Curation rewards explained in great detail

in #steemit5 years ago (edited)

There is still a lot of confusion regarding curation rewards (even among users that have been here for a year). I will show you how exactly the curation rewards are calculated. Be warned though, curation rewards are quite complicated!

WARNING: If the article doesn't completely load, try to refresh a few times. There seems to be a bug with this article.

Number of votes before you

Below you see a graph that shows you how your reward is being influenced by how many people have voted before you. As you can see the majority of the curation rewards are claimed by the first 5 curators!

DISCLAIMER: i don't have the exact formula so i had to simulate it. This graph is slightly more drastic than reality, but very close to the correct formula.

So you're probably thinking "oh that's easy, i'll just vote immediately after publication". Well, that won't work because there is a second mechanism called "reversed-auction" in place to prevent this (as explained in the next section).

Time after publication

Below you see the graph that represents how much of the curation reward you will receive based on time of curation. In the first 1800 seconds after publication a part of the curation rewards goes to the author of the post!

Voting power

This is the third factor that influences your curation rewards. After the hard fork of June 20th you can spend 2% of your remaining voting power per vote. So every time you vote your new voting power will be voting power * (98/100). Below you can see how your voting power changes when you start voting at 100%.

Your voting power regenerates exactly 20% of your used voting power per day (that's ~0.83% per hour, ~0.0139% per minute and ~0.0002315% per second). You can calculate yourself how long it would take to regenerate to a certain value based on your current voting power.

You can find your current voting power on in the 17th row of the table on the left (don't forget to replace "yourusername" with your actual username!).


This is the fourth factor that influences your curation rewards. It only influences your absolute reward, everyone will earn identical relative rewards when voting in the exact same circumstances.

Voting weight

To make thinks even more complicated there is also a voting power slider when you have at least 500 STEEM POWER in your account. With this you can essentially truly curate how good you think content is. If you vote at 75% voting weight you used up 75% of the maximum 2% of your remaining voting power.

Reward pool distribution

At most 25% of the total reward of a post will go to the curators (and 75% to the author). The reversed-auction (as explained earlier) will determine the exact percentage going to curators in case any curators voted within the first 30 minutes after publication.


  • Curators before you have already contributed 100 STEEM POWER total
  • Only 1 curator has voted before you
  • You have 100 STEEM POWER
  • You voted when the content had been published for 10 minutes
  • You voted at 100% weight
  • The total reward pool for this post is $10.00

In this case 50% of the reward pool has been contributed by you (100 of the 200 total), you voted exactly at 1/3rd of the first 30 minutes at 100% weight and you voted 2nd (let's assume 40% as reward multiplier for that).

I will be using the following formula to calculate your curation reward: [total reward pool] . 0.25 . [reversed-auction multiplier] . [voting position multiplier]. Your rewards will be: $10.00 . 0.25 . 0.4. ~0.33=~$0.33. So in this specific case your curation reward is exactly 1/30th of the total reward pool of $10.00.

Had you voted at 30 minutes or later and the other curator came after you, you would have earned $1.50, which is 4.5 times as much! If you were the first voter at 30 minutes or later and nobody voted after you, you would have earned $2.50, which is the maximum 25% of the total reward.

Optimal strategy

The ideal situation will be if you are the first voter at 30 minutes after publication and at payout the post has earned

In reality this is (almost) never the case. What happens in reality is that people eventually start to vote, similar to real auctions, but then in reverse. So the most optimal strategy is to constantly monitor how many votes and how much rewards the post has. Of course to do this completely accurately you need complicated software to calculate this real-time.

It's recommended that you do not vote more than 11 times a day at 100% voting weight if you can use SteemIt every day. When you do this you will have over 99% voting power available after 24 hours. You can vote as many times as you want, but after a few 100 votes you will receive less than 0.1% of the reward potential.

Don't forget to follow, resteem and browse my channel for more information!


It is great post. Really glad to find it so early.

It would be great, if someone could provide exact formula for calculating vote reward.

It's very complicated, i would have to go through complex source code. Maybe some day i will ;)

Unfortunate that the formulas aren't in the FAQ.

Maybe you could point out the place in souce code there curation logic may ne? At least the file or even the folder name would be helpfull.

I haven't looked at the source code yet, otherwise i would have given you the exact formulas. This article took me about 3 hours already, going through the source code is an 8 hour project for a later time ;)

if I have 100 steem power and I get $.02 and does that mean if I had 1000 Steem power I would get a bigger reward in the same circumstance?

To my understanding, yes.

yep, probably $.20

Actually this sound so complicated that I will read it again later...

lol same here..

It's good information, but I believe that one has to be properly wired for math to understand it fully.

Guess the steemit team are keeping that one under wraps to up their curation rewards...

If i read the post right , i think that formula is not constant , like bitcoin miners have difficult level , that is making them harder to mine bitcoin , for me , this represent the exact same thing...

You should also point out that the reward can never exceed, only approach, the total amount shared in rewards at any given time. Over a certain threshold, the effect of votes on the absolute reward size starts to decline.

I mentioned that the curation reward pool is 25% at most and all other aspects that influence it. Can you simplify your explanation?

(i edited the reward pool distribution explanation, it's more clear now)

Thanks for trying to help!

Can you repost plz? i missed the 30 Minute window by 14 days

No, you avoided the reverse auction, which is a good thing! Now you don’t need to share your tiny curation reward with the author!

I feel like I know everything and yet nothing at all

Before or after reading the article? :)

Can "exactly" be my answer? :) btw I waited til now to upvote you. Wanted to power up first. Enjoying the new found power of 13 cent votes

Haha i knew you were gonna say something like "both" :p

Oh thanks man, every cent is 1 closer to being a millionaire i guess ;)

hahahahahah you have friends coinhawk :) Heres an upvote

How can you find posts that are 15 or 20 minutes old?

In the [new] sections. For example:

The problem is when you find an article with popular potential, it's usually already early voted by at least five people before 30 minutes. The best articles have popular appeal. It's about the people's taste.

You can just set a bot which will do that for you. You can pre-set the timer to upvote posts from your favorite authors.
Set your own upvote bot here
Now chill and enjoy your curation rewards. :)
upvote resteem reply steemit gif.gif

Oh boy, anyone who cant do advanced math is totally screwed in the cryptoworld to come.

You are talking to me. I am an accountant who cannot do math in my head. I have other talents, but I feel I am out of my depth here.

I'm so glad I read this before wasting more of my voting power. I'd always thought that being the first to vote new content was the way to maximize the curation rewards. This is very intriguing to see how it really works. Thank you for this breakdown with the simplified math behind it and not just overall concepts!

Yes being first is what you want, but not too far before the 30 minute mark.

Thank you @calamus056 for that nice explanation. I have one question:

  • How long after an article is posted does an upvote enter into the curation pool?

I know the question is quite late, but maybe you see and answer it. :-)

Good post and explaining how it works. Did not know that the first five voters get the most rewarded. This stuff is Why I try to read so much on steemit. I learn every day. Followed.

Thanks a lot for the very informative post!
I just joined the community a few days ago and saw that my curation rewards declined over time. So when I upvoted a post the first time, the value I added (no other comment) was something like 0.24 cents, while now a few days later it's only 0.18 cents. Do you know if the curation rewards have recently changed again?


Great explanation that clarified some of my open questions about this system (:

After seeing the first graph I don't understand why people use trails to mass upvote... Only the leader will truely profit from this.

I am replying this so I can refer to it later. Very useful. I still don't understand how curation rewards is calculated. Hopefully, when I am done reading, I will be able to understand this

Damn I'm feeling like I need a course in Steemitology. I want to be certified!!!

That's actually a good idea!

Newton? If you find out about such a course, sign me up for it! :-)

OH WOW and thank you for posting

Hey. Thanks for the explanation. I know this is an old post, but wanted to thank you anyway.

Very informative, although I think that I might have to read it a few more times to really and truly understand it.

Yeah it's hard. It took me weeks to understand it and i'm a programmer lol. I'm not sure how to write it better, i already spend about 3 hours on this and i was pretty much outta energy in the end :)

I'm an programmer as well, well I'm actually an ex programmer they moved me to management so reckon I've dropped a few IQ points since ;-)

I honestly don't think that you could have explained it any better, just think it is I've of those things that I have to sit down with a pen and a bit of paper to work through your post so that I really understand it.

Haha could be, if you don't train certain parts of your brain regularly.

Oh good to hear that i did a decent job. Feel free to ask anything though, it might safe you a lot of time.

pls you can still break it down for me

It's quite complicated but I think I will get along with it . Thank you for this post

"Voting weight
To make thinks" probably you meant things.

I know, i found out when it was too late :(

Not allowed to edit anymore.

Excellent Read! You've got yourself a new follower. This information is indispensable to the newer users.

Best Regards!
The Armageddon Broadcast Network

Of course i do, that's why i spend 3 hours making it ;)

But wait for my next one, i spend even longer on that already. It's also about curation.

Can you please provide a link to it?

Love the moon walk by MJ.

This is one I'm going to have to read multiples times. :) But you did an excellent job explaining the process, so thank you!

sending this to myself so I can refer to it later. Great content. I wonder if it has changed now.

This has hurt my tiny little brain.

Thanks for the info!

Thank you for that great post - I mentioned it

here - click

Kind regards


It's awesome you wanted to contribute but I don't think your calculations are particularly right. For example, "time after publication" function is linear in your post, however it is actually logarithmic.

Could I translate this post into another language?

It is helpful to understand it.

A great example of where we use math in real life. Often hard to motivate kids when learning algebra when they will ever see direct variation, inverse variation, etc.

Thank you for this sir! It helps. Today is my 2nd day on Steemit so I am still a little bit confused. Thank you for the informations. God Bless!

its great post !!!gone through it!!!would test from tdy

I dont know where this Curation reward is showed up. Im new to steemit but finding it very hard to understand everything about it.

wow, so voting before the 5 to 10 minute mark basically gives no rewards for curation, because the 30 minute mark is optimal for the 100% mark. So voting between like 11 minutes and 25 minutes is best, but then only if not more than 10 people already voted.

After 30 minutes neither ROFL.

But that is only if it had more than 10 upvotes right?

It's not that black & white. It also depends on your SP & the total reward pool of the post. Sometimes you earn more by voting earlier and sometimes by voting later.

It's not that easy, sometimes voting at 1 minute gives you more rewards than at 30.

My thought is:
Believe yourself and vote for the post which you really like (do not vote just to get few points) and leave rest on STEEMIT.

How do you get so many upvotes and yet no one leaves a reply...???

No clue what you're talking about.

I was at one of your posts and none of the comments were showing... You had lots of upvotes, but I didn't see any comments...

Oh, post the comment in the correct post then, now it was way too confusing :)

Thanks for helping us demystify the reward system.

People in my follower downline really need to see this. Resteemed and following you as of right now! Thanks for this useful post on the topic. I have seen a few, but anytime someone does this much work to make a post, you get my instant respect! (and the support in follow, resteem and ups that come with that!)

thanks, very helpfull .. resteemed

Excellent @calamus056! That's what I have been looking for. I have even asked other people to explain how Curation is working.

Thanks for the explanation with example. Following you now.

I really appreciate this information

Thank you! Wonderful and clear explanation of curation rewards. :)


This is an unforunate side effect of picking constants. We should eliminate clever tricks like this and pay more respect to established math.

Which constants do you mean? Most data is variable :)

Great Googlymoogly! heh

Little bit complicated? :)

Meh, not too bad. Good explanation.

Why so overwhelmed then? Or am i misinterpreting your hilarious comment? :)

Heh. Don't overthink my random response lol :)

Great explanation. Thank you. I'm not here for the money. But it's good to know. 👍

Awesome post - have been trying to find this info for a while and it helps a lot - thx again.

nice topic man, check my last post i think its useful for most of you and upvote it if u like

where's the rest of the article?

People keep having problems with it. You have to keep refreshing i'm afraid. It's really buggy.

Ok Thanks

isn;t there any auto voting and auto generation platoforms here in steemit??

Yup there are bots.

Looks like you didn't finish the explanation. I would like to know, so let me know somehow.

Fuck sakes, that's the 4th person that can't load the article completely. What is going on? I've seen the article load 100% dozens of times, not once did it get cut it off.

Refreshing a few times should do the job. I don't understand this bug #&^@#%&@#%

It loaded fine this time. thanks for the post and hope you find the raid. lol

I am looking for it actually calculated...big big thank you for your great effort..appreciated

Nicely explained. A definitive read by all steemians.

Someone promoted your post. Promotions help every steemians.
Your reward is an upvote and 1.342 SBD extra promotion.
Good job, see you next time in Promoted! ;)

I'll have to give this another go over later. thanks for the info.

It's quite complicated huh :)

This is clear as mud. Thanks for the effort though!

Good information thank you. Upvoted and resteem. Got one of my ten votes for you.

Thanks. What do you mean one of ten? :)

I was just making a joke on how I've voted less then ten times today and used one of those votes for you.

Ahhh right, well right now you can still easily vote 40 times a day on full power ;)

Better get to using that power then hah hah. Thank you for this useful article.

I know it may be simple thing but I am new how does one resteem? Please and thank you.

I had the same problem when i came back to SteemIt :)

It's the icon with the clockwise arrow next to the amount of comments.

Oh snap, thank you so much. I would have never figure it out.

Interesting! Upvoted!!

Very useful explanations! Now it's more clear to me. Thanks for them!

I went crazy with my votes yesterday,
and today I'm paying for it... My steem
is gone for who knows how

seems like i am voting on too many posts and too early -- it is a shame to lose so much for upvoting early on posts - i am following you now @calamus056 and hope you will enjoy my posts too -David

Oh my, that's awfully complex, I had no idea :0
Thanks for letting us know!

Upvoted and Followed ^_^

Very well explained

Could be better, but i tried :)

everything I read just went over my head! So much for this newbie! I need some steempower! LOL

Thank you for this, couldn't have come at a better time! I was just trying to explain this to my brother's girlfriend yesterday and now, I can just link her your post once I find out what her account name is :-)

Very Intellectual Post. I get more knowledge about voting Power.
Thank you.

Informative post! Im keeping this article for reference, thanks for sharing ^.^

Thank you, Good post.~~~~

Great post check out mine if you can !:)

Hey great post @calamus056, I was just wondering about this myself today, thanks for bringing in more clarification!

Really nice post, as a new member this is very informative for me. Still not sure sure i understand it all but its improving ;)

wow thats alot to take in but thank you very much for finding the time to research and share this information @domesticgoddess read this

What a post bro....Congrats for delivering in such a way..... To decode this logic and understand one must be a expert in maths and off course you are

Not at all, this is quite basic math.

This is such a great resource. Thanks for posting this!

Wow! This just shows again how important it isn't not to over vote each day. I though like 20 votes was safe. Guess it should be less...
Do votes on comments reduce your Steem Power the same as if you upvoted a post?

Thanks you for this valuable coaching. Looking forward to get more tip from you.

Thanks! This actually helped clear up some of my questions. :)

This is a very interesting post. I keep coming back to it. Every time I reread it I understand a little bit more. But I still don´t get it. And I am a numbers person, allegedly.

First comment: why is it so complicated? What does it add to the Steemit model to calculate things in this strange way?

Second comment: why is it so dependent on voting in the first half hour after the post is published? I myself am always reading older things.

Your advice is to focus on content. I agree. But if you focus on content you have to forget about voting in the first half hour! Like what is happening right now. I am reading this article, which is 14 days old. I am voting it. What happens to my vote now? Is it useless to me and/or to the author?

Thank you for any comment you might have.

Why it is so complicated is because they have to counter auto vote bots. I don't really know why they picked 30 minutes either. I don't like the current algorithms at all. They should just give people enough time to decide what to vote on and pay them every week.

If you vote after 7 days it doesn't add rewards, it only increases the votes by 1. It's fucking stupid, all your hard work is essentially useless after 7 days.


If you happen to know about the reasons behind this odd calculations, please point me in the right direction. There has to be a reason, it must be related to currency valuation and blockchain technology.

Thanks, @calamus056 . I´ll keep reading you, it´s very helpful.

I already told you, it's because of botting. If there is no reverse-auction system the fastest bot makes the most money.

With the current system it's all about who has the most patience. And apparently nobody has patience, because people vote in the first minutes when popular authors publish something. The whole algorithm is just a disaster.

Unfortunately I don´t understand what botting is, in this context. I have a slight idea it has to do with automated things in the internet...

Thanks, though, for the effort. Little by little I improve my understanding.

Oh, yeah a bot is software that automates actions.

:-) I know.

Another one. How are we sure that votes after the first week don´t mean any rewards? Is there a document stating that, or we know it by analizing the algorithm?

You can verify it yourself. Check your voting power on, upvote something older than 7 days and see what happens :)

What. Means vest

Basically means your share, it comes from the word "investment".

very informative post

@calamus056, This is your second post I am reading in the last 30 minutes. Your blogs are extremely helpful. thanks again. My voting percentage has dropped drastically. so i am preserving it for another day or two. so will be back some days from now and shall upvote on another excellent blog from you :)

Interesting ! Thanks for sharing.
How does it works with the rewards when you are publishing an article? Normally you could choose 50/50 or 100 % - but I do not get it what is the advantage of those selection?

100% means all rewards go directly to STEEM POWER, which gives you more upvote power and about 9% inflation compensation per year. When you choose 50/50 you get 50% in SBD which you can cash out immediately. It depends if you need the money right away or if you want to invest long-term (years) in SteemIt.

So - What about if you are in the first 5 upvotes but before the 30 minutes and then after you comes hundreds of upvotes? If I wait until 30 minutes, I would be one of 100's in some cases. I've only been here 1 week and find this complicated but interesting.

The tricky part is not to vote too early and also not too late :)

I will be looking for great things from you in the future.

Should I upvote my own post automatically?

Yeah, you'll get 100% of the money then.

Hey thanks for breaking this down its the best explanation i've heard so far. One more question thought, I have a number of comments that people have upvoted and show a potential payout. At which point will they be paid?

After 7 days, it says so when you click on the money dropdown.

Great thanks!!

Thanks for the info. I understand this a lot better now.

thank you for this very helpful.

Phew! My brain is on fire after that discussion. But, it's really helpful to a newbie like me, as I just haven't understood exactly how this all works.

Knowing that I have 11 votes per day is truly helpful.

thank you for doing so much research and posting it.

nice work. I have followed you do follow me back to help each other thanks

upvote all my post and follow me.i will do the we both can earn

Great post, very helpful, thank you !

That is a good explanation. I wish there was a way for users to make collections on subjects so we could easily pool articles on like subject matter together on our own in folders as it were.

You can use bookmarks in folders in your browser... works fine for me!