Guide to Voting and Voting Power: The Curation Mechanics of Smoke 101.

7 months ago

A quick 101 TL;DR about voting on the Smoke blockchain. I’m going to try to keep this guide as simple as possible and mostly in bullet points.

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There’s a complicated/sophisticated math behind but it’s better to take a toke, or 7, rather than break a nut and get migraine trying to understand all details. But if you want the nitty-gritty... head over to the STEEM whitepaper, it’s all explained there in a degree of detail satisfying the biggest math nerd and physics Nobel prize aspirant.

Smoke Upsmokes are NOT Free

Most users, especially new ones, think that rewards (upvotes) are free and they can happily, and merrily, upvote all day long as their heart believes. This is not true.

Votes have an actual cost: voting power (VP).

  • Every account starts with 100% VP.
  • Each (full) vote costs 2%. With each (full) upvote your VP lowers 2%.
  • Voting power recharges, linearly, at 20% per day.(1)
    This happens 24/7, so it takes 2hrs 24min to recharge from a vote.
    So you have 10 full upvotes per day.(2)
  • As your VP decreases, so does your actual upsmoke value in SMOKE.
    A full vote at 100% VP is worth more than a full vote at 40% VP.

Note: If you’re new to the Smoke blockchain and start eagerly posting multiple articles, you may have noticed that most curators (how we call upsmokers) will upsmoke only one, maybe two posts. That is because we only have 10 full upvotes every day. Only smoke members with a larger stake and slider can usually upsmoke more content.


Smoke Curation Rewards Mechanics

One of the specific elements about the Smoke blockchain, contrarily to Steem, Whaleshares, and Bearshares, is that Smoke has a 50/50 split.

This means that the rewards to a post are split 50/50 between the creator and the curators.

The Curation Mechanics

In the upvoting process there’s two periods: the first 30 minutes and after that.
In the first 30 minutes a “reverse penalty” is applied, changing the 50/50 distribution and giving the creator more for earlier upvotes. After 30 minutes all rewards are shared 50/50.

73605764-63BA-42EF-949C-BD681FB62C90.jpeg

So if you upvote in the first minute, the creator gets almost ALL the rewards, including the curation pool share. In exchange, as a curator you get a larger share of the curation rewards on that post. This distribution curve, and “reverse penalty” linearly drops as the 30 minutes pass by.


The curation rewards are shared based on two elements: time of upvoting and stake. Larger stake holders benefit a larger share of the combined curation rewards for that post. Queue front-running.


 

Let’s put this in a simple table. Please visit the Steem whitepaper (earlier versions pre-HF20) for the not #simplified math.

Time
Creator
Curators
Curation share
Min. 0
100%
0%
+++++
Min. 10
83%
17%
++++
Min. 15
75%
25%
+++
Min. 20
66%
34%
++
Min. 30
50%
50%
+

Voters who vote early will benefit a larger % of the staked curation pool. In practice this means that smaller stake holders generally do better by #voting earlier, sacrificing the curators share to the author but targeting so-called front-running.

What is front-running?
Front-running is when you vote before a larger stake holder. You front-run the whale.

Example: Jane has an upsmoke of 1 SMOKE. If she votes before Mary, who has an upsmoke of 10 SMOKE, she’s front-running successfully and will benefit a larger (staked) share than Mary.
If Mary did frontrun Jane, then Jane’s stake will be minimized because a larger stakeholder collected a larger curation share by upvoting earlier.


Tip: In practice this means that smaller accounts who want to increase their curation rewards better upvote earlier. With healthy distribution this will often result in curation rewards exceeding your own upvote.


 

To have an idea of the curation rewards one can earn, as a smaller stakeholder, just look at my curation rewards. I generally vote earlier on great content and with a 100% upvote at ~1.25 SMOKE, I often earn more in curation rewards than I could possibly earn from self-voting.

If every day I would reward myself with my 10 upvotes, I would make:

  • 10 votes/day
  • 1.25 SMOKE/vote
  • Upvoting when posting, thus not sharing any curation rewards

We will here assume that nobody else upvotes those posts:

(10x1.25)x7 = 87.5 SMOKE

This week my curation rewards were ~135 SMOKE from upvoting the content of others. That’s around 2% growth from curation only in a week.

Unless an accidental tap I do not selfvote because curation is obviously more profitable when well done. Plus, I prefer distributing the wealth otherwise the system would collapse. We need more stakeholders, dolphins and orcas for a sustainable platform.

The important wealthy middle class is created by a healthy distribution.

047CA50D-FC2D-4E64-B250-9DF5D427BE02.jpeg

For larger stakeholders the math obviously changes. Larger stakeholders who care about their own curation rewards — 50/50 is a great hook for investors and active HODLers — they will often upvote later in the 30 minutes window or even wait for the window to end to loose less #curation rewards.

This works fine because at the same time, due to their larger stake, they also reward creators more even when upvoting later.

Conclusion

I hope this For Dummies simplified primer, #guide on voting and voting power was useful. Those who want to learn more, best I can say is to actually experiment. Unless you’re a (big) data nerd and can extract all details from the blockchain to analyse and base your methods on... stay “real” and upvote great content. When you upvote is up to you. Know that each time you vote early it’s a gamble because no whale may follow... if you wait somebody with a larger stake may beat you to the punch.

Most of all... curate great content! Smoke will grow from awesome content and rewarding it accordingly. That will lead to better token value as the platform grows. If we only focus on maximizing rewards then eventually we risk building an unsustainable platform and economy. Related: Steem.

Curate on! 🦇


(1) Currently the slider is made available on Smoke.io at 50,000 SMOKE Power. Up until 50,000SP each upvote through Smoke.io is a 100% upvote.
(2) You actually have slightly more than 10 full votes per day because the 2% cost is calculated against your actual VP. So when you have only 20% anymore, a full vote costs only around 0.4% VP anymore. But also rewards less.

If you want to know more about the actual methods and math, head over to Steem(it) but remember that on Smoke we have a 50/50 split where Steem has a 75/25 split. You can find the Steem Whitepaper here (PDF).

PS: You can check your voting power on Smoked. Replace @unnamed in the URL with your own account name.


Do not forget to vote for witnesses. Witnesses host the blockchain and guarantee its censor-resilience and its decentralization. You can cast your witness vote here.



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The voting system, curation and reward system follows almost the same system of steemit. And i never had a full understanding of it up until now.

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Well... the SMOKE blockchain is a fork of the Steem [pre-HF20, pre-AppBase] blockchain. But with some tweaks.

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tweaks that I personally would call improvements

The blockchain is complicated indeed, a lot of maths here and there, well the apps makes it easier and we just don't care but glad this post we make many of us know how to use our SP more carefully and useful.

This is super useful for a noob like me. I was wondering how it worked and how it was different from what I already know on steemit.

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It’s the same [pre-HF20] but with 50/50. 50/50 Obviously changes the game for those who want to maximize curation rewards.

Also, right now we are still early and there’s not many curators yet. Especially curation rewards will drastically change as more stake competes for the same rewards.

Glad you found value in it. 🦇

Good information to know, 50/50 means down the line, more earnings! Here at the right time for that.

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Being early to the game does indeed make it a party. 🦇

Of course, curation rewards will eventually become lower as more content and claimants enter the game but being here already is a trailblazing win. We are the pioneers and those who invest time in content and curating now will have the largest organic stakes for least effort and content.

Smoke’s inflation rate is low (little more than 9% currently, dropping at 0.5%/year) so eventually there will be scarcity rather than rewards. Which is... good. :D

Some version of this should be included with the email you get when you make an account - for reals.

The stake-weight reasoning and front-running and such requires flexible grokking, but if I have it, it goes:

Folks with smoke rolling out the car doors throw into the pot late, as it increases their take of the curation rewards - while the authors are stoked they're throwing in at all.

Little puffers hit the new content early, puffing up the good-ish while letting the ashes settle.

If the little puffers pick a winner, and a heavy hitter agrees with them - they get a better cut of curation rewards for their service.

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I couldn’t have said it better!

Thanks @unnamed for this neat guide. I understand little more than what I knew earlier - I knew nothing, hahah. This really gave a good picture of how things work. What's steem paper? I'm not a nobel prize aspirant, but a curious benjamin, hahah.
Also, yeah I'm going to limit my post to 1 or max 2 per day

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Here’s the Steem Whitepaper: https://steem.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/steem-whitepaper.pdf. Enjoy. 🦇

You can write more than 1 or 2 each day, of course. But while the community is still smaller a lot of the content you create may get less because most people don’t yet have sufficient stake [for a slider]. We are still very early in the distribution stage on Smoke.

I love the deep illustration, also like the style you use to explain things. Resmoked for added visibility.

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Thanks. It was an interesting exercise to write.

Hand thought about if for some days already and then just sat down. Without realizing “presentation” style became the core structure of the post.

Glad you liked it. 🦇

Thanks mate, wow here is the answers to so many doubts i had. This post should be made a sticky somewhere, maybe discord smoke server? in the meantime I am re smoking it.

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Am working at a “more sticky” solution but that may take some weeks. Will contain much more info.

On that note though, I myself am torn about “its sticky need”. Because, of course, when it becomes a curation game it can take away from a quality rewards game. That’s also why I’m fine with no slider for now below 50k. :)

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Looking forward to it, this one solved many doubts I had.
The problem here is that we need to start thinking that for people to jump on board we need to explain things well, i am ok if its done via posts, maybe we should set up a fake account where we could dump all this kind of helpful posts so we can send newbies there for info??The problem i see is, as an example, your article in three months time will be buried under hundreds of other posts, this makes it difficult for new commers to learn

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I disagree re-needing to start to think abut explaining all the nitty gritty.

People love making things much more complicated to themselves than it should be. Post/comment, upvote, enjoy. If you want to know more... we live in this beautiful era where everything is only a keystroke and a search query away.

The issue if we explain everything is:

  1. Reading the manual? Ain’t nobody got time for that
  2. We aren’t kindergarten, the want for handholding mellows the desire for exploration and learning
  3. It’s all available already.

It is IMNSHO exactly because there is this “unnecessary need to explain everything” which kills the experience. And at the same time it also takes away from organically distributing because the focus becomes one of maximizing.

The UX/UI is absolutely easy. The rest... most people never learn more than 5% of photoshop either. The evidence of that? Thousands of popular filter photo editors for mobile devices. People love simple experiences.

Don’t make the sophisticated behind... the default.

“WE gotta...”, wrong this is decentralized. Just do it.

In three months? Somebody will think that rehashing this post is a good option to earn some SMOKE. Maybe they will write an even better post. Let decentralization live and flourish. LEt’s not centralize.

But that said... we are already thinking about it. As your reply stated “you’re looking forward to it”.

PS: I’m a closet nerd so I live and thrive on researching.
PPS: in 3 months your accounts is just as down the feed and your initial topics are also 17 page reloads down the account’s feed. But... just do it. Decentralization lives on participation. Not on waiting for others. The latter being the only problem. After overcomplifcation of the “what need to know” for newbies. And after denying that maximization a core ethos is more often than it should be. :)

Edit: while not 100% on-topic, I think this post I wrote elsewhere is good background documentation to my comment here. Remember smoke.io is only 1 app to interface with the blockchain. Not a startup and shouldn’t stay the only place.

But anybody can participate to and enjoy Smoke without any additional knowledge. ;)

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Wow! thanks for the long and insightful explanation.
I agree generally with your point of view, am also a closet nerd, as a matter of fact in ve learned by trial and error and by looking at what others were doing and how.

That's from a grower/user point of view.

I cannot imagine a seed bank, or a led lamp maker or a grow shop distributor or a dispensary having the time to discover things by themselves, and at the same time I think it would be good to have them on board?
Part of my curiosity comes from being talking to some of them already and the questions they ask me

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They would mostly onboard through other dApps. If you’re building a marketplace, it makes more sense to have a TL;DR account (pretty much like the docs here, especially posting guidelines) and also an extended FAQ.

But, at the same time you will also guide them via Discord/Slack. Initially that will be possible because there will be less merchants(*), eventually the cycle will repeat itself and plenty of tech bloggers will write about the nitty-gritty.

The interesting element there is that because it is a business people will come to operate, they will actually google. Or at least hire someone to manage things in first few months. People tend to approach things differently if they need to work it (like growers) compared to when it’s “free”.

An important thing we should always keep in mind is that we geeks/[closet] nerds are not the average audience. Our expectations and behavior are not the behavior of Mary and Jane. They don’t install an app and immediately dive in the settings. They don’t read for weeks before they actually decide. 🦇

PS: If you tell those people they can also earn from upvoting their customers and reviewers, they will be more than happy. If you tell them the detailed mechanics like in this post... it will be too complicated because they can’t time and the complication offered may become a deterrent because they realize early on they will not be able to maximize. Which, in turn, may lead to them not bothering. Onboarding matter, over complicating the experience is often bad. KISS!

Best guide post.. I love this. Many new bird will need this.

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Thanks, glad you liked it. Tried keeping it as simple as possible while explaining as much as possible how things work. That sounded complicated, didn’t it? 😂

Very helpful, thank you!

Here is my 2 hour 24 min for you 😜

Btw awesome guide for a newbie as well as knowbies! Today I ain’t stoned😔, but a little drunk 😅😅

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The waiting game is appreciated. Thank you, kind Sir. Lacking smoke beer is always good. 🦇

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Haha, cheers 🍻

Well written article. Wasn't aware of how my vp was being affected. Thanks. Also for anyone interested in a vote slider for under 50k here's the link.
https: //cloudflare-ipfs.com/ipfs/QmNm4iaGSpgZMWPrXkwBh2WcZn5W1WHCYZRiwHWmWHv56A/upvote_slider.html

PS: This link works.

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Thanks. Glad you found some value in it [pun intended].

I think that eventually the slider will be made accessible earlier on Smoke.io, but for now I’m all in favor of the high threshold to unlock it as I think focus on distribution rather than on the curation game is healthy at this early stage. With slider more will cheapskate with their upsmokes. :D

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Haha I use it for comments tbh but I get what your saying. It's also a bit annoying to use but it does the job

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That’s what she said.

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Hahahaha