Witness consensus status to fix the actual steem’s economic flows (ENG)

in #witness-category6 years ago (edited)


Several days ago, an insightful article was posted by @kevinwong in which he proposed several modifications on the Steem protocol that, seen as 'all in once' package, could help improve the current situation where stakeholders seems to have better economic incentives by performing 'vote farming' showing a 'content indifferent behavior' which is not aligned to the original vision of the platform to serve as a descentralice social network where value-adding users contributions are rewarded with cryptocurrency:

Cited from the mentioned post:

We currently have a system where stakeholders are incentivized to engage in content indifferent voting behavior (vote selling/self voting) to maximize returns. This completely defeats the protocol’s ability to foster engaging platforms that revolve around content discovery.
We need to move away from an economic system that makes it too costly to vote on work that stakeholders actually deem valuable if we want this place to survive:

  • Upping curation rewards is an obvious answer, but by itself, it is easily circumvented. Bid bots can just offer to share most of the curation rewards. Self voters can spam hundreds of posts and just upvote the ones that were least voted on by others after 15 minutes to avoid others 'stealing' their rewards.
  • Non linear rewards curve should be seriously considered. Having reward amounts/SP that differ per post depending on its popularity is the core component of moving away from content indifferent voting behavior. Yes it has a cost, but the n^2 we were use to was far too steep. At n^1.3 (or any crude approximation of this), we should get most of the benefits at the lowest cost.
  • Downvotes incentives should also be encouraged. Of course greater downvote incentives has downsides, but in combination with 1 and 2 above it should allow for curation rewards to out compete mindless vote selling/self voting.

Content indifferent behavior is the bane of this system. No social media platform can survive if it's unable to at least sort exposure and rewards by some subjective standard of quality.

Based on this ideas - which are more deeply explained in the post, a set of concrete implementable changes have been proposed and discussed in public and private channels in a rather unordered way.

To facilitate the discussion, involve further community members and prove the viability of the modifications, the majority of top witnesses have all agree to individually show their willingness to support the modifications by first a) Identifying a possible set of changes and b) Individually vote for its approval or disapproval.

Identified changes

This is a the list of change proposals:

n^1 rewards curve

The rewards curve shall be kept lineal as introduced in HF19 (keeping it as it is today)

n^1.3 reward curve.

The rewards curve shall be updated from lineal to a “mid-superlineal” n^1.3

50% Curation reward.

The reward distribution per post should be updated from 75% for authors and 25% for curators to 50% and 50% respectively.

10% free downvotes

Users shall be able to downvote 1 post/day at -100% without actually decreasing the amount of remaining voting power

Separated upvote/downvote pools.

Users shall be able to downvote 10 posts/day at -100% without actually decreasing the amount of remaining voting power but consuming its separated “downvoting power” from its own pool.

5 minutes curation window.

The curation window shall be reduced from 15 minutes to 5.

3 minutes curation window.

The curation window shall be reduced from 15 minutes to 3

Consensus status

Witnesses have been asked to approve, disapprove or just accept the changes to summarize the actual consensus status. Meaning:

APPROVE: Witness is actively for the change
DISAPPROVE: Witness is against the change
ACCEPTABLE: Witness wouldn't vote against (if majority does) but doesn't necessarily approve of it
EMPTY: Witness have not express any opinion yet

These are the first results of the consensus voting:

Explanatory comments by some witnesses:


0/100 Experimenting this change with SMT is best way for now, 50/50 I strongly believe this will improve engagement


I'm still of the believe that a 50/50 change won't serve the average user and will only benefit the largest stakeholders and bots. The curation rewards system itself would benefit more from a complete reinvisioning than just turning the dials. If the majority of witnesses want 50/50, I won't stand in the way, I just don't believe in it.


Downvote should be 50-80% of upvote, also do nothing till SMTs come out


On superlinear (n^1.3):
We already have a small degree of (something like superlinear) at the low end. The dust vote threshold is subtracted from every vote, so for example a vote of twice the dust threshold only has 50% weight relative to SP. This converges to linear as the vote becomes significantly larger than dust. I would be aggreable with this being modestly enhanced. What I don't want to see is superlinear at the high end.
On curation window:
I'm in favor of the shortest proposed window (3m in this case) as I actually think the window should be even shorter, like 30s-1m. I don't think it should be used to force humans and bots into head-to-head compeition. Instead I see the value of the window as a short opportuntiy for bots to bid down the curation rewards on easy sure thing type content (known authors etc) for which curation is low value. These rewards forfeited by bots via this auction rewards are returned to the pool and can be paid out some else where they have more value. Once the short window is over, humans should not ever need to 'time' their votes.


I left comments here


Curation: would be open to a sliding scale adjustable by author


50/50 is still too big of a change, propose a test at 60/40, bad psychological UX for users to lose half post rewards, hinders business models of current major apps utopian, fundition etc, curation will still be centralised around certain circles, who can produce good content to avoid downvotes. Careful incentivising downvotes, could literally lead to a downward social spiral and no longer the "Dinner party" civil mentality ned once called for.


I approve of a very mild superlinear reward curve but only if it can be implemented without a large computational penalty to Steem nodes. A curation penalty window of 10 minutes makes more intuitive sense, but like a 15 minute one, a 5 or 3 minute window doesn't. This is an issue that can help or hinder voting cognitive load. A scale of 10 minutes easily translates to 0-100% curation burn.


I would like even more rewards for the curators if possible


Overall I don't think tweaking the reward curve or curation % is worth focusing our time and efforts on. The vast majority of users don't understand any of this stuff and I don't feel like changing it will change their behavior or encourage more people to invest. I do support the separate downvote pool however.


comment: https://steemit.com/steem/@kevinwong/understanding-steem-s-economic-flaw-its-effects-on-the-network-and-how-to-fix-it#@pharesim/re-kevinwong-understanding-steem-s-economic-flaw-its-effects-on-the-network-and-how-to-fix-it-20181017t034424592z

n^1.3: I'm in favour of testing out the n^1.3, preferably on a testnet which resembles the mainnet | Downvotes: I'm in#terested to see how this turns out, but still mindful about the consequences this would bring to toxicity.

I am in favor of a witness controlled downvoting pool size. So we can roll it out slowly with low free downvotes at first and see how the community responds and then adjust the size depending on the results. If it's hardcoded we won't be flexible enough to react.

The table above might contain errors and need to be seen as a work in progress that, if required, will be adapted as soon as witness express further opinions and/or vote rationals.

As already mentioned, we invite with this post all interested stakeholders and community members to further discuss the topics, express concerns or amend errors.

Yours sincerely

Witness @cervantes


EDITED (26.10.2018): The table has been updated with the latest information and the individual comments by the witness added.

EDITED (27.10.2018): @liondani ’s comment updated due to copy/paste error.


Thanks for this interesting article.

I would prefer a curve which started as n^2 / exponential (thus flat), and then later changed into linear which would work against self-voting as well as excessive rewards.

@clayop had a similar idea.

@yabapmatt: Overall I don't think tweaking the reward curve or curation % is worth focusing our time and efforts on. The vast majority of users don't understand any of this stuff and I don't feel like changing it will change their behavior or encourage more people to invest.

If a reward curve worked against self-voting whales and excessive rewards of single posts that would be already a huge progress, then it wouldn't matter if the majority of users changed its voting behavior or not.

5 minutes curation window.
3 minutes curation window.

I never really understood the sense of that curation window: bots can be programmed to upvote after 30, 15, 5, 3 or 0 minutes after a post was published anyway, so why should a curation window decrease the advantage of automated vote bots?


Your Post looks good now @cervantes, the overview is fantastic.

Alright, let us find out what we agree and disagree on, for the best of Steem.

Just want to say before we begin, I am not a big fan of changing the CORE ECONOMY, especially not until way after SMTs are released and working as expected.

be also aware of the price of STEEM being in a place where you may be in a state of "change everything"-panic and I hope that is not the case.

@fyrstikken / @fyrst-witness
StakeHolder & Gatekeeper

I think you're wrong, and I can speak from experience as a content producer who's been here for over two years.

Providing curators with a larger cut will encourage more to actually curate(vote). That's exactly what actual content producers have been desperate for on this platform for a very long time. With more people willing to vote, content producers could potentially see an increase in overall rewards per post (more votes, more rewards). With more curation rewards being offered to consumers, all the content producer has to do to make up for some of the losses is powerup some of their earnings and curate others.

Even under this model, in recent weeks, I've produced content, provided curators with 'x' amount of SP, and made at or around the same amount of SP in curation rewards. In other words, I'm receiving the full value of my posts simply because I choose to vote and support others.

50/50 will also encourage more to play the role of content consumer. As a content producer, I feel this model of producing something, allowing my fanbase to enjoy it for free, and having them leave with more money in their pocket than they had when they arrive, all while I too can get paid; that's genius.

How often do you see a busker in the subway putting money in the hats of passersby? How often do you open a new book, get to page 50, and see money taped to the page with a 'thank you' note?

You call yourself a 'promoter' here because you sell votes. Have you seen the crap you and a few others sell votes to? Of course not. You get paid to look away; and that's the exact opposite of what true content producers need in order to succeed. When the actual content from actual content producers gets buried under those monkey posts you like so much, we end up losing money; that model is forcing many of us to leave because by the looks of it, the things some of you guys "promote" makes you all look like you've been drinking the moonshine. If I can't even compete with that monkey post, there's no reason to stick around.

Those changes won't hurt content producers. The model you're defending hurts content producers, and the proof is all around us.

Have a good day, @fyrstikken.

I also have been creating content and curating here for over two years and when I first read @kevinwong's article mentioned at the beginning of this post I thought that if suddenly authors rewards were reduced to 50% it would tank their moral. But if you curate as well I think you're correct and it would compensate for the reduction in rewards from posting.

It's a known fact and something that's been on my mind from my first day on this platform that the majority of people online are consumers of content, not creators.

In Internet culture, the 1% rule is a rule of thumb pertaining to participation in an internet community, stating that only 1% of the users of a website actively create new content, while the other 99% of the participants only lurk. Variants include the 1–9–90 rule (sometimes 90–9–1 principle or the 89:10:1 ratio), which states that in a collaborative website such as a wiki, 90% of the participants of a community only view content, 9% of the participants edit content, and 1% of the participants actively create new content. source

Of course, striking a balance between rewarding authors and curators who connect with others by commenting and curating and whether changing the rewards to 50%-50% would actually change enough users behavior is a whole other matter.

I see it creating a positive feedback loop in the feeds as well as within posts.

These days I see many publish a post, then leave. Snoop around the wallet region; their SP is delegated away. So they want free votes placed on their posts, then expect others to pay for their votes. Those paid votes then contribute to subpar quality content pushing the content creator/voteseller's work down and out of sight. As they get paid to look away, they're contributing to a negative feedback loop where they earn money to sabotage their own business.

Even if the content producer didn't want to go around curating posts all day, they could reserve SP to curate and respond to comments. The votes they place on curators comments would be worth more to the content producer. Commentators and curators might think they'll be earning less, but once more content creators catch on to the fact they can now earn while responding, more would do it, leading to more comments, and more people getting paid to comment. That scenario could potentially bring back some of the missing social elements. A lot of people publish posts and nobody leaves a comment these days.

As a content creator here, some days I'll spend hours under my posts, responding to and upvoting comments. I don't get paid much for that. Under this 50/50 plan, I would, and so would everyone else.

More people earning attracts more people who want to earn. Some are trying too hard to fit in and produce content so they can make money, they're not good at it (no offense to anyone here, you've all seen those crappy posts) they're wasting time, they make better curators, and should be rewarded for their efforts as well as be offered and incentive to hold and actually use their own SP.

As a content creator, I want satisfied customers. If that means I must earn a smaller percentage per unit with the hopes of earning more in bulk (more incoming votes), so be it. That's actually quite common in business. Nothing unusual about it.

What many don't realize is if this place scaled up to millions of people, a content producer would be able to maintain a blog/vlog and secure profits even at a 10% cut, provided the value of the token was high. 10% today wouldn't work, but it easily could many years down the road.

This all sounds good in theory but would it actually play out that way or will those inclined to game the system find other ways to game it? I can see the potential for bots spamming comments even more than they do now and vote selling wouldn't be discouraged just by changing the reward percentages..

The votes they place on curators comments would be worth more to the content producer.

How would that be worth more to the content producer as opposed to the one leaving the vote?

To me personally, a 50/50 split wouldn't make much of difference as I both post and comment equally. My focus is on building and engaging an online community, but I'm not so sure it would change anything as far as paid votes for sub-par posts. There are those here now who only look for ways to make money with the least amount of effort and they're not going to stop just because of a reward percentage change.

For honest actors who really are engaging with others on the platform, it would be a boost and probably create more engagement, but as far as bringing quality content to the attention of the community I don't see how the change would make any difference at all. Quality and highly engaging posts would still be competing with posts that bought votes and clog the trending pages.

Of course those attempting to game the system will attempt to screw things up. That's just what they do.

Vote selling may continue but who will buy? Spend 20, have 22 placed beside the post. They'd need to earn 9 in organic votes just to break even. Sounds kind of silly to me, but I'm sure a few noobs will fall for it, then feel ripped off, blame the platform, leave, like they do now.

How would that be worth more to the content producer as opposed to the one leaving the vote?

If I leave a vote worth 10 cents on a comment, I'd now get 5 cents. $1.00, I'd get $0.50. It adds up.

I'm not sure how much profit there would be in selling votes. Spend $100, receive $115, lose half = $57.5. A poor quality boosted post would have to earn $42.5 in organic votes just to break even. If the SP is already locked away ready to be sold, who's going to be able to put $42.5 on a shit post organically? Minnows?

The higher they go, the worse it gets. Those votes would have to be sold for less if someone just wanted to buy votes hoping to squeak tiny profits out of low effort work like they do now. Spend $5, have $10 placed beside the post, lose $5. Break even. Is $10 worth of reward worth $5? I can't see them making much money selling votes that way. Those members with their own SP to use could easily just vote for quality work in a timely manner and earn more per vote because the odds are more votes will trickle in after theirs if the post has potential. To me, it sounds like curation would compete with vote selling, and curation rather than selling would come out with more potential profits.

Thanks for the explanation. That makes more sense to me now. I'm all for it because I curate and post equally already so in theory my earning would be about the same. I think so anyway.

I was very interested in your view on this... Because you are a "Content Creator" who wants engagement.

I produce art and creative writing; art needs eyes. I can't get laughs if they don't read. Why would I write humor if I didn't want to hear laughs? I'd never pay someone to look away, because that hurts my business. I want people to look, I hope they stay after the show to talk to me, I hope they support my efforts, and they all get a small token of my appreciation in the form of curation rewards and comment upvotes. That's like offering a free coffee at the art gallery or free beer at the comedy club. Provide incentives, more people show up. Back in the day, you could buy a movie because you want to see it, open it up, and there's a free poster inside. That's how this business works. Without engagement, there's nothing here for me. Sure, I could farm rewards, but just because I grew up on a farm, that doesn't make me a farmer; and there's no point in planting a crop if nobody is going to eat it.

I wanted to answer a few things, but I don't really know you. Nevertheless I would like that if it is possible you answer me only one question: When was the last time that you read an article of someone with reputation of 25 and 15SP and you gave him a good vote because you thought it was good content? Those who have large amounts of SP will benefit in any way because what seems to attract people here according to my experience is the SP not the content or its quality (exceptions are accounting with one hand). I don't have two years on the platform like you but I've spent almost a year and to get to the little I've achieved has cost me sweat. Now imagine a new user with exceptional content that nobody looks at because he doesn't have SP and how little he can do should lose his 50%. I am against monkeys like flames having great rewards but we are not going to detonate the atomic bomb on the city full of civilians just because KingKong is in the city. I think there may be other ways and I will look for them to give my opinion on all this controversy that threatens the stability of the system for new users. It's just my humble opinion and I don't know if I'm the only one here who thinks about newcomers.


He votes for people with low SP. I received his a couple of times - back in the day when my SP was still low - and have seen others receive it too.

It is not that I am in oblivion because I also receive some important votes but this is not about me or the other subject but about a whole community, when I issue an opinion I do not think about myself but about those who have it more difficult, in the platform in general.How good it is that you receive his vote, maybe the man is one of the few who act well on the platform, I have not reviewed his profile to give an opinion, however I think based on the thousands I have seen doing what I say and it is not a question of judging if he acts well or badly but of evaluating if applying a 50% healing reward would really affect the behavior of users or simply continue doing what they always do with the difference that new users will receive 33.33% less than what they currently receive being more difficult for them to upload. Thank you for participating in the conversation.

The part I keep seeing here is everyone's forgetting, is that apps take a cut of the profits. Which means you will be getting in less then you think you will be getting. The Apps will not cut out their fee's it's not going to happen. As more specialized apps start and host images or videos. These costs aren't cheap don't expect apps to cut fee's very much other you can kiss image or video hosting goodbye.

Also, what's stopping anyone from just automating curation as they did before and like they do now. Also, people seem to think this 50%/50% will trip up the bots. The model is likely to switch over to @smartmarket style.

Or they are likely to start self-voting them self with big votes as some do now. Content curator plus biggest vote on your post means more for you. This update has a bigger positive for circle jerks and automation creation services. And the spread will be just as bad as it is now.

The apps with delegation wouldn't have to take a cut, because when they vote for content on their app, they'd receive a higher curation reward. Now factor in popularity. If more members were available to curate, instead of being paid to look away, a really good photo or popular video of the day would generate even more revenue for the app in the form of curation rewards once the other votes start rolling in.

Automated curation isn't terrible. If I earned someone's vote, and they want to support my work even when they're sleeping, then come later to view, which is typically the case for me, I don't have an issue with that.

Would you purchase votes if you knew you'd be losing 50%? Spend twenty, get $22 placed beside your post, no views, lose half to curators who were paid to look away. Does that still sound like a 'smart' market?

Did you just self vote yourself three times for no gain, no reason? Just wondering.

Thank you @nonameslefttouse, I have been reading what you have said, including the dialogue with the others and I will think about it. I still think the OP looked like it was made in a hurry and brought more questions than answers. But if you and the majority of CONTENT CREATORS really want to earn less per post, I am not going to stand in your way if you all truly believe this will benefit you all short and long term.

I still think the OP looked like it was made in a hurry and brought more questions than answers

It wasn't made up in a hurry by any means. Maybe the chart itself didn't take that long but these discussions have been going on for literally years (for example I'm quite certain there was a well-followed post in 2016 which discussed putting curation rewards back to the original 50/50 design, but I don't remember the original author and not going to go searching for it).

Good find!

Well, the last edits has made the OP better.

but I don't remember the original author and not going to go searching for it).

The stakeholder map has changed since 2016, so I suggest we start again, please.

50/50 is a big disappointment to the majority bloggers, so imagine how loud SteemSpeak.com is in some parts right now.

Another thing we should think about is competitors. If we create a balance that feels unfair to content creators, and someone else opens up shop that could be a disaster for us in the short and long run.

Have all these pros/cons been really hashed out, or is everyone just being yes-men in order to not stick their heads out and ask for a ten minute break to catch up? ;)

Many pros and cons have been hashed out. Hundreds if not 1000+ comments on the various posts mentioned here, countless side conversations, etc.

ANY idea that has been around since 2016 on steem has certainly been discussed. A lot. Worry yourself not about that.

I am not worried. Just gathering opinions, @smooth. I run http://steemspeak.com discord 17 hours a day, been doing that for 2,5 years with an active user base of between 5000-6000 people (active last 7 days, I prune it often to only keep it with active and not dead users) so naturally I have a lot of people who wonder about things.

I hope to see you over there some day, spend some time, get to know each other better.

We are almost in 2019 now.

Someone visited my blog yesterday. They liked my post. This was said:

I upped your post because I get value from it
but I delegated my SP to grow
so it doesn't make much difference

Too many people are paid to look away.

Content creators are earning less now because much of the SP is delegated away and centralized into the hands of a few. Under this current model, I was not able to earn the 2 cents I could have received had they not had a reason to delegate away their SP. This is a widespread issue for content creators. I've seen many slowly lose support over the past while due to the fact so much SP in the form of votes with value behind them is unavailable and can't be used to support content creators.

If there was more of an incentive for members to curate, they would not delegate their SP away. I'd be earning more if that curator was earning more curation reward. Even if I only received half of that 2 cent vote, after everything is said and done, I'm still earning more. That penny is more than the current model that gave me zilch.

There are hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of valuable votes that can't be used,daily. That gets unlocked the moment curators have more of a reason to curate. Content creators gain access to those hundreds of thousands of dollars, therefore, they can potentially earn more, even though their posts are worth half. I have my doubts seeing a steady stream of votes with value behind them pouring in will somehow lead to content creators earning less.

Since we all get about 10 full power votes to use on any given day, when one member is paid to look away, that's converted into at least 10 less potential page views. Keep in mind, many vote at lower percentages, so one member being paid to look away can easily be converted into 30-40 less potential page views. When 1000 members are paid to look away, that translates into a loss of 10000-40000+ potential page views. That's in one day. There are over 1 million accounts here.

I have trouble believing content creators would earn less having access to that many more potential views.

On the surface, it's easy to look at a number, only see 50%, and convert that into a loss because it's less than the 75% cut content creators take home now. There's more to it than that though.

I could keep going but I'll leave it there.

P.S. I see you edited your comment and removed the 'moonshine' bit. No offense to anyone here, but I thought that line was funny.

Changing from 75/25 to 50/50 does NOT (re)move 50% of author rewards, it is 33%.

A 1 Dollar Post
50 cent to Author
50 cent to Voter

Is that correct, @smooth?

That is the proposal described in the post, yes.

The status quo is 75 to author 25 to voter.

So this represents a shift of

75->50 for author
25->50 for voter.

Good, then that is crystal clear.

OK @smooth, let us say that we hypothetically go for that solution, with all due respect;

How would you/me/we sell that 50/50 change to the bloggers without experience a networkwide Ramascream from our content creators?

Would we not be labelled as greedy soulless capitalists by the bystanders and the little users which are in the people majority?

The sales pitch is

  1. Curation is broken. A too-large and increasing portion of the reward pool is going to self votes and paid votes that bear little to no relation to quality or value brought to Steem
  2. As a dedicated quality contributor this is hurting you.
  3. By making a set of changes, including (but not limited to) changing from a 75/25 to a 50/50 allocation between posters and voters, we are attempting to shift the economic incentives away from this sort of self- and paid-voting and toward curating on the basis of a high quality, high value contributions as determined by a system better turned to measure stakeholder consensus (as opposed to unilaterally-decided self votes and/or paid votes)
  4. As a dedicated quality contributor this would likely benefit you.
  5. Can we promise that the 33% decrease in gross rewards will be made up for by a combinations of a) A larger share of rewards going to your quality contributions; and b) Growing the value of Steem thereby increasing the entire reward pool (including your share)? No! We can not guarantee this but we think it is a very plausible outcome.
  6. We also believe that doing nothing and continuing the failure of its premiere feature (stakeholder/voter-allocated rewards used to promote growth) will likely result in Steem continuing to stagnate, and likely continuing to decline in value. Your rewards will decline with it.
  7. Please support this initiative for the benefit of the entire Steem community, including you.

seems like a draft made up by three drunks on really bad moonshine

Part of the goal of this proposal is to normalize downvotes and get more systemic benefit from them than soley abuse fighting. However, in this case I'm downvoting explicitly for blatant abuse in the form of harassment. Agree or disagree there is no need for hostile name calling.

This post came about after a year or more of discussion by numerous interested stakeholders as well as several widely-discussed posts by @kevinwong (and others). All of which is a serious effort to improve Steem. If you want to disagree, disagree, but kindly do it respectfully of the work of many devoted Steemians.


It is a draft to iniciate talking about the williness to change some economic parameters or not. I think we witness should place all this early discusions in public “places” to allow stakeholders participate or audit the decision making process. Perhaps this is not the right format or the right place but I rather preffer iterating and maturing the potential changes until consensus is found by the stakeholders (and their representing witnesses) and share the status of the consensus in a chart as the proposed above than doing nothing. Some witness have already begun to make deeper explanation post explaining their rationals in detail (i.e https://steemit.com/witness-category/@therealwolf/witness-consensus-therealwolf ) which I think is exactly what we neeed to keep moving forward.

thanks for speaking up for a lot who are a bit reluctant to do so due to exactly the issues you pointed out

I'm an acceptable for 50/50.

That wasn't an option when I first answered.

Sorry for the error @aggroed and thanks for the update. Im editing the chart and updating the post. Additionally im putting your comment as well.

This went out a bit faster than I anticipated. But then again, it's nice to see the discussions and feedbacks that it generates, so thus I am happy to see it shared even though I myself would have preferred going over it a few extra times before announcing any stances on such important questions.

Anyways, I am practically "acceptable" towards any new idea that has a decent argument behind it. Steem is still young and we will have to experiment with alternative solutions than the ones that we've got, not only discuss and speculate on their potential(s).

What's more important to me is the approach we take to test whether or not a proposed change has the desired impact that we want. Witnesses, developers, stakeholders, and active community members can discuss all they want which changes could result in better outcomes for Steem (not that there's a clear agreement among all parties of what an "ideal outcome" looks like, but let's leave that for now). In any case, if changes as big as those suggested in this chart (50/50 split on rewards and a new pool for downvotes in particular) are implemented, they better change behaviors in a direction that is desired and produce results that align reasonably well with initial expectations.

To do so, the desired outcome ought to be clearly defined and some measurable outcome that would constitute a "success" or "failure" should be set. Then the whole community can understand why a new change is being tested and join in scrutinizing its effect.

Does this mean with the new changes Cervantes will stop upvoting itself at 100%, it’s admin at high percentage and instead the authors it says it supports (Who currently get only 4%-7%)? I mean with new changes you would still make money from curation rewards, but you would be using your curation delegations to actually support the Spanish community. Hopefully it does...

Exactly, with this changes, curators will have the same level of selfsustaintability as authors.

Yes so with your current voting habits you would make more money, but the authors would make less. I’m asking about your specific voting habits and if you intend on changing them since you will be able to make even more money for yourselves?

As a curation group that is community funded and claims it’s intent is to support the Spanish community, I believe your voting habits should reflect that.

Currently your voting habits support yourselves and your admins rather than the Spanish community. Can we expect to see a change in that if these changes are implemented? Or will this just mean more money for you?

We are using more than 50% of our voting stake to support spanish writting authors, 25% to support collaborators and proyects and 25% goes to our SP Witness update. On top of that we are delegating 20K steems to independent spanish comunity proyects (ongoing project where we every month delegate 25% from our earnings as top witness). It is already decided that we stop autovote.

Sorry, we need to go deeper. There's a wrong assumption here on a fundamental level. Curating is not a selfless act of sacrifice for the greater good that should be rewarded. It's an act of exercising cultural power. I vote for @traf because I want to see funny gifs. You vote for @trafalgar because you want to read boring essays. Traditionally, this power cost a lot of money, and it was one of the things that made the grandchildren of self-made men squander their inherited fortune.

So here's my proposal: voting should not be rewarded at all. On the contrary, it should cost money. For example, if the author reward is 100%, the voter reward should be -150%. Nobody would self-vote in this system, not even between different accounts. Voting bots would be unprofitable.

There would be no curation window, no reward pool, and no inflation but deflation instead. Wouldn't that be good for the price? And if you ask me, we can do away with Vests, Savings and SBD too. If we want mass adoption, we need a system that the average person can understand immediately.

Would nobody vote in this system? Well, a vote would become much more meaningful. We can still keep a system where the early voters of the best posts are rewarded in the end.

But we can't just assume that the most popular posts are the best. That would still enable spammers to curate the shit out of one of their posts. We need a new class of witnesses: users who judge the quality of posts by their own voting behavior. These content witnesses will be elected like the block-producing witnesses, with one difference: everybody also gets a number of downvotes in this election. That way, we can keep out users who abuse the system. The content witnesses or quality oracles will have the privilege of voting for free. There could be more than 20 full-timers, maybe 100.

Of course, this comment is inconsistent with my other comment saying we should change only one rule at a time. It's about the arguments, not about the person.

steem is beyond steemit and at this stage votes dont only have use in curation. overall, what is rewarded has been value where content is only a form of value. a developer contribution behind the scenes can be considered value and may be rewarded using the same vote. if you consider the span of these things, you will have another interesting proposal. a vote as well in current circumstance as more cost than is obvious. this is where things like real reputation or responsibility comes in. it is quite broader than is obvious especially when you start to consider steem and the shift and its evolution from where it was, to a blockchain for apps. steemit is now the major centre where all the content from various app still will show and different apps have their own business model and own form of main content. some enterprises even pay with vote too. so vote carries a broader use now than was initially the case. I think adding these factors and you will be able to come up with yet another provisional solution.

Upvoted for interesting original ideas. I don't necessarily support them at this time.

I'm only a low-five-figures investor but I will be cashing out and seeking opportunities elsewhere if 50% curation is the consensus. We don't have enough incentives for posting content now, which is incredibly obvious if you look at the posting quality and quantity after the fork. Further reducing it basically makes Steem a desert, and you can fight over your curation all you want.

I do appreciate the general disapproval for superlinear, though.

Curation plays a key role in rewarding the good content. Otherwise we have a reward pool of X STEEM/day spread out over all kinds of garbage and abuse and the valuable content contributors get 75% of very little.

The goal of these changes is absolutely to get better voting and curation which means more rewards flowing to those who deserve them.

I respect that you may disagree on this but I personally find such strong disagreement a bit peculiar. From 75% to 50% there is a 33% reduction in rewards. I don't know how you can be so confident that better voting and less voting motivated by content-agnostic extraction from the pool won't shift enough back to the good content to make up for this 33%.

Curation plays a key role in rewarding the good content.

No it doesn't. The only way to believe this is if you're completely bamboozled by the white paper. In practice curation doesn't do this at all. All it does is reward predicting what other people will vote on.

I don't know how you can be so confident that better voting and less voting motivated by content-agnostic extraction from the pool won't shift enough back to the good content to make up for this 33%.

The current optimal curation strategy is to cast an extremely broad net of tiny votes in order to catch the occasional "hit" of rewarded content and win a small amount of SP each time through the n^2 curation algorithm. Look at how well @cheneats does as an example. That's the behavior you're encouraging here.

No it doesn't. The only way to believe this is if you're completely bamboozled by the white paper. In practice curation doesn't do this at all. All it does is reward predicting what other people will vote on.

I'm not bamboozled by the white paper. I've explained (for years, often a lone voice on this) how downvoting is essential to anchoring the payout values (and therefore curation) to actual opinions on value of content/contribution. The white paper and the whole notion of downvoting only as an anti-abuse tool is getting this completely wrong (though to be fair with n^2 rewards there is less difference between the two; the original superlinear model with cheaper downvotes surely would have worked better as well).

The current optimal curation strategy is to cast an extremely broad net of tiny votes in order to catch the occasional "hit" of rewarded content and win a small amount of SP each time through the n^2 curation algorithm

That provably isn't the optimal strategy. I can easily improve on this by identifying some posts that won't 'hit' and not spreading to them. But to some extent this is true today because of insufficient downvoting. Literally any garbage can end up being a hit if it gets bidbot votes, and then it generally isn't downvoted enough (i.e. down to zero) because the cost of doing so is too high. Still, I think you can do better.

A large number of tiny votes on decent-to-good content is a useful form of both curation and content discovery in that it separates the possible wheat from the chaff. For example, I often upvote my own comments in large threads by 1% not to earn curation rewards or the few cents of self-voting-reward but to separate them from the huge sea of (often low value) comments.

The second level of curators then has less to look at, and can begin to shift rewards among the identified 'not worthless' candidates. This is good division of labor and value add all around, especially if you consider a scaled up system with much more content added daily.

The second level of curators then has less to look at, and can begin to shift rewards among the identified 'not worthless' candidates. This is good division of labor and value add all around, especially if you consider a scaled up system with much more content added daily.

In order for any of that to work, the large majority of the stake has to be voted naively, so that the people doing the algorithmic discovery have a large pool of content-based votes to be rewarded from. And you get naive voting by reducing the incentive to optimize, not the reverse.

If you have a first-level of curators that does basic discovery, and a larger (stakewise) second-level of curators that does higher-value discovery, you still need an even larger third level of "uncurators" who just want to vote on cool shit and don't care what their rewards are.

That remains the key population for making Steem work.

In order for any of that to work, the large majority of the stake has to be voted naively, so that the people doing the algorithmic discovery have a large pool of content-based votes to be rewarded from. And you get naive voting by reducing the incentive to optimize, not the reverse

It works if overrewarded content is downvoted. Curators can pile on (or perhaps 'reverse pile on' is more accurate since it is anticipatory) because A expects B to curate/vote and B expects C, etc. But if D (along with E and/or F) comes along at the end and declares this to be trash and downvotes it to zero then A, B, and C all wasted their vote power (a costly mistake).

Even without any preference-motivated upvoters (and there will always be some) this can still work. As a curator you have to upvote something or your vote power is wasted. If you spread your votes thin or even vote randomly, this is superior to not voting. Once you do that, then choosing based on what you most expect to not get downvoted is superior to voting blindly. Simple model of course, but not absurdly off.

Somebody has to be the last voter who loses in this scenario. If not a naive voter, who's getting what they want on a personal-social level, then it's a curator who's not doing well enough to be successful. Over time the unsuccessful curators will drop off and somebody else will become the unrewarded top of the pile, until it has recursively reduced the curation-optimizing stake to the level the naive voters can support.

I don't think you have refuted my logic even there are NO naive voters other than downvoters (who count as a form of naive voter in the sense they are unrewarded).

Yes, there will be some equilibrium of curators. That's okay.

I think with 50% curation rewards we are going to see more bots like @nfc and people like me who would power down to lease SP (don't have money to invest), then follow the trail.

It too expensive to produce content but cheaper to get similar rewards from curation. Or at least thats what I am thinking.

I was following the NFC trail with around a 2x vote for a while last week to see how it did. (Steemauto won't actually do that so I kind of faked it.) It was maybe a little more profitable then the cost of leasing, but not a lot, and of course there's the risk of it losing value in an emergent market, since you'd have to commit to the lease for a long term to get a good rate.

I think either delegating to NFC directly or building your own curation bot are better options right now. @night-heron's doing reasonably well putting tiny votes on your comments. :)

Here is another @nfc experimental post. I will obviously think of coding a bot myself if @nfc doesn't work.

BTW I saw @night-heron was voting my comments and got good curation. You'd be better off with 50/50 system. ;)

I don't doubt that The Mespotamians would have a substantially larger return under 50%. But the cost is it making our mission far, far more difficult.

You're looking at it too statically. What if 50% curation more than doubled the upvotes you got?

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What if witches flew down and gave me a winning Powerball ticket?

Why wouldn't large accounts spread more of their voting power to other's posts if curation was 50% and not 25%?

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Because people who are interested in passive income are interested in passive income. No one's going to magically become a participant because you change the number around.

Also you're the ones trying to ruin user acquisition, the burden of proof is on you.

There will still be passive income. Instead of delegating to a content-agnostic voting service you delegate to a decent curator and share the rewards.

Just as easy access to vote bots change the dynamics of how people act, easy access to highly profitable curation programs will also change how people act. Investors will go where the money is. Currently the incentives in place encourage voting with bots, regardless of the content quality. Incentivizing curation incentivizes valuing content that others will also value (i.e. "good" content).

No, it also incentivizes voting with bots, just @nfc type bots. Even the curation increase with HF20 has done that. I've been playing around with some of my own. It's not about content quality, it's just about vote-racing, mostly in front of who Steemit is voting by proxy through the @misterdelegation recipients. Which makes sense, since curation has never effectively promoted content discovery.

Also, it's pretty clear that the peak of "quality content" on Steem is content that is perceived to promote the Steem price. If you reduce the diversity of content by concentrating votes you're just hastening the Bitconnect-ization of Steem.

It's not about content quality

The only thing in this system that has ever been about content quality is downvoting. That's why reducing the cost of downvoting is essential to getting the rewards where they do the most good.

This is a package of changes and looking at them piecemeal is misleading or in some cases deliberate spin:

  1. Increasing curation shifts the 'go where the money is' incentives toward curation rather than self-voting. This would produce more curation but would not work to produce good curation without #2.
  2. Cheaper downvoting means more upvoted garbarge will get downvoted, and therefore curation (see above) needs to focus on non-garbage to get a good return. This would not work to produce good curation without #1 (actually I personally think it would work, at least better than the status quo, but it works better along with #1).

Looking at the pieces separately doesn't show the whole picture.

since curation has never effectively promoted content discovery.

And this is the problem we're trying to fix by incentivizing more curation so that it can effectively promote content discovery.

If we assume more people move to curation bots, would the quality go up, got down, or stay the same? Curation may not be perfect, but I do think it's better than what we have now.

"Quality content" is certainly skewed towards those with the most voting power and it makes sense they want to increase the value of their holdings. One important way to do that is to show the Steem blockchain via Steemit, Busy, Steempeak, Steemmonsters, etc working effectively. That includes demonstrating an effective curation system bringing good content to the surface. By that, I mean it's not just "Hurray STEEM!" articles that will, in the long run, have a positive impact on token price. It's also important (for those who understand and consider long-term value) to promote and demonstrate the effectiveness of the stated (and valuable to investor) goals of the Steem blockchain.

It's not just any number. Besides it's part of a set of proposed changes. Secondly, all I'm trying is to get to the bottom of this by talking to people having different opinions on this.

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It doesn't need to double. Reduction from 75% to 50% is only a 33% reduction.

Yeah... 50% won't get vote sellers the desire to stop selling their votes, it will just give them more money for not curating themselves and keep selling their votes to make money. 50/50 is not solution at all, it only incentivizes more vote selling anyways as I see it.

Vote selling pays about 100%. 75/25 or 50/50 doesn't change it or increase incentives at all, nor does it pay any more to vote sellers (about 100% either way). It increases the relative incentive to not sell. Not enough on its own but it narrows the gap significantly.

As I stated in the comments under @Trafalgar's post, I have a solution to the bid bot issue that steps on no-one's toes and cannot really be circumvented. I wrote about it here. By giving every steem user the ability to mute the EFFECT of votes by allowing them to mute VOTERS - we allow everyone to block out the effects of bots while also empowering users to see more of what they want/need to see. This would also enhance the effectiveness of good curators too since their work would be more visible to those who care and they can then both benefit from their work by reading posts they discover and also then upvote them. This facilitates proof of brain in a pure way that does not involve overpowering anyone and that actually empowers people more than they have been. Empowerment is what is needed here.

I also commented that I see an issue with free downvoting in that the imbalance among user's Steem Power holdings means that malicious whales could literally shut down a large amount of the reward activity for the entire network, which would in turn boost their own earnings. Ultimately, power imbalance that can limit exposure is a problem when exposure is the proposed way to gain power and rectify the balance. This is a fundamental flaw in capitalism too, in the sense that new users (or new born babies) have to join in an old game where monopoly is already established. It's fine to say 'work hard and you can be big too', but in reality that's not how things play out due to the nature of the weighting involved and the ability of the biggest to crush the smallest with little incentive financially for them not to do so. The idea that the big whales who act selfishly to the point of destroying the network would change before they actually do destroy the network, presupposes a level of intelligence and perceptiveness/care on their part about such things - which is already possibly evidenced to be in short supply by the fact that they would have taken things to that point.

Every point in all of this is unique and we need to dive deeply into every point to fully understand it and reach the best outcome. Soundbytes jut can't cut it here. However, I will say that options that empower without overpowering anyone are always helpful.

Imho, protocol changes shouldn't be decided just by witnesses. There aren't enough witnesses for that not to be a really flawed way of doing it. It makes sense for nodes to be the main voters in bitcoin/ethereum, but doesn't make sense for Steem, since the purpose of Steem is the Dapps built on top of it, which are meant to be inclusive social communities, fostering interaction. To just change back and forth based on what witnesses (who, might I add, have completely different incentives potentially than other people) vote for isn't the right way to do it.

A witness have 1/20th of the responsibility to decide which changes he want to apply on the protocol, and he should do it defending the interests and opinions of the stakeholders, who are voting for him as witness. Thats the way DPOS works.

lol I know how it works. I'm saying my opinion is it shouldn't work that way, because opinion/interest is often divided among stakeholders, and a witness will have to vote one way or the other... so one portion of their voters won't be represented. At the end of the day, as well, they vote with their best interest in mind, which may or may not be the majority interest of their followers, ESPECIALLY if they would still retain witness status despite losing many followers. Additionally, someone may disagree with all 20, in which case they may not want to vote, so their voice isn't heard.

Overall I'm very pleased to discover that most of the witnesses recognize that we have a clear an urgent problem in terms of our underlying economics: we're just rewarding the wrong behavior the most (vote farming)

Moving the curation up so it becomes more competitive is definitely the right move. 50% is hopefully enough, as we want to leave as much to incentivize authors as possible

100% separate downvotes however, is far too much. Remember, with 50% curation, even assuming vote farming provides 90%ish of returns, we only need to make up the other 40% here. That is to say, you don't need to take every vote 'abuser' to 0, taking it down 40%+ means they're likely better off just using their money to curate. Therefore, a much more modest number here should be considered

Honestly though, I don't think there's too much we can do to make the current economics worse unless we're actively trying. I hope to see some changes come in before SMTs, even if I don't personally agree with them all. The platform can't continue to go on like this

Remember, with 50% curation, even assuming vote farming provides 90%ish of returns, we only need to make up the other 40% here. That is to say, you don't need to take every vote 'abuser' to 0, taking it down 40%+ means they're likely better off just using their money to curate.

I don't think these numbers are right. In the absence of downvoting, vote farming is nearly 100% efficient and takes far less effort than curation, which is inherently competitive. To even be an average curator takes significant effort. To achieve balance here probably means 50-60% or possibly more. Does it need to be 100%? Probably not but it is close enough to not over-complicate things and try to create a distinction where there really isn't one.

I see a system where one N SP stakeholder can prevent another N SP stakeholder from making an ill-advised payout as healthy. It shouldn't require a multiple. There should be plenty of content where there is a clear majority of stakeholders expressing an opinion who are in favor of a payout. If there isn't then maybe we need to stop paying all this inflation for things that we don't agree are valuable.

That said, some other numbers could work, with other tradeoffs. If we bumped curation to 90% then far less downvotes would be need to balance between farming and curating (perhaps 10-20%). There is still an imbalance in terms of effort, and downvotes are still important to anchor curation to real value. Incentives favoring curation over farming is necessary but not sufficient.

Honestly though, I don't think there's too much we can do to make the current economics worse unless we're actively trying

Mostly agree. I'm not strongly opposed to even the idea of 10% free downvotes as I see it as a step in the right direction, albeit a weak one.

BTW, the proposal for n^1.3 has very little support so you need to factor in that it probably won't happen. A significant amount of downvote power will still need to go to block farming (as with mack-bot, etc.). Whatever is needed to fight high dollar reward extraction, general low/no-value payouts, and generally maintain healthy incentives for non-farmers is additive on top of that.

Yes i'm becoming more and more modest with my expectations and learning to compromise big time, lets forget superlinear, it's not an issue until an otherwise functional economic system is introduced. I raised it initially mainly in anticipation of certain exploits that can occur in the future

I see a system where one N SP stakeholder can prevent another N SP stakeholder from making an ill-advised payout as healthy.

This isn't a reason. This is stating the consequences of the change as if it's a reason. Tim does the same thing.

The numbers are not close, they're very far out. There's never been a very strong rebuttal to my observation that:

Downvote strength only need to be sufficient to push abuse posts rewards towards roughly the new curation value in order to deter them rather than all the way down to 0.

We can both come up with some reasons to fudge the numbers a little to either side, but can we agree that this is an important consideration that was likely missed by most witnesses?

Ok, so an actual separate pool is pretty much out of the question due to implementation limitations. Which means features separate and severable downvote delegations from upvotes are gone, and we don't have a good estimate of the actual downvotes that'll be exercised. We're stuck with one pool and we're sure we can implement 100%, but we're uncertain if we can do a multiplier, steemit's help on any of this is out of the question until well pass SMTs, that's where we're at correct?

There's a lot of stuff to speculate on under the new system, 2 of which come to the forefront in my mind:

  1. The proportion of downvotes that'll actually be used
  2. The proportion of SP contributing to abuse and needs to be curtailed

Obviously I believe 1 >>>>> 2, especially over time, but assuming you probably think the opposite, can we just assume that they mostly cancel each other out?

At which point, in light of the stuff in bold above, would you agree to 50%? Of course we don't know if it's possible, but if it were? I'm guessing we don't even agree on to what extent excessive downvotes are harmful etc, but putting that aside, 50% should be sufficient and going more isn't likely to yield greater value, would you support it?

I think 50% is excessive, but I'm still very confident it'll contribute to a much healthier content discovery and rewards system overall.

If it's not possible, gun to my head, sure, it's hard to do worse than what we currently have. With 100%, although I feel is really really bad, will still be better than what it is right now. But I truly think it's such an excessive change (we're really going from downvotes being prohibitively expensive as it costs 100% returns, to a system with as many pontential free downvotes as upvotes) it'll introduce a plethora of new problems, and with a half ass coding job, the timing right before SMTs and without steemit inc's backing, I'm not sure if it's entirely worth it.


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