What if people start selling their votes?

in steemit •  2 years ago

In this post, user @steemitpolitics asks, "What if people start selling their votes?"

For the TLDR answer, take a look at my favorite webcomic:
XKCD 810

First, votes are soft rate-limited -- you have voting power that regenerates at a constant rate, so if you vote too fast, each vote ends up being worth less. You can't get around the rate limit with multiple accounts, because you have to fund them all with SP.

Upvotes on popular articles give more rewards to the author than upvotes on less popular articles. So if you're colluding with the post author, you might think you can wait until your author/partner's post gets traction, then upvote the post, adding mad $$$ to the payout and getting a kickback from the author.

This "wait-and-upvote" strategy is actually dominated by a simpler "upvote-immediately" strategy [1]: Just upvote your partner/author's post from the beginning, your partnership will then end up with more curation rewards and a better chance of getting eyeballs because it has your combined voting power pushing it for a larger percentage of its lifetime. At this point it's basically equivalent to the author and you pooling your SP.

The annualized rate of return for posting at the maximum rate [2] and upvoting your own posts is currently about 4-6% and should decline somewhat over time [3]. Upvoting yourself for large payouts requires an enormous up-front purchase of SP, and the rate of return on the purchase price is modest while the non-liquid SP gives you huge exposure to Steem. Basically the only way to make staggering amounts of money as a poster is to convince other posters to upvote you.

Getting kickbacks for upvoting is relatively harmless; it's economically similar to loaning out your SP for a very modest APR. The rewards earned per voting SP provided are simply too small. And then there are the hazards of being downvoted or having your collusion called out...

The financial gains of selling votes are nonexistent or very, very small if you consider the capital deployed and consider the base level to be what you get by voting honestly. Add in the risks and added logistical steps, and there's simply no sane economic reason to sell your vote to milk the curation/posting rewards.

Please read my disclaimer. This post is my own personal opinion.

[1] After older voting mechanics were discovered to encourage sniping bots that would monitor the blockchain and upvote a post as soon as it was posted, we added a gradually decreasing curation reward penalty for upvotes in the first 30 minutes; the penalty is given to the author, so there is no reason for the author (or anyone in a partnership that shares the author's payout) not to vote for it immediately.

[2] We're thinking the next blockchain update should introduce a per-account soft limit of about 4 posts per day, much less than the voting soft limit, which means that self-voting with maximum effect will require non-trivial logistics involving multiple accounts -- a fair amount of effort regardless of whether you do it manually or build some automated tools to help you.

[3] Like many cryptocurrencies, Steem started out extremely "hot" with new STEEM being mined very quickly, and then "cools" at a pre-programmed rate. Unlike many cryptocurrencies, Steem has a nonzero long-term equilibrium annualized rate to ensure incentives are aligned for continued growth, adoption and retention. See the whitepaper for more.

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Not a big deal. If a person wants to sell their votes then they can already and Steem Power also can be sold, and big businesses can sponsor bloggers too if they aren't already.

The point is the votes aren't "free" anymore.

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I'm trying to figure out how a blogger on steemit would be sponsored on this platform without having to buy steem or steem dollars. They would have to send you payment or BTC off site which would be easy I guess.

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"Steem Power also can be sold" How is it possible? By selling your own account?

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Would also like to know this. Not sure its possible.

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You can power down your SP, but you have to wait 104 weeks in order to dump all your SP
(you weekly get ±1/104 of all your SP converted in STEEM)

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Yes, by selling the account. You can only sell all of your SP as a chunk, but it is an option.

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if you add steem power from STEEM you can choose to send it to others as an option

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I don't think you can send steem power. You would have to power down and wait for the 104 payments.

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not the steem power you earn but if you power up from STEEM you can. Go to your wallet, click on "power up" then "advanced settings" you will read "Converted Steem Power can be sent to yourself or someone else but can not transfer again without converting back to Steem."

sounds to me like you can send it

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Welcome to Steemit

Here is some interesting info that will help you create amazing content.

How to Create Successful Steemit Content:
Why Steemwhales are upvoting Crap instead of Your Masterpiece - And why you should be Happy About it
How I Earned $100,000 With Steemit
Foolproof Formula for a Successful Post on Steemit: 7 Ingredients for Success
The Secret Formula to a Successful "IntroduceYourself" Post...And The #1 Mistake to Avoid
I Lost Over $124,768 On Steemit In My First Month(Why I'm Kicking Myself In The Balls For Not Powering Up)
How to Properly Format your Steemit Posts
These are just some of the posts that once understood, will give the reader a SIGNIFICANT advantage on steemit.

Everyone is rooting for you!
Good Luck!,
Weenis

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Similar to SP, SMD tokens cannot be purchased directly on an external exchange. SMD are primarily earned through contributing but can be purchased by converting STEEM tokens to SMD tokens.

Actually Steem Dollars can now purchased on external exchanges !
https://poloniex.com/exchange#btc_sbd
https://bittrex.com/Market/Index?MarketName=BTC-SBD

PS Abbreviation of SBD = Steem Backed Dollars
or just SD = Steem Dollars (not SMD please edit)

You say "At this point it's basically equivalent to the author and you pooling your SP." This doesn't sound right - I thought that total voting weight was proportional to the sum of squares of voting accounts' SP; isn't this so that putting all the SP in one account is strictly better than splitting it between accounts? Isn't this a protection against collusion in itself?

I'd be interested in your thoughts on my informal proposal to create a market for curation rewards.

If you like what I say, check out my series on game theory!

Here I go again with another question. I wanted to make sure you saw this one, so I'm just posting it here:

I did some poking around today, and discovered that even though I earned about $3800 on my first game theory article, the total curation rewards were a whopping $1.565. Why is this?

Apparently, it's because the vast majority of my earnings for the article happened on its 2nd payout, not its 1st - and none of the curators who voted for me after the 1st payout received any rewards.

I'm trying to think of a good reason for this - but I keep coming up short. I suppose because of the discrete payout events there could be a perverse incentive for people to withhold votes until the payout clock resets, in an effort to be "first." But this doesn't actually seem all that perverse to me, because it would virtually guarantee that a good article would get a flood of upvotes at the start of its second day, helping to improve its visibility.

And anyway, Shouldn't it be desirable to incentivize discovery of articles that were simply "missed" on their first day? This is particularly interesting to me because Part 4 in my game theory series was missed, and I've had people express reluctance to vote on it now that the 1st payout has passed.

@dantheman and @ned might have some thoughts here as well?

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A lot of people are buying upvotes atm. And more so during these down times. It is not a totally useless strategy, but should it be done right now when the SP is so low and the reward pools are so drained?

There is a huge discussion on this thread. Come and give your point of view :)

https://steemit.com/steemit/@yoda1917/randowhale-booster-worldclassplayer-users-just-halt-for-a-moment

Vote selling is stupid. My FAQ covers this exact question, as Q6

https://steemit.com/steemit/@intelliguy/steemit-faq-frequently-asked-questions-common-myths-and-misconceptions

In the end, you lose if you take part in buying and selling votes.

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It is too easy to sell votes and will just be part of the economics of this platform. It does seem shady but Instagram bloggers that get paid to blog what clients want all the time. That seems fake to me.

welcome @theoretical

This is a good proposal, but your comic is probably the wrong choice for the topic since it's not actually about bots per se.

Your idea of making it "ok" to sell your vote, is something that will just happen naturally and probably IS occurring already. Notice that the Wang bot was only voting one account over and over again, but then it suddenly voted for @fyrstikken . Bots are characterized by repetitive behavior. For a bot to break it's MO? Something happened, it probably involved the exchange of cash or other favors.

The truth is that as people seek to maximize their profits on this platform, they will pool and collect into what amounts to "pump groups".

Perhaps even just lending out their voting power to a bot farm that then sells "vote power", in much the same way you can buy hashpower for your favorite altcoin from botherders on the darknet.

Doing this would be in the economic best interests of the individual voters because they are joining a programme that is going to force a topic to trend, thereby maximizing their curation income.

Getting into an arms race with the bot builders is always going to be a losing proposal. The very best we can do is to train the bots to like what we like and ignore & downvote trash.

I have, what I believe will solve the bot problems but it boils down to your comic. I'm interested in thoughts, feedback & comments on it. Thanks!
https://steemit.com/steemit/@williambanks/bot-warz-a-hybrid-approach

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@williambanks I am pretty sure @wang voted for my post because he actually read what I wrote and liked what he read.

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A lot of people are buying upvotes atm. And more so during these down times. It is not a totally useless strategy, but should it be done right now when the SP is so low and the reward pools are so drained?

There is a huge discussion on this thread. Come and give your point of view :)

https://steemit.com/steemit/@yoda1917/randowhale-booster-worldclassplayer-users-just-halt-for-a-moment

Next thing you know you we'll be seeing people selling their upvotes on Fiverr, especially if their a whale with a lot of upvoting power.

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I just looked it up. I can see people asking for work on the site.

Hi,

a very good idea, bravo, bravo and again bravo!
This plattform really seems to offer opportunities to independend people that waited for their chance and are eager to use it, putting their effords in it.

I have the same sensation right now, offering a ranslation service for original contents that people want to be read also in their mother tongues. #streemlations I would like to call that.

So,who ever wants his contents or UIs to be translated in other languages: Here I am!

Personally I do take care of #dutch and #english to #german, my partner from #english to #greek.

i have a network of collaborator that offers almost every #multilingual option for #steem users.

A nice steemy day to everybody,

Yours,

schnitzler

if we all work together on this project, everyone can make a fortune AND realize our own ideas :)

isn´t that great?!

Bad idea. I think this is to risky and to bad, couse then you dont get the vote you deserv.
A guy with alot of power, vote your post if he or she likes it. Not to earn monney out of it.
I think it is great like it is now.
Maby im wrong but this is wath i think

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Problem is the "guys with a lot of power", ARE doing this already and it's drowning out the good insightful content like this. Not all of the guys with power are doing this, but several are. We're getting whalebots now like @Wang which evidently votes only for it's owner and whomever the owner decides to have it vote for. You don't think he's slinging that for quick cash?

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I believe people have created bots to counter bots like wang.

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i see. dont know this user. i think it happens but i hope it dont destroy for us others. didnt they earn more power on voting also?

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A lot of people are buying upvotes atm. And more so during these down times. It is not a totally useless strategy, but should it be done right now when the SP is so low and the reward pools are so drained?

There is a huge discussion on this thread. Come and give your point of view :)

https://steemit.com/steemit/@yoda1917/randowhale-booster-worldclassplayer-users-just-halt-for-a-moment

I agree this raises a lot of concerns. But Steemit seems to be overflowing with a lot of clever people, so I'm confident we'll figure out a way to solve it.

Sorry but this is dishonest.

"Upvoting yourself for large payouts requires an enormous up-front purchase of SP, and the rate of return on the purchase price is modest while the non-liquid SP gives you huge exposure to Steem."

Or it requires that you were involved in the premine or an early adopter, buying Steem at $0.2 a unit.

So what you're really saying is that it's not accessible to new users.

A Whale only needs to vote on 1-3 posts for them to stand a chance of making several thousand dollars.

They can be paid through a 30% commission based system, so when a post very pausibly floes to $5,000 they may net $450. Iterate thrice = $1,350

Or they can charge $200 per vote, which is fair because if a whale votes on a post, especially by a non-obscure poster, it'll be pretty certain the user will make more than $200.

Iterate thrice $600 a day.

So, no the financial rewards for selling votes aren't very small generally.

This is only true for newcomers.

@theoretical This post may very well help people to devise new strategies to cheat the system/create more sophisticated bots :X

"Mission fuckin accomplished" ahahaha

The money you spent on buying a vote could have bought more Steem power. Don't buy votes, buy steem.

Good to know never thought about that. ◕ ‿ ◕ great post.

@theoretical: Thank you very much for responding :) Now i get it :) #SteemitForever

would be a great ideal. but how health will the platform be?

I will never sell my SP because the secret is within "the mark of the beast" or the number of a man, an number six-hundred-and-sixty-six fold. Namaste~! #SP #Newlife #thetruthproject

so sad I didn't read it earlier.
nevertheless I am saving votes for stuff like that.

"See the whitepaper for more". The whitepaper is a killer I must say.

Great post brings up alot of potentially hazardous situations.

Good informations here I overwatched

A good opinion you have there and thanks for sharing the post. It's not a bad way of thinking at all. It's a worthwhile alternative experiment for those who have been posting contents, but not earning much. We always see those "Wang from Introduceyourself " automated replies :D This is an interesting topic, mate.
Please proceed.

Whales and not so whales bots will destroy the system if we dont do something for fix it

I think that an honest person will always be honest. A liar will always strive to find a way to cheat.
This question related to morality. The more bans for liar, the less freedom for the honest man.

My upvote to you give 369$ :)))
From 2459$ to 2829$

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)))Upvote me:))))))

I will never sell my SP!!

like a lot of injustice in the post and gave a vote, because many posts imitate other people and got a lot of dollars.. T_T

If they have value I'm sure some will choose to be politicians and sell their votes to the highest bidders... but many of us won't, we'll see who ends up with more clout/influence after a year or two ;)

Here is an Archive of Cryptocurrency App building Code on Github for anyone creating a Steemit app
https://steemit.com/steem/@marsresident/github-cryptocurrency-app-creation-archive

I would like to share my insights on this. Whales still have the power to cast big impact votes. As you can see, even though theyll create bots for spammy post and throwing of votes, its still useless as theyll earn cents only and not even 1$ for 50votes. Why I say this? Do you see a bot who has a SP of thousands? I dont think so there was. So if you want to create bots just to earn and give earnings to others youre only giving 1/10th of a cent. You see its useless UNLESS you want to make your main account carrying thousands of SP a bot. And to add, Sign Up is still unavailable.
In my Conclusion, readers must read and evaluate every replies,post,blogs before voting. Readers mean ALL OF US.

Very interesting.

You may be interested in my post from yesterday. The same topic.
https://steemit.com/money/@mrzazaful/mainstream-media-influence-in-steemit

Great post! Forces me to rethink my strategies! LOL :)

LOL - they do it since weeks :-)

Similar to SP, SMD tokens cannot be purchased directly on an external exchange. SMD are primarily earned through contributing but can be purchased by converting STEEM tokens to SMD tokens.

Actually Steem Dollars can now purchased on external exchanges !
https://poloniex.com/exchange#btc_sbd
https://bittrex.com/Market/Index?MarketName=BTC-SBD

PS Abbreviation of SBD = Steem Backed Dollars
or just SD = Steem Dollars (not SMD please edit)

https://web.facebook.com/groups/steemitnow/ CHECK THIS many people joined this community to vote each other and sell their votes

Thats will become a great bussines, i read on the net thats a famous social media account can be a good promotion media and people sometimes pay the owner just to post their link on its.
Here is A #FUNNY social media buzzer parody in video
Hitler want to be trending topic on steemit

wow! lol. i like! upvoted for goob jod @theoretical XD :D

Nothing is so certain as the unexpected

great post, easy to understand and read. congrats!

Good post theoretical, I will start following you. Keep em coming.

A lot of people are buying upvotes atm. And more so during these down times. It is not a totally useless strategy, but should it be done right now when the SP is so low and the reward pools are so drained?

There is a huge discussion on this thread. Come and give your point of view :)

https://steemit.com/steemit/@yoda1917/randowhale-booster-worldclassplayer-users-just-halt-for-a-moment