Definition of a Whale and a whale-like group and the Math Behind

in #steem4 years ago


Whales and whale-like groups are those who have more than 800M VESTS in total, or around 384K SP in total.

Whales and whale-like groups have (unfair) advantages on the influence on posts.

The Math

To be simple, let assume everyone always have 100% voting power and vote with 100% weight.

Payout is decided by influence.
Payout_of_a_post = influence_on_the_post * total_reward_funds_in_the_pool / total_influence_on_all_posts

Total influence on a post is total_sp * total_sp + total_sp * 384K_sp, where total_sp is sum of SP that people who voted on this post.

When total_sp is below 384K, the influence is near linear. A minnow adds 1000 SP, total influence increase by around 1000 * 384K = 384M.

When total_sp is greater than 384K, the influence starts to accelerate. A minnow adds 1000 SP, total influence increase by 1000 * total_sp * 3.

A whale or whale-like group has the ability to accelerate the influence from zero.

The Influence

When whales are voting, they have most of the influences. Whales voting on one post means other posts / voters will get less reward. Whales voting on many posts means others will get even less.

When whales stopped voting, dolphins/minnows have more influence.

See the numbers (and remember that total curation reward is around 7K SP a day):

The limitations

The number of whales is limited. With this limit, the system won't scale, we will be unable to grow into a bigger user base.

Image someday we have one million new posts a day, 10 whales with 40 votes each can only vote for 400 posts in total, and probably many votes will go to same posts, what will the other 999,600 authors think?

As a member, you want we have more users so each SP your own will worth more in the future, or you earn more SP today but each SP will worth less in the future?


With greater power comes greater responsibility.


So why not simply put forward a proposal to limit the amount of MV that can be used for voting?

And find another way of compensating those with MV above that limit?

That way people can decide on whether to invest in STEEM based on the code and consensus. Rather than the arbitrary actions of a tiny minority.

Without discussion on, a proposal submitted to github will be rejected. It's good practice to have consensus before coding.

I agree. Which is why I'm surprised about an "experiment" being undertaken by a handful of large SP holders that affects the whole userbase without discussion, let alone consensus.

How is it that the actions of a tiny minority are okay when it comes to upvoting and a few people effectively controlling nearly all the influence and allocating nearly all of the reward pool, but not when it comes to downvoting? If you look at the overall net effect on the system, the effect of countervoting is far, far less than the effect of outright whale voting given the n^2 rule (i.e. 0^2 is still 0 but 1 trillion squared is one septillion, a number so large that I would guess many people are not familiar with that word).

Yes the current system has flaws, but spam downvoting is not the answer.

The "net overall effect on the system" as you see it is neglecting the most important part, the human element. This is far more nuanced than math.

The 'human element' is being stirred up by people such as yourself who probably know better and actually understand how the system works, but enjoy fanning the flames to manipulate those who may not. It is sad to see. Perhaps try working to reduce the misunderstandings rather than encourage them?

The fact that you genuinely think 'dissenting voices' on this are "stirring" and "manipulating", just shows you're out of touch with how regular people think.

A process of "counter-voting" to address defects in the system, begs the obvious question... why not seek consensus on how best to fix voting imbalances and fix it?

Why make a platform that is already confusing for the average user, even more convoluted?

A process of "counter-voting" to address defects in the system, begs the obvious question... why not seek consensus on how best to fix voting imbalances and fix it?

As I stated earlier, it is not entirely clear that it can be fixed that way (not saying it can't, just not necessarily). Some problems require a degree of subjectivity; that's why we have voting at all, otherwise we could "fix the code" and make it reward the right content all by itself. It may just be that we need a two-way voting structure. Most equilibrium systems in nature (or created by humans) achieve stability through a balance of opposing forces. It is very difficult to make a system of upvotes without downvotes stable, perhaps impossible (see post by @bitcoindoom).

This does not mean that improvements in algorithms and code can't be made, and I support that, but they aren't necessarily the same issue nor solutions to the same problems.


You may be right - fixing the problem may not be code and may require subjectivity. That can be debated and discussed.

Who exercises the subjective judgement and under what mandate – that can also be discussed. It may be there are more elegant solutions than what is being done at the moment. E.g. Moderators voted on by the SP holders (a la Witnesses), and the method may not be a flag but a way of reducing the voting weight of specific votes. I don’t know. However having that conversation and getting people to debate a proposal, tends to lead to more buy-in, in my opinion. At the very least people understand what is happening, when and why.

Anyway, 'the experiment' is here, you're well within your right to conduct it, I'm well within my right to disagree, we’ll see how it plays out. Hopefully I'm proved wrong and the platform benefits from it.

Oh I like spam upvoting. I hate spam downvoting.

It is possible to see the negative connotations of both and seek some kind of consensus on how best to address it. However I can see that point is lost.

I guess we'll see how the experiment plays out.. cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Thanks for doing this!

Interesting idea. Maybe it could be combined with my idea. 'Grey out' the SP/MV above a certain level and compensate in others ways??

'a proposal to limit the amount of MV that can be used for voting' That is completely vulnerable to stake being split up into multiple accounts and voted together. There are some things, that being one of them, which can't practically be enforced in code and effective stakeholder consensus is what really matters. That is equally achieved by the exisitng voting mechansm (or to say it another way, what is happening now is exacty enforced by the current code). What could change in code is adjustment of the voting rules so that it doesn't support whale monopolizing influence far beyond their share of stake, and I do support that.

I agree with most of what you've written here.

Pretty much any 'solution' can be gamed. I explain the rationale behind the voting power limit in my last post, however ultimately I'm not wedded to any single idea. Because as you say

effective stakeholder consensus is what really matters.

Which is why,

I'm surprised about an "experiment" being undertaken by a handful of large SP holders that affects the whole userbase without discussion, let alone consensus.

What is being missed by some, is that everyone has a vote here. Some whales are choosing not to vote and others, including myself, are choosing to vote in disagreement on allocating rewards on the basis of those who are voting. The 'handful of large SP holders' are part of the user base and we are voting our stake as we choose. In fact we are doing so in a manner that minimizes the in-built power imbalance. There is no getting away from that handful of large SP holders having a huge influence, the only question is the nature of that influence, which is slightly different now than it was a few days ago, and indeed has far less effect on what you call the 'whole userbase' now than then. What we are doing, really, is nothing more than getting out of the way.

You are absolutely entitled to upvote and downvote as you see fit.

Just like I'm entitled to agree or disagree with how votes are being exercised and voice my opinions.

I agree there are is an obvious "in-built power imbalance." However my point is simple. If the intention is to 'get large SP holders out-the-way', let's get some kind of consensus on how best to achieve this, if this is what the majority of stakeholders want.

whale-like groups

Hang on! You are treating a bunch of dolphins who are srteaming votes as whales?

Is this really an attack on services like Streemian and autosteem?

Lots of dolphins use those services because they haven't got time to vote manually but want to use their curating power to help new authors. I don't understand why you are against that!

Good point.
We need real readers.
Most bots are voting without reading the content, but predicting others' voting.

They were predicting whale votes. It will be interesting to see how successful they will be without the predictable whale vote to front run. I think we can't stop experiment until the robots have been reprogrammed. But robots won't work well with a bottoms up curation method.

Bots can predict "the mass" as well.

now when there are clear rules whos a whale and whos not and good % to counter them, this is a lot (not a bit!) better @abit

Defining terms... Great Idea. Now look up the word 'experiment'. Whilst you're at it look up the words 'hypothesis', 'methodology', 'control group' and 'scientific method'.

Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

"Whales and whale-like groups have (unfair) advantages on the influence on posts."

Kinda like what you're doing huh...

The system can scale as new content creators join, and older, more seasoned creators continue to gain SP and vest. Let the new ones work their way to that position. No need to penalize good content to bring about good content and growth. That will kill content creation. Is the experiment finished now?

I thought this was the entire point of a stake-weighted platform. You earn/buy more stake, you get more influence.

Is it imbalanced right now? Sure. Is the n^2 algorithm skewing rewards more than they otherwise would be? Of course. Is the solution to turn Commie, complain about unfairness, and effectively and arbitrarily punish certain content creators and investors? No.

The solution is to fix the damn code.

We all know this and pretty much everyone agreed that the n^2 algorithm needs a change. Let's start there and see what happens. That is how you address issues with a blockchain, so that everyone is actually playing by the same rules and the results of "experimentation" are actually measurable/legitimate. All of this arbitrary/subjective "testing" is a farce.

Yes, fix it. Just do it. Before it's done, what can we do?
The experiment is playing by the rule as well.

Couldn't have said it better. Thank you.

Thanks for the explanations! I´ve been a fan of this experiment right from the start and I am still. Here is a suggestion (an idea) regarding the power and influence of whales:

With greater power comes greater responsibility.

Exactly. That´s why I believe that whales should have influence on the evaluation of content as well.

What if we didn´t give them voting power, but let them mark content they consider worth voting for - and pay them a special type of curation rewards back according on how many users followed their recommendation? Means: the more popular a whale, the more followers, the more curation rewards for the whale.
Nice side effect: if a whale needed to become popular to improve his own curation rewards, he surely wouldn´t ever abuse on his power (and flag without any need, for instance).

Then the rewards pool would be distributed by the dolphins and minnows (more responsibility for everyone), and at the same time powering up would be rewarded as well (investment would stay attractive).

I am not a developer and don´t know if such an idea would make any sense from a technical point of view or if it could even be implemented.

However, I believe that whales need to have a certain influence on the evaluation of content. Evaluation of content doesn´t necessarily mean distribution of rewards. A voice can be worth something in many ways.

I like experiments too!

Your suggestion reminds me somewhat of what @complexring was doing. I guess it was a kind of experiment by him. He would resteem a post that he planned on voting for in a few hours. He evaluated the post as up vote worthy but provided that information for others to act on, before he acted. I personally made some nice curation rewards from this. I didn't automatically up vote everything he resteemed but it got my attention because I felt he was a good evaluator and I did find most of what he resteemed to be of value. The effect of his experiment was to get more steem in the hands of those with less SP. I would like to see one of the top 10 whales try this experiment for a while and see what happens, while we're experimenting! :-)

Of course if someone did this, someone else would make a bot to up vote everything that person resteemed. But then the whale could make a bot to implement this at random; maybe for random time periods and not all the time. Then the bot maker would improve his bot to detect when this is active and when it is not. Then someone will also make a post that the implementation is currently on, and everyone else will know to look at the resteems. This becomes a form of variable reinforcement schedule ( and everyone becomes addicted to steemit, checking it often to see when to check the resteems, and forgets about their facebook addiction and moves a billion people from facebook to steemit. Maybe! :-)

EDIT: Here is the post where @complexring talks about his reblogging / resteeming experiment:

Thanks for the up vote of this comment, complexring! :-)

Thank you for the adding, that's really interesting!! I hadn't seen this post yet.
I guess whatever features developers may plan to implement, they have to be kept simple, easy to understand and to handle. We always have to bear in mind that the great majority of users won't have much time neither will to study an algorithm.
Instead of resteeming the content (since resteeming is also a feature used by minnows), whales may select their favorite pieces by giving them "points", like we use when evaluating services and products. A highly recommended article may reach a maximum of 5 points (stars) which could be indicated close to the payout and vote counter. That would simply indicate high quality to minnows and dolphins. The decision to upvote would be still on them.
Furthermore, besides a trending page we would have a recommendation page (or however we may call it), where whale picks would be listed.
Like that, rewards distribution and curation would be perfectly separated and both - the most powerful and those who want to become powerful - would have a relevant influence on the overall performance and distribution of wealth.

Thanks for your thoughts in reply!

I get your point on keeping things simple, but for me, I love the technical and complex aspect of steem and steemit! Would it be so bad if steemit was a place with a high concentration of techy folks who also enjoy up seeing and up voting non-tech content? Do the non-tech people really need to understand how things work here, to post and enjoy recognition and feedback? How many of us have a clue as to how our computer of phone works? :-) Yet we use them all the time.

Also, regarding simplicity, some people would like a simple reward system - you get a lot of votes, you get a lot of reward. Personally, I like the randomness of the rewards! I love poker too, and a great hand does not always get a great reward. The variable nature of it can be addicting, see any casino for example. Yet, there IS a formula! So us techy people can and have figured it out to some degree. We like solving puzzles like this and find steemit to be intellectually challenging just from the perspective of figuring out how it works.

On YouTube, they initially had a 5 star rating system. Most people gave one or 5 stars, so they went to thumbs up and down. I think if a whale, or anyone, resteems a post here, it is the ultimate way to select it as a favorite. If they further make it known that they will be up voting it in the near future, then they are in affect giving an easy opportunity to get a curation reward which redistributes the SP in a way that gives everyone a chance to haave more power here in the future.

It says "beta" under "steemit" in the upper lefthand corner of the page, so let the experiments and the games continue!

I like this idea. Would think about it more and see what I can come up with. Not anything technical too though. Lol.

Looking forward! ;)

How to define "more followers"? A whale can create thousands of accounts to follow himself.

True! Then what about defining the quality of a whale's vote recommendation like that:
Let's assume that you - being a whale - recommend to vote on a specific article. Then thousands of minnows and Dolphins plus your own bots "follow" this recommendation and upvote the mentioned article you pointed your finger at. Now your payback / reward (for having recommended the article) would be defined according to the articles result. To avoid that your own bots are taken in consideration, your reward could be given according to the article's final position on the trending page. The "trendiness" is not depending on the no. of votes (including your bots), but on the rewards given on the content itself and on comments, for instance. That last point is an indicator of the quality of social interaction and which cannot be manipulated by (your) bots.
Does that make sense?

I didn't see the difference.. A whale can still upvote and follow with sock puppets. So the upvote will be confirmed, so the reward will be high, so the post will be trending.

You are the one who started with this idea. Why do you pass the ball back to me? :) Be creative. The experiment has shown that there are ways to distribute power more equally (= more fairly), thus it´s worth to keep thinking in the same direction.
Flags are surely not the solution, they were an effective short term instrument to wake us up. But I am sure you agree on the fact that they have caused a lot of trouble, too.
Try to bundle your smart forces in a healthier way and this is going to succeed.

So that makes me borderline...?

and it means you should invest more - your marginal investment now worth 2 times more than we minnows. :)

@abit okay thank you for clarifying this
I'm guessing we got flagged cause there are those accounts who don't know they are already whales or maybe they do but are on auto votes mode which is sweet too I think - that's loyal support !

Whales and whale-like groups are those who have more than 800M VESTS in total, or around 384K SP in total.

so this is your purpose - to grow but how will this lead to growth?

As a member, you want we have more users so each SP your own will worth more in the future, or you earn more SP today but each SP will worth less in the future?

this part just killed my dream of being a whale okay so that would never happen unless a few whales keep powering down and give up whaleness ...

The number of whales is limited. With this limit, the system won't scale, we will be unable to grow into a bigger user base.

I don't have to imagine this is somehow happening now isn't it ? Till you did this experiment. Somehow I felt like a whale - I still only have cents for effects but hey better cents that no effect at all. and yes .. I get how you whales feel now with all that voting power in your hands - it ain't easy casting a vote specially that my whaleness feeling has an expiry date and VI %age limit. Anyway, am loving the whaleness feeling but I also noticed that I still don't have much effect so does that mean that - the worth of my SP is already worth less?

Image someday we have one million new posts a day, 10 whales with 40 votes each can only vote for 400 posts in total, and probably many votes will go to same posts, what will the other 999,600 authors think?

may I ask what we are expecting as a result of this experiment? Higher worth of SP in the future? no one invests in something that devaluates

When STEEM's price is rising, our SP will worth more.

One expectation of the experiment: fairer rules.

@abit so I take it this would pump the price of Steem up?
The more we should write eh?
Okay, thank you for explaining that.

Is the experiment now over?

"I'm only beating you because I love you! Why do you make me do this?"

Are you still running your no-whale-votes experiment? I just checked, and I control posting keys for over 1 GV. Am I spoiling the experiment?

For what it's worth, my bot-clients normally only add about $0.30-$0.50 to a post, but now it's nearly $3.00:
So that part of your experiment seems to be very effective.

So your army fits the "whale-like-group" definition. You have the power. Wish you are voting wisely.
When no perceived whale voting is going on I don't need to down-vote, no matter whether the experiment is "running" or not.
Let's see if the system can still work without whales up-voting.

Well, my bot targets somewhere around 80 votes per day so that each vote is supposed to be below whale-level. They're spread around to a great deal of generally-unpopular content. I think I have one of the most socially-responsible bots out there. I suppose I could increase the number-of-votes target to spread the votes out even more.

With 80 votes per day you are only voting at half strength of a whale voting 40. Starting at 1 GV that still fits abit's definition, though not by a huge margin.

So my question is: what's most important? Keeping the strength of each vote small? Or keeping the total number of rshares^2 low? Because if the former, I'll just spread the votes out on more posts. If the latter, I'd need to let some voting power go to waste.

Keeping the strength of each vote small? Or keeping the total number of rshares^2 low?

Aren't they the same?
If you're voting on unpopular contents, likely I won't notice them..

More posts is fine IMO (although I can't speak for abit). My downvoting bot will ignore whale votes when they only apply a small vote strength to an individual post. n^2 applies at the level of individual posts. So for example, a whale voting full power on one empty post, say for 10 "vote points", would generate a reward of 100, but voting 10% power on ten empty posts for 1 "vote point" each would generate a total reward of 10. In the former case the whale's influence is extreme and crowds out others (say those voting with 1 point maximum) from having any meaningful influence at all. In the latter cases it is not. (Unscaled hypothetical units, and not exact.)

(nesting limit)
Oh, I meant total rshares^2 in all of steem. I meant total_reward_shares2.

finally see some stats re this experiment! does it mean that your clients are giving out more money without earning as much? :) the latter part is my guess - as you cannot expect many big votes to come (even if they do, they come with a curse! lol). and, yes, I think spreading more votes is a correct strategy. :)

Yeah, they're certainly giving out more money. Probably at least 3 times as much. It's hard to say anything about earning more or less money at this point. There are so many moving parts, and the revenue has never been constant. It depends on my vote stalkers, Curie's policies, my vote weights, the current accuracy of my bot's model. My revenue hasn't been stellar in the past 2 days, but my bot also hasn't yet learned that the world has changed. If the "experiment" runs long enough, it will be interesting to see how my bot adapts to it.

thanks for reply. actually I am more curious about how the 7-day window is gonna affect curating strategies... while the experiment is temporary, this change has been confirmed (though HF date postponed to Mar 21). your thoughts?

Yeah, it's going to be interesting. I think 7 days is going to make curation slightly more difficult. Really, just automated curation. Manual curation will be what it always has been.

Any adaptive automated curation system like mine will now have to wait much longer for feedback. Right now, my bot checks each post 2 days after it was posted, records its payout, and learns from it. Once HF17 goes into effect, it will have to wait 7 days to see the final payout. The nice thing is that most votes will probably still come in fairly early in a post's lifetime, so I'll be able to partially learn something at the 1 or 2 day mark anyway, and then update it once the post finally pays out at 7.

I don't think current witnesses will let the 7-day change pass as is.

that's interesting to know. thanks!

Wow!!! $25 worth of SP for a test! How do I get in on this money printing scheme? I have the desire to CURATE now with all this extra power available!

Dude, this post declines payouts. That's why there's​ as line crossing the payouts :)

Image someday we have one million new posts a day, 10 whales with 40 votes each can only vote for 400 posts in total, and probably many votes will go to same posts, what will the other 999,600 authors think?

The problem with centralised voting is a bottleneck we need to solve for sure @abit. I wrote a serious proposal on this problem in this post: and your experiment has given me glimpses that it would work 100% and our platform will be able to grow as large as it can.

That's a good idea, at least for brainstorm. Currently I'm not sure if it's technical doable.
By the way I updated my reply to your post with corrected supply data.

Thank you. I am sure @dantheman or anyone on the @steemit development team would be able to code it into solution. If there is one thing I have learned around here is that nothing is impossible, it is just software ;)

NB: that is awesome, gonna look at those datas right away.

We should have elections like in real life. As I understand voting for different​ witnesses can change the course of the platform.
At least these votes will actually count.

well, being a witness @rossenpavlov is a very important job. I made a video about it yesterday if you are interested in what it is that we do:

Witnesses are voted in by the stake-holders and represent therefore those who have voted them in and it is our job to work for the betterment of the platform and voice the opinions of the public in ways that can be understood by the masses.

Real life elections happens behind closed doors and votes are counted by proprietary machines or selected humans. I have no trust in such a system, we have a better open system for voting here on steem then any country has IMO.

With a few changes this platform will blossom like marijuana across the world :)

So once I've accrued 384,000 Steem power I'll be a whale?
'scuse me, I've got some writing to do 😉😀

you go for it...

A whale shark or a sperm whale.... Hmmmm

@abit, I know about your intention to run testing, but can you talk to people first about that. First at all could you listen to others about their opinon about this testing. Sorry for my bad English. Nice !

Whales and whale-like groups have (unfair) advantages on the influence on posts.

With greater power comes greater responsibility.

I disagree somewhat. I fail to see it as unfair that a user uses the stake he has paid or worked for. Everyone is allowed to buy more stake, and the purpose behind SP is to gain influence on the platform.

This is also why I accept the experiment; whales are using their stake as they see fit. It's in the code. This is a voluntary platform, and people can leave if they like. They can also build a competing platform if they so choose.

However, stakeholders carry responsibility by default: the value of their stake.

If people cash out and leave the platform, the value of a whale's stake plummets, and he loses.

With that being the case, it's impossible to have power without responsibility.

Therefore, there's no need to manually add an artificial "responsibility".

Downvoting is also in the code.

Yes, that was my point when I said that I can't argue with your experiment.

Good explanation - makes all sense but curious to see what will happen now? What will be the resolution of the experiment? Are you working on improving or just investing @abit ?

So - what is next :-)?

My friend @abit . Actually, as I said 10 whales to more than a million Post daily. Something worth thinking about?
But what is the equation which is worth thinking about and be The equation equal. Between whales minority. And some other users.
How is attracting other whales ????

This is a hard question. I don't have an answer.

New ideas reproduce every moment. Wait for the results of the new changes

I have an idea for a change in your experiment... i hope youll hear me out.

Whales have by far the greatest effect when they pile onto already well paid posts -- because they create the most vshares and drive up the number of vshares required to earn money.

A problem i have noticed with your experiment is that you seem to have inadvertently targeted some weird edge cases where a small whale is voting for a post with very little additional support. What you end up doing is knocking half the vshares off of a post making like 2 or 3 bucks.

Even taken in the aggregate, all the vshares earned from cases like this would be unlikely to have a significant impact on overall vshare value -- the extra vshare value youre creating all happens at the top of the payout list, not the bottom.

For example, users like @dreemit and @barrydutton. The whale votes canceled out there seem like they would have only added a dollar or two of value to a post worth less than a dollar.

IMO, it would be worthwhile to ignore whale votes that say were on a post of less than like 2 bucks and also added less than 2 bucks...

Even though i think the histrionic reaction to this has been over the top in many cases, i can sort of understand the bad feeling when someone gets $3 for a post total, then $2 gets knocked because it came from a relatively small whale.... the bad feelings created in a situation like this does not seem to justify the relatively small gain for the ecosystem.

I realize that even if its not much money/vshares, it still helps them achieve "linear escape velocity" but IMO that isnt such a bad thing if another whale doesnt pile on later. (and if he does, you can deal with that then, imo)

Thanks for the suggestion. Actually I'm going towards this way already.

//Edit: By the way, if an author can only get a vote from one whale but few or no vote from dolphins, IMHO that means he/she is not doing good enough, it's better if he/she can improve but not only complain.

Hi there. I appreciate sigmajin putting in a word for me like that, though I haven't been complaining, that's not really in my nature. In fact if you see my recent posts, I've been doing my utmost to keep everything and everyone positive. Also, I do have a significant number of minnows supporting my work and a few dolphins as well. These past couple of days a few less than usual, because there are a number of people 'taking a break' or so I've heard.

EDIT: I should also mention that the first day of the experiment, most people had no idea what was happening. Once I did find out, I no longer had a problem with it. I believe that you have steemit's best interests at heart abit, you have proven that over and over, with the way you upvote comments at the top of the list. I appreciate you.

how to cope with groups of whales easier,

It's a hard question. I don't have an answer.

thank you for responding to my comments
@abit : I appreciate you

Should it not be ignored if a whale votes with 1% or something that makes their vote not a whale vote?

Currently @curie are voting with 10%. They have around 10K MVESTS. Not a big deal IMHO.

My bot ignores low power votes (by a combination of SP and vote %)

Image someday we have one million new posts a day, 10 whales with 40 votes each can only vote for 400 posts in total, and probably many votes will go to same posts, what will the other 999,600 authors think?

This is an interesting question. First, we have to take into account that community functionality will exists in the blockchain by then (hopefully). In practice, it means that those communities where the whales are, will be much more valuable than other communities.

I'd also guess that the amount of whales will reduce when the price of steem goes up and they sell part of their stake.

I'm not sure whether the community feature will work well.

SP delegation, which will be introduced in HF 17 will make the process of becoming a "whale" more fluid. Suppose some minnows and a few dolphins could delegate some of their SP power and create a minnow-dolphin-made whale. This is a process that becomes, as I said very fluid. It can change on a daily, maybe hourly, basis.

What potential problems do you see with that?

Putting something at stake (like combining tipping with the reward pool, which I proposed a week ago) will alleviate the effects of mega-whales?

Also, is this a result of the test you ran? Is the test over? Should we expect any other random actions from you that will tilt the reward pool in completely unexpected ways, just so you can clarify some stuff, without giving a dime on what other people are doing or why they are even here, on this platform?

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not upset or angry, I'm incredibly curious. What happened here on Steemit during the last couple of weeks was very, very strange. It felt almost surreal.

I think you might be misunderstanding the point of delegation of power. We don't need minnows and dolphins to unite and create a new whale with 40 megavotes. We need whales to distribute their power to amplify the thousands of votes which are now worthless.

I don't think I misunderstand the point of delegation of power. I understand what we "need". This is not always what we get, though.

Such a feature could be used in the way I described and I was curious to know other points of view. If the Steem blockchain can process dozens of thousands of transactions per second, it could, theoretically, create a different mega-whale every second.

I didn't give it too much thought before I saw the release notes. But now it looks like it increases the attack surface on the blockchain, leaving the reward pool even more vulnerable to collusive behavior.

But I may be wrong. That's why I'm asking around.

You're correct. That feature can be (ab)used that way.
But delegation is not able to change at will. One can cancel a delegation at any time, but to prevent abuse, she only can re-use that SP after 7 days.

That's better. There is a 7 days buffer between the delegation and potential re-use of that SP. In this case, the attack surface is significantly smaller and a mega-whale can be formed only every 7 days. Still vulnerable, but at a smaller scale.

Thanks for clarifying this to me.

I think you might be misunderstanding the point of delegation of power. We don't need minnows and dolphins to unite and create a new whale with 40 megavotes. We need whales to distribute their power to amplify the thousands of votes which are now worthless.

with an exponential rewards curve, whales would be penalized (in terms of influence) for doing this. It may be what we need, but it is not nec. what well get.

thanks for more information - that is always good. I didn't know that - the accelerating threshold. kudos to you for doing this!

I'm too lazy to draw lines.. Hope someone can do that ;)

Great insight, @abit

Good information. What a Whale IS has been a confusing thing? This helps clarify this.

Thank you. Now how do you propose to get other whales on board? Currently with a minority this experiment is premature (slash overdue)

Most whales are on board one way or another. They are other not voting with high weight (the largest group), are voting to counter other whales, or are being countered.

Thank you for posting @abit.

It is making a positive difference for those who desire to bring value to Steemit and their fellow Steemians who have thus far been unable to.

@dumar022, @meesterboom and @exyle have already written posts concerning this happening and the weight of responsibility that comes with it.

Appreciate the experiment and the new found responsibility.

Lovely principle you have there. All the best to you. Cheers.

Wow! A good read thanks for the info I'm new here so all the help I can get is great 😁👍🏽

This is really good for the platform! I'm curious how this test will end. Do you know the time when the hard fork is today? I don't want to miss it!

It's postponed.

Until when, do you know?

I believe it would be even later.
Mar 21 in the code is not the final decision.

Thank you very much! I don't want to miss it :D
You are a great witness, @abit!

Thank you for this, it's useful to know these numbers

Thanks for the explanation, @abit . I think your post is really useful to clarify the strategy behind this experiment to most of the users here. As a simple user on Steemit, I appreciate every clarification about it .

Why would there be a limit on the number of whales is this because of the 7k allowance?

Capital. You need some money to become a whale.

Remove the flags and anyone above 500k votes with a maximum weight of 20%, daily upvote limit of 100 per account.
I think we should increase the post limit to 10 posts total daily before penalties are assessed.
Enrollment from 6am-11:59pm.
Limit USERS to 2 accounts.
Witnesses get 3 accounts.
Limit of 1 million SP per account.
The excess over 1 million SP is added to Curation and Author pools.
Reduce initial SP amount for new accounts to 10 SP.
Periods of inactivity lasting more than 365 days result in SP automatically converted to SBD and transfered to SBD savings leaving at least 20 to retain curation privileges.

Please tell me what you think.

Follow Me if you wish.


Technically it's unable to "limit" how many accounts one person can control.
Enrollment: consider timezones.
Too much SBD is risky for the system as a whole.
Check , there are already some changes will come soon.

I fully agree with the experiment (is it still ongoing, or finished by now?) to see what happens with the reward distribution, and activity levels when the high power individuals / members are not voting anymore. Days into the experiment I'm sad so many people being against it, and some even stopped blogging or even stopped being a witness.

I'm looking forward to results and interpretations of it. Do you plan to create this soon? Or maybe you already done that?

I do agree we need to discuss further how to create a community with rules (technical/procedural) allowing the community to grow and with that the underlying currency to grow. What puzzles me is the size of the reward pool. According to @frystikken this is today around 7k$ (well by now maybe 10k-15k$ with the increase of Steem value last couple of days). If we would have 20k posts per day, or even 100k posts per day, then the average reward per post is far below 1$. Will rewarding than still be something that will work? That can be used as THE argument for people to create blogs over here instead of somewhere else?

The "experiment" is going on. I didn't analyze the data produced, perhaps some other people will do it before me.

If we have much more posts per day, we expect that price of STEEM token will be higher, so we'll have bigger average reward size.

Steem value. Only time will tell. I think Steem requires more than 'just' the blogging service as we have it. Tools for Brands needs to be created so that they will pay for using Steemit as a channel for interaction with their fans and the wider community. This will increase the value of Steem. The blogging service as we have it today will not add a lot more value to Steem as a currency. At least that is how I look at it right now; As someone who is very new to all of this virtual currencies and all; So my opinion and ideas may change when understanding all of this in more depth.