SBI - Refund Policy Redux

Steem Basic Income

Steem Basic Income is a social experiment to bring a basic income to as many Steemians as possible. Members join by sponsoring others into the program. Steem Basic Income is delivered through providing regular upvotes to member content.

Material Changes

Our original refund policy makes reference to 'material changes' as being a justification to request a refund under that policy. We acknowledge that the changes we made when we released our automated system are material, especially with respect to the upvoting bonuses.
We would like to reaffirm here our original refund policy, but also offer a second framework that is significantly less work for us to deliver refunds through. In most cases, the second framework is much more generous than the initial refund policy.

This will effectively 'open' a refund window, accessible to all members. You can only use the refund window once, and only for your entire enrollment (unit levels). There will be two ways of claiming a refund (one under the original policy, and one under a new modified policy). Requesting a refund under either framework officially acknowledges that Steem Basic Income will deliver all remaining subscription value to you through the framework of your choice. Your unit subscription will be effectively deleted and you will not receive any additional benefits from SBI membership unless you choose to enroll again.

If you enroll again after your refund (or your initial enrollment is after this announcement), your post-refund subscription will again be subject to the 'material changes' requirement until we (potentially) tokenize.

Original Refund Policy - Sourced from our latest FAQ

Members that are terminated for plagiarism or other illegal activity will still receive a partial refund of any enrollment fee they have paid (enrollments paid by the member, not enrollments where the member was sponsored). We calculate the total STEEM value of upvotes received (assuming 50/50 distribution and using STEEM/SBD ratio from the date of each payout and refund any enrollment value not returned through upvotes. (In effect, members terminated for plagiarism are not entitled to any profit.)

If there is a material change to the program, we will offer a partial refund to members that disagree with the new terms of the program. (For example, there will be material changes when we finish the automation project, and an official announcement will be published before the changes go into effect).
This refund option is only valid for enrollments received before the official announcement of the new terms. In this case, the member is entitled to 200% of the enrollment fees they paid, minus the total STEEM value of upvotes received, but curation earned by @steembasicincome would be removed from the total.
In effect, members refunded through this method are entitled to upvotes worth 200% of their initial subscription payment. If the member has already received upvotes worth more than 200% of their enrollment fees, they would not be entitled to any refund. There may be a delay in processing refunds of this type if there is a high volume of requests, and members requesting refunds will not receive upvotes while their refund is pending.

We do not accept refund requests from members for any reason other than a material change to the program. If you want to stop receiving upvotes, you can request your subscription value (shares) to be reassigned to somebody else, but you will not receive any refund.


There are a few key things to note in the original refund policy. First, a clear division is made between units that somebody sponsors you for (sponsored units) versus units that you receive when you sponsor somebody else (enrolled units). Enrolled units have a subscription value of 1 STEEM (you enroll for 1 STEEM per unit), and and sponsored units are treated as a bonus and have a subscription value of 0 STEEM.

Under this policy, only the subscription value is subject to refund. If you are a blacklisted member, this policy will be the only policy available to you, which means you will not be entitled to any value for sponsored units. If you are not a blacklisted member, this policy entitles you to a liquid (STEEM) refund of 2 STEEM for each enrolled unit. Sponsored units still have a refund value of 0 (the sponsored unit is covered by the 200% ROI on the enrolled unit

Second, since your SBI membership is a subscription we net the received value from the total subscription amount paid (or 2x amount paid for non blacklisted members) before processing your subscription, assuming 50/50 distribution. This means that we will determine the total SP and SBD that you have already received from SBI upvotes, calculate the STEEM value using the mid-point coinmarketcap prices for each post payout date, and subtract the total you have already received from the subscription value and then refund the rest. No account may receive in refund a greater value than total STEEM they have enrolled into the program. (All potential earnings are delivered by upvoting, not by use/abuse of refund calculations.)

Since there was a substantial SBD premium over most of our program life, we believe that many older members will have already achieved 200% ROI and not be entitled to any refund balance. If you request a refund under this method, your full unit subscription will still be removed, even if it turns out that you are not entitled to any refund balance.

New Refund Framework

Refunds under the original policy involve substantial calculations to determine the STEEM value of SBD received based on post payout dates and coinmarketcap price history. In addition, they require us to pay out liquid funds that we would much prefer to keep in the program, growing the SP base.

Accordingly, we have established a secondary refund framework that has a much lower cognitive load, but would be paid out through upvotes. Since upvotes cannot be delivered to blacklisted accounts, they are only eligible under the initial refund policy.

For eligible accounts, the new refund framework will keep enrolled units at a 2 STEEM potential value, but will grant a 0.50 STEEM potential to all sponsored units. In effect the total potential ROI under this framework is 250% for each 1 STEEM enrolllment. Refunds would be delivered through an accelerated upvote schedule:
Since our system tracks pending upvote values using rshares, we will deliver the accelerated upvotes through our normal delivery system, by manually removing your units from record and increasing your rshares_balance with any surplus value you are due.

Identifying Surplus Value

We will select the highest value paid post that we can from the same block as your refund request. If there are no paid posts in that block, we will move to the next block after your request and look again, one block at a time, until we find a paid post. The rshares to SP/STEEM ratio from that paid post will be treated as a reference price. If the post is a 100% post, then the total rshares delivered to the post, divided by the SP paid on that post, will be the reference price. If the post is a 50/50 post, we will use the SP * 2 (ignoring any potential haircuts, SBD premium/discount, etc.)

Using the reference price and the total STEEM subscription value of your membership (at 2 per enrolled and 0.5 per sponsored) we will calculate an rshares total for your membership. That rshares total will be compared to the actual rshares you have already received. If there is a surplus, your units will be removed and your pending upvote balance will be set to that surplus value. If there is no surplus, your subscription will be considered fulfilled and your units will still be removed.

This rshares balance will be delivered through upvotes following our normal delivery (20% of remaining balance on each post) until the remaining rshares balance is below the level required to surpass our minimum upvote threshold. When an account with 0 units is found to have fewer rshares remaining than 5x the minimum upvote threshold, the member record will be removed and the remaining rshares balance (~0.05 value) will be lost.

If the user enrolls again before that point is reached, it will not be a 0 unit account, will not be removed, and the ~0.05 residual value will not be lost.

Request Syntax

To request a liquid refund under the original policy, please send 0.003 STEEM to @steembasicincome with Liquid refund request in transaction memo.

To request an accelerated upvote refund under the new refund framework, please send 0.003 STEEM to @steembasicincome with Upvote refund request.

Refunds requests with incorrect syntax or invalid transaction amounts will not be processed. We consider those to be indications that the user does not understand how our refund policies work, and may not realize that their refund request would result in full termination of their existing subscription (no more upvote value accrual from any of our value streams) after delivery of their refund is processed.

Each account can only request a refund one time, under one method, and the method chosen cannot be changed if the user finds that the calculated outcome is different than they expected.

Unit Transfers

In most cases, members that have been with us for an extended period would do better to find somebody willing to pay for a transfer of their subscription units than they will under either refund framework. Unit transfers were never an officially announced feature of our program until now, but something we allowed on a case by case basis.

The minimum transfer request will be 25 units, and transferred units will be treated as 'sponsored' units with respect to all future refund requests under either framework. Units cannot be transferred to account they were sponsored from, and units cannot be transferred from black-listed accounts. Any pre-transfer upvote value will also be calculated for the transferred units for all refund calculations (transferring units does not 'reset' the clock. We do maintain a history of when/how those units originated.


If you want to get involved in Steem Basic Income, or to increase the level of upvotes that you receive, enrollment is pretty straightforward:

Just send 1 STEEM to @steembasicincome. Include the name of a Steemian to sponsor in the transaction memo (preceded by @). You and the person you sponsor will each receive 1 unit in the program. You can sponsor any active Steemian (except for yourself), it does not have to be a current member.

If you're unclear, please check out our full transaction memo guidelines and then let us know if you have any questions.

The official currency for enrollment is STEEM. If we choose to accept SBD without refunding it, you do not receive extra value for it.

Enrollments are processed automatically every 144 minutes. Confirmation transactions are still manual and typically are sent within 2-3 days. Even if you have not received a welcome transaction, you can check your status using !sbi status.

With the new minimum upvote thresholds, it may take time for an initial enrollment to accrue enough value to start receiving upvotes.


Please read our FAQ. Most questions are addressed in our FAQ or in the ‘Helpful Reading’ listed below. If you still have questions, ask in the comments section or join us in our discord channel.

You can look up your current membership levels by using !sbi status in a comment or post, or by using our newly modified member lookup tool.

Helpful Reading📖
A Complete OverviewFrequently Asked Questions
Managing Voting PowerPulling Back the Screen
Steem Basic Income, rShares, and AutomationNew SBI Member Lookup Tool
Vote Values in Steem Basic Income - Part One: BlockchainVote Values in Steem Basic Income - Part Two: The Way We Were
Vote Values in Steem Basic Income - Part Three: Where Are We Going?SBI 1.0 - Initial Automation Release
Vote Values in Steem Basic Income: Part Four - Value Balances and Upvote DeliveryResponsible Voting and Following

Foreign Language Resources📖
[VN] Phân tích rủi ro và ước lượng xác suất cho SBI.[Traduction] Steem Basic Income - FAQ
[PT] Steem Basic Income - Questões FrequentesSteem基本收入 (Steem Basic Income) - 常见问题 FAQ
Filipino Translation: Steem Basic Income - Frequently Asked QuestionsFilipino Translation: Steem Basic Income - A Complete Overview
Indonesia translation: Steem Basic Income - Frequently Asked Questions
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