the distribution of that over to the "wisdom of the crowd" with equal weighted voting.

Anyone could create as many accounts as they wished and game the system that way. This is why Voice has an account creation system where all accounts must be associated with a hash of a set of unique biometrical data acting as Proof-of-Life. That is the only way to create an account-based system that cannot be trivially gamed.

They can only game the system because RCs are used to create accounts. The trick is to separate the incentives of investors and content curation. Burning STEEM to create accounts is an effective method for doing it, but is problematic for on-boarding. The bio hash concept is fairly good, but uses a phone number. The phone number idea is my favorite, because you can identify the burner numbers, requiring the individual to actually use their rule phone number. Its not perfect, but it is helpful.

Alternatively, what if we beefed up the reputation system? We could make a person's vote value be based on the account's reputation level. Right now reputations are worthless digits next to a name, but the old Silkroad black market taught a valuable lesson: if the reputation system is crucial people behave themselves.

I think creating a better reputation system could be a worthwhile endeavor. But I'm afraid that, too, would be gameable using off-chain money transfers to buy into a higher reputation if it depended on endorsements. On the other hand, that would, after all, put money into the pockets of the little guy.

I certainly hope you are right but any way I slice it, this looks like a win for bid bot operators and a loss for all users except for large dolphins, whales, and users lucky enough to get votes from large dolphins and whales.

I like 50/50, neutral about the curve & separate downvote pool, dislike the idea of SPS taking away from author/curation pool.

Funding the SPS from vested stake inflation makes way more sense to me than taking it from author/curation pool. What does a couple of % of inflation matter to a large investor when the variations in price on a weekly basis are more than that? I don't think it would even move the needle as far as an investor deciding whether or not to invest and stake a large amount of steem, while taking it from author/curator will definitely move the needle for actual users of the network.

100% agree. I thought that’s what was going on until now.

I fought for it coming from vesting


The biggest problem I think isn't that this HF is going to happen, the biggest problem is that if things turn out as bad as you and I fear it will, there apparently is no contingency plan. As if HF20 never happened and didn't show us how hard we need solid contingency planning.

Well, actually, this is a regression from HF20. There was a contingency plan in place during HF20 - there was a "kill switch" coded into the hard fork that would have allowed the witnesses to switch back to the old bandwidth system without needing another hardfork or patch. Stinc just asked the witnesses not to use it during the period where the resource credits were stabilizing and no one could transact on the blockchain. Something like that is desperately needed here, but we have gone backwards since HF20 and there is no kill switch coded to reverse the proposed changes if things go south.

Why does ... have to get bundled up

Many of us agree with the concept of not bundling in the abstract. There is also the practical consideration of costs of hard forks and not being able to do them very often.

The merits of EIP are discussed elsewhere including by me so I won't rehash that here.

Meh I think the "cost of hard fork" argument is a cop out. In the first year of Steem there were... 17 hard forks? And since then there have been 3? There is no good reason to bundle the economic incentives with the DAO, with the exception of the obvious reason that the economic incentives have much weaker support than the DAO and might not actually be approved on their own. Which to me, is the primary argument for why it shouldn't be bundled. A bunch of half-baked measures with a net effect that is hard to predict (some claim - I don't think it is hard to predict personally, I think it is a loss for all users except the very largest users and bid bot owners) shouldn't be slipped through on the back of something with wide support.

During most of those 17 hard forks (not sure if that is the exact right number, but there were definitely a lot, mostly in the first few months) there were almost no users, no third party apps, either none or one exchange, etc. The situation is completely different now.

I think we need some kind of a forum for these kind of discussions, chat rooms and posts that get buried after a week won't cut it anymore.

Yes as smooth said, there is a forum that has been started. You can find it here -

I think @thecryptodrive is trying to promote a forum for Steem development discussions. I don't recall the link for it.

@prisminside @smooth, yes that's the idea behind the forum. I am collating what I can from internal discussions to help make them more public, included some timelines and testnet info etc, the link is this (sorry it has some bugs on mobile, should be fixed in the coming days)

Good to know, I'll use that in future when people ask where these changes are being discussed since right now, it seems these changes were made without any community input for a bit too many people, I think.

Agreed! instead of just finally doing the right thing and disallowing bidbots let's just fool around and hope for the best. As for the downvotes there are some pretty rabid downvote trolls that go after people they are going to be thrilled to get more downvote power! What would really benefit all is equal votes for everyone but that is never going to happen ... bidbot users are going to make a ton more money and us real content creators will get even less than we are getting now what a mess ...

Disallowing bit bots would be pretty hard if not impossible to undertake. You may be interested in my humble proposal of how they may be countered.

There really is no way to ban bidbots, but there is a way to be rid of them entirely. We just need to apply code to human nature. Currently Steem allows unlimited rewards, and this allows substantial stakeholders like bidbots to extract ~90% of rewards. By capping rewards the emunerative potential of rewards pool rape would be eliminated.

Consider that the median payout (last I checked) was .01 SBD. No whale is going to drop a massive vote for that return. The average payout was ~15 times that, and there are only 35 whales. So the very few whales are extracting massive payouts on the very few votes they cast, and this is why the average is so different than the median payout.

Huey Long (a Louisiana politician during the Great Depression who was assassinated, probably because the following proposal struck such a chord in the folks being financially destroyed by banksters during the Great Depression) proposed that no one should live on less than 3% of the median income, nor on more than 300%. Applying a similar algorithm to payouts would end newbs getting nothing for their early posts, encouraging retention, and eliminate bidbots, because no one would bother to buy a vote that could only earn them .03 SBD. No self-voting, circle jerks, or botfarms would be worth the work to set them up. However, content creators already work for that, so the vast majority of them wouldn't be harmed, and but little if they were.

Since before the dawn of history investors have relied on capital gains to reward their funding enterprises and profit them financially. This does no happen on Steem. No one relies on capital gains for profit on Steem, because there are no capital gains. Since substantial stakeholders can extract the value of the content by deploying their stakes and receiving almost all rewards, that value goes to whale wallets, and never increases the value of Steem.

Ending profiteering would restore capital gains as the mechanism profiting investors for underwriting Steem. Capital gains are create when the price of the investment vehicle rises, in this case the Steem token. Even with the Huey Long algorithm limiting payouts in Steem, the increase in the price of Steem would increase the financial rewards inciting content creators to produce good content. The higher the price of Steem, the greater the incentive to produce good content, and the greater the difference in incentive between the minimum payout and the highest, again, increasing incentive to produce good content. Also, as the extraction of rewards by profiteers ended, the median payout would rise towards the average, and increase the median by at least an order of magnitude. This would be beneficial by encouraging the greatest number of content creators with a ten-fold increase in payouts for their efforts - even neglecting a rise in Steem price.

Lastly, it is the content produced by creators that is the marketing mechanism for Steem. All our posts and comments can be found on search engines, and folks spotting good content are attracted to have a look at the platform, and if they like what they see they can join up. This grows the market for Steem, and that increases the value of the token. Profiteers are extracting the funds marketing Steem, again preventing capital gains.

The only people that should really take issue with this are profiteers seeking to take the value of the content via the weight of their stake. Some authors do occasionally get organic payouts significantly higher than what Huey Long allows. I have, and most of my posts currently do. I'd still rather see bidbots and all profiteering ended, since that would enable capital gains to increase the value of my stake, even if I'd receive less Steem for all my posts. That's only taking into account my personal wealth, which I don't really do, and ignores how the network effects would improve our platform - maybe even enabling us to crush centralized Fedbook Libracoin organically.

I would very much sacrifice all - ALL - my financial rewards on Steem to see our community crush censorship prone government funded Fedbook. Not even joking.

EIP is going to drop payouts for creators by over half anyway, while still encouraging rampant profiteering. Actual investors are discouraged from buying Steem for investment purposes today because ROI (profit) is gained not by traditional capital gains but by serially self-voting or delegating to shady bidbots - and experienced investors want to stick to investments they understand, not become profiteers.

Ending bottery is pretty simple in this way. All we really need to do is encourage capital gains, and prevent profiteering.

I've gone round and round with substantial stakeholders, developers, and consensus witnesses regarding captchas, and surprise - no one likes them. Captchas also do nothing to encourage capital gains, nor discourage profiteering by self voters, circle jerks and similar collusion.

A final note: Huey Long proposed the 3% - 300% limites, but there are various other choices that would work fine too. Most important is that rewards nominal to enable profiteers to bother with them need to be prevented. It's possible that after capital gains increased the price of Steem enough, nominal profit to justify profiteering would become available. However, at that point the obvious benefits of capital gains and the cap would strongly encourage folks to discourage that douchebaggery to the degree necessary. Maybe then the downvote pool would be justifiable. It sure isn't now, as it will only give substantial stakeholders free flags to censor folks they don't like, and a warchest for them to retaliate against those minnows foolish enough to think their free downvotes were wise to use against profiteers. The problem with downvotes costing VP is only stopping censors from censoring more. It is retaliation that prevents reasonable people from flagging whales.

Thank you for the wonderfully thought out reply, @valued-customer. One can only assume from the STEEM version of a Huey Long assasination (your flagging) that you have hit a nerve. 😎

That's exactly why I actually am happy Bernie is flagging me. Nothing better proves my points.

Nothing better proves my points.

Well said! ✌

I also hope that this fork will be rejected @carlgnash

The Proposed Change-

Authors/Curators - 65% | Interest - 15% | Witnesses 10% | SPS - 10%

If this is going to be the final proposal for the hard fork, I do not support it. Initially, I thought that using 10% from author rewards would be a good idea. I don't believe the current proposal is a good idea, and here's why:

Reducing content rewards as a whole will reduce rewards for curation. Since curation rewards are pretty much the only way to earn anything other than a negligible amount of tokens, reducing the total content rewards pie is another hit to stakeholders.

Yes, I know curation rewards are also proposed to increase to 50% from 25% of that pie, but the entire point of that was to better incentivize staking and curating. What this does is trade off some of that incentive in order to fund more "development" projects that have largely produced not much useful stuff to date.

So, we trade staked incentives for worker funding in STEEM that will likely be sold in order to pay for these (likely) mostly useless projects.

And yes, I have advocated reducing overall inflation by mostly or entirely eliminating SP "interest" - which obviously goes to stakeholders. But by eliminating that "interest," we're reducing the amount of STEEM from future circulation, thereby reducing current and future downward price pressure. This current proposal does the opposite. It will add to downward price pressure.

The goal or idea is though that with the combined components of the EIP taking effect, there will be less spam taking rewards and more individuals curating (as it's now profitable to do so). Which could mean even though the author rewards percentage is lower, the reward pool will be bigger (less abuse taking it) and therefore the actual rewards an author receives will actually increase.

This remains to be seen and is only the "hope." I would prefer to postpone the SPS protocols for this hard fork and see how the economic changes will alter behavior. The SPS was not something the community was clamoring for and it will likely have little effect on any user or investment behavior - changes in behavior that are actually desperately needed around here.

Who may turn out that the SPS isn't needed after all. Maybe if we actually fix some of the economic incentive mess, things will shape up here on Steem and it may actually become a bit more attractive for use and investment.

Many feel the SPS could be exactly what we need to push Steem to where it needs to be, while giving the community control over what is funded itself.

This is a nice thought, but "the community" has rarely ever decided where rewards go and what projects get funded. That has mostly been decided by a very small percentage of users.

I think SPS taking away 10% from authors/curators defeats the purpose of EIP.

Yeah, I think so too. Seems like a counter-intuitive package.

We're going to increase incentives/rewards for curation. But we're also going to reduce the entire pool of content rewards.

If that's the case, then curation ought to be moved to a larger percentage of the content distribution, like 60/40 or more. That's something that I would approve.

Your too much for one HF suggestion is not unique. The best support for everything in one release, in my opinion, is that due to the infrequency of HFs that it is best to get all desired changes out in the latest release. Having seen self voting come and go a number of times through multiple HFs, for example, has shown me that any HF is never etched in stone. 😎

I pretty strongly agree with you here, although we have different reasons for expecting negative outcomes.

"...these (likely) mostly useless projects."

I expect that since it is demonstrable that substantial stakeholders on Steem are exclusively profiteers, and voting on SPS proposals would be stake weighted, there'd be a high probability of proposals voted funding that would feature kickbacks to the upvoters, much in the way bidbots are funded now. Further, proposals that aren't able to solicit funding are likely to be not worth funding. Devising a complex and regressive tax scheme to fund them will not help to weed out bad proposals.

You state opposition to stakeholders 'taking another hit' by being limited in curation rewards. I note Steem is the only durable mechanism that incites stakeholders to extract value from the investment vehicle, rather than seek to increase it to gain capital thereby. Capital gains is a proven and functional incentive to invest in almost every other investment vehicle now, and throughout history.

Why in the world are you opposed to capital gains as the inciting mechanism for investors on Steem?

Why in the world are you opposed to capital gains as the inciting mechanism for investors on Steem?

I’m not. In fact, I stated that eliminating inflation for SP “interest” would remove some negative price pressure. So, in other words, it could positively affect appreciation of STEEM.

Capital appreciation - or what is generally speculation - would be a reason to purchase and hold STEEM or any other token or asset in any given market. I think you and many others who bring up the capital appreciation argument are missing this point:

You don’t need to stake your STEEM to benefit from that appreciation.

Staking comes with additional incentives/rewards to encourage participation or “contributions” to the social media system. It offers benefits and potential ROI beyond speculation for assuming additional risk.

This is one of the unique properties and selling points of the Steem blockchain. We should be improving on this and promoting it - not only for investors looking for better returns, but for the content creators looking to be rewarded for their efforts and for content consumers looking for well-curated (popular/quality) content.

"Staking comes with additional incentives/rewards to encourage participation or “contributions” to the social media system. It offers benefits and potential ROI beyond speculation for assuming additional risk."

The fact is that enabling stake weighting to manipulate the rewards mechanism enables those rewards to be extracted by substantial stakeholders before that value inures to the investment vehicle and precludes capital gains. This makes profiteering the primary source of ROI, and eliminates investment from being potential. Profiteers and investors are fundamentally opposed to each other's methods of attaining profit. Investors are only possible in a system that potentiates capital gains, and profiteers prevent capital gains by extracting value before business activity can raise the price of the investment vehicle.

We observe that this is ongoing on Steem, as our token has not appreciated in value according to it's features, and Steem continually declines in market cap as investors seek capital gains from investment vehicles that make them possible. We can only improve on and promote those mechanisms that promote capital gains, or create the extant situation where unrestrained extraction of value created sucks that value out of the system before it can increase the value of Steem.

Also HODLing an investment vehicle is not only speculative, but incites HODLers to develop the business to imbue the investment vehicle with value, something profiteering only experiences as a drain on ROI. In my opinion, this is why the funding mechanism for SPS as proposed for HF21 is a regressive tax on creators, as this shifts the expense of development to the least staked. In a system dependent on capital gains, this development is generally funded by those who stand to benefit most from price increase in the investment vehicle, as intelligent development produces capital gains they depend on. Profiteers aren't dependent on capital gains, and development is a drag on their ROI. It is the extraction of rewards via stake weighting that is treating development like a disease, rather than promoting it as an increase in gains. This dynamic exemplifies the difference between profiteering and investing.

So you think the less than 25% of curation rewards being paid out in the form of SP has been a bigger bleed from the system than the 75%+ author rewards? And that those stakeholders are bigger “profiteers” than those who buy/invest nothing or very little?

Interesting take.

Most of the author rewards are captured by whales, and this has long been shown by those competent to ferret out the data (not me!) and analyze it. More than a year ago, in the ferment accompanying the rise of the bidbots after HF20, I was party to discussions that were formative to this understanding.

It isn't useful to focus on the negative connotations of the word profiteer as some kind of refutation. It is simply that using substantial stake enables the rewards mechanism to be manipulated so that most of the rewards, including author rewards, are extracted by whales, and this is the definition of profiteering, since it is extracting the assets of the business and it's economic activity instead of imbuing the investment vehicle with that value and achieving capital gains.

Both @arcange and @abh12345 publish regular posts detailing how various economic aspects of Steem evolve. That latter particularly shows that the vast majority of rewards are extracted by whales, and not content creators generally. @arcange's posts reveal the dichotomy between median and average payouts that consists of a 15 fold difference. There are only 35 whales, who make few posts, so what it reveals is that their posts payout many orders of magnitude more than median (the most) content creators. Both of these sources tend to confirm my recollections from the post-HF20 discussions that whales capture ~90% of all rewards, both author and curation, while the vast majority of creators split the remaining ~10%. The median payout is .01 SBD. The vast majority of authors aren't making much on their content.

It's also a mischaracterization to claim that creating content isn't an appreciable investment. While witnesses, folks buying Steem, and other demographics are all necessary to Steem having value, content creators are absolutely necessary to Steem having value. All else being as it is, without content, Steem would not have any value, except perhaps what a few nerds trading amongst themselves could provide. They are also the marketing department of Steem, as it is content that draws new folks here, where they can become users and expand the market for Steem.

All of the workers producing goods in a manufacturing company can be considered the same way.

My take on Steem is that preventing extractive profiteering that prevents capital gains would be beneficial, and would attract experienced investors whose ability to rely on capital gains for ROI incites development and HODLing while gains accrue. I note the history of Steem supports this position. I further make predictions based on this position, and you can judge my position by whether or not my predictions are correct.

After the implementation of EIP, the price of Steem will plummet, to less than 10% of current price within 3 months. Market cap will decline further, and retention will decline as well. I predict the downvote pool will drive increasing flagging, and generate an increase in accounts that are dedicated solely to that purpose. Since the rhetoric of proponents of HF21 diametrically opposes my predictions, it will be very obvious as to whether my position is correct, or the proponents of HF21.

We'll see. The proof will be in the pudding.

Thanks for all of these details!

Seems kind of lame that witnesses aren't taking a pay cut too to fund this SPS project. They should be taking a 15% pay cut too if this is going to increase the value of Steem and benefit them. Why put all the burden on content creators?

Well content creators aren’t taking a 15% cut to fund the SPS first of all, the whole entire author/curator part of the inflation pool will be reduced by 10% and redirected to the SPS, or at least it’s how it’s proposed.

I am not against the funding being funneled from many places and it was asked for those deciding on that amount to give a bit of detail about how they came to that conclusion. I know there was some mention of allocating from the witnesses portion made little change as it only consists of 10% of the entire pool (versus author/curator being 75%) as well as it impacting the back up witnesses more than those actually in the top 20. I will leave that for them to explain though as I’m not sure of the specifics that led them to the decision.

What I will say is that content currently receives the largest cut from the inflation pool and therefore should be returning the most value. To me, as a content creator and curator, I think it makes sense to redirect some of that inflation to an aspect that could essentially improve all of our investments and make that STEEM we are rewarded worth even more.

The goal is longevity of STEEM and increasing its value. Proving a mechanism that encourages beneficial development and improvements as well as providing a decentralized way to fund it from a shared inflation pool to me is the way to make sure we all benefit long term.

Gotcha, thanks for clearing that up. It still should be 10% reduction across the board and not just placed on the shoulders of content creators unless the witnesses are willing to donate their increased value in steem from these SPS projects to all us. I'd be in favor of that :)

A 10% decrease across the board would look like this -

65% Author/curator | 5% interest | 0% witnesses | 30% SPS

Who will run the nodes? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Also, the only “profit” seen by a successful SPS would be an increase in the overall value of the STEEM currency and therefore benefit anyone holding STEEM. Also, it might actually encourage more to invest in STEEM.. which again adds benefit to everyone.

I agree that multi funding allocation would be ideal, but I don’t think that a 10% cut from content creators (including myself) is them caring every thing on their shoulders, especially as they will great benefit from the SPS themselves.

I think is more an us vs them thing based on lack of involved on platform from many witnesses and therefore they are not seen as “on the same side”.. but they are here and are actively contributing as well as many actually investing in STEEM, which means that it benefits them to increase the over all value, just like it does to everyone else.

Do I think they are great leaders, no 🙂 but I do whole heartedly believe they want what’s best for STEEM. While I don’t necessarily agree with all aspects of this change or the bundle, I do believe this is an attempt to improve it for all of us.

Going from 10% to 0% is 100% decrease, my dear.

I apologize, I read your comment as wanting an equal reduction. 😄

Yes, I’m not against redirecting a bit from each pool and have communicated that. When and if I get the reasoning behind the decision I will link or share it here.. as I remember it being brought up but don’t remember the specifics.

I must point out that often folks intent on aggrandizing themselves promote policies, they speak a lot of rhetoric that has no basis in fact. This is politics, and money is on the line. Some folks are gonna lie to get more money, and foisting the cost of SPS on content creators while the vast majority of benefits will inure to substantial stakeholders is a practical way to get more money and spend less.

Please do be skeptical of claims. That doesn't mean calling people names or necessarily accusing folks of lying, so please don't think I'm advocating that. I'm just expecting that will be necessary when an honest person is confronting lying profiteers. All the substantial stakeholders on Steem today are profiteers, and I am certain some of them will lie for money.

So, don't expect Mother Teresa to be providing answers to your questions. Sorry if that came off preachy, but if I've offended you, I probably deserve your ire, even if I didn't mean to.

They are losing even more money than that... You have to remember that not only is the total author/curation pool going from 75% to 65% but that authors are losing 25% of the pool they have been getting. So, in theory the curators were suppose to be getting 18.75% and authors 56.25% of the total reward pool, and after this change it would be curators receiving 32.50% and authors receiving 32.50% of the total reward pool. This means authors are taking a 23.75% loss here.

Sure, there might be way more upvotes out of the deal, but that's a big maybe and 23.75% of the total reward pool is a lot to make up. Not saying it can't work, but its a big maybe, and now there will be a 25% free downvoting feature which means people will downvote for any stupid reason they can think of downvoting for.

and now there will be a 25% free downvoting feature which means people will downvote for any stupid reason they can think of downvoting for

Downvotes always just shift rewards from one place to others so they have no effect on the total rewards. If you manage to get fewer than your share of downvotes, even if you still get some, your share of the pool will go up. The idea is that obvious reward milkers especially the larger ones, should be clear downvote magnets, so for most users getting fewer downvotes than they are should not be difficult (unless you are a reward milker).

How effectively downvotes will be used (or even if they will be used) remains to be seen.

I understand the reasons for the downvotes and I respect the goal of shutting down the reward pool milking. My problem with this is that in a future world with Steem as widespread as Facebook it will not be major holders of STEEM seeking to honorably use their stake to keep the network clean and sacred, it will be special interest groups attacking opposing ideologies and effectively shutting down smaller communities.

I completely sympathize with the objective to keep Steem a place of quality material, a decentralized Medium is a perfect future for Steem in my eyes. But there must be a better way than using downvotes, because downvotes bring in a toxic mindset of aggression. When you upvote someone, you effectively downvote all others, but that does not create an aggressive atmosphere.

I'm thinking about the long term health of the internet as a whole. People are already to vicious and rude to each other, but thanks to Steem they will now actually be able to have real power over each other and abuse each other. The vast majority of communities on the planet will be the weak ones that can't defend themselves against large interest groups and better funded opposing ideologies. It will be used for harassment and for the creation of a two cities system on the web like never before.

This is also likely a major liability for the survival of Steem. Yes, I agree with the Witnesses that this will bring in money today, but it could cause the loss of Steem's tomorrow. There has never been a more inappropriate time for a downvoting system, because it is a form of financial censorship (I know no one likes admitting that, but if people are calling Patreon bans censorship, downvotes count too).

We are entering an era of rebellion against Youtube, Twitter, Patreon, Instagram censorship and demonetization. The downvoting system is indeed demonetization and that is exactly what the renegade economy of cryptocurrencies and blockchain are fighting against with LBRY, and other upcoming platforms. Steem was suppose to be the father of that ambition for social media, but downvoting is in every way a contradiction to the spirit of free speech and self-sovereign content.

If Steem so early sells its soul to the hopes of lambos on the moon it will pump, but then it will quickly wither and die. I'm sure the founders, witnesses and all current whales have good intentions with their downvote usage, but they will sell off large amounts of their stake when they can, and then the true bad actors will utilize this tool for bad things. Entire communities will rally to harass other communities, which will drive those other communities to fork away just like you see with Gab and Dissenter., LBRY, Bitchute, Akasha, Gab, Dissenter and many other networks are popping up to fight against the tyranny of the few against the many. Steem was a leader in that ambition, but downvoting is not consistent with that aim. Steem will need to decide what side it is on, because while the stakers of SP may not be the same people as are in control at Google or Facebook, they are still a small number of people giving themselves power over the masses. The masses are done being controlled, and if Steem wants to have a tomorrow, it needs to recognize which side its taking.


I've done no careful examination and calculation of the destination of rewards flagged back to the pool, but since whales get about 90% of the rewards, it's safe to say that the share of even unflagged minnows is far lower than flag resistant whales of that returned stake.

It isn't a lack of VP that prevents minnows from flagging whales. It's retaliation. The downvote pool is going to hugely and dramatically increase censorship. Multiple accounts with no other purpose exist now, and they will hurt more creators with a bunch of free flags. Bernie is gonna go nuts. Reasonable minnows will not suddenly be immune to retaliation, and won't be using their flags to discourage lame content botted up on trending.

Aren't content creators also taking a hit when their rewards go from 75% to 50%?

As I stated in the post the overall affect for authors -

Author Rewards
With the implementation of the SPS and 50:50 component of the EIP, author rewards percentage of the pool will be decreased somewhere around 42.2%.

The goal or idea is though that with the combined components of the EIP taking effect, there will be less spam taking rewards and more individuals curating (as it's now profitable to do so). Which could mean even though the author rewards percentage is lower, the reward pool will be bigger (less abuse taking it) and therefore the actual rewards an author receives will actually increase.

I believe these changes will take time to balance out, as with any changes, so I personally think we should prepare for an immediate decrease in the post payout we see. But to keep calm and let the system begin to take it's new form. It is my hope that over the few weeks after the hardfork, authors contributing positively to the ecosystem will begin to see their rewards increase again. This is the goal.

Yes overall percentage of the pool for authors will be reduced by 42.2% but the rewards pool will be bigger and therefore their cut will be worth more. That is the desired effect anyways.

OK, I don't really think it will work, but I do wish you the best.

how should care more about steem price? minnow content creator that gets maybe 1 steem per day if he/she is posting every day, or witness that gets 250?

Everyone who invests or earns STEEM should care about the price. Many have invested money out of their pocket and others have earned for contributing here.

Sure those that hold more have more to gain, and they should (otherwise why would anyone buy STEEM) but they also have more to loose.

But we all should very much care about the price of STEEM.

i asked the question wrong. if the price of steem goes up, will it be life changing for me with 2500 steem or for someone with 500.000/1.000.000 steem?
10.000$ is not really a life changer, 5.000.000$ kinda is.

"Proving a mechanism that encourages beneficial development and improvements as well as providing a decentralized way to fund it from a shared inflation pool to me is the way to make sure we all benefit long term." you seem to be missing that millions of dollars have already been wasted on useless projects, can never increase the value of Steem by punish content creators.

There is no punishment, as content creators don’t own the pool.. is shared by all.. and they benefit as much as anyone else. But with that being said, I am very much in favor of it coming from multiple places.

As far as millions spent by I assume you meant Steemit Inc.. that’s sort of the goal of the SPS, for the community to take it into their own hands.

We can certainly do that without being taxed. When we look at the evolution of taxpayer funded entities today in America, I bet most of us would prefer to be able to voluntarily fund those we think are a good idea and well implemented, rather than be compelled to pay for all the fedbloat.

I am also sure that proposals incapable of securing voluntary funding will not secure funding for damn good reasons. Lastly, the whales currently extract ~90% of all rewards, leaving actual content creators (which whales are not) with about ~10%. This SPS funding tax will land on content creators most of all, and I expect this to have a dramatic impact on retention, particularly when coupled with author rewards halved in favor of curation, and the damage the free flags will do when censors expand their suppression of free speech for free.

A tax implies you are paying something on money that is yours, the inflation pool is not yours or any of ours. So no, it’s not a tax as you don’t own it. It’s a shared pool made from inflation that is currently allocated to things that are supposed to return value. Reallocating it to something else that adds value is not a tax. It actually comes from those holding stake and if they didn’t hold stake it wouldn’t be there. So if you are set and determined to think someone is “paying” for it, it’s the large stake holders.

A couple more flags will not greatly change unjust flagging, it’s not a free for all after all.. and censorship implies you are restricted.. if you were censored I wouldn’t be able to read your comment. It’s not censorship, it’s an annoyance and unjust flags need to stop.. but I believe downvotes down correctly can do wonders, if they are used.

"tax[ taks ]
a sum of money demanded by a government for its support or for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc.
a burdensome charge, obligation, duty, or demand."

Pick any credible source you want, but the SPS funding mechanism meets the definition of tax on all of them. The caveats and specifications you use to define tax are not superable by actual definitions of tax by credible sources.

"A couple more flags will not greatly change unjust flagging, it’s not a free for all after all.. and censorship implies you are restricted.. if you were censored I wouldn’t be able to read your comment."

First, we're not talking about a couple more flags, but a pool that allows 25% of flags to be based on the stake of stakeholders without costing them VP to fly. This is a substantial source of flags, and not inconsequential at all. There are already several accounts that do nothing but flag in order to censor people, and this is not because flagging is not censorship. Creating the downvote pool will be very likely to cause many more accounts to be funded for the purpose of censorship, and IMHO, this is the actual purpose of the proposed downvote pool: to censor people like me, that insist on rational discussion of these matters that the substantial stakeholders - all profiteers - need to prevent to keep on extracting almost all the value of rewards into their wallets.

Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information"

Again, pick any credible source you want. None of them will support your contention that censorship is only the complete elimination of information. Indeed, using your definition, censorship is absolutely and utterly impossible to effect. Information is always able to be routed around censorship. Flagging on Steem front ends is definitely censorship, as it is certainly suppression of my speech. Consider Alex Jones, or Julian Assange. Do you doubt or disagree they have been censored? Yet, I'm sure you can find posts from Alex Jones with nothing more than trivial effort. Julian Assange has been far more censored, because he has been physically held captive and tortured to prevent him from making any posts. Even so, I can show you video that has been created after he was captured and his torture in Belmarsh prison began. Censorship cannot only be the absolute eradication of information, because absolute eradication of information remains impossible. It is a matter of degree.

While you're absolutely correct that downvotes are necessary to the platform, it is also necessary that they incur a cost to prevent what the downvote pool is going to engender: flagrant and widespread censorship.

I don’t feel your sources actually confirm what you are trying to say, but we can definitely agree to disagree. And no the goal of the downvote pool is not to downvote people like you, that response is quite ridiculous. The goal here is to improve Steem, we are all in this together and this post is the place for us all to openly discuss. I understand and respect your concerns and am doing my best to ensure the community’s concerns are heard by those making the decisions currently.

I can agree to disagree, even about facts. Our belief isn't formative of facts after all, and we're free to be wrong without changing the facts.

It's not ridiculous to point out that censorship is happening on Steem front ends, and your belief that your opinion is certainly correct is no more than hubris, which will harm only you should you fail to control it. What the rhetoric claims and what the actions of the substantial stakeholders show aren't identical, and failing to acknowledge that difference isn't reasonable. A stated goal is not necessarily the actual goal. Bernie, for example, is one of the most substantial stakeholders on the platform, who also invented bidbots. That he seeks to censor me is demonstrable, and further, he also seeks to extort self-censorship from you. His above comment is a direct threat to you, and you will act per your sole option regarding that.

Nonetheless, it's demonstrably and provably censorship, and giving Bernie 25% more flags he can fly without cost to his VP will have predictable consequences, and one of those consequences will be many more flags forthcoming from his bot horde. While no one has stated that is the purpose of the downvote pool, failing to acknowledge that will certainly be one thing it achieves is disingenuous, and, indeed, is actually indicative of concealed purposes by those promoting the downvote pool.

That prevarication on the part of downvote pool promoters is one of the strongest reasons I suspect increased censorship is a core reason for the proposal. Honest people would acknowledge and discuss it amongst the pros and cons. This is an indication of the nature of the proponents of HF21, and is a good reason to be very skeptical about the rhetoric they use.

I note that you are doing exactly as you claim, while also having personal opinions. Please understand I am not saying you are prevaricating or disingenuous in your opinions, and do not confuse your opinions with your explanations of what HF21 is. I also am discussing those proposals, and also engaging with you personally on your views regarding them. In neither case am I painting you as someone profiteering or making false or misleading statements.

I certainly have seen no evidence that would lead me to suspect that of you, and hope you do not feel I am characterizing you with those you merely agree with the rhetorical statements of. I appreciate very much your post here, and your dedication and investment in engaging with even I, who do not agree with these proposals.


Honestly, if you had to do it to a group, authors were likely the best choice. If you cut the "interest" category it could severely hinder the delegation economy. If you cut curators then what would be the point to curate? They already get a small enough amount that it almost doesn't matter. Cut witnesses? Yeah, well, they need to profit, like miners, its crucial.

Not only that, but MIRA should be decreasing the costs of being a witness.

I think the problem for consensus witnesses is that if they don't pander to the whales, they'll lose their positions as consensus witnesses, as the whales will just unvote them and vote in witnesses that will do as they're told. The golden rule is that them with the gold rule.

Not here to shot the messenger...
Taking more from creators and giving to the bots that view the blog is not helping the platform... I 'll be on DLive...

Are you a bot viewing this blog? Not all curators are bots in fact I would say almost every single author is also a curator.. but I do understand the concern of this possibly adding to profits of bots in general.

Do those bot owners hold stake though that they are earning on? Do we want to get some sort of an incentive for people to actually buy STEEM?

Things are broken here, honestly I don’t know the answer but i think this is an important conversation to have.

By making downvotes free will their impact still be the same? We could be unleashing much larger flag wars

The “free downvotes” are limited so I honestly don’t believe we will see a negative impact to normal users. Sure there will be a few unjust flags thrown around (as there are now), but I believe ultimately the targets will be large abusers.

It depends on what you mean by flag wars, as yes I think if large stake holders start coming together to take down large abusers there will be some back and forth, but this is actually good for the ecosystem and will result in more rewards in the pool to be allocated out to content creators.

As I mentioned at the end of the post, I do think it will take some time for the dust to settle and things to balance out, but I don’t think downvotes will be an issue.

... but the large stakeholders are bid bot owners/operators and delegators. The argument that large stakeholders will use the downvote pool to flag bid bot crap posts seems like such a flimsy argument that I have a hard time believing it is being advanced. That is basically asking people to take action against their own financial short term best interest - which would be to not flag bid bot crap posts. Not attacking you personally here, I think you did a great job both summarizing the changes and presenting what the goals are. I just find it hard to believe that anyone who has witnessed Steem in action thinks that the large stakeholders are going to do anything except continue to support the bid bot economy. Do you remember the account that used to comment on bid bot posts with the totals spent to boost the post? That account didn't even flag the bid bot posts, and encountered organized flag resistance from bid bot money which killed it. That to me seems the obvious end game in any attempt to flag bid bot posts. The bid bot side controls the majority of active SP, so the bid bot side will win any flag battle.

No I know it’s not a personal attack and I share the same concerns and it’s why I wanted to make sure there was an open dialogue with clear communication for all.

I do remember the account, I need to go back and see what accounts crushed it. I was relatively new then so I didn’t recognize them, but I remember that happening.

What I can say is that many large stake holders (some bot owners and some not) who are supporting and pushing for this EIP know damn well it’s all on them to downvote or it all fails. They have openly admitted to this and have stated they will be doing so. Whether they will, well I’m a bit cynical. But what I can say is that if this does get accepted and they don’t do what they said they will then I will be the loudest pain in their side and will throw a public fit until they fix it our all removed. And that’s my promise to the community 🙂

I do support the unbundling and using others sources to fund the SPS as well. There are of course downsides to unbundling but I am still actively trying to push that discussion.

Whatever happens, I just want the community to be prepared and have a clear understanding. I appreciate your comments and what you do for this place ❤️

To me, this is the same thing as the bid bots that have a blacklist and point to the individual cases of plagiarism that they have caught, removed vote, and added to blacklist. It is a way to say "Look I am doing something!" while still being part of the problem. There is currently no shortage of SP available to downvote spam and abuse. Literally millions of SP delegated to that end already is sitting at or near 100% VP at all times. I have a hard time seeing this claim by large stakeholders that adding a downvote pool will exert any significant negative pressure on bidbot use as anything more than a smoke screen while they literally rob the poor to give to the rich by reducing the author/curator reward pool, decreasing author reward share, and changing the curve so that only a large dolphin/whale/bid bot post falls high enough on the curve to make the same or more than current curve. The change to the curve is the most insidious because it works in concert with the dust vote threshold - the chart from Stinc which you include in your post that shows the curves just flat out ignores the dust threshold. The beginning of that curve in fact is a flat line at 0 until the dust threshold is reached, and the new curve pushes the amount of SP needed to vote a post/comment above the dust threshold way to the right. Even a 4000 SP account will no longer be able to give any reward nor earn any curation by upvoting a comment, unless the comment also gets upvoted by larger accounts and falls above the new dust threshold. This literally kills all possibility of small to medium accounts rewarding engagement.

Can you honestly look at the screencaps below and tell me the problem is there isn't enough available downvotes to combat spam and abuse?

Might we be only giving additional flagging power to present day offenders; not mentioning anyone's dear old uncle by name?

Free or not, if one does not use them now they aren't likely to start, in my opinion. Perhaps flags should cost more instead of lowering their value.

Censors already exist on Steem with no other purpose. They will greatly expand their operations, at least by 25%, but given the greater impact a delegation can have due to the increase in flags potential, I expect many more censors to arise. Also, Bernie is gonna go nuts.

Believe me, I am familiar with the problem.

Thank you for explaining this in terms simple enough for us newbies to get it. My situation is unique; I do intend to produce as much quality original content as I can right up to and and even after the hard fork, but I'm not terribly happy with the idea of all my work earning me less, and I will be watching carefully to see if things balance out. I may even take "drama" week mostly off in terms of production, just to try out the new curation and observe the results. I'm willing to accept the premise that in the long run, HF21 might be good... but I will examining the proof CAREFULLY.

thanks for this, I needed a quick summary to bring me up to speed. You don't happen to know if anyone has taken a days worth of posts and revalued them according to the above to show the actual impact? it would make an interesting read. If not, I might try find the time to work it out my self.
Interesting times ahead.

what I would add is for people to remember, we are all on the same team and want good things for steem. Not everyone will agree on how to get there, but none of the suggested changes are being made with the intentions of negative harm to steem and its users.

Hey thanks! I’m really glad it was helpful.

The impact is exactly what I was wanting to understand as well, so we all could be prepared. I’ve brought forward a few posts to say “hey with something like this how will it look after hf21” and the overall thought was that small payouts of $1 will see a decrease of about half initially. Then the impact will throttle until it reaches around 16 STEEM ($5-$7 currently), where it becomes linear. Of course the idea is that if downvote is used then these posts would then see an increase but that of course depends on a lot of factors.

I’ve not seen a full analysis done and I think it would be really helpful. The unknown is scary, it’s always better to be somewhat prepared.

One concern on making these predictions was though that using current payouts would not result in clear data because voting habits would change entirely.

If you end up doing one please link me, I’d love to see the data.

I could live with the 50/50 change, I could live with 75% author/curator going to 65% for the Steem.DAO, but what is unacceptable to me is the 25% free downvotes. Downvotes are already being used for evil, and those doing it have to take a loss in order to do it.

That's a big no for me... That's asking for all the anti-downvoting people to fork Steem and remove downvoting. It is an illogical thing to assume that people will be ethical with downvoting.

Steem is not one community, it is designed to be the backbone of thousands of communities across the web. Political parties, main stream medias, religious groups and other special interest groups will use downvotes as a means of raiding other communities to terrorize and demonetize them.

Downvoting changes the atmosphere online. If Steem becomes hugely popular, downvotes will have the effective of creating a very negative energy throughout the entire internet. Upvotes for something is a vote against everything else, so downvotes are completely unnecessary. They are used as an aggressive tool to hurt an individual or a small group. Its bully tactics, might-makes-right, not anything good and wholesome.

If Steem keeps going down this path with downvotes the internet is better off with Steem going to $0. I want to see Steem prosper, but not if its going to embrace this downvoting nonsense. Its absolutely terrible for society. Currently, the wealthy, middle class and the poor can all speak with an equal voice, downvoting destroys that equality. If Steem were to grow popular and have downvotes it would devastate the balance online of free speech for people of all incomes. I can't support that world and any technology that would bring that about.

I urge the witnesses to think harder on this subject. This is a serious misstep.

"Its absolutely terrible for society."

Youre not wrong. Believe me, I know.

The idea is that since that is the group receiving the largest cut, that redirecting 10% of that inflation to the SPS would be a good place to start.

what is forgot is that 65% is shared by 50.000 (i have no idea how many active people are here) and that 10% is shared by lets say 100 people (but mainly by first 20-30 on the list)

It is no secret that we need more content consumers on Steem. We have great content, we need people to read it and reward it though.

and that will be around maybe 200-300 people? because minnows and new people will have no influence on rewards, especially on rewarding people that are not discovered by those 200-300 people.

The goal is for those large stake holders to now be encouraged to go and downvote bid bot abuse as well as self voting spammers who are removing rewards from the shared pool while not returning value.

i can't wait to see this. (as someone who never used bid bots and have no idea who really holds them i kinda assume it is runned by people with a lot of steem. also the selfupvoting spam is really problem of big acc because someone that has 200SP and is selfupvoting is really not harming the distribution)

also i hope that i am completely wrong and as this is a blockchain you will be able to point fingers at me till the end of time as a man who did not believe and was really stupid.

just want this HF happening tomorrow so i can just not read about it and continue doing my stupid nonprofit things...

Great post and explaining

I’ll answer this in short version and then come back to give more detail in the morning if needed, as I don’t want good ole Nathan to think I’m avoiding it.

Yes the rewards pool is split among a larger group of individuals. Yes witnesses make about $30k a year at current prices, which is relatively low in terms of block producers over multi block chains. Witnesses also have expenses and are solely responsible for producing blocks, the essence of the chain, protecting said chain as well as many other things.

In comparison, what are we authors responsible for? We make some content that may or may not be anything good and we collect our rewards. Many don’t even invest or buy steem, just gain and cash out.

I believe content plays an important role in Steem and I believe the community adds a huge amount of value, but I do not think the issue is lack of rewards for authors, I think it’s rewarding crap authors too much and not rewarding the good ones. I believe we are not rewarding the behavior we want to see and not rewarding positive contributions to the ecosystem.

If I’m honest, in its current state I believe much of the inflation is wasted on garbage that is pulling the price of STEEM down.. and I would like to attempt to use that for something that potentially could benefit us all.

Yes I think it would be the most fair to use a percentage from multiple places to fund the SPS and I will continue to communicate that request to anyone I can.

As far as content consumers, we need all sizes of them. Small minnows should be able to make a return or profit on something other than posting 4x a day at an attempt to make a $1.. there should be incentive to do something else.

Also, there should be some sort of incentive for individuals to buy STEEM and stake it.. therefore more and more people do it. If it is profitable for an individual to invest, stake and curate.. more people will, and that is what we want.

Because at the end of the day, if no one is buying STEEM it becomes worthless.

I cannot say what these changes will bring or even if I fully support them, but I can say what we do have currently is not working so it makes sense to try something else.

If it goes through, I hope it improves things.. and if it’s a disaster I will be very loudly demanding a change 🙂

I like the idea of no more HF talk too.. I’m so tired 😜

I get the concerns and I share them. My goal is to help share information as well as voicing concerns from the community. Please continue to share these concerns as well as reach out to the top 20 witnesses, as ultimately this is their decision.

i think no one is accusing you of anything, you just did a good job explaining it and got an exposure on the post so people write where the talk is.

how do we know the system is broken? well, for fuck's sake few weeks ago i was in the top 200 curators for accounts that have less than 55 rep. Me, with 2500 SP. I should not be in the first 200 curators of anything and i am a lot of times in photography and music.
I just don't see that this will change anything for the better for minnows and new accounts. my vote will be worth less on those new accounts, supporting people that engage on my posts will be not possible, and my below average content will earn 30% less.

No one that is for this change and has the power to influence it did not answer, what will happen to "small" accounts after the HF. Only answer is it will be great for everyone...
sometimes i feel that a lot of big acc here are like:

I would go even further to say that content is Steem.

Rewarding no-effort authors is just a waste of time. Over the long-term so are posts meant merely to move self votes.

Mostly agree with you. Just think that the clearer picture the overall community can get, the better.

Speaking of clarity, I believe brevity and truth often hold hands. Centralized systems run red tape, and as such, even if I were an attorney on retainer, I would dislike working this post. Not that I disliked swimming these waters, but I am not a retired millionaire.

Does illustrate how much people need to vent. It is FB'sLIBRA week after all.

"what are we authors responsible for?"

It is content that creates any value in Steem. dApps, blogs, games, all that content is the only reason people come here. Without it, some nerds might trade Steem amonst themselves, but Steem would not have any value on the market - because there'd be no market. Creators are that market. Chase them away, and the value of Steem vanishes.

Again you are twisting my words. I didn’t say content and it’s creators do not add value, I asked what responsibilities or risks they (we) have. The answer is none. You can make content and make possible rewards, no investment or risks needed. It’s sort of an important thing to consider when trying to state that somehow witnesses rewards should be removed as “content is everything on Steem” ... as without witnesses, there is no Steem.

I'm not twisting your words. The delivery of valuable content is the responsibility of content creators. They invest and risk hours of work, often for very little or no reward.

I am kind of surprise that after protesting I was twisting your words, you then proceed to mischaracterize my own. I have never made any comment - ever - to the effect that witnesses should not be rewarded.

This is silly. You can disagree with definitions from credible sources, but all you'll achieve by doing that is causing other people to not understand what you say, since you don't agree with the definitions of the words you and they are using. This entire conversation is nothing more than that, except you have falsely claimed I said that witness rewards should be removed, and then projected that I am twisting your words by stating some of the benefits of content when you asked what creators are responsible for. See tu quoque and ambiguity below.

Disinformation techniques prevent rational discussion.


The comment you quoted of mine was in response to just that and it’s why I mentioned it here.

I will agree that there are some content creators who do create wonderful content and do not get much rewards, it’s why I manually curate and co founded a manual curation guild (where we work as volunteers) as I feel good content adds value. But I will say that a very large majority of content on Steem is made with little effort so no, I do not think it is the most deserving of the inflation pool, as I don’t think it’s contributing value back in most cases. That’s all I meant.

If we want Steem to be adopted by the masses, we have to reward content the masses can create. That's facebook tier content. We don't have to reward it equally with 'Moby Dick', but there's a reason we need to reward it: it is the content that brings the masses.

I'm fine with not agreeing on how to reward content, because that a subjective evaluation, and it's not particularly relevant to the EIP. The rewards curve, downvote pool, doubling of curation and halving of author rewards aren't for specific low quality content. Those are for all content. I see that without many users to create a market for Steem there is little impetus to push up the price of Steem. We have a terrible retention rate now, and HF21 will make that much worse. Pick any reason someone would come here, open an account and leave, and HF21 makes that reason worse. Low rewards? Cut them in half after HF21. Probably more than half because the rewards curve is going to lower the value of votes from smaller stakeholders in addition to the direct halving of author rewards. Clearly new accounts aren't going to be making anything from curation. My curation rewards are around ~4% of my rewards, and I do a lot of curating with a little bit of stake. Newbs won't have that stake to curate with.

The fact of financial manipulation via stake weighting means that 90% of rewards, author and curation, go to whales. The rest of the platform splits the remaining ~10%, and newbs without an established network get the least. The median payout last I checked was .01 SBD. Given that the largest group of content creators receives that payout for their posts, I'm surprised any of them bother to stay and post at all. Reducing that median payout to .005 SBD isn't going to drive higher retention.

The downvote pool may be the worst aspect of the HF for newbs. They might not grasp the fact of retaliation and run around flagging trending posts. If they do, they're going to be retaliated against by folks with more stake than them. That's just how Steem works. Newbs aren't going to just ignore that and keep on Steemin'. They're going to do the obvious thing and leave, pissed off.

Adding a tax shrinking the rewards pool is highly regressive and going to hurt small stakeholders most.

None of these things is going to solve any problems Steem faces, and all of them are going to make those problems worse.

This is the best explanation I have read yet! Only thing is at end it should read "None of these things are going to..." Besides that A+!

what is forgot is that 65% is shared by 50.000 (i have no idea how many active people are here) and that 10% is shared by lets say 100 people (but mainly by first 20-30 on the list)

Exactly! response duly noted.

Or maybe I’ve answered hundreds of questions today (not even a top 20 witness), it’s 1am and I am reviewing questions to fully answer them in the morning.

Or maybe you’re right it must all be a conspiracy

I was actually a supporter of this until you kindly brought the geek speak down to a level I am comfortable understanding, for which I thank you. I will leave further points until I can construct a cohesive list! But this particular point that has been made is extremely relevant.
I was not criticising your silence, I understand you are the messenger and we all know, you should never shoot the messenger! :-)
Sleep well...3pm here in Thailand.

"what is forgot is that 65% is shared by 50.000 (i have no idea how many active people are here) and that 10% is shared by lets say 100 people (but mainly by first 20-30 on the list)"

Actually, due to the weight of the stake of whales, they actually get about ~90% of rewards, all 35 of them, and the other 50k of us share the remaining ~10%.

Othewise you're completely spot on.

Thanks a million for explaining this in normal words. I've been so confused about everything ever since I heard the news. People referred me to your profile and this post in particular to find an answer to all the questions I had.

Finally I have an idea of what's about to happen.
You're the best :0)

You’re so welcome! I’m glad it helped ☺️

It sure did.
You've probably received a lot of notifications of mentions, because I've been sending everyone who commented on my post with questions about HF21 over to yours 😂

blah blah blah - as usual the hf will make the rich richer and the poor poorer - as it has done since it's inception - fortunately I already powered down my account - btc lept 20% and I made a little bit back that I had lost with all the previous hard forks. Good luck.

Yeah this is very helpful post to upcoming HF21. Su i wanna thanks to you for great explain. But i want to leave a comment about downvote pool.

As you know some individiuals or gruops have fighting each other. And we always see some little fight on blogs. But with this change on downvotes we can see bigger fights. Maybe it provides to much better content quality, but at the same time it can bring us new war gun. Actually this will be so dangerous for future of platform.

As you mentioned many curators will not change their behaviors. So many people on steemit will wait own whale to upvote qualit content. I have been for 1,5 years. And already many groups on this networks and already they upvote just each other in same group. So how can change this people behavior. Because already they created own group economy.

When you read all this article about new changes, it seems great. But this is just great for huge SP holders and whales. Many people will wait their miracle whale to see him/her. This is really hard way to all steemians. I hope i would be wrong about my thoughts.

But again thanks for explain. Have a nice day.

Steem price = 0.40 $ = 1 million power upvote = 23 $ = split it however you want it's no more than 23 dollars

If the price is 4 $ = 1 M power upvote = 230 $ = split it however you want, it's more than 100 $

Moral of the story: do preple outside Steemit care about the ratio? No.
Will this HF change the overall attitude? No.
Will it affect the price? No... Why would it.

HF21 or not - who cares
BTC is about 10x stronger vs Steem about a year ago
And Steem is ranked around the postion 65 with less than 10k active users @bil.prag by the way FB group for selling photo gear in a small country has 23k users. And psssss, it's not worth 100.000.000 $ ;)

Posted using Partiko Android

maybe we should move them here and let them fight about canon/nikon/sony :D it would help with engagement :D

When I called people from that group last year ("hey people, share some photos you already have and earn some crypto"), Steem was hitting 1.000 Million Market Cap. And it was just a beta version. I was 100% sure that it can't implode.

Seriously, it's a blogging platform, ok, they will implement some regular blogging options and it will be great:

  • WYSIWYG Editor
  • some skins and stuff
  • ability to interact with the blog as a guest
  • and possibility to trade/ monetize, add affiliates and so on

If that whole development costs 100.000 $ - I will blend Canon with some milk and drink it.

How on Earth they decided to fire half of their developers, how they decided not to invest a single cent in marketing, how they decided not to support a single Top content creator - I can't explain. It's not explainable.

I'm so sorry that countless chances are missed.
Now if you type to Google "steem HF21" - not a single result comes outside Steemit.
Nobody cares. It's a fact :(

send it to me don't blend it :D
i feel that they don't really think it is a social network platform, they just don't want to tell us :D

Oh man, I actually agree with you here.. this HF means absolutely nothing to anyone not already here, and quite frankly I wish we were focusing on more important things.

The hope I have though is that a funded SPS could actually allow us to do those things, hell maybe even higher a qualified management team.. you know, things that might actually improve the price.

So yep, I very much think we should actively be focusing on things that attract people, keep them here and raise the price of STEEM.

Some of the proposed changes in HF21 may bring a slight improvement, but there's a few huge problems with it:

  1. The responsible parties think it's gonna solve the most pressing issues with Steem. It won't.

  2. Reducing author rewards is non-sensical. I've been pointing that out many times - if the promise is "you can make money with your content", then it should be easy for users to do that, not by upvoting. It's never been easy to make good content visible by many people, simply because there's so much of it out there. This is not solved by giving more rewards to curators.

  3. Instead, it's gonna make things worse. Bots will be in a superior position to place upvotes with the best possible timing, so the lion's share of curation rewards will go to bots.

  4. None of the proposed changes make Steem easier to understand for outsiders. Why are downvotes treated differently than upvotes? Why do I get less than half of the payout that is displayed to me on my own post? Try explaining that to newbies.

I'll probably be sticking around with Steem, but I'm not at all thrilled about the EIP and HF21.

Posted using Partiko Android

Great well written post! Thanks.
I just put it here.

A serious attempt at repairing the STEEM Economic Improvement Proposal (eip) for HF21

I think we have alternative.


Yes I’ve seen the post and shared it as well. There are many who took part in the discussion and the comments section reflects that I believe.

Sounds like a lot will change but will it be a good or bad change i cannot say now

Posted using Partiko Android

Great explanation for us normies, thank you.
Unfortunately in reading the excellent discussion here I have figured out the problem if not the solution ;)
In our present level of evolution, there are always going to be crappy people seeking power. If the system gives an opportunity for someone to aggregate power, it will happen, and likely not by some with a conscience since that just complicates things really. If you want to see a system without nefarious actors in high places, you’ll probably have to build one without high places.

Even if we could eventually build a self reinforcing culture that is stable enough to withstand pressure from people who want more at the expense of the health of the whole system, I think in the beginning stages it will need to be either protected, hidden, or ignored or it will just remain an extension of the status quo.

This thread (and all the threads dealing with these issues that I have read) does a great job of illustrating the shift that we are navigating right now. There are a lot of people who are realizing that the competitive/capitalistic form of society we have been programed to worship and it’s fascist friend socialism are two sides of an argument that will never end in freedom for anyone. Then there are the pragmatists and the people who are already benefiting from the system as it is.

A system based on the social and economic structures we haved used in the past is what we are trying to break away from, but without relying on those same tired old ideas, (high stakes investors, roi, market manipulation) we can’t hope to flourish in a world that has yet to transition out of that paradigm...

I believe DRAMA will moon, so stock up!

LOL! I think this is the only predictable thing that is going to come out! Anyway, the chances are we'll intentioned... Hold on fast to something!

So to make it short you are taking funds from authors and curators and creating a fund to get stuff built ? But I mean look at the millions of bucks that where thrown away last year with no result and still no SMT. Leave it to the authors and curators thank you, at least they market and help the community grow.