How Would You Improve Steem? Lets Look At The Voting Protocol
There is always endless discussion of how Steem can be improved. It is easy to complain but very few provide any solutions. So in this post I would like to offer some of my potential solutions and have a discussion with Steem users to see what you would suggest along these lines.
In any online cryptocurrency community you are going to have a large number of people willing to exploit the system for their own benefit regardless of the expense to the system as a whole. Then you are going to have a core user base that actually works within the system to maintain its goals. The only way to prevent the systematic exploitation is to change the rules the system operates under.
With any cryptocurrency that means changing the protocol. By the protocol I mean the base code that defines the rules of operation for this specific blockchain ledger, Steem. Steemit.com as you probably know is a 3rd layer application applied over the Steem protocol. In order to change the internal operations of the system for all users it is necessary to change the protocol.
Below I have made a list of suggestions I think could offer some potential positive feedback within the Steem system. If you see problems with these suggestions, improvements, or your own ideas of how to re-balance Steem for the better please comment below.
Limit self voting payouts from the same account for one since it is seriously draining the payout pool. This will again reestablish the ability for people to earn more legitimate payouts. People will still use socks and voting bots to self vote but this requires more effort and potentially more content creation to support those accounts. It won't stop self voting but will at least raise the barrier of difficulty with minimal negative impact to legitimate use.
Increase the depletion of voting power when voting for comments. A lot of the abuse is being funneled thru comments, and they require comparatively little effort compared to posts. If people still find comments very useful they can still vote for them but they will do so more selectively, and this will also make it more difficult to funnel money out of the payout pool to ones own accounts, and leave more for people creating the main content.
A scaling increased voting power cost could be implemented for voting for the same user from the same account multiple times within a set period of blocks or time. This would increase the burden of using bot voting significantly, reduce self voting, and force users to diversify their votes in order to earn curation rewards.
A reduced cost of voting power for voting for accounts you have never voted for would encourage people to find and vote for posters they never voted for before encouraging more distribution of votes.
An account stats page that displays the centralization of a users voting patterns to allow users to easily see who is voting for the same users over and over again. This could be done by a 3rd party. I have seen some users compile lists like this manually. Public shaming of such activity and making them more visible so users can take action would be useful.
Some kind of balancing system that would reduce the reputation of a user if they continually voted for the same users over and over without voting for other users they vote on less. In essence every time they vote for user A without voting for users B-Z, it would start reducing their rep. The same could also be applied to voting power rather than reputation.
Create an alternative vote that would be the same in all ways except without a payout, and costing less voting power. This would incentivize users to up vote content they like to increase its visibility rather than to produce a payout for either party. This would free up more funds to be distributed in the voting pool. I think a lot of users here would be happy with just having their content read even if it didn't pay much, but it is hard to get noticed being drown out by all the auto voted content.
Anyways this isn't an easy problem to solve, and none of my suggestions are fool proof but simply ideas to raise the barriers of difficulty for auto voting and self voting via proxies. Nonetheless you get the idea of what I am suggesting with this list, a protocol enforced system of incentivizing organic voting over bot voting or self voting by creating a cost to those voting patterns.
Can you see any technical issues why these strategies would not work or would be counterproductive? More importantly can you think of your own suggestions for ways to improve the Steem protocol? Thanks for reading.
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