SteemSQL - Subscription fee change

in steemsql •  15 days ago

One year ago, SteemSQL moved to a subscription model to be able to sustain its infrastructure, maintenance and development costs.

Since that time, SteemSQL subscriptions fees have remained unchanged, despite the decline in SBD price and the bear market we currently suffer.

On the other hand, resource requirements for SteemSQL have continued to increase. A few days ago, I had to perform a major maintenance of the SteemSQL infrastructure so that it does not stop working because of lack of storage space.

SteemSQL under pressure

One of the problem we face is that the amount of data managed by the server grows every day. More than 100 MB of data is added each days to the blockchain. And I consider the Steem blockchain/project as being very young. As more active users are joining Steem, I can expect this amount to increase even faster.

As of writing this post, the database (and the blockchain) contains 29 939 576 blocks and
672 556 767 transactions. Out of these transactions, they are fro example:

  • 69 140 927 posts and comments (and several millions updates of those posts or comments)
  • 373 355 781 upvotes (including flags which are negative votes)
  • 175 567 281 custom transactions (like follow, resteem, dApps/Apps transactions,…)
  • 16 688 088 author rewards and 100 093 571 curator rewards

Everyday, 24x7, SteemSQL is put under pressure by thousands of queries, generated by users, dApps/Apps and bots that rely on SteemSQL to perform their work. Here are some graphs to illustrate this.

The first one, the most impressive to me, is the number of requests per minute SteemSQL had to manage last month:

Yes, that's amazing, SteemSQL sometimes deals with up to 17321 queries per minute with spikes to up to 21561 queries/min (~360 per seconds).

Another impressive number is how many locks are made on the different tables. Each time someone is querying data, or when SteemSQL Database Injector insert new data into the database, it request a lock on the involved table(s).

As you can see, at the beginning of this month, SteemSQL had to manage 4 millions lock requests per minute with spikes to more than 8 millions lock requests per minute.

Finally, as more and more users and dApps/Apps rely on SteemSQL, availability is also a key factor. I do my best to avoid SteemSQL being a single point of failure:

Yes, this graph makes me very proud: 100% availability for over a year!

New subscription fee as of 2019-02-01

Of course, being able to sustains such a load and high level of service has a cost and the current subscription fee is no more enough to cover all expenses. Therefore, SteemSQL subscription fee will increase as follow:

The Monthly Subscription fee changes to 20 SBD/month

The Daily Subscription fee changes to 2 SBD/day

For more informtion about SteemSQL subscriptions, check SteemSQL’s website

This price change will have no impact on active subscriptions. Any active subscription will expire at the expected date. Up to you to renew it using the new subscription fee.


Be careful when activating or renewing your subscription !

  • Any subscription activation/renewal using the old fee will be refunded and your subscription will not be created/extended.

  • Any other amount sent to @steemsql with an amount different than the daily or monthly fee will be considered as a donation to the SteemSQL project.

  • There will be no refund unless it is proven that you have not received confirmation of your subscription via a transfer with your login information.

Thanks for reading!

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The service that you provide is unrivalled and I think 20 SBD per month is cheap for what you're offering here. I think you should consider adding in fair use limits for that 20 SBD.

Those stats you're showing are massive and running infrastructure at this scale is not cheap at all. A fair use limit would not affect most users, but the heaviest users (large dApps and whatnot) should pay more if they go beyond that fair use limit.

What those limits would look like? I am not sure. But if some users are consuming hundreds of gigabytes per month they should pay more than 20 SBD, especially considering you couldn't setup AWS/Google Cloud instances to achieve the same thing for that price per month.

Love your work @arcange


Thank you for your support and feedback @beggars.

The actual subscription model may not be perfect but it was the easiest to implement and manage: "activate subscription -> check expiration date".
I have already thought of different economic models and these are under study. However, their implementation would require resources (programming, time, monitoring ...) that I do not have at the moment.

Well I will still be subscribing each month :)

Thank you for this service @arcange!


Thank you Asher =)

Thank you for providing and maintaining this excellent service. Definitely worth the price.

May I suggest an idea. Would it be possible to have different prices with different usage quota? Heavier users pay more, light users pay less basically.

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Thanks for you feedback @quichuy.

Would it be possible to have different prices with different usage quota?

It's something I had in mind that could happen in the near future. Thanks for the suggestion.

I know it is hard for you, but 20 SBD is a bit steep for majority. I think gradually steemsql may be only available for big whales/top witnesses.


Mate, you are the most extensive user of SteemSQL and you know how powerful and reliable it is.

You find the fee a bit steep? Do the math:

  • rent or buy a server (given the size of the blockchain and the number of indexes you need to create to get good performances, you should not aim too low on specs).
  • develop an injection tool for the blockchain in a database
  • monitor and maintain your infrastructure
  • adapt your database / services / applications whenever there is a hardfork.

I challenge you to prove to me that it will cost you less using your own infrastructure.

I really do not think the price is excessive and I'm not rich enough at all to run it at loss.

Look at SteemData and SDBS. Anyone running it gave up because of the unreliability or maintenance costs.

I have run SteemSQL for free for more than a year, asked for support from the community to keep SteemSQL running free and didn't get any. Hence the move to the subscription. Bring me to the top 20 witnesses and I will reconsider it for sure!

  1. 20 SBD is probably nothing for top 20 witnesses or those who run a vote-buying services - but as you are not aware of - many others simply can't affort this.
  2. I totally agree with what you said here - I am not saying your service isn't worth 20 SBD.
  3. If would be great if you can offer some kinda discounts for those who: (a) delegate to you, (b) vote you witness (c), using your service for non-profit purpose e.g. promo-steem etc

or discount for longer term payment :-) like 3 months or 6 months or something like that.

Thank you! Excellent work.

Great work @arcange. I think the subscription model is still affordable.

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