Review of Smartsteem (on the top of Steem Blockchain) as a finance dApp in Stateofthedapps.com- Oracle-D Task #9
The setting up of the new era of decentralization which is disruptive to the traditional centralized systems spells about an ecosystem where the business can be done in a trustless(devoid of third party), secured & transparent way. The essence of blockchain technology redefines the way business is conducted. There are many use cases of blockchain technology and since 2009 so many projects have evolved with their respective specified purpose to meet the market demand in a decentralized & transparent manner. The realm of social blogging has also been redefined with tokenized economy where the quality blogging also worth, thanks to blockchain technology with which blogging effort is also valued in a transparent & trustless manner and users can earn by socializing on the top of blockchain technology. Steem blockchain empowers users to socially engage and enable users to earn money for their effort and quality blogging in a dApp ecosystem.
Steemit is the first ever decentralized social media platform on the top of Steem blockchain backed with a cryptocurrency called STEEM. There have been an expansion of many dApps on the top of Steem blockchain. So along with the flagship dApp Steemit, we have many more dApps built on the top of Steem blockchain. All these dApps have their specific purpose in the sub-category within the main category of social blogging. So it must be understood here that the realm of social blogging is not just limited to creating a blog or article and posting them. It is multi-dimensional and it has many sub-categories and Steem blockchain is evolving to fulfill all those sub-categories of social blogging in the form of dApps. Out of the so many categories one such category if finance. The finance related dApp(in Steem ecosystem) which we are going to review today is Smartsteem.
This article is an exclusive review of Smartsteem(on the top of Steem blockchain) as a finance dApp in Stateofthedapps.com. This article is also a response to the task organized by @oracle-d.tasks and @dapplovers. The details of the task can be found here. The current rank of Smartsteem in Stateofthedapps.com is 63.
Smartsteem is a dApp on the top of Steem blockchain and it is a preferably an investment and promotion-service tool in Steem ecosystem. It has an economy within this Steem ecosystem and many users within this community can financially benefit themselves by using Smartsteem. For an author it is a great promotional tool for promoting the content to the trending page. For an investor who has vested his STEEM into SP(Steem Power) has a great opportunity to earn passive income either by delegating to Smartsteem or by setting up the vote selling option.
Smartsteem was launched in late 2017 as an investment and promotion-service for the Steem blockchain. Since the very beginning the aim of Smartsteem was to not only make it easier for users and investors of all sizes to grow their stake on STEEM, but do so in a sustainable ethical manner.
A user can login to Smartsteem.com using Steem account credentials and can perform various operations. While authorizing Smartsteem, a user can use steemconnect to perform the same.
Vote Buying(Promote your post)
Whenever an author creates a content and post it on the Steem blockchain, the primary objective of the author is to attract the attention of the audience in this community. The post will have a greater visibility if the post will make it to the trending page. For that, good upvote size is required. So once it makes it to the trending page, it will have a larger visibility and better productive engagement from the community. Last but not the least, it also attracts whales to read the article and if the content is good enough to impress upon them positively, then it may further get good upvotes from the whales.
So the point is that, the author needs good upvote size to make it to the trending page. So in order to meet this, an author needs a promotional service using which it can buy upvotes and makes it to the trending page. This will not only increase the chances of better visibility but also better engagement from the community & subsequent earning.
In order to facilitate this, Smartsteem offers "buying of upvotes" and users in this community can buy upvotes and promote their post up the rank in the trending page by sending bids in the form of either STEEM or SBD along with the url of the post as the "memo".
Smartsteem has two options for the users who wish to promote their post:-
(1) Fixed ROI(Instant Upvote)
(2) Dynamic ROI( Bid Bot)
(1) Fixed ROI(Instant Upvote)
In fixed ROI, the user has to send the bid to @smartmarket along with the url as memo. In this, the ROI is fixed as 10% in general. However at this moment, it is giving an additional 5% as bonus, so the ROI at the moment is 15%. In this fixed ROI, the user will generally receive upvote from other steemians who have enabled their vote selling option in Smartsteem. So any post which is 15 mins older will be voted and it is just like an instant bot. Minimum acceptable bid is 0.1 STEEM/SBD.
Alternatively the user can login to Smartsteem.com and then in the user profile click on "Promote", then "Buy Votes", paste the url in the box "What is the link of your post", then select the amount of bid and then click on "Buy Votes Now". A user can also check available vote and detailed payout by clicking on "Show Available Votes" & "Show Detailed Payout" respectively.
(2) Dynamic ROI( Bid Bot)
In dynamic ROI, the user has to send the bid to @smartsteem along with the url as memo within the bidding cycle. It is different than @smartmarket in a sense that it is not instant and the user has to bid within the bidding window cycle which is generally 2.4 hour. Further, the ROI is dynamic here and the range is -10% to +15%. Here also the minimum age of the post should be 15 mins.
In the user profile of Smartsteem.com, users can also directly bid. In the user section one can go to "Promote" and then go to "Bid for votes". Then the user has to paste the url in the "link of your post" and then fill the bid amount and then can click on "Bid for votes now". The users can also see the bid details of the current and previous round by clicking on "Show Bids". This will give a rough idea to a bidder whether to bid in the current bidding cycle or not. The next vote timer is also shown in the page. So it gives a better understanding of the bid cycle.
Note- It should be noted that this is primarily aimed to offer as a promotional service and not intended to any kind of ROI. However this 15% is kept so as to offset high fluctuation in the price of steem as the post payout matures at 7 days. So in order to absorb the fluctuation of Steem price within these 7 days this 15% ROI is kept. So normally in a bull market the user gets that 15% or even more and in a bear market it may be below than that. So on an average the idea is to make it break-even and it is primarily designed as a promotional tool.
There are many types of users in Steem community. Not everyone has that capacity to have huge amount of SP. So not everyone is having that privilege and freedom to make their post to the trending page. So by this promotional tool of Smartsteem, the real sense of democracy prevails in Steem community. Because everyone has that opportunity to make their post to the trending page and have larger visibility. At the same time there is a threshold to the minimum standard of the post which is well defined in the Terms of Service of Smartsteem, so that low quality post is not upvoted to make it to the trending page. Smartsteem takes care of it with its robust ToS.
There are many categories of steemians in Steem community. Starting from Whales to Orcas to Dolphins to Minnows to Planktons. Those who have got good SP size are not fully utilizing their SP. In most of the cases, the SP is either underutilized or dormant. At the same time, there are active bloggers who post daily and want to use the "upvote buying" services from Smartsteem. So with the feature like "vote-selling" one can sell his vote through Smartsteem and can get 85% of the revenue of what Smartsteem gets from the users. So it is an ideal option for those people who are not that active in curating in Steem community or may be they don't have sufficient time. So with this feature they can automate their votes and can earn some passive income.
With this option one can set the minimum VP to allow votes and can authorize in their user profile of Smartsteem to sell their votes. In the user interface of Smartsteem, it also shows a calculator which shows the estimated amount of revenue one can get daily from the available steem power which the user will use for vote selling in Smartsteem.
The advantages of vote-selling are-
- User can get 85% share of profit and curation.
- Steem Power is always available with the user and no need to delegate, so along with vote selling through Smartsteem, the user can freely use this Steem Power to vote and curate other stuff in this community.
- User can choose to restrict this facility to white listed users only so that quality blogging will always be encouraged.
Note- The latest update is that, only accounts with at least 100 effective steem power are eligible for vote-selling.
Effective Steempower is essentially what your account is able to use, after subtracting outgoing-delegations and adding received-delegations.
The best part of this "vote-selling" option of Smartsteem is that one does not have to delegate(which normally takes 5 days to get it back) to the bot yet can exercise his VP(Voting Power) and SP(Steem Power) as per his/her convenience and at any point of time, the user can disable this option as per his/her will. Further, the user can earn passive income and the SP and VP can be utilized optimally. As Smartsteem has a robust ToS to fight against spam & plagiarism, it will ensure that the vote sold by the user is not abused and is utilized properly and for standard content. The user can also chose to sell his vote to whitelisted users only. Those who are busy in their regular daily life and have SP, can enable this option and can automate their account for vote selling and can earn some income from their idle SP. Ultimately these votes are being utilized to promote the active authors in this community.
Delegate to Smartsteem
There is another service offered by Smartsteem which is known as "Steempower Delegation". With this service, users can delegate their SP to the bot and can earn revenue on daily basis. The user can undelegate at any point of time. In case the user undelegates, he will have to wait for 5 days cooling period to have his/her SP back to his account. In the user interface of Smartsteem, it also shows a calculator which shows the estimated amount of revenue one can get daily by delegating Steem Power to Smartsteem. However as the price of STEEM fluctuates, the exact amount of payout may vary. The revenue is paid in STEEM & SBD.
The advantages of Steem Power Delegation are-
- User can get 100% share of profit.
- Steem Power is locked and will generate revenue on daily basis.
- User can choose to restrict this facility to white listed users only so that quality blogging will always be encouraged.
This is an awesome tool using which steem users can check their portfolio in Steem ecosystem. If you have multiple accounts in Steem community and if you want to assess the all the assets like STEEM, SBD, SP in one place, you can make use of this tool and add your account and see the details of the asset at one place. Smartsteem ensures privacy of data. So no need to worry about that as the data is saved in the browser of the user only.
Buy & Sell Steemmonester Cards
Smartsteem also enables users to buy and sell Steemmonster cards as it is an official merchant. It has also a loyalty reward program which can benefit up to 5%.
One can earn some extra income by referring users to Smartsteem and when any user referred by you sells his vote, you will get 0.5% profit of every vote sold by him. You can make use of the referral link and banner available in the user profile of Smartsteem to promote to get more users to Smartsteem.
Alex is having 12205 SP in his steem account. He is not that active in steem community owing to his busy schedule and other commitments. However he is an enthusiast of Steem and has vested his STEEM in the form of SP and occasionally he does blogging. He is looking to earn some passive income by exercising his voting power and wants to utilize his SP optimally. He does not want his VP to deplete below 80%. Explain how Smartsteem's "vote-selling" option can enable Alex to utilize his SP optimally and how his objective can be achieved with this option of Smartsteem.
Alex can go to Smartsteem.com and then login using Steem account credentials. In the user profile, Alex can see the "vote-selling" option under "Invest" tab. Upon clicking "Get Started" it will navigate to "setting" page under which the vote selling option is shown.
Alex can set up the vote-selling option in the following ways:-
(1) Alex will have to enable the "vote selling" option.
(2) Alex has to authorize Smartsteem for vote-selling. It will automate the things for Alex.
(3) Alex can set the minimum voting power above which he wants to sell his vote. Whenever the voting power depletes below that, Smartsteem will not vote & wait for the recovery to that point again and then only it will vote again.
(4) Alex can choose to claim the curation reward automatically, however that is optional.
(5) Alex can set his preference to sell his vote and that can be done either by selecting for "everyone" or for "whitelisted" users.
(6) Alex can also add manually to black list any users to prevent his vote being sold to that user. If Alex feels any user is abusing the Steem ecosystem then he can prevent that user from buying votes from him. For that Alex can simply put the username an then click on "Add user".
(7) Alex can also blacklist any particular tag which he is not interested to sell his vote.
Alex can now click on "Save" button and Alex is all set to sell his vote via Smartsteem.com. Then Alex should click on "Payout" and set the payout option to claim the earning automatically to his Steem account. Alex can choose either daily payment or weekly payment or even can set the payment every 2nd day or 3rd day ...like that. Alex can then click on "Save".
This completes the entire set up for Alex and Alex is now good to go with vote selling option of Smartsteem and it will automate the vote selling process for Alex and also Alex will get his earning automatically credited to his Steem account.
Alex can also see the estimated revenue in Smartsteem user profile, which he will get daily by enabling vote-selling option. However that is an estimated figure only and the exact value will differ as per the actual price of steem.
The idea of decentralization is to empower every individual and help them grow. The Steem community being a decentralized community also believes in the ethos of decentralization and that is why it is so popular. In order to facilitate content creators to achieve the desired level of visibility of their post the "vote buying" concept was introduced where the primary objective is to use it as a promotional tool and not a ROI kind of thing. But it is obvious that whenever something new is introduced is always vulnerable in the hand of bad actors. So when the vote buying concept was new and in beta stage many bad actors abused this facility & tried as much as they could to exploit this concept and tried to use it as a tool of ROI. Moreover many bad actors tried to promote poor contents, spam contents and plagiarized materials using this promotional tool. This community has zero tolerance to all such things and hence the individual service providers and the dApps must have a strong framework to deal with such actors in this ecosystem.
Smartsteem being a responsible dApp in this steem ecosystem which facilitate investment and promotion-service tool, has a well defined and robust Terms of Service in place to fight against spam & plagiarism. It sets that filter to filter out those bad actors from using the services of Smartsteem. The ToS includes all those aspects which is considered as an abuse to Smartsteem services. It has a white-list system and the best part of its policy is that it reviews the whitelisted users from time to time and if the whitelisted users also indulge in spamming and low quality post then it reserves the right to blacklist such users. That is a testimony of Smartsteem for its commitment to fight against spam and plagiarism in this ecosystem.
3 Abuse Policy
Smartsteem utilizes a whitelist-system; excluding the bid-bot, to ensure that authors who produce quality content are able to promote their post using certain Smartsteem services.
However, sometimes whitelisted produce spam or low-quality content after they have been reviewed. If spam or low-quality content is promoted by a user, Smartsteem reserves the right to remove votes for that content and may or may not provide a refund to the vote purchaser and/or blacklist the user at Smartsteems' discretion.
No-refund situations are generally reserved for extreme cases which we identify as significant plagiarism, multiple posts per day using promotion services for very low-quality content (spamming our services), or posts which spread discrimination or hate speech. Smartsteem reserves the right to blacklist and remove votes without refunds in any situation Smartsteem deems as an extreme-case or abuse of Smartsteem services.
If we talk about Steem blockchain then we can understand it as the foundation stone of a decentralized social media which has certain characteristics and features which help people to interact with one another or a business entity in a decentralized environment.
The dApps on the top of Steem blockchain are like the buildings, flats & apartments and each one of these dApps serve a specific purpose and use-cases within this ecosystem. There are many dApps as of now and this dApp ecosystem is expanding at a faster rate in last 5/6 months. Here we must understand that Smartsteem as a dApp serves many use-cases in Steem ecosystem and apart from this, when it comes to deliver those use-cases, it handles those with utmost professionalism and at the same time it plays a major role in keeping the community guidelines in the forefront so that the business is always done by keeping that spirit intact. A well written ToS to fight against spam and plagiarism reiterates those commitment by Smartsteem.
I have assessed Smartsteem based upon various parameters as shown in the chart above and the rating is out of 5 point scale(or 5 star). The average rating comes out to be 4.35 star for Smartsteem as finance dApp.
(1) The Dashboard of Smartsteem displays Account Balance, Investment, Revenue of last 7 days as well as transaction details(including sold votes and withdrawal). I would like to suggest Smartsteem to add Total Revenue generated till date right from the start and put another heading or tab like "Lifetime Revenue Generated". This will really help the user to get a rough idea to know how much he has earned till date since joining Steem ecosystem and Smartsteem. It is really an important feature in my opinion as whenever you talk in your social circle and discuss about such things, then such stat comes really handy and easily impress upon very positively in social circle.
(2) Second suggestion is "personalized vote selling" option. Smartsteem should create a personalized link for the vote seller and this option should be customized in such a way that a vote seller can promote his/her link directly and any one can buy vote from the vote seller through the personalized link and the vote seller should earn a better revenue(like 90% or so) than the traditional vote selling option(which is 85% at the moment).
The Steem blockchain is growing & expanding and the growing number dApps are a testimony of its growth. The dApp ecosystem is also covering variety of use-cases in the realm of social blogging. This ecosystem will further get better when it will have more value driven dApp, which is very professional in delivering its business, which keeps the spirit of decentralization intact within this community, which has a sense of social responsibility within this ecosystem, which is sustainable in the long run.
Smartsteem in that sense has stood the test of time. Right from the beginning, its professionalism in terms of various services is really unparalleled. One can find 24x7 support from their dedicated discord channel and one can clarify his/her doubts in relation to their services. From time to time they are also upgrading the various use-cases as per the demand and requirement within the ecosystem. They have their blog page which is updated periodically with new updates to their services, which is a testimony of a progressive & sustainable dApp.
The resources of individuals within the Steem ecosystem are in ubiquitious flow from one to the other in a decentralized environment and Smartsteem is facilitating many of such services and use-cases to keep the activity level intact in many ways and most importantly helping to achieve the bigger interest of the community as a whole.