How to make Steem great again: the Exponential Author Reward Method

4년 전

Since a few weeks an idea, how to improve the Steem ecosystem exists in my head and I couldn't figure out how to properly transfer the idea to the community.

Recently I started my first "App" on the Steem Blockchain - the Community Witness - and I feel like now is the right time to present you a proposal how to radical improve the Steem Blockchain for mass adaption and how to achieve a much fairer and less exploitable distribution of the Steem author reward pool.


The following proposal requires a rework of the Steem author reward system on protocol level which could be rolled out in an upcomming hardfork. For such a drastical change consensus of all witnesses and Steem stakeholders is required.


The proposal is called "Exponential Author Reward Method" and will try achieve a much fairer and less exploitable distribution of the Steem author reward pool.

  • The higher the author reward for a content post, the lower the reward for another upvote of equal voting power
  • The higher the author reward for a content post, the higher the penality for another downvote of equal voting power

Mockups / Examples




Wider distribution of the reward pool

Speaking of today, a large part of the reward pool goes into the hands of a small number of accounts. The proposal would lead to a wider distribution of the reward pool and further encourage voting for quality content and downvoting for bad content.

Steem will only be successful if the project can grow much further, so the value for content should be measured on quality instead a backup of large stakeholders or a large stake of Steempower.

Lower the impact of voting bots

Voting bots are here to stay on the Steem blockchain. With this change, the positive effect in promoting quality content with bots will stay but it'll become less profitable the higher the reward is pushed and more of a risk of getting a downvote, which will have a much higher impact. Money put into voting bots will be much more at stake, when somebody tries to promote bad content.

Encourage downvoting on bad content

With downvoting becoming more powerful on higher valued content, community-driven services like @steemcleaners or @cheetah will have a much larger impact on keeping Steem a place with great content. Even @berniesanders should have an easier time downvoting overvalued chart analyses without sacrifying his whole stake of Steempower.

Possible exploiting tactics

Of course there is a way how this reward method could also be exploited:
In order to escape the upvote/downvote penality with higher rewards per content - people could start splitting their upvotes on more and more content and start spamming the blockchain.

In my opinion this will be way more costly and time consuming than exploiting the reward pool today. It could be countermeasured with more community-driven downvote services and will come with a much larger reputation lost.

Final words

This proposal shoudn't be perfect yet - but could be a good starting point for a discussion.

I really love the idea and vision of the Steem blockchain and wanna see it succeed - so we have to reflect ourselfs if the reward pool distribution today is perfectly designed as it stands now for mass adoption.

The proposal will be one of many other things, I'll do to further improve the Steem ecosystem - if you like to support me, feel free to join my project Community Witness and send one of your witness votes to steemhq.witness - you won't regret it.

If you think this proposal is worth for a discussion please resteem it to your follower!

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This is a very interesting idea, especially if it can achieve the desired results.

I like this idea. How common is it for their to be forks that allow new rules to apply to the platform? This seems like a particularly big change.

As a newbie, I've got no problem with big changes, since I'm not exactly comfortable in a well-worn groove on here. But folks on here a long time may be threatened by the idea of any change to something as fundamental as the rewards they get.

I've seen some witnesses who create long-form content that obvious takes some real effort making well over $500 per post. So this would negatively affect their earnings, as well as reigning in the abusers. Still, as you said, even if it isn't the final idea, it is good to start thinking along these lines.

Maybe like this, but then at a certain breakpoint the rewards for upvotes start climbing again, so that anyone with really a lot of support can be rewarded for that.

I like this idea and find it interesting. I assume that lost rewards are returned back to the reward pool? Such an implementation would definitely curb bidding bot use and would encourage a more decentralized distribution to smaller accounts.

There aren't any downsides that I can think of right now. Sure, a bad actor can create a bot-net and farm horizontally, but they can do that now. This would eliminate a lot of vertical farming of rewards by larger users. I don't ever expect something like this to ever get implemented, but I think that it could be a useful addition. Although, I also want to see if someone can find a good attack against it.


Hi @greer184,
thanks sharing your thoughts to the proposal.

I really hope we'll see even more reviews like yours from other Steemians in order to bring it to discussion in a wider audience.

  ·  4년 전

Thank you for the contribution. It has been approved.

You can contact us on Discord.

Wow! This makes a lot of sense. Steemit is a great platform but there’s a long way still to reach a good community point.
I’m seeing more and more users’ suggestions and this is what will drive the change.
Thanks for this! You have my support on this one :)

GREAT frickin idea. I would love to see this happen. (especially since I'm a 27 rep still) day 3 on steemit and 2 for utopian. This is the first post I have read and I hope to see more like it. Thank you very much for this effort.

Absolutely excellent. Re-distrobution of the reward structure is imperative for encouraging new members to stay. This is a good start but dont think it goes far enough, Im not sure what else could be done though. I was shocked at the 12% retention figure being bandied about. I personally would also like to see a 4 post a day limit reintroduced to stop outright spamming as well as people using the power of the downvote to hit bad content. Problem is people are scared to flag people with higher reps which i think also needs looking at.
Excellent community work. Thank you


Hi @nathen007,
thanks for you valuable feedback!

I totally get the point with people scared for revenge flagging. That's why services like @steemcleaners are totally essential for the Steem ecosystem - today and even more important in the future. These services could operative way more effective with a reward distribution model described here, in my opinion.


Totally agree, steemcleaners do a brilliant job, poor buggers must be at it 24/7!


Everyone can help. I pretty regularly use the reporting page:

Anyone can use it. If you see abuse, report it. You'll get a tiny reward for your effort too.


Ok, i think I understand correctly, and this would make sense in some respects.

My main issue would be (if I understand correctly), is a user with many accounts downvoting a post. Would the above mean that each account in the trail would carry more weight to bring the post down?

I like to see concepts for change/improvement, cheers!


My main issue would be (if I understand correctly), is a user with many accounts downvoting a post. Would the above mean that each account in the trail would carry more weight to bring the post down?

Many accounts downvoting a post wouldn't be a problem at all - because a downvote would cause the total payout for a post go down, which leads to more effective upvotes and less effective downvotes again (depending on how much voting power was used by the downvoter).

So multiple downvotes in a row would be become less effective with every downvote. From a voter perspective it really doesn't matter if you use one account with a large downvote or hundrets of accounts with small accounts - the result will always be the same.

Hope that was kind of understandable :D

@steemhq, No matter approved or not, I upvote and support you.

What bothers me about this, is that people get envious of high paid posts, and it gets easier to downvote them. If people are successful they should not be brought down in my opinion.

if it ain't broke don't fix it until it is.

Very interesting. I can see this breaking a few 'business models' that are in operation on Steemit - though I'll need to think on it for longer before I could see more of the possible implications.

Good idea. I had this idea considering BOT upvoting and the reward pool:
What if:

  1. We had a random possible occurring SP maintenance fee for accounts on a regular basis (like 1 SP monthly) to disincentivise multiple accounts (Steem burned, like Promoted posts burn SBD) that maybe only sometimes affects accounts that have voted in the time period (that month) & perhaps the maintenance fee doesn't apply to accounts that meet a random reason (using an algorithm with an unguessable randomness that changes each month) like below 100 SP 1 month and even or odd SP balance another month (to prevent gaming the system) + always if you're under a certain SP like 25SP to prevent bankrupting accounts?
  2. A “Random Selection” page along with Trending/New etc that selects posts from accounts according to an algorithm (randomized)? This way the bot-users don't go crazy with a million bots and minnow posts can show up and have a chance to be voted onto the Trending page.

The result would be that you can use bots, but it might result in you losing more than gaining. Minnows could make the Trending page. Plus, it's fair and random so it doesn't unfairly punish and if you have idle accounts then they are unaffected. People would have to try hard to put out good content because if they put out junk, then they wouldn't be upvoted and they would be subjected to stagnation at the low threshold of 25SP (for example) until they learned to improve their posts. ? Just an idea. What do you all think?

Your proposal is a refreshing call for change in hopes of salvaging the first mover advantage that Steemit has as a blockchain-based social and blogging platform. One thing is for certain: the current rewards distribution model is unsustainable and stands as a firm obstacle in the way of further adoption of the Steem blockchain. I have referenced this quote from the Steem White Paper repeatedly because it is very relevant to this discussion and the present situation on the site: "Any imbalance in the give and take within a community is unsustainable. Eventually the givers grow tired of supporting the takers and disengage from the community."

I'm sorry I was hacked! I have deleted the spam and working on clean up! xo

Good to have people like you. 👍 These discussions are vital for the future of Steemit. Thanks.

Interesting, i must say

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thaits is grade ida if i can achieve most be some waye

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I think you are on to something ...

I think there will need to be at least three factors at play in the calculation.

  • Number of posts/time period. (Historically, 100% for the first 4 posts/24 hours, then that decreased as you posted more)
  • Reputation of poster. As far as I can tell, the system is not taking advantage of reputation.
  • Exponential Author Reward Method

Steemit is all about the game theory. So, every time you change the game, the gamers will change their strategy. But, this has the possibility of spreading the reward pool a little further.

This post was resteemed by @steemvote and received a 8.88% Upvote