August and September '18 New STEEM User Report

in utopian-io •  6 months ago

At the beginning of every month I was preparing a report containing details of new users for the previous month. In April we broke 1 million registered accounts. However, we have seen a downturn in the users registering, and an increase in bot and spam activity and I didn’t feel a monthly report was providing much value.

For that reason, I had changed to a report every second month, providing details of the two previous months.  

If you missed the last report you can read it here

However due to HF20 and the changes in account creation, I believe this report will be of value on a month to month basis and will be returning to producing it monthly, with additional information relating to account creation tokens.

Aim of Analysis

The aim of this analysis is:

• Establish how many new users registered

• Establish what % of accounts have posts

• Find out who are the new big players in terms of SP

• See what accounts are acting suspiciously

• Establish if there is a break in any of the trends from previous periods 


Year to Date Data


In 2017 to the end of Sept, 0.6M accounts were registered.  In 2018 for the same period 0.42M accounts have been registered.  

The median new accounts per month this year is 60K, however we can see clearly that the first quarter of the year had substantial more registrations the then next two quarters.  New registrations had been decreasing since March, however we had a small upturn in September.

August Overview


The above dashboard shows details of accounts set up in August.  Of the 22K new accounts, 18.33% have completed their about section in their profiles and 8.58% have added a link

38.28% of accounts have posted once, with 13.49% posting more than 10 times and 4.16% posting more than 50 times. 

Looking at the activity pie we can see Not active accunts make up 50.6%.  Fully active accounts have both posted and voted.  This makes up 27.4% of accounts registered in August.  Almost 11% of accounts have posted but never voted and 7% have voted and never posted.  Finally almost 4% of accounts are Wallet user only.

9K STEEM was spent on Account creation fees and 621.64M vests were delegated to in the set-up process.

The table on the left of the dashboard shows who set up the accounts.

The chart below shows the number of accounts created each day in August compared to the same period last year.


September Overview


The above dashboard shows details of accounts set up in September.  Of the 25.5K new accounts, 14.9% have completed their about section in their profiles and 7.27% have added a link to a different source.

33.4% of accounts have posted once, with 8.84% posting more than 10 times and 1.57% posting more than 50 times. Although these values are down on last month, I would not be concerned as it was HF20 month and it did have an impact for a few days on the level of activity.

Looking at the activity pie we can see Not active accounts make up 34.83%. This is down on the previous month.  and Fully active accounts have both posted and voted.  This makes up 25% of accounts registered. Just over 8% of accounts have posted but never voted and 30% have voted and never posted.  Finally almost 1.63% of accounts are Wallet user only.

7.7K STEEM was spent on Account creation fees and 725.65M vests were delegated to in the set-up process.

The table on the left of the dashboard shows who set up the accounts.

The chart below shows the number of accounts created each day in September compared to the same period last year.


HF20 Changes

Under HF20 accounts can now be set up by either burning the STEEM and sending delegation so the accounts can transact, or they can be set up with discount account creation tokens where the fee is 0.

For the entire month of September the pie below shows that the vast majority of accounts were set up with a base fee of 0.1 Steem.  Prior to HF 20, this value was multiplied by 30 to get the actual cost so 3 Steem.


Zooming in to post HF20 we can see a big change.  Almost 31% of accounts were set up using the account creation tokens and 0 Fee.  56.55% of accounts were set up for 0.1Steem and as this was post HF20, no multiplication was applied.



HF20 made direct changes to the account creation process.  It will be interesting to see moving forward how this impact the number of accounts that will be set up each month and it will also be interesting to see if there is a shift from Steemit Inc to other in the account creation process.

I also found it interesting that the number of accounts slightly increased in September and I am wondering is this a false positive because of account grabbing prior to the HF 

The Data-source and Query

As always to produce this report I connect to Steemsql (paid subscription services held and managed by @arcange ) with Power BI. The SQL query used to gather the data for this report was

Select *
FROM Accounts (NOLOCK)
( created >= CONVERT(datetime,'01/01/2018')
AND created< CONVERT(datetime,'10/01/2018')

To get details of who set up each account I used the following query

Select *

FROM txAccountcreates (NOLOCK)


timestamp >= CONVERT(datetime,'01/01/2018')

and to get details of accounts that used their wallets I used the following

select [from], timestamp

from TXTransfers


timestamp >= CONVERT(datetime,'01/01/2017')

Once I loaded the data into Power BI, I then carried out transformation and calculations using DAX language. 

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Hi @paulag, thanks for the report! The changes to the account creation system are very interesting! From what I could see, steemit seems to have fully switched to create discounted accounts but continues to give a 15 SP delegation for new signups. The post-HF20 data set is still comparably small to draw conclusions, but at least the trend looks promising and I'm also looking forward to other dApp account creation services making use of the new possibilities. Your next report will tell! :)

Prior to HF 20, this value was multiplied by 30 to get the actual cost so 3 Steem.

It depends on the account creation method if this multiplication is applied. The multiplication on the fee is used for accounts that are created without delegation. This requires 30x the account creation fee = 3 STEEM. For account that were created with delegation, only 1x the account creation fee had to be paid (0.1 STEEM) together with a delegation of (creation_fee * 30 * 5) = ~15 SP.

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I too am looking forward to seeing how this all matures and I am looking forward to the next report myself.
Thank you for your feedback and review @crokkon


Thank you for your review, @crokkon!

So far this week you've reviewed 1 contributions. Keep up the good work!

it looks like user growth is starting to really drop. User retention is also a problem with about half of the userbase inactive. I wonder how much of that is accounts with lost passwords vs actual folks quitting the platform.


I would say there are a lot of accounts with no passwords or that just got sick of waiting for accounts

We probably also need some sort of means of determining when/how/if newly created accounts are being powered up by having SP transferred to them after creation. In fact, it might be procedurally more accurate to note that there are two ways of creating accounts, using an account token or burning some amount of STEEM (currently 0.1), but in both cases the account requires SP transferred to it to interact with the blockchain in any meaningful sense.

How many accounts are getting created but receiving no SP immediately after either via delegation or transfer? That's a key metric that we need to look at.

It's the loss of that initial staking that is going to be really brutal for digital applications looking to implement on the steem blockchain, for reasons that I have talked about in other threads and which @intrepidphotos state separately.

And we still don't really have a good idea of how many RC are going to be necessary to engage in "reasonable" activity in terms of engagement with other content on the blockchain.

If uncertainty is the bane of investment, and it certainly seems to be, hardfork 20 has the immediate side effect of making investment in the steem blockchain a shakier proposition rather than a foregone one. Tracking account creation is going to be part of how we determine if that is the truth.

(I have a personal theory that it's actually bot swarms that have the advantage in the face of the requirement for the account creator to delegate or gift SP to an account before it can function. Digital applications aren't usually sitting on that much infrastructure funding that they can basically hand over for a return rate of less than 25% on just account creation. But bot farmers do, because they have the infrastructural support to distribute SP to new accounts intended to return a predictable amount based on their activity. Bot swarms have the greatest motivation to get their hands on the greatest number of account creation tokens and are already sitting on a fair amount of resources in order to do so because they require those resources to do what they're already doing. Again, looking at the pattern of account creation and SP delegation/gifting should allow us to at least formulate some sort of idea about whether that is an accurate prediction or fatalist.)


As we all know, not everyone has the ability yet to get account creation tokens because there is no easy to use UI for doing so. IMO that means the same people will be setting up accounts that were doing so before and look where that has got us. We need time for this system to mature.

"How many accounts are getting created but receiving no SP immediately after either via delegation or transfer? That's a key metric that we need to look at."
I will add this to next months report


According to @holger80 's numbers through beempy, not only have ACTs been acquired, there was a veritable gold rush on them not long ago. Not only that, but he posted how to claim such accounts through Beem a couple of days ago as well.

So while the same people are setting of accounts that were doing so before, there are some additional players in the game – and that makes analysis more interesting whenever and wherever it happens.

Since account creation is literally just that now, if you really want to track who is actually making accounts, you're going to need to start looking at the dyad of two events – the actual creation of the account and the initial SP investment, and where those operations originate from.

This isn't an issue of system maturation, it's an issue of being able to actually watch its functioning as the major players redistribute how they do it.

For the cost of being able to interact on the blockchain for a few days, even I can create one account. Just. If I really tried. Maybe.

(Though I'll bet the market for ACTs has gone up a fair amount over a few days ago. In fact, I'll just check as of this very moment. All I have to do is go over to and it looks like for the low, low price of 4816 giga-RC, I could claim an account. Okay, so at this point the maximum RC in my account is 1167, so even at maximum RC, I could fund 1/4 of an account. And the prices are bumping along just about how you would expect.)

If there was a time to start establishing protocols and tools to study what's actually going on, this would be the time to do it, before things get more complicated and people start finding new ways to obscure their interaction.

I suspect we're going to need it.


since I posted that I have seen a few ways now to get a hold of these account creation tokens and @abh12345 did a post on it I think yesterday. The 'grab' I was expecting to happen, this is steem after all

Interesting. Lets hope its the beginning of the revival. I would appreciate your opinion on how we expect the DApps (particularly post SMT) to fund the delegation of new users. It seems that a user needs somewhere between 15 and 30 Steem to interact at a base level with the current revised RC system. Even at the current low steem prices thats 10-25$ per account which needs to be delegated. Historically steemit inc has done this from its legacy/founders holding. The new DApps will have to use hard earned cash to do this unless they can negotiate a large delegation from Steemit inc. Social media sites are lucky to make that sort of money back per user over the entire life of the user. If APPICS for example wants to onboard 500k new users, thats aprox $5 million US required in Steem (assuming you can get away with 15 steem per user at current prices ). This seems a disproportionate burden to me let alone if steem prices go up to 2-4 $ range. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.


That's a good point! I think the RC situation relaxed a bit with the latest changes a few days back, but 15 SP still seems to be required to be able to make at least a few comments per day. Steemit is currently also giving out 15 SP delegations with new accounts. Dapps getting delegations from Steemit only helps indirectly, since they can't re-delegate the Steemit stake for own signups - this had to come from their own stake.


I think most of the Dapps have grown a nice little stake now anyway and as they mature more, will be able to handle the funding from their own stake.

I'm waiting for my second account created one week before the HF20!

Posted using Partiko Android


from steemit inc?


Yes, it is not created and almost 2 weeks...


you have plenty of SP/STEEM - why would you want a second account from steemit instead of creating it on your own?!


I created it before the HF20 and trust the recovery process from Steemit Inc.


well the gates are open for you to do it your self now


The gate of unlimited wealth. :)

Interesting to see the account creation in September despite the freeze... Also looking forward to see how DApps and projects can use the new function to onboard new users directly to their communities. It cound leas to improved retention and engagement!


yep the account creation has the chance to changes things up a little, so it will be interesting to see this report change over the next few months

the question is : DOES THE PATIENT HAVE A PULSE ????


The patients pulse is weak but still enough to pump blood to the extremeties.

Hi @paulag!

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Also note that some of the new accounts are active bots 😥

I predict the number of new accounts will decline further. Anyone wants to bet on this?


Im not to convinced that it will decline much further. A lot has been put in the hands of others now away from steemit inc. If the Dapps promote and market their applications, we could see a good increase. at the moment there are just over 700 discount account creation tokens created a day ( not that they are all being used as of this report) and we also can create accounts by burning steem.

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