The Impact of Unused SteemPower on the Rewards Pool - Blockchain Business Intelligence

Almost two weeks ago I received a comment on a post from @freebornangel. The comment was lengthily and ended with

Yeah, thanks for making it even harder for the newbs to make a buck on their content

Ouch…I don’t want to hurt minnows…I’m still a minnow myself.

This was part of a response to the post /@paulag/steemit-inc-and-misterdelegation-distributing-power-and-delegatee-ranking where I gave a shout out to @ned and @steemit to delegate more and not let their SP go unused.

I recommend you read the post and the comments left, but to summarize the discussion between @freebornangle and myself went a bit like this.


If the 75% of sp that doesn't vote did vote our votes would be worth even less than they are now.

Me: You are wrong!

@freebornangel: do the math and see

Me: Ok…I would love to prove you wrong.

The Aim of this Analysis

  1. To see what impact if any would a daily 100% vote from @steemit would have on my vote value
  2. To see what impact if any would 10 daily 100% votes from @steemit would have on my vote value
  3. To establish how much SP is unused

Calculating the value of a vote

I previously wrote an explanation of how to calculate the worth of a vote on steemit, which you can read here:

This posts covers the steps on where you can find all of the data along with the formula. To recap the formula is

a = (reward_balance/recent_claims)

b = (base/quote) // it is Steem/SBD Feed price

c = (total_vesting_fund_steem/total_vesting_shares)

d = steempower/c

e = power*weight // weight of vote for ex. 10000

f = (e+49)/50

G = f to inter

Vote amount in SBD = dG100ab

From this we can calculate the worth of a vote from @steemit


And we can also use the template to calculate the worth of my own vote


These values can be further verified at


So if a vote from @steemit is worth SBD $10,044.62 and they voted 1 time per day, what impact would this have?

Well there was a little math involved here

First I needed to convert SBD to vests. Using 1 SBD = 1.0926 STEEM

And using 1.0926 STEEM = 2232.4950 vests

We can use these values to now calculate the Vests used per vote and multiple of votes for @steemit
And we also need to calculate the Rshares on a vote ( which I got the information from this post by @jfollas)


(there is probably a much easier way to work this out – I do tend to find the hard solution!)

The table below shows how much 1 vote, 10 votes and 90 days of 10 votes is worth in terms of SBD, STEEM and Vests. We can also see how much RShares are used at the same voting levels


Using this data, we can now amend the Vote worth calculation to include the change in a = (reward_balance/recent_claims). If we update this to include 1 vote from @steemit the change in my daily vote worth can be seen below


So with only 1 full 100% vote a day from @steemit would reduce my vote worth by 1.54%
If we update this to include 10 votes from @steemit the change in my daily vote worth can be seen below.


15% is a substantial and noticeable different on a vote value. However this is assuming that @steemit only started voting now.

In the original discussion with @freebornangle I made a counter claim that if the price of STEEM increases then we can offset this difference in vote value.


To offset 10 votes a day from @steem at 100% power the price of STEEM would need to increase to 3.94. That’s an 18% increase and very doable.

However this does not address the issue of the rewards pool. At the end of the day, the reward pool is only filled by so much. If the payouts are greater than the refill then the pool will eventually dry out.

So if we backdate the data, so that the reward balance and recent_claims include 10 votes a day at 100% for 90 days look what happens to my vote worth…


@freebornangel you were so right…..I take back what I said.

90 days of voting 10 votes a day at 100% weighted Power would have drained 9,825,747.73. Sure the rewards pools doesn’t have that much…lol….we’d be fucked!

All the data for above was collected 26 Feb at 22:30 GMT

How much SP has gone unused over 90 days

To find out how much SP was unused over 90 days I connected to the Steemsql database using Power BI

The query used was

 select *
 from Accounts NOLOCK

The data was collected on the 24th February and DAX was then used for analysis and calculations.
The table below shows data for ALL accounts on STEEMIT


The table below shows data for all accounts that have NOT voted in the last 90 days


39% of Total SP has gone unused in the last 90 days. Of this @steemit owns 60%. I’m not going to run all the figures again to adjust for the additional 40%, but if all the SP was used to vote 10 votes a day at 100% weighted power, at the current rate of refill then Steemit wouldn’t have much hope.

So my original shot out to @ned to delegate more power….well I retract that statement now

This does however leave me with some things to work out in my head.

How can we ensure that the rewards pool is not drained? And I’m not talking about spam and plagiarism, but what if we grow so big that there are many many good posts and many good curators finding these posts, could we be paying out faster than refilling? And if this scenario is possible, what can be done to improve the rate the rewards pool is filled at? Would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this.


@freebornangel is right (which makes me wrong) and I am delighted to now have a more solid understanding of the STEEM blockchain workings. This analysis also highlights the importance of the ‘Reward Pool’ and work done by those to ensure Steemit is free from spam and people are not raping the rewards pool.

Steemit needs ‘dead fish’ and unused SP. Imagine if all the STEEM on the exchanges was sent back into steemit and used for voting… I wonder how that would affect the price? – If there is no STEEM on the market, would people be willing to pay more even though the vote would be worth very little ? How can we find a happy balance?

I love when math proves me wrong, but I have concerns now about the future of the rewards pool and its ability to sustain massive growth on the platform.

I am part of a Blockchain Business Intelligence community. We all post under the tag #blockchainbi. If you have an analysis you would like carried out on Steemit data, please do contact me or any of the #blockchainbi team and we will do our best to help you...

You can find #blockchainbi on discord

Posted on - Rewarding Open Source Contributors

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