Amazing profit potential! Here's how to earn a whopping $8,500 per year by locking up $250,000!

in #steem5 years ago (edited)


I'm a Steem user who today operates with ~200,000 Steem Power, which is worth ~$250,000 at time of writing. The table above are my total rewards per week. I have not been posting on this main account for personal reasons, so the rewards above are purely from curation. That's ~123 Steem Power per week, which is about ~$165 at current prices.

Now, I want to make it clear that I'm not claiming to be some super hardworking Steem user who's contributing to the platform all the time to deserve massive rewards compared to all the frequent posters and bidbot entrepreneurs. In fact, 70-80% of my votes these days are automated. Call it account curation. I shift my votes around every now and then using SteemAuto as a vote management tool.

Alright so from doing what I do, which is pretty much 70-80% passive at this point, my returns is ~$165 with $250,000 total in Steem Power locked up in current prices. That's 0.066% per week. Roughly extrapolating and assuming Steem's price stays the same, that's $8,500 per year with ~$250,000 locked up. A whopping 3.6% returns per year in the beginnings of a high-growth platform. Being sarcastic here.

How to earn a minimum of 6x more than $8,500 per year with $250,000 locked up as Steem Power?

Truth is, even the most active and effective curators and curation services with the same amount of Steem Power as me (or actually any amount of SP under the current model) would earn just 2x more at most under Steem's current economic model. To earn substantially more than 2x in the order of 6x minimum, I can dedicate my Steem Power for the following:-

  1. Post more to self-vote more.

  2. Vote trading (selling to bidbots, buying from bidbots, be the bidbot, delegating to middlemen that promise ~100% returns or exchange votes with other users).

By dedicating my Steem Power this way, I get to earn about $13.91 (100% vote) x 10 (times a day) x 365 (days per year) = $50,771 per year minimum from just paying myself to post anything at all. That's a minimum of 6x increase from actually curating content and accounts on the network. Not bad, if I'm actually posting stuff that adds to the platform all the time. But statistically, 90% of self-voted posts will just be counter-productive for the platform.

Yes this is the majority of Steem's activities right now.

The effects of Steem Power maximisation under Steem's current economy.

Based on the above: since (2) fuels (1) effectively as they're really the same thing, all this really amounts to is posting more for the sake of it. It can also be automated. This is terrible for user experience and Steem's economy in every sense:-

  1. Both author and non-author types force themselves to post frequently, even on days or weeks or months when they have no good content to contribute at all.

  2. This results in massive spamming, making it way more difficult to curate content and accounts on the platform (and ironically it also looks like curation is the worst way to earn on Steem at the moment).

The platform is worse off from everyone maximising their Steem Power this way. And let's admit it: 90% of people can't be posting all the time because not everyone's fit to contribute posts on a social content platform, just like how 90% of businesses flop 90% of the time.

But Steem's price could increase.


You may say that my estimated earnings per year is based on a static Steem price, which doesn't reflect potential massive earnings if I just hold. Look, Steem may go up to $100 or down to $0.10 or whatever. Due to reasons (1) and (2), I think it would be fair to say that the price wouldn't skyrocket. And that's besides the point. The point is that the economy's incentivising what is considered to be bad behaviour for a social content platform.

Make Steem Power attractive.

For it to be attractive, the economy needs to avoid incentivising behaviours (1) and (2) the most. This can be achieved by making curation a profitable game. Voting for the sake of it is much better than posting for the sake of it. In short, voting spam is much more manageable for community self-regulation if compared to posting spam. Voting as a game can be shaped to improve the platform.

Further for Steem Power's attractiveness, it needs to be working in favor of the platform while providing good returns for its holders. Steem is actually a massive multiplayer game of content and curation. With an economy that encourages more voting instead of posting, the community can shape the voting game and come up with curation services over time to improve the network as a social content platform. Great curation is a skill. Content creation too. They're trainable, but don't be mistaken that everybody can do it at all times.

Now Steem Power is just not very nice to hold, since it's mostly fueling activities that doesn't add to the platform as a whole.

Make Steem a 50/50 money.

A simple observation of how human nature handles money is that most people love to earn something back from a business transaction. So let's just make it intrinsic to voting. Give users ~50% of their votes back just from curating if they play the game right. Roughly-speaking, doing so will net anyone $25,000 per year by locking up $250,000 and exercising their votes. That's 10% returns per year on a potential high-growth platform in the early years. Not too bad, and not too crazy.

The current Steem economy is providing curators with ~1-2% returns per year while the rest is going to non-curation activities, which yields far superior returns in the order of 20% or more. It's no wonder why the chain is filled with spam and abusive behaviours. Changing Steem's economy will bring the gap closer to the region of ~10% - a middle ground and close to the ~8.5% annual inflation rate at time of writing. I think investor types will be happy with this setup without resorting to post spamming all that much.

To achieve this, I'll echo the proposal here:-

  • 50% curation rewards. This doesn't automatically make Steem a 50/50 money as it doesn't guarantee that 50% of votes given out are returned, just like our current economy of 25% curation rewards that actually returns ~13% in average.

  • Capped modest superlinear. This encourages curation on great content as it provides far greater returns if the game is played right. Steem Power holders can also opt for skilled curation services to provide better returns over doing curation on their own. This should yield ~50% voting returns in average. Also, there will be less spam because post spamming and self-voting wouldn't yield results that are as good under Steem's current purely linear economy.

  • Increased downvoting incentives. This is the way to shape voting behaviour on Steem. The capped modest superlinear proposal above also will congregate abusive votes on spams and will be much easier to stomp out and be regulated by the community. Under Steem's current linear economy with costly downvotes, rewarded spam is distributed flatly across the network, making it hard to manage.

For a much more elaborate take on the matter, check out my previous post about this matter:

Thanks for reading!

At the time of writing, both Steem and Tauchain are two of my greatest interests in the blockchain space. Both of these projects have good potential if done right: Steem as a specialised application with proven usage, and Tauchain as a truly dynamic general blockchain that could overcome the bottlenecks of mass collaboration (new website coming soon). Please smash that follow button and subscribe to @kevinwong for more.

Note: earlier this post had an annual curation earnings error by a factor of 4.5x, so I've changed the figure from $2,000 to $8,500. Thanks @crypto-econom1st for spotting the mistake.


Thanks for reminding me all about how today, rather than posting, I could have used my whopping 22000SP to upvote ten cheesy comments, like this, and earned more than I did after I spent a few hours producing some fancy shmancy new art and writing a solid post meant to encourage users here to start paying attention to one another.

Also, since I could have earned more doing that, I'd be cutting off over 100 accounts who've received over 200 votes within the past week from me, personally; and I bet that would cheer them up enough to love this place more! Hooray! Sarcasm is fun!

Now, seriously, is this what we want? I can do that, you know.

I don't care what kind of change happens but some change obviously needs to happen because after being here this long (nearly two years), and producing that much content (well over 500 posts published, with new art and writing in majority of them), I should still be wanting to climb the ladder and further my blogging career; not stop doing what I love just so I can vote up less effort than this, 10 times per day, while cutting off over 100 other members from earning as well. Is this a good time to say derp, or no?

Here's your average long time content producer perspective. How does it sound? Bright future ahead? Hmmm? ;)

Don't forget bro, you are the proud creator of the shitpost award... never forget that!!!

Shit Post Award.jpg

hahahhaha that always cracked me up

I've given that to myself a few times. I deserved it though, plus nobody else ever gives me an award. Hopefully nobody has a problem with self awarding. Maybe I should just flag myself? Yeah. I better.

i have a problem with self awarding.

flags him

No wait, first you need to self UPvote your shitpost THEN you should call yourself out for it, and flag it. That would be a much more sustainable passive aggressive income style imho.

Then, after all of that is said and done, I could write a post calling myself a bully and a censor, then boost it to the top of trending as I blame Steemit Inc. and Ned along with every whale, orca and dolphin along with some random witnesses.

We're going to need a series of sockpuppet arm chair quarterbacks on both sides of your issues, and letters of appeal to quit this behavior, as well as trolling, begging and add-on copy cat fan boi posts. Then pundit broadcasters, and spin off derivative engagements.

This is highly inappropriate imagery. My mum's around lol.

You're right and I should know better, but I don't, for some strange reason. I took care of it though. Since I flagged it, I guess I should throw a fit now and go start a flag war with myself or something. I hope you fine people have a good day.

P.S. Hi Kevin's mum!

Spot on!! Steemit needs the community to survive not autobots upvoting. Take the time and read some great post by fellow members and give them the upvote yourself.

Thanks for the proposals. I'd still like to see passive investors earn a return so that they don't need to post OR vote in order to earn money (which would keep out a lot of junk and help limit the content to those who are truly interested in it). But your idea on curation rewards would be better than what we have currently.

Of course they need to still stick around. But perhaps @kevinwong is proposing passive self-voting/bidbot-voting to be less OP than it is currently. And i agree with him.

I think I've seen a few posts proposing changes like that, and they're ones I tend to agree with. Increasing the SP or steem interest rewards on locked SP with idle voting power would definitely discourage idiots from meddling with the rewards pool.

Hi Kevin, I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately, and even wrote a post on it. Not sure if I am correct but here is what I think:

I think that even if we implement the improvement you mentioned it may not be enough to drive the price of STEEM in the long run. I think the STEEM price is currently dominantly governed by investors speculating on the price of STEEM. They wouldn't know all the payment mechanics in steemit, they wouldn't know what the benefits and issues with it. They might even be just technically analysing the hell out of the price charts without knowing the fundamentals of it. I think this is reflected from the fact that we have yet to be able to free ourselves from following the trends of BTC.

In order for STEEM to go up in the long run independent of other cryptos especially BTC, there needs to be a organic demand that is not related to price speculation. Unfortunately, improving steemit may not be one of them. And that's because most new content creators are here attracted by the fact that they can earn money from creating contents - for free. Not to invest money in it to self-vote. Similarly, even increasing the curation % to 50/50 is not going to attract new demands of people buying STEEM just so that they could get this curation reward. That's because if it is just a passive income people want, they can just put it in a bank or traditional financial products. Putting money in STEEM for the sake of curation reward is only logical if the person speculate that STEEM will go up in the long run. Again, something dependent on, not drive, the price of STEEM.

Of course, we could also try to slow down supply by retaining users through improvement of steemit. But my question is then again, how much of the powering down is due to they are frustrated with steemit, or that they just see that the crypto-wave is over? I guess this will not be easy to find out.

Anyways, I see the improvement of just steemit and its mechanics as you outlined can slow down supply by retaining users, and potentially increases the number of users on steemit. To me this could create a demand for STEEM if we have a large enough user base for true advertising value. However, with most user's attitude towards self-advertising, I am not sure if this would be enough to attract demand. (Don't get me wrong, I hate crap trending posts myself and downvoted a particularly bad one, but we have to face the fact that these people would have bought STEEM to achieve that and therefore, would have helped pushed STEEM price up, even if just a little).

The only other option we have left is to make STEEM into a self-sustainable economy. Non-STEEM users need to be attracted through goods and services that can only be bought with STEEM, and that there are enough good and services that once you own STEEM, users do not have to sell STEEM to buy what they need. Only then would STEEM's price go up.

A good example is Steemmonster. If Steemmonster becomes such a good game and becomes viral, gamers will flock in to buy STEEM just so that they can play or own these cards. That will be a healthy demand of STEEM. I think this may be why Ned and his team is concentrating on SMT too. If we for example, have a photography SMT where people can buy and sell photos, and then they can use a different SMT to say view exclusive contents (blogposts, videos, etc) that can only be bought using SMT, then eventually we might achieve a point where once people buy into STEEM, they can get what they want by changing into different SMT without needing to sell STEEM. This would then truly drive demand of STEEM without being tied to the wimp of investors.

Sorry for the long reply. Just thought that this might add to the debate. Ideally, steemit inc should work on both improving steemit and SMT in parallel. But may be they do not have enough resources, in which case it seems to me that SMT development is much more important than fixing steemit for the good of the whole blockchain.

Yes, SMTs and all are great ideas and stuff like Steemmonsters will still be possible. The proposal is strictly to leverage on improving Steemit's funnel as a social content platform in the short-med term to catch up ahead of the pack of crypto in webrankings. Now it's slipping up. Thanks for your input, much appreciated!

To be very frank, I think that people such as yourself and others who curate others who can't return the favor are fast becoming a rare breed. I think it would almost be beneficial to everyone if there was a mass defection towards self-serving behavior nearest the most profitable blockchain-level activity possible so as to remove the paltry semblance of human activity that remains which is currently on life support as we speak in order to force witnesses to the bargaining table. People who see the big picture shouldn't have to subsidize the short-term gains of whales who refuse to interact with human beings.

50% going to curators would be more beneficial for people that have a lot of SP because they could actually earn a sizable amount of money from curating. Unfortunately I don't think spammers and shit posters would benefit much from this because they generally don't have much SP anyway. Either they can curate content and get 50% of their $0.001 vote back or they can shitpost and earn more than that as long as they don't get flagged.

But I agree. I spent thousands of dollars on SP and it is pretty lame to make such little money from your own votes. Spending over $200k to make $2000 per year just isn't right. That money could have been used to start a sizable business and earn wayyyy more.

People with more money always earn more money. They can earn more by selling their votes. They can earn more by posting for the sake of posting and 'promoting' their own content by voting for it, and they can even earn more by doing nothing at all and collecting vesting rewards. Finally they can earn more by exiting (selling) Steem altogether and putting their money to work somewhere else.

People with more money making more isn't a reason to do something or not to do anything (other than perhaps if advocating for an explicitly redistributionist mechanism). It is almost always an appeal to an emotional argument (jealousy, us-against-them class divisions, etc.). The better analysis to look at structural incentives both ways, and which way results in a better/healthier ecosystem.

Hahahaha, about 0,8% return on annual bases and calling this sarcastic? Real life interest rates from banks are then also a joke! :) Owwww, indeed, that is a joke! BUT, the good side of things of about 10 years of low interest rates is that apartments prices in eg my home town of Amsterdam skyrocketed allowing only the 'rich' people to be able to afford to buy a home in the city. Ah well, I guess all those who are not 'rich' can earn extra money through Steemit to move themselves up the chain of richness. Another good thing of Steem is, one can earn some money on top of trading cryptos! Agree with your wish to try and change things, we need to. I throw in another one: Remove Steemit, remove the blogging service, simply return to the mechanism of a crypto blockchain. Create a real game out of the distribution of Steem, without a real human readable UI, and see what happens. Funny as well, now Steem is a bit lower in fiat value, I read many posts and comments the amount of activity on our blockchain decreased. Or is this related to our founding father Ned powering down all his SP he didn't delegate to others? Is he now running away?

Crypto life was, is, and will stay a gamble for the considerable future. Kinda Las Vegas but a more interesting rollercoaster :)

Negative rates are a whole different issue completely and also adversely change one's finances and incentivize idiotic spending and loan-making hence the giant speculation bubble we've seen. Though you'd need to be earning north of high 8.something percent this year to be breaking even here considering how much steem is to be printed yearly.

Agree, inflation is much more than 0,8% in Steem land, but then again, the fiat value of Steem is going with much higher fluctuations making any interest payments on Steem more or less irrelevant. Why going for maximum return with bots and all giving maybe the 20 to 25% return on Steem while Steem decreased 6 times in US$ value in last 6 months, and can gain 10's of percent on daily bases?

Can't control the value changes on the open markets, but you can definitely control how SP holders are rewarded within the STEEM ecosystem. And given that there is still powered up SP there is clearly at least some interest in increasing SP holdings from within the platform as opposed to just relying on making trades. Also, it is extremely tax inefficient to be making trades to try to grow steem holdings depending on your country of origin.

Agree we as individuals can't control the open market, but somehow it sounds strange to me to talk about some percentage gain in something we do with our SP while the fiat value of Steem is way more volatile and makes any gain on interest, curation or whatever more or less irrelevant. When we would be able to pay our daily needs with Steem while the amount we pay for products and services is kinda stable, than I will have a different view, but so far, hardly anything can be paid with Steem that we require on a daily bases.

But yeh, when looking at the dynamics and economics within social networking around the Steem blockchain, I agree with you and Kevin and all those who believe we shall create a more honest and fair Steem distribution system based on Proof of Brain, meaning more or less: when putting in the work, and providing some sort of value add to social networking, should be able to get some rewards... with the aim to more equalise the playing field and driving towards more equal power distribution.

Man, you keep sparking my curiosity about how I could be multiplying my returns with the bid shit - 6x sounds great compared to what have been making from curation lately. But, really just couldn’t be bothered - not sure if it’s outright laziness and indifference, or some deeper philosophical values in my subconscious preventing me from engaging that route...

Can’t really blame others for taking advantage of the opportunity, though. I probably would if I came across a totally simplified “for dummies” guide on how...

I think if you turn "evil" and haejin Steem, I would lose so much faith on the platform its not even funny. Sorry to put pressure on you, but I got you on the short list of the ethical orcas, its a very short list.

Sometimes I think maybe it's perhaps more ethical to join the race and accelerate Steem's freefall so change can happen quicker. It's been dragged on for so long since people like us are holding out in a hopeless situation.

I don't know about that Kevin, I mean, I understand what you mean. But at the same time you are assuming that Steem would actually recover. Maybe you have more faith in humanity than I do, but psychology of the masses is a subject I don't dominate enough to assert anything with confidence.

I realize as a SP holder your returns are not fantastic in the least, but I'm willing to say there are some creative ways you can find a win/win.

There are some community builders, community leaders who would not hesitate renting some SP at a good rate to help them build the communities.

Granted, that's not ideal, but currently as you've pointed out, the system does not allow for a Steem investor to make anything fantastic in returns.

Of course, I'm not attempting to tell you what you should do with your stake, I know better. But, with all due respect I believe there are creative ways you can make a lot of money with it, without compromising your moral compass.


Haha. I appreciate that feedback. :-)

Yeah same here as well, but it's a sucky feeling to be the sucker lol. I think from a UX perspective, linear econs is making FOMO out of most people, it's a feeling that lingers and I don't think it's good. The econs should be more chilled out, and the proposal may be able to achieve that.

You bring up a great point. Right now, the only value I see in Steem Power is the potential to self vote, to provide a minimum payout to one's own post. Nobody really cares about the curation awards, unless they have A LOT of Steem Power, but then again, as you say, that Steem Power is better utilized on self voting.

In my opinion, for curation to be inspiring enough to work well, There should be some real profits to make. When you find a good post you should be thinking "YES; I FOUND A GREAT POST AND IT HAS ALMOST NO VOTES. YES!". Right now we're just thinking "YEAH; WHATEVER, $0.001 FOR ME".

I imagine there should be some algorithm to accomplish this, like collecting a percentage of rewards from all posts and concentrating them on voters who manage to bring up good content, with some mechanism to compensate a bit for posts that always make it to the top.

The most powerful people on the blockchain are the witnesses, as they are the ones who can make fundamental change to the core code of the blockchain. What to they think about Steem?

What is Steem to most of these people? Bitcoin is a alternative monetary system, Ethereum is a vehicle to power smart contract, Speculation aside these are what bring them value.

So what brings value to each Steem token?

And does that reflect the truth? Does operating and participating in the bidbot industry bring any value the Steem Blockchain?

Unfortunately to most people they dont bother asking these questions as they chase the short term dollars. Arguably these people will be the first to leave as soon as some other form of passive income comes around. I'd say that these people holds no value to the Steem Community.

I never really voice out what i thought of the steem blockchain reflectively. I but think having a general consensual understanding to what the steem blockchain is before we can move on to real change.

Otherwise most of us are just nitpicking details.

As I recently found out, they really can only veto Steemit Inc's wishes pretty much. But yeah I suppose they could be developers as well and propose changes. But quarter of them are too busy with EOS, some others too busy posting and bidbotting, most are non-devs. All in all, the incentives are aligned for them not to do too much for the platform really. How can there be almost nothing done for a year in a nascent platform? Mind boggling, but I guess it takes more time for experience, hard to fault anyone. That's the weakness of DPOS i guess, it's the same IRL when there's high salary positions with guaranteed payout, instead of POW's piecemeal mining.

Bidbot owners will just defend their bread and butter til the end of time with whatever reasons.

I've a feeling we're just waiting for Tauchain for any discussions and consensus to move forward effectively, like any crypto projects or traditional businesses out there, but I guess more important for decentralised networks.

But quarter of them are too busy with EOS, some others too busy posting and bidbotting, most are non-devs

Im hoping the "D" in DPOS can mean democrazy too.. I guess the Steem community hasnt reached a size where the non-whale majority has enough to overpower the minority. Its the reason why DPOS was create in the first place. I guess there will always in attack surfaces to a blockchain in the most unexpected human ways.

That as well as the sad truth that many account owners don't know about the witness voting feature of their steem account. It's why community grassroot-level awareness spreading is so important. I'd argue along with @aantonop that the biggest contribution a blockchain user can do is not in monetary terms but by telling people and sharing the right information for awareness. more so for Steem when its still widely misunderstood in the public zeitgeist.

I actually dont blame bidbot operators despite how i may sound like. It's just that underpricing their votes not only make them lose money but hurts the platform overall. There are cases where Bitbots are certainly justified.
But if a person can literally double their steem and "use money to buy more money", it hits at what is fundamentally the value behind the steem blockchain. When Steem loses value, bitbot owners will get hurt too.. So they have alot of skin in the game.

Who would invest (not just monetarily) in a cryptocurrency when any dick can shitpost and pay for guaranteed profit with no regards to what they post let alone quality of content. Im not suggesting bidbot owners to close shop.. But at least dont make what is happening possible.

You got me interested in Tauchain but to be honest at this stage it's really still way over what i am able to comprehend. Maybe i should learn more stuff before tackling the whitepaper.

I proposed hiring OCI to do dev work for us, and they are open to it. I posted about it here and talked to some witnesses about it. The response wasn't that enthusiastic so far (other than @smooth wanting to know more).

I think a 50% curation would drive engagement up a ton. Might get more people talking, upvoting and enjoying the potential relationships that can be built here.

I'm not what you would call a big time investor but I did join STEEM at it's peak and have invested thousands into this blockchain. Mostly because I believe in people and the potential something like this has.

Great post sir. Food for thought indeed. I'll bow out to you guys with more experience here...But as a minnow and someone newer, posts like this give me faith in the blockchain :)

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