Demystifying STEEM: Voting and Rewards

in #steem2 months ago (edited)

Demystifying STEEM is a series of posts targeted to new Steemians and for people outside of the STEEM blockchain.

The purpose is to try and break down the many complexities of the STEEM blockchain, its acronyms and the current facts and falsehoods associated with it.


I say ‘current’ because within 6 months some of the things I say may well no longer be relevant. It is an evolving experiment, and little remains static.

It's little wonder that the retention rate is abysmal given the huge learning curve a new person needs to endure. Without some guidance, most give up quite soon deeming it bewildering and over-complicated.


Most people are initially attracted to STEEM for the money. Despite what everyone says about, ‘I’m not in this for the money’, most of us really are or we would not be here.

Now I'm going to get the smart-arse twat who pipes up, 'I'm not', so I would say to them, ‘Why don’t you go post your content on Facebook, Reddit or Medium then?

…’yes, there is money to be made if you like to work for less than minimum wage.’…

So why bother, the money is bad.., you just said it!

Well, that's easy to answer. Because everywhere else gives you 'NOTHING', that's why.

I have said it many times and I'll say it again. 'DON'T DO IT FOR THE MONEY.'


I don't much like the word 'money' as the technical term is 'rewards'. By posting or curating using SteemPeak you can gain rewards in the form of STEEM, STEEM Power, and STEEM Dollars.

  • Posting means creating some kind of blog content yourself.
  • Curating means voting up or down the content of other Steemians.

STEEM is the BASE Cryptocurrency and is considered a liquid asset. Liquid meaning you can trade it for BitCoin. In turn, BitCoin can be traded for Pounds, Dollars or Euros.

STEEM Power (or SP) is converted STEEM that increases your Voting Power (VP). The more VP you have the greater your vote weight or influence is.

1 STEEM = 1 STEEM Power.

STEEM Power is not liquid but can be powered down over 13 weeks, which is 1/13th per week. Powering down means it becomes STEEM again and trade worthy.

STEEM Dollars (SBD) is yet another cryptocurrency you can earn as author rewards. 1 SBD is supposed to equal 1 US Dollar, but this is rarely the case as it fluctuates in value.


Reward Types

Author Reward: A varying amount of STEEM, SP and sometimes SBD you can gain for creating a post. Author rewards are sometimes a combination of STEEM and SP and at other times, SP and SBD.


...'Author rewards are gained both via your posts and comment rewards, the latter generally given to you by others'...

Curation Reward: A varying amount of SP you can gain for voting someone else’s content.


...'Curation Rewards as shown by, these are awarded in the form of STEEM Power (SP)'...

Author rewards are sent to your STEEM wallet 7 days after your post was created.

Your cut of Curation rewards is sent to to your STEEM wallet when the author rewards are paid for that 'someone else's' post or content.

Until day 7, any pending reward is just that. It’s not yours until it has been delivered to your wallet.


Where does the money come from?

…’The following explanations are simple, for newbie’s and not exact for the purist readers’…

It doesn’t come out of thin air, or does it?..., yes it does.

Like our banks who print money every day (yes they do!), STEEM produces more STEEM every day which is called the 'reward pool'.

STEEM is inflationary, just like Sterling, Euros or the US Dollar.

It's filled every day and emptied by the days' end. You can get a cut of this STEEM, depending on certain factors.

  • Your write blog posts or articles
  • You curate
  • You are a witness

I’ll leave the last one alone for the moment as your brain may be bursting as you read this (if you are new or not even here yet).

  • 'Your write blog posts or articles'

Simple, write something, add some pictures and in 7 days you will get 50% of the displayed pending reward.

50%, WTF... I thought I got the full amount?


...'you may think you are going to get STEEM to the value of $14.10. Well, no you don't'...

Well, that brings me to point number two.

  • 'You curate'

Curate means to vote. You see, those people who have been giving you votes (that is using their STEEM power stake), want something in return.

...'a cut of your reward'...*

The other 50% is split amongst the voters.


...'if we vote your stuff up, then we get part of your booty, fairs fair!'...

Simply put, the bigger their vote; the bigger their cut.

It's not as simple as this, but hopefully, this makes sense.

You can vote on other people's blogs or articles and get a split portion of this ‘other’ 50% too.

Here comes the catch. The more STEEM you have powered up, the bigger your cut.


...'@grindle's account has 65SP, but it really has none. The SP is loaned or delegated to it for the moment but works the same way as if it was his own SP'...

As a newbie, you will have just 15 STEEM Power (SP). It’s probably not enough to get even the smallest slice of curation and that 15 STEEM is not exactly yours.

it’s a loan, that will last until you have 15 STEEM Power of your own’

To get in on this, you need to buy STEEM and power it up. It’s like holding shares and getting a dividend, only daily.

But you're new, and you don't want to buy STEEM or invest anything.

That's OK because it's not necessary to buy any, but it will accelerate your growth tremendously if you do.


The Importance of Voting

Vote often, but not too often as you only have so much Voting Power (VP). Voting Power regenerates over time, and simply put you have TEN 100% votes you can use every day.

24 hours later the VP expended on those TEN votes is back in your Voting Pool. Confused?, I am not surprised.


...'the @grindle account has been voting, you can see the VP is below 100%. He also has recently received some rewards'...

I use the excellent Steemworld to monitor my VP. Use it in a browser session and you will find it an imperative tool though some use other means to monitor their VP.

To try and put things simply the 100% you see will become 80% if I cast TEN 100% votes on other people's content. That's 2% used per full vote.

Cast a 100% vote, refresh your [email protected] and you will see it.
Replace @yourname with your STEEM username.

Within 24 hours it will read 100% once again. It is wise never to leave your VP at 100% as you are then not fully utilising it.

Why is it important NEVER to have your VP at 100%?

It won’t get beyond 100%, there is no 200% VP!


...'some people overvote. It dilutes your voting weight significantly and I personally keep mine between 80% and 95% at all times'...

As I mentioned above you can gain curation rewards for voting on other people's content. The higher your VP is, the greater the weight your vote is, the greater your curation reward will be when the post pays out.

You can vote all day if you like and your VP will never reach 0%, but the weight will be so diluted it will no longer be worth using for voting purposes (if you have little SP).


STEEM Power and its Significance

STEEM Power gives you a larger vote weight which in turn gives you more influence and greater curation rewards.

As a new user, you will gain little or zero curation rewards, this is due to you having low STEEM Power.

You may think that your vote is worthless due to this fact, but I would implore you to still use your voting power no matter how small your VP may be.


...'STEEM is cheap right now but getting this much costs. It does feel good to be able to give back something to the people who helped me when I started'...

Don’t be tempted to use the vote slider if you have little SP. Cast 100% votes and you may gain a small curation reward.

This will restrict how many votes you can use per day, but take my advice and ALWAYS use 100% votes until you have a decent amount of VP.


...'Steempeak gives you a voting slider, if you are new and have a small amount of SP, vote at 100%'...

Don’t vote comments, vote on posts. With a small amount of VP comment voting will yield you nothing, unless you’re casting it for reasons other than monitory ones.

…’a vote on someone else’s post is a sign of appreciation no matter the weight, a genuine comment on someone else’s post can be worth a lot more’…

Claim your rewards. If you don't they will sit around unclaimed and your stake size will remain the same. Make use of the SP, STEEM and SBD's you gain as rewards.


...'you can use Steempeak to claim your rewards, tribe rewards too!'...

  • As a newbie, your rewards will mostly be made up of Author rewards.

  • As a large STEEM Power holder, your rewards will be mostly made up of Curation rewards.

You don’t need to buy into STEEM to gain rewards. I did, but I see it as a long-term investment with a daily dividend.

Just like owning shares in a blue-chip stock I own part of all this and reap my daily dividend, but unlike stocks, mine is delivered in SP (Steem Power) via curation rewards.




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Drooling Maniac.JPG

If you found this article so invigorating that you are now a positively googly-eyed, drooling lunatic with dripping saliva or even if you liked it just a bit, then please upvote, comment, resteem, engage me or all of these things.


Liking the comprehensive guide here and looks like you explained everything pretty well. Just wonder if there could be a way to make these beginners guides in bite size chunks and evergreen (obviously things are changing all the time which might make it tricky).

Good job on this, what can we write about next? I think I might cover Witnesses next

They do need to be in small chunks. There is so much to take in, it's no wonder most leave bewildered.

Engagement needs to be covered. Many start up and expect attention, and as we both know it's not gonna happen.

I just wonder if the first steps should be totally ignoring the "level 2" stuff (SP, VP, claiming rewards) and just the basic workings of the platform eg the "level 1" stuff (creating a blog, front ends, links to various communities) just to get started

I just wonder if the first steps should be totally ignoring the "level 2" stuff (SP, VP, claiming rewards) and just the basic workings of the platform eg the "level 1" stuff (creating a blog, front ends, links to various communities) just to get started

And we wonder why newbies get confused :) I see some vote up my comments on their posts, but nobody benefits from that. You need to give a comment at least 2c for it to pay out.

Let's see what the Tron deal means for all this...

I have some Tron in a wallet somewhere. Remember those giveaways I did 6 months back?

I may have sold mine for Steem :D

I liked this article a lot. But I've been on steem for a year and a half now. As simply as this is written, and for the first time ever I understood every single word (thank you!), I know as a newbie a lot of it would have made no sense to me at all.

I have some questions about RC - do newbies who have invested nothing get both 10 100% upvotes and RC that gets depleted when they post or comment? Is a comment the same "weight" as a blog post?

There are days I have so many obligations to upvote that I really have to use the slider or my vp tanks as low as 70%

Thanks for putting all this together. It answered a number of my questions and should be valuable to anyone, especially newbies.

Is this Tron business really going to change these very basic things a lot? Seems like most of this has been somewhat consistent as long as I have been here, with minor changes.

do newbies who have invested nothing get both 10 100% upvotes and RC that gets depleted when they post or comment?

At 15SP they will run into RC trouble quite fast. Yes, they get the 10 100% upvotes like us though. At 0SP they will have problems doing just about anything due to RC issues. In theory, they can still vote the 10 x 100% votes.

Is a comment the same "weight" as a blog post?

Hmmm, that's a good one. Maybe it is, but due to the curve, it won't appear the same. The number of vests generated by the vote may be equal but I can't say for certain.

There are days I have so many obligations to upvote that I really have to use the slider or my vp tanks as low as 70%

You have 1440 usable SP so your vote will yield curation rewards now, even at 40-50%. The example is for 15SP peeps.

Is this Tron business really going to change these very basic things a lot?

Your guess is as good as mine. Until things settle down I won't be writing any more of these. It could all change tomorrow.

Hey thanks for your response! I really appreciate it! I've found it kind of hard to get answers to my simple questions, and when I attend meetings of big wigs, I have no idea what they are talking about.
Now that I've read some more about the hullaballoo, I see how unsettling it all is. Egads I wish things would stay the same, or change more slowly around here. I feel like I am always playing information catch up.

An excellent writeup and detailed explanation of how things work today on Steemit. Thank you! @slobberchops

how things work today

Thanks, I think that sums this up perfectly!

I wish there was such an informative article when I joined Steemit so thanks for putting this together even if it all will change soon I guess with todays announcement

I feel deflated tbh about all the merger stuff that is happening. We need to wait for the conf later today I suppose. There's a lot of doom and gloom around.

Ohh yeah so much doom and gloom being splashed about, so far all history on the AMA for now

It's good that you are doing this. You put it together so nicely, as well. I wish that I had read something like this when I was first on STEEM. It took me months before I re-accessed my account, simply because I was confused as all hell. When I did, I wished that I hadn't missed out on the last bull-run. BUT, here we are again. Gaining strength. I don't know what this whole TRON thing is all about. How can someone SELL STEEM? We all own it, so this makes no sense to me. Whatever happens, I hope it is for the best, and I hope that I can figure out what is going on instead of just sitting back going, huh? ... what? uhh... huh...???

How can someone SELL STEEM?

It's Steemit not STEEM.. and no they can't. Until this all blows over I'm going to lie low.., not too happy at what Im hearing so far but will wait for todays conf.

Thanks for the comment, I was going to write more but there's little point now. It may all change soon.

Nice job! This is another great post in your series to help new users. This could be come even more relevant in the next week!

As @pennsif says, it could well be changing soon, hopefully for the better, but thanks anyway!

Might need to do a quick rewrite now after the big announcement 😀

Bring on the TRON...

Bah I know.. I just saw that, out of date the minute its published!

Find and Replace should do the trick...

Maybe. Will be a whole new ballgame now.

Hope its' a better ballgame than before.. something not Greek would help new peeps!


Just my luck, @steevc sent me a DM as I was about to hit post.., jeez...

Well, at least you have tomorrow's post sorted :D

I'm shaking my head here... I had the whole series planned too.

Now I have to find some old decrepit buildings to trawl through.. it's more fun though.

Hehe. I guess :)
Let's see what they actually say tomorrow. I'm not going to watch it on DLive though. I'll wait till someone puts it on YouTube :D

What a day to try to really get accustomed 🤪

Why isn't this written in TRON!!!

I can do it all again tomorrow, can't I? Hahaha... you just have to laugh!

Hehe, you do. It's laugh or cry over our new #trxeem shitcoins!

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