I should have seen this coming. Already there's been some confusion regarding HonestBot's promise that bidders will see a positive return-on-investment on their votes.
This was the question (slight ammendments made for clarity): "I bid 0.1 SBD and got an upvote $0.23. Is this positive ROI?"
It's a valid question and the explanation is a little bit complicated. The short answer is that Steemit's SBD-to-USD peg is broken.
According to the Steem Whitepaper, Steem Backed Dollars were designed to be more-or-less pegged to a value of 1 US Dollar. They've been trading well above that for months. At the time of this writing, one SBD is worth $5.54 USD.
"Why is this a problem?" You might ask. It's a problem because Steemit and other apps built on the Steem blockchain still show a reward value in USD, calculated based on an assumption that one SBD is still worth one USD.
Because of this, the actual value of a post payout is actually much greater than the apparent value as seen on the site.
Let's say a post has an apparent value of $1.00 at the time of payout. Curators take 25%. Of the remaining 75%, half is paid as Steem Power and the other half is paid as SBD assuming you have your post payout set to "Default (50%/50%)".
The remaining 75 cents would become 37.5 cents worth of Steem Power (0.084 Steem) and 0.375 SBD because the system assumes that one SBD is worth one dollar. That amount of SBD is currently worth $2.08 USD. Add the two together and you get the actual value of the post.
So the actual value of that one dollar post is $2.46.
If you see that your bid of 0.1 SBD is only worth $0.23, some quick math will tell you that it isn't a loss. At the time of that user's action, his bid was worth $0.53 and the upvote he received in return was worth $0.71. It's still a profit!
...just go to Steem Bot Tracker. It will tell you the real-time value of Steem, SBD, your bid, and the vote you will receive in return. That's the easiest way to keep track of this confusing mess.
I hope this clears things up.
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