Those of you that follow me for a while probably know that I have been almost exclusively supporting @sndbox members ever since I became a self-proclaimed @sndbox’s mini-steward. First of all the majority of our content is really exceptional and second of all its one of the best strategies how to maximize the curation rewards. I have actually been the “mini-steward” even prior to that, basically from the very beginning of @sndbox, which means that I have been supporting my colleges for about 5 months already. I am about to start an experiment this week, therefore I have to take a break from such practices.
The matter of vote selling
Vote selling is a hot topic nowadays. Ever since the launch of linear rewards that came with the last HF a lot of possible different strategies emerged. Plenty of them are rather questionable regarding the further growth of the value of our precious Steem. Vote selling and self-voting are then those new strategies that directly compete with one of the fundamental financial incentives of the Steem platform, the curation rewards.
Curation rewards was the ONLY financial incentive for long-term holding of the Steem token prior the HF19 (apart from the actual “hodling” and waiting for the growth of the whole crypto market). By that I mean that hodling it could have only been used to vote for others if one wanted to gain an interest. Even though curation rewards as a financial incentive still exists, it was pushed to the background ever since the HF19 (linear rewards to be more precise) has emerged. Arguably, the curation rewards are now the LEAST lucrative way of generating passive income from our stakes.
Are the incentivized actions good for the Blockchain?
The initial idea of Steem was to create valuable (informative) content while incentivizing curators to seek and upvote good content in order to reward the authors and promote their work while earning money. The Steem ecosystem though is an ever-growing organism. Suddenly a whole lot of new possible methods has emerged that are directly competing with the “initial idea”. If a capitalistic system is to work well and prosper, the “right” actions for the Blockchain need to be incentivized the most. If that is not the case, actions good for the individuals and harmful for the Steem would be incentivized, which would lead to the decrease of value of the token in long-term.
The question is, are the new methods “allowed” by the algorithm actually “good” for the Steem? Let’s concentrate solely on vote selling now. Vote selling can be perceived as a way how to pay for advertisement, since the bigger payout the content is about to receive the higher position on the trending page it gets. This can lead to people buying upvotes in order to promote themselves, their work, or their projects. People can also just sell their upvotes when they currently don’t have time to manually curate content, thus not wasting their voting power. When I put it like that it doesn’t sound too harmful. On the other hand users can promote (arguably) a really shitty content that would never receive upvotes otherwise, while pushing down good content that received “genuine” upvotes. Since it isn’t as profitable, there would be less “genuine” upvotes and more sold upvotes as time goes by. Truth be told thought, wealthy users are often times throwing their votes recklessly on a shitty content anyway just to maximize their curation rewards. Somewhat wealthier users can compete with those reckless upvotes, buy buying whales upvotes of their own.
People tend to take radical sides here. Some are strictly against, some are totally pro. I for instance am more interested in the actual numbers. As soon as I gather them, I probably am going to reach a conclusion about which side to take (at least temporarily…the ever-growing organism you know…). I will probably try out all the possible methods, in order to have as much information to work with as possible. Yesterday I realized that @minnowbooster actually enables every single user to sell their vote through their site. Since I don’t know how to set up my own “vote selling bot” I decided to use their service at the expense of 15% cut from the income they will take for the service. Next week I’ll report my findings. Stay tuned!