Is it profitable to use bid bots?

2년 전

Image: Screenshot

I've seen a couple of posts lately that picked up the bid bot ROI topic. I'm taking this occasion to give a "stripped-down current state" picture. Since I have zero experience with bid bots since months, I decided to better ask the blockchain than to try it out myself :)

I did

  • get all SBD bids to bots on May 24th 2019 (yesterday)
  • get all posts where the bot then voted on the post in the transfer memo
  • check the difference between the SBD amount sent and the value of the vote in SBD at the time of this writing or a couple of hours earlier to get the ROI.

This approach does not contain STEEM bids, it does not properly represent services like @smartmarket or others where the actual votes come from other accounts, and it obviously leaves out any kind of votes from encrypted memo or off-chain payments. And most importantly, it leaves out the up to 7 days window in which the STEEM-per-SBD price can change between the time of the vote and the post payout.

In total, there were 69 different bid bots active with SBD bids+votes on May 24th.

Bid amount vs. vote value


The x axis shows the bid amounts in SBD and the y axis shows the corresponding bot vote value also in SBD. Each dot is one bot vote. The orange line shows the points where the vote value would match exactly the bid amount. The green line shows where the author share of the vote value (75%) would match exactly the bid amount. You can see that most of the bids are around or slightly above this green line. This means that the author share of the vote value corresponds to around the bid value, potentially with a slight profit. The points close to zero vote value with a non-zero bid amount mostly correspond to @smartmarket or @minnowbooster where a significant share of the paid votes come from third party accounts. Those can be ignored here.

ROIs for individual bots

This data can now easily be broken down to the individual bots. However, this has to be treated carefully. The data is from a single day only, and a couple of bots only had a hand full of votes throughout the whole day, limiting statistical significance on this data. I'm showing only those with at least 5 votes. But didn't we always wanted to know which bot gives the best ROI? ;)
I've calculated the mean ROI by summing up all bids from that day and put that number in relation to the sum of the corresponding vote values per day.


And here's the data again in tabular form:

Clear winner is @drotto here, but the typical bid there is 0.001 SBD. The majority of bots had a ROI of 0-30%, assuming that the STEEM/SBD price doesn't change until payout. Bots standing out with high returns also for higher bids are @booster and @ocdb. This is quite considerable, I would have expected much lower returns in general! (Or did I screw up anything?) @smartmarket has to be again excluded here since the majority of votes after bids to @smartmarket come from other accounts and this data only takes the vote from @smartmarket itself into account. The same partly applies to @minnowbooster.

Speaking of winners: The award for the most bot votes received on that day goes to @apix, with 67 bot bids on a series of worthless spam likely automated sports betting quotes. Let's see what @steemflagrewards thinks about this...


The typical bid-bot votes on that day gave a vote value such that, after curation is removed, the author got 0-30% more than the value of the bid. Using bots gave a quite positive ROI in most cases, I didn't expect this. However, this is a small time range, does not take any changes in the STEEM price into account and lust looking at the ROI number does not take the bid amount into account.

Am I stupid to leave out the opportunity to get a 0-30%+ on an additional bot invest? I just feels so wrong to play the bot game...

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My thought here is that the promote feature isn't realy being used as it was intended to be.

I also haven't used bidbots for months. But I think their use is really natural(?) way people go becauze of the foreseen reward/profit. Unless something's put into place that discourages (penalizes) the use of bid-bots, then I don't see this trend changing.


Hi @eastmael, I'm also under the impression that this has become more an investment feature than a promotional feature, at least currently. From the operator point of view it wouldn't have to be profitable. But with likely more bot SP available than what users buy it becomes profitable. The decreasing number of active users on Steem isn't helping either...

Nice :)

I have caved and am using OCDB due to the fact it has a white-list and is profitable.

Anyone using the bots with an unlimited loss are crazy imo :)

Hey!!! Seems like we were on the same page today! Hahaha

Thanks for your comment! I did forget about the curation rewards! I should ask @cardboard about that because I'm probably forgetting something else in my post. hehehe

You have such a detailed experiment here!!! There was a time where people were losing money on bots... (That's when I stopped using them) but then read my post haha

Thanks for your helpful comment (and your visit!)

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Interesting analysis, I had an idea today, how to deal with the bid bot problem: add a small "fee" for delegations, and incentivize manual curation instead, outlined here


Thanks for your comment! That's an really interesting idea, I never though about this, but I think I like it! I guess a bit of care had to be taken that only the delegated SP is reduced and not the RCs currently coming with it, otherwise new users might struggle even more than now. Your idea seems pretty simple and straight forward (no offence! :) ), are you really the first to bring this up or do you know if this was discussed/considered before?


Thx for the feedback, good point with the RC, I think there are also plans to make a separate RC delegation feature that could be unaffected by this "fee". Have not read about this idea before, would like to see what witnesses would say about it. Got an interesting reply by @liberosist:

Did you happen to run any numbers for @bro-rando?


It was not part of the main post because I was mainly looking into SBD bids and @bro-rando mostly receives STEEM bids.
However, using the same approach plus the median STEEM price, I get a mean @bro-rando ROI of 3.013 (from 21 votes within the last 24h). Pretty good! Seems like the voting rounds aren't getting very full recently?

To me it is very profitable, as long as you are a bit careful with when and to who you buy your vote from.

Since I joined in December 2017, I´ve always looked for good ways to get more and more STEEM and bidbots were a solution right away, with better and worst ROI, but with a very good profit, for sure.

Here are the bots I use (being the first 2 my favorites):