The Cons Of Steemit Inc's Delegations

in #steemit2 years ago

This post aims to express my concerns with regard to Steemit delegations. I don't hold any negative feeling towards anyone who is currently receiving delegations from Steemit, many of them I consider friends.

I hope we can all come to a mutual understanding, whether or not my current perspective is correct.


  1. Takes away % of the reward pool in control by the STEEM POWER holders and put it in the hand of the Steemit Inc nominees
  2. Posts and authors critical of Steemit Inc, including their delegations, will be biased against by projects which received delegations
  3. Gives an edge for those who receive delegation to start a witness
  4. Conflict of interest between those witnesses and Steemit Inc (weakening decentralization)

Further Explanations

All issues mentioned in this post are compounded over time in a non-linear way.

  1. Delegations don't create more Steem or voting power. Delegation merely changes the % of who control the reward pools. As mentioned above if Steemit Inc doesn't vote and doesn't delegate, then the STEEM POWER holders control a greater % of the reward pool rather than the Steemit Inc nominees.

  2. Posts critical of Steemit and their authors will be biased against resulting in less visibility, compounding the effects.

  3. Recipients of delegations which have a witness have an advantage over the witnesses who don't have a delegation creating multiple conflicts of interest.

  4. Those witnesses and close allies have will have a favorable bias toward Steemit Inc or at least have incentives to. This includes Steemit Inc proposed hard forks.

Further Thoughts

People have incentives to seeks votes from the Steemit backed projects because of their size. Overtime those Steemit back projects and their favorite authors increase their visibility and Steem influence due to previous bias. Those subjects and authors tend to be noncontroversial.

The bigger the delegations, the greater their influence on the trending page is. Nonlinear rewards will exacerbate those issues. Under nonlinear reward we have seen people front running the big votes to maximize their curation rewards.

Many of those dynamics were made obvious by the Steemit Guild which was first officially announced here. The Steemit Guild used to control more than 20% of the reward pool and almost the entire trending page for around 5 months.

This 20% doesn't include the votes from the Guild members and those who were front running the votes but solely the vote from @ned and other Steemit Inc employee. The 20% can't be verified at this moment but that's the approximate number I remember reading here.

As soon as The Guild was born, its control over the reward pool was so important that it was economically irresponsible to try to go against it or be critical of Steemit. The Guild's powerful influence can still be felt to this very day.

Today Steemit Inc still controls around 30% of the STEEM POWER but no matter how much they are delegating, all the issues remain the same.


Again, it's economically irresponsible for Steemians to individually raise their concerns over those issues, thus it is very improbable that anything will result from it, even though most Steemians might agree with it. We might never know.

Is there an alternative to the current system of delegations which wouldn't lead to a conflict of interest or should Steemit Inc reconsider giving delegations in the first place? And does Steemit Inc have incentives to do so?

Image used


Takes away % of the reward pool in control by the STEEM POWER holders and put it in the hand of the Steemit Inc nominees

This point is certainly so valid that it is reason enough for me to question it myself if Steemit is making a right call giving out delegations. Despite the fact that our business does receive one.

2-4 I'm less convinced of. I'm critical of Steemit Inc and many fundamental ideas of Steem, and let them know about it and why, every single day. (Although I see no point in joining the hate-train and bitterness that many have felt the urge to jump on in recent years). Also, I don't see how having a delegation is a big plus for being a witness. Imo it has done more the opposite where stakeholders who knows how much me and @howo does, full time, to work on Steem and test HFs still don't vote on our witness because they don't want to support businesses or apps receiving delegations. This far outweighs any small benefit it may have of attracting votes from our satisfied users, which are most often smaller votes. It's also worth reminding people that delegated stake don't influence witness voting, so it's not like we have a larger witness vote (I assume you already knew that).

My main pros for the delegations would probably be these 3:

  1. The projects have to use their stake responsibly in order to maintain their delegation. Meaning that outgoing votes are almost entirely to users. I can say fore sure that we have retained hundreds of Steemians who would not be here and use Steem without us. That is not something I can say for most whales. So due to the expectations of the delegation receivers to use their stake responsibly, I think one could argue they've allocated new Steem better than most whales have (who often get involved in vote-trading/circle jerks or worse, vote-selling).

  2. It may only take 1 app to go mainstream for Steem as a blockchain to rocket. Since as soon as one attracts the masses, they will all be on Steem. So delegating to projects is one way to increase the chance of at least some doing really well, even if that should not be steemit.

  3. By having successful businesses grow on Steem, it showcases the value Steem Power can have for businesses elsewhere. This can directly create demand for Steem if we can indeed grow successful projects with delegations.

In any case, I can understand why people find it controversial, and I agree that there are some big negatives with it. However, it's not as simple as saying that it would be better without them, as existing whales and stakeholders still have everything to prove that they can use their stake to benefit Steem any better, and that we thus want to give them higher influence.

Very valuable input. I still stand behind my post. Thosr who received delegation grow their witness vote rapiidly through voting on their own posts and curation. This will be even more so under the new reward curve. The fact that people shun those who receive delegations just make my point stronger.

thosr who received delegation grow their witness vote rapiidly through voting on their own posts and curation

Ah, so your point is that because they get more Steem Power this way, their witness votes grow bigger too and thus they have a larger vote to give their own witness?

If this is your concern then it's simply not a very big problem. 1. Delegation receivers are not allowed to self-vote their posts, as it is considered an illegitimate use of delegation according to the guidelines. I know some have done this in the past, but it's a minority (we've never had more than 1% self-vote in a 31 day period, and usually only vote our own post less than once per month, which is close to 0). 2. These projects are usually powering down to fund their activities. While this may be another problem, it does mean that their witness votes are really small (almost never above 40k SP).

So the whole argument that they will grow over time thanks to the delegation and that it will impact witnesses is simply not holding up. Even if they somehow did power up everything you're still only looking at maybe 100k SP per year. Which is very, very little in terms of impacting which witnesses are in the top 20, or even top 50.

Lastly, even if I were to grant you all of the concerns you've laid out, I still don't think it is a big problem relative to the problem of other stakeholders not updating their witness votes. I don't even want to count how many witnesses we still have in the top 50 that have not made a single post or other forms of contributions to Steem in more than a year. Or who are even working full time on competing projects... This is far more problematic, as at least the delegation receivers have to be active on Steem, and rely on its security, sustainability and growth in order for their projects to be more valuable.

I don't know if you care much for Steem at this point, but perhaps you should shuffle around your own votes first since you're still supporting witnesses that have abandoned Steem completely and are missing blocks, have not updated their feed in months/years.

SteemIt Inc's stake is not my stake.

I have disagreed with many things they did with it along the way.

None the less it is theirs to do with what they like.

I agree. It's their stake and they do what they like. I never said anything that disagree with that statement. But their delegations are unfair to those not receiving any and in the long run, they weaken the decentralization model so I'm pointing it out.

Yeah, delegations are bad huh. I mean, It isn't like you ripped the utter fuck out of yours. How much SP you got now? Fuck all.

I guess your delegation being removed still hurts.


My delegation wasn't from Steemit Inc. Also, I didn't rip the utter fuck out of my delegation. I gave away most of my votes. The vast majority of it. I regret voting some people and I wish I would have used it very differently but I did my best at the time. One thing I can say is that I didn't rip the utter fuck out of it.

I power down for economic reasons, not because I needed the money but because I wasn't liking Steem's directions. I wish I would have been wrong. I would have stopped powering down. We'll see what the future holds. I'm stoke by the new reward curve coming with HF21 but I'm not stoked with delegations by Steemit Inc and I have never been in support of those delegations.

Steemit Inc. seems to be destroying the platform like for the reasons you said and many others like:

  • Whales posting literal crap and getting handsomely rewarded for it. Totally absurd and unjust.

  • Whales bullying others.

  • Rewards pools vastly shrunk in favor of these whales and Steemit staff, like you said.

  • Steemit Inc. pursuing policies similar to other traditional platforms (annoying ads, for instance) in lieu of what it was really meant to be as a platform.

Is there anything that can be done to effectively counter these?

Ca commence a faire dur en tabaslak!

Ça fait un petit bout que ça fait dure. Malheureusement.


As my witness may I ask you a technical question?

I don't seem to be able to claim any of my earnings anymore on Steemit, as they are not appearing in my Wallet page (

I even check on 'Steem Supply' ( which lists my supposed upcoming payouts (where some where due today) and it states:

  • Unclaimed SBD: 0.022 USD / 0.026 SBD
  • Unclaimed Steem Power: 2.003 USD / 10.538 Steem Power
  • Unclaimed Steem: 1.659 USD / 8.728 Steem

yet I do not see these at all on my Wallet page (under the HISTORY section with 'Claim Rewards' like with previous earnings.

Can you advise me?


You need to be login to see them. I guess you knew but I need to make sure. I don't know what the issue is. I've been able to claim mine right now. It seems to make little sense. Maybe you're under a certain threshold.

I am logged in. Strangely the "Redeemm Rewards transfer to balance" button just appeared - maybe the 24hour period (the day author rewards were set to be complete) hadn't been completely reached.

Seems more normal now.

Sorry for my confusion and thank you very much for responding.

Merci encore mon ami.

Salutations depuis la Chine...

At this point, it's just more stinc on par for the course.

Using the ninjamine against us is real classy.

RIP @utopian

We need a new goldenboy, or girl, on aisle #7!
Golden people to aisle #7, please!

It could be better. It could be worst.

Unfortunately, optimal launch is off the table.
I guess we should be happy stinc hasn't stuck it to us harder.
They could've kept it all to themselves and their boot lickers.

In my opinion it’s the nature of the beast. The concentration of Steem in a small amount of users is a major flaw but it’s unavoidable. I’m hoping what you described above is avoidable but even if it isn’t I feel like this is a good way to move Steem forward.

Posted using Partiko iOS

Nice to see you back :-))) How are you and where, back home?
I agree fully with your line

".....Today Steemit Inc still controls around 30% of the STEEM POWER but no matter how much they are delegating, all the issues remain the same."

Greeting from Sri Lanka

Nope. Asia is my new home. :)

Steemit can do whatever they want with their stake. I just hope they hold to some degree of ethics which I think they will.

Hi, @teamsteem!

You just got a 0.05% upvote from SteemPlus!
To get higher upvotes, earn more SteemPlus Points (SPP). On your Steemit wallet, check your SPP balance and click on "How to earn SPP?" to find out all the ways to earn.
If you're not using SteemPlus yet, please check our last posts in here to see the many ways in which SteemPlus can improve your Steem experience on Steemit and Busy.

Hello @teamsteem Sir would you like to stake your NEOXAG tokens in steem-engine? I am just requesting, thank you.