Your 2 Cent Vote is Worthless, The Real Deal on Dust Votes

"Penny for your thoughts" how about "My 2 cents Worth"?

Hopefully this post will open your eyes even further to the Dust Vote issue rule. It's not just a me too post piggybacking on a hot topic, rather one that might change your voting habits!

Just over a week ago a post by @timcliff that asked for discussion about raising the dust threshold brought attention to this issue. In it he mentions the current dust threshold as such:

Currently if a post/comment earns 0.001 to 0.019 SBD worth of rewards - this is rounded down to 0.00. If a post/comment earns at least 0.02 SBD - then they receive their reward.

Now most everyone read this as long a vote displays 0.02 on screen then the person will get paid, Wrong Assumption!

Read the key part of the statement:

earns at least 0.02 SBD - then they receive their reward.

This 0.02 SBD requirement seems to mean the total payout amount being 50% to SBD and 50% to SP AFTER curation of 25% is taken off the top. If someone can prove somewhere in the code that this is incorrect please do, but my observations have led to this conclusion.

Some Other Reading

This topic peaked my interest, but last week was crazy for me so I was only able to read other peoples posts about it as I went. In case you want to take a ride down the rabbit whole here are a few of the posts that were spurred by @timcliff's post:

If you don't want to read that much let me give you the general tone of the posts and maybe more important the comments. The biggest takeaway to me was the general lack of knowledge of this payout rule and how it wasn't presented clearly to anyone. Seriously go look in the FAQ and find any mention of the Dust Vote rule, it's not there. So there is some anger, disappointment, and other strong feelings about the topic. But the rules are the rules and we need to understand what we are really working with which is why I did some testing.

I'm a numbers guys and can get really technical, but know this will bore most of you and turn you brains into mush and @eonwarped already covered this. So instead I'm going to lay out some test votes that were done to see at what point you will see a reward paid for an upvote.
Copy of PIF Winners.png

Few Examples - Test Votes

To check to see where the cut off was I had 3 votes given the first night on comments that previously had no votes. These were very last minute votes at 12-13 hours before payout so the pool couldn't change much. Plus the price feed had very little room to change in that time which also effects things.

The votes were made with an account that has around 1000sp and is able to adjust the weight of their vote with a couple percentage for each 1c worth of votes. That is 1-5% maybe 0.01, 6-10% is 0.02, and so forth. So while the displayed value of the vote might look the same two different 0.02 votes could have a different total value.

Went into this fully expecting to prove that a 2 cent vote was plenty to give a payout as it's what I had been reading. Here is what we found out:
  • First night we tested 3 votes at the lowest voting power to reach 0.01, 0.02, and then 0.03. Of these 3 votes only the 0.03 vote paid out. With a payout of 0.004 SP | 0.009 SBD

Well that wasn't what I expected...back to the drawing board. Second night we test with votes that were the highest possible 0.01, 0.02, and 0.03 thinking that maybe the 0.02 vote was just barely to low at just over the amount.

  • Second Night with votes that were to the max of 0.02 before hitting 0.03 (based on SteemWorlds sliding bar) the 0.02 vote still didn't pay out anything and only the 0.03 vote did with a payout of 0.004 SP | 0.012 SBD

Further Observations

So I realize that a couple test votes isn't proof, but I have watched at least 100 of other 0.02 displayed payouts pay zero over the last 5 days while doing the tests and then finding time to write this post. Each time none of them paid out to the author.

At the very least I have watch 2 SBD worth of votes disappear as they have been deemed "dust" in the last few days.

Please don't just take my word for it. Look at your list of comments and scroll down to those that will payout in the next 24 hours. See if any of them are 0.02 displayed votes and see if any are 0.03 votes. Note the time which they were written and then tomorrow open Steem World and look at your payouts. The ones which were 0.01 or 0.02 will not payout and those which are 0.03 will. Post your findings below to help shed more light on this topic.


I'm torn here as a 0.03 vote is a lot to achieve on a comment for most users so a large amount of votes are just deemed worthless. It's rare to get a vote big enough to count as many of the users on Steemit don't have enough Voting Power to achieve level of a vote that isn't "dust" and of those that do there are even fewer who have enough to give out 0.03 votes to multiple comments during a given day on top of their normal voting of actual posts.

While this makes it feel like the smallest members votes aren't being heard I get the flip side of this coin. Servers that make all the calculations for rewards would be further taxed if every .0001 vote was paid out, spammers would be rewarded for more of their bullshit (@timcliff's point of potentially raising the threshold), and the amounts really are so small it wouldn't actually effect that many peoples accounts in a noticeable way.

While I hate spammers and think they there is probably a new circle of hell being devised for them in Dante's Inferno...or at least one can hope's hard to ignore the newest members of Steemit who come here with the hopes and dreams of earning some money for their blogging efforts. These dreams tend to run face first into the reality that getting noticed is very hard as a blogger. Then to find out later that their efforts which barely yielded any results go from barely any results to zero results due to the "dust" rule.

Have to believe that with all of the voting power that is available in steemit that there should be a way far the witnesses to reward even the smallest of members who take the time and put in the effort to actually engage with other bloggers making relevant comments. Don't have the answer to the issue, but asking that future discussions take into account that the masses don't have the voting power to give 0.03 votes to reward those who comment on their posts yet they deserve to have their voice vote count!

Take Away

As the smaller members of the steemit community are the ones effected the most by the "Dust Vote" rule we need to change our voting habits in an attempt to maximize the rewards that we can give to others. We need to make sure our votes aren't dusted to the side and instead use them in ways that will actually reward the authors as we intended.

A couple things really stand out for changes that need to happen to voting habits on comments until this issue is addressed.

  1. If your voting power doesn't allow for a 0.03 vote on a comment Don't Waste Your Vote! Instead save your votes and only upvote actual posts.
  2. If your voting power allows for a 0.03 vote on comments make sure to use this as your cut off. Giving a 1 or 2 cent upvote on a comment is a waste of your voting power and isn't giving a reward to the author as you intended.

Some Helpful Resources to Grow Your Account

If you are one of the many who are looking for some support to grow your account without paying for promotion consider taking a look at a few of these resources/groups.

  • Those that are having a hard time reaching 0.03 on your posts look for contests giving away shares of @steembasicincome. Steem Basic Income (SBI) gives an upvote for each post you produce. You can read more about it in my Steem Basic Income Review.
  • Pay It Forward Curation Contest Currently in week 4 we give away SBI shares and have a 4 SBD bounty on the post. This contest is a great way to meet new people and give a helping hand to 3 bloggers who deserve a little extra attention and votes.
  • @greetersguild is a group that helps new steemit bloggers get started on Steemit. Proud to be an official member and to help promote this great group of people. SGG is always looking for bloggers who produce quality content to join (no cost). Their discord channel is here:
  • @asapers is another great group that is focused on helping newbies get their feet wet. Here is the A.S.A.P.ers Discord Room
  • @newbiegames is a fun way to earn SBI shares or other prizes while having the opportunity to meet new people. Here is their Discord Group
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