UPDATE Feb 21, 2018: I've published an updated version of this solution proposal taking into account the feedback I received: A Solution Proposal to the Reward Pool Abuse Problem on Steemit [Updated Version]
After discussing a few solution proposals to the reward pool abuse problem with @biophil, I figured out the reason of the reward pool abuse problem and came up with a solution proposal.
The Cause of the Problem
The reason behind the problem is that not all Steem Power owners cast ten votes every day. If every Steem Power owner did that, reward pool abuse problem wouldn't be profitable.
But let's face it. Not all of us have the time to log in to Steemit every day and cast ten upvotes. Moreover, some of those tokens are probably held by passive investors and/or the system and not used in the voting process at all. This enables the reward pool abuse problem to be profitable.
So, if you cast at least ten votes every day, you're doing your job to prevent the problem. However, obviously not everybody can do that. How can we solve this problem then?
Get rid of the reward pool altogether. As long as there is a reward pool and there are rules attached to its distribution, people will find ways to abuse it. There is no way around it.
Pay witnesses regularly to power the system, but no one else should receive any penny from the system. Minimize the inflation to a point that is sustainable for the witnesses, not any lower, not any higher.
Get rid of SBD and Steem Power. Have only one currency in the system, Steem. This is good to attract new users to the system, because the complexity of the current system is one of the obstacles that prevent new users from entering it.
Allow users to tip posts and comments. No rewards for curation whatsoever. Users will tip a post or a comment if they really like it. Let a person tip as much as they want to a post or comment. It will be their money anyway and they can do whatever they do with it.
Allow people to tip their own posts and comments. This will act as promotion as the posts and comments that receive more tips will bubble up higher in the system. Get rid of the promotion tab as well.
This way people will only tip the posts or comments they truly like or to promote their own content, and not to abuse the reward pool.
It's a clean, simple, sane system. It doesn't incentivize immoral behavior as the current one does.
What Do You Think About This System?
Would you like to see it implemented on Steemit? Do you have any questions or remarks? Let me know in the comments.
Disclosure and Disclaimer
At the moment of writing this post, I owned some Steem Power tokens. This post is for information purposes only and not intended to be business or investment advice.