Curation rewards explained in great detail

in #steemit7 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!

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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?


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