The more people @world5list & I bring onto Steemit, the more questions we get about the ins & outs of this platform; one of the most common being the Wallet. Today I'll breakdown the most basic functions of your wallet in the simplest, most newbie-friendly approach possible. Note: this is merely for simplicity purposes, which are not necessarily the most cost-effective. For more optimal techniques on boosting your ROI and getting more out of each transaction, @alexpmorris and @jerrybanfield are great places to start!
This is your Wallet:
One of the main features of blockchain technology is its open ledger transaction recording/history, and as Steemit is based off of blockchain technology, anyone and everyone's Wallets are viewable to the public as well as their transaction history (listed at the bottom portion of the Wallet).
Once you've become more active on the platform, you should always keep checking your wallet, because you may have payouts waiting to be claimed from either posting or curating. If you do have a payout waiting to be claimed, it'll appear as a green box at the top of your wallet like so:
By clicking on the blue box on the right that says "REDEEM REWARDS (TRANSFER TO BALANCE)," you'll instantly claim your pending payouts, which will be reflected by an increase in the amount of STEEM POWER and STEEM DOLLARS in your account. You'll want to claim your rewards as soon as possible because you want your STEEM POWER to be as high as possible at all times!
Note: the "Potential Payout" amounts you see under each post are based on the STEEM/SBD to USD conversion rates at that given time, which is why it's not uncommon to see a post's earnings fluctuate before it actually pays out in 7 days.
Potential payouts to an author are broken down in the following manner: up to 25% to the curators (or people who upvoted the post) with the remaining % going to the author. Of the 75% or so you earn as an author, half of this is rewarded to you in STEEM DOLLARS and the other half is rewarded in STEEM POWER, which is why you see two separate amounts in the above photo of the green box (one for SBD and one for SP).
STEEM vs. STEEM POWER vs. STEEM DOLLARS
The Steem blockchain utilizes two different tokens (or forms of cryptocurrency): STEEM and STEEM DOLLARS (abbreviated SBD). SBD can be converted into STEEM (and vice versa) in several different ways. One way is by clicking on the SBD amount in your Wallet then selecting "Convert to STEEM" and entering in the amount of SBD you'd like to convert to STEEM.
As you can see below, this conversion process takes 3.5 days and instantly makes your SBD unavailable.
Another way is to click on "Market" (instead of clicking on "Convert to STEEM"). Doing so takes you here
where you can see buy- and sell-orders in realtime, as well as the amounts of STEEM people are buying/selling and the prices they're willing to buy/sell for.
Although it may seem a little overwhelming at first, it's really quite simple! If you're looking to convert SBD to STEEM, you simply enter the amount of STEEM you'd like to purchase and at what price you're willing to pay for each unit of STEEM (noted in SBD/STEEM, meaning a price of 1.5 means I'm willing to pay 1.5 SBD for every 1 unit of STEEM). Once you placed your order, it sits as an open "Buy Order" in the market until a seller is found who is willing to match your price and amounts. (Obviously the higher the price you're willing to pay for STEEM, the easier it is for you to convert your SBD)
Once you have STEEM, you can use it (not SBD) to instantaneously "Power Up" (increase your STEEM POWER) by clicking on your STEEM amount on the right like so
and entering the amount of STEEM you'd like to add towards your STEEM POWER (see photo below). There is also another, simpler method of directly converting SBD to SP (without having to first convert SBD to STEEM then SP) using BlockTrades. For more info on this, skip ahead to the "Cashing Out!" section I've written below!
Now what exactly is STEEM POWER?
STEEM POWER (abbreviated SP) is STEEM locked up in the Steemit platform used to gauge the amount of influence a user has on the community. The higher your SP, the more money each of your upvotes is worth (ex: a brand new user's upvote may be worth only 1-2 cents, while an upvote from someone with 3,000-5,000 SP may be worth several dollars).
SP can be cashed out, although it takes 13 weeks to completely "Power Down" into regular STEEM. So if you have 13,000 SP, for example, and you choose to Power Down, 1,000 STEEM will be released to you (and deducted from your SP amount) every week for 13 weeks.
Aside from gauging a user's influence on Steemit, another added benefit of locking STEEM up as SP is that it prevents whales (people with large amounts of SP) from dumping/selling all their STEEM all at once, thus keeping the value of STEEM stable. Just like the stock market, dumping significantly devalues the currency...NOT GOOD! Just think of it as a regulatory/preventative measure the developers put in place to protect us all!
I'm sure there are more cost-effective solutions for liquidating your SBD or STEEM into USD (or whatever other fiat currency you so choose), but the method I'm about to show you for cashing out is, in my opinion, the simplest and most convenient.
First what you'll need is an online wallet in which you can hold Bitcoin (BTC). There are several out there, but the one that I choose to use is Coinbase.
Once you have your BTC wallet AND your BTC vault set up on Coinbase, click on "Accounts" then "Get Bitcoin address," which will produce an address for you that you should paste onto a separate notepad. Go back into your Steemit Wallet, click on the cryptocurrency you'd like to cash out (STEEM or SBD) on the right, then click "Sell." Doing so will take you to blocktrades.us, as shown below.
Copy-and-paste your Bitcoin address from your notepad into BlockTrades's "Bitcoin address" field and wait for it to validate. Once this is done, click "Get Deposit Address." This will generate trade info like so:
The two important pieces of information here are the account name (blocktrades) and the memo (d75bb9a9-7450-48d1-b943-863923634dec). Now go back into your Steemit Wallet once more, click on the cryptocurrency you're looking to sell on the right, click "Transfer," then fill out the fields with the the appropriate information. Mine will look like this:
Blocktrades will then automatically convert your SBD (or STEEM) to BTC and deposit the respective BTC amount into your online wallet (mine being Coinbase in this instance). After anywhere between 15 min. to a couple hours, the deposit will have fully processed and you can instantly sell your BTC on your online wallet's platform for more real currency, which can ultimately be withdrawn via PayPal or as a direct deposit into your bank account.
As I mentioned above, BlockTrades can also be used to directly convert SBD into SP without having to first convert your SBD into STEEM. To do this, simply select "Steem Dollar" under "Send" and select "Steem Power" under "Receive (estimated amount)." Type in your Steemit account name (withouth the @) as the receive address, click "Get Deposit Address," and follow the steps above (in the paragraph starting with "The two important pieces of information here..."
Anyways, I hope this helps guys! I'm still learning everything myself as well, so if there are any errors I've made please don't hesitate to let me know with a reply below :) And if you have any other tips/tricks/strategies you use to make things easier, boost your ROI, etc. feel free to let us know here, as I'm sure the Steemit community will really appreciate your input too!