How Steem Back Dollars, Steem Power and Steem work. Plus, How to Squeeze The Most Steem That You Can Out of Your SBD.

in #steemit4 years ago (edited)

Never in a million years...or even just 10 months ago, did I ever think that I would be attempting to teach others how a scocial media platform built on a blockchain and tied to a cryptocurrency works...Hahaha!

Seriously, if you only knew where I've come from, you'd be laughing out loud for real too!

I was the kid in high-school who didn't really understand the language that mathematics describes. Those damn physics conundrums just stacked multiple levels of extra confusion on top of already mentally shaky ground, for me.

You remember the type... where you read about poor Jane who had to leave from a train station, cut 8 apples into 1/16 pieces and launch a rocket before her friend Betty who lives in a different time zone on the other sided of the planet does.

OMG Jane! That's a lot of pressure. Can't we just squish those apples, let them ferment, and enjoy some hard cider?

Hahaha! After that,  no one is really going to care what time the damn train has to leave and whether or not anyone is on it.

You can see that my forte was really in the practical applications of biology and chemistry and as such, you might want to include me on your next party guest-list for that reason, alone. ;)

Without wasting too much of your time, let me get to the heart of the subject matter.

I want you to think of:

  • Your  Steemit blog;
  • Your Steem Backed Dollars;
  • Your Steem Power;
  • and  your Steem tokens as 4 separate train cars that are all linked. 

When we create Steemit accounts, these 4 dedicate cars are given to each of  us to use as our own on the Steemit train. Every Steemer's 4 cars are essentially linked and are being pulled along together by a main locomotive engine. We'll call this power-house of a locomotive engine (which is the platform itself): Steemit. (It's a very very long train.)

Steem Backed Dollars, Steem Power and Steem Tokens are essentially slightly different forms of the same thing. They  are all slightly different forms of Steem currency which have different features. 

Every time a Steemer creates original content, writes, upvotes/curates, comments, or buys Steem tokens they are creating transactions that are recorded on the internet. This activity is acknowledged and verified by Steemit's witnesses who collaborate each activity that has occurred from every Steemer. Once a certain number of these transactions are verified or collaborated that triggers the locomotive engine (Steemit) to generate more Steem tokens. This is happening constantly, every minute of every day and it is through these activities and the authenticating of these transactions, that the Steemit block-chain is actually made. Steem tokens are produced as a direct result. 

Every day, a certain amount of these generated Steem tokens get pooled together and they form the daily rewards pool that gets divided up and shared with every Steemer who has contributed somehow to the smooth running of the locomotive engine during the same 24 hour time period.

The whole rewards pool gets replenished and divided up every single day among all the Steemers who contributed during that time period. Basically, if you are riding in and contributing to the Steemit train, you are being rewarded using some of the tokens that are generated.  

When the tokens are generated for the daily rewards pool, they are  awarded in a form of currency known as a Steem Backed Dollar or SBD. Once you start making blog posts, curating content and commenting on Steemit, your portion of the rewards pool is determined by the number of upvotes you receive from other Steemers (or train passengers). The amount of SBDs that the other steemers can award you is determined by their respective reputation levels and the amount of their voting power that they have chosen to use. The decision on the amount of voting power that a Steemer uses to upvote posts with, is often related to what they feel your content contribution is worth, in terms of value to the community at large.

This form of Steem, the SBD, is tied to the US dollar. It's been designed to protect the passengers on the train (that's us Steemers and outside investors) from incurring losses or damages along the way. I also think that it gives potential investors a certain comfort level in how the Steemit platform or engine is run because investors are use to seeing currencies pegged to the US dollar. In this regard, the SBD simply acts as reassurance to dispel any fear, uncertainty or doubt.

Steemers who choose to hold their rewards pay-outs in SBDs in their wallets are protected from hyperinflation of the US dollar by algorithm enforced by Steemit's block-chain. Steemers who choose to hold their pay-outs in another form of Steem currency called Steem tokens, are protected from hyperdeflation of the US dollar which is also enforced by Steemit's block-chain. (It, too, relies on this same peg to the US dollar to offer this security.)

Under normal circumstances, SBDs and Steem (tokens/coins) share a 1 to 1 ration but this ratio can fluctuate depending on the value of a US dollar relative to Steem tokens.

Steem tokens are referred to as Steem. This form of Steem currency is very easily used. It can be traded and it can be converted into Bitcoin and then into a fiat currency, for example. (I always think of Steem as being very liquid and flowing. Like... it's been designed to move.)

Steem Power is a very secure form of Steem currency. It is locked in and if a Steemer wishes to withdraw it, their total amount of Steem Power is divided into 13 equal payments and paid out in Steem weekly. Steemers build their voting power up by holding lots of Steem Power. A Steemer who has lots of Steem Power can pledge higher rewards to posts and comments. This gives them more influence and it also makes a statement that they believe in the core values of Steemit and are willing to help maintain the viability of the community. 

Let's put all of this information into practical use now.

You'll notice that when you are ready to post a story or blog entry, you have the choice of 3 rewards options from a drop-down box. You can either receive your pay-outs in:

  •  100% Power Up (Steem Power);
  • 50% SBD & 50% Steem Power;
  • or you can decline pay-out. 

You can select one or, Steemit's default setting is set to pay 50% of your rewards in SBD and 50% in Steem Power.

Underneath the Rewards selection box is an "Upvote post" check box. If you check the box, you will automatically upvote your own posts. It's like ensuring that your work will always receive an upvote and once you have some Steem Power behind you (voting power), you'll be rewarding and curating yourself with SBD, just for checking the box and voting for yourself.

Once you post your blog or story, other Steemers will read it and upvote it, (if they like your work).

With each upvote, you'll receive a pledge of a small amount of SBD from the rewards pool. Your post will be eligible to receive upvotes and SBD for 7 days from the time it was posted. Then you are paid 75% of the total amount of the SBDs for being the author of the post. Steemers who curated the post and upvoted it, split the remaining 25%.

Some Steemers are keenly interested in building their voting power. This is so that they can give other Steemers more of the rewards pool when they upvote blog posts or comments. Anyone interested in that, would simply select 100% Steem Power from the Rewards drop down box. It is important to note that all your rewards will be held in Steem Power as tokens that are locked in until you make a decision to Power Down. Once the decision is made to Power Down, you will be paid equal payments, for 13 weeks in Steem.

If you select the 5o% SBD and 50% Steam Power option, just as the name implies, 50% of your rewards will be paid in SBD and 50% will be paid in Steam Power.

The reasons why a Steemer might choose this option, is if they want to collect Steem tokens so that they can buy goods or services with it. Or, if they want to use it to buy Bitcoin which, will let them convert it into any currency that they want.

Currently, there is a 3rd reason to choose this option. It has to do with the difference in price between the SBD and Steem token. Right now, 1 SBD buys just over 2 Steem. The SBD can buy more Steem because the ratio is just over (at the time I am writing this) 1:2.

Here's a bit more brain work with some math behind it. If your rewards are paid-out to you in 50% SBD and if you then take those SBD and convert them to steem (which takes 3.5 days to process), you're currently earning at least 25% more Steem just by choosing this option. Again, this is because the value of a SBD and the value of Steem can fluctuate so you always want to know approximately how much these 2 forms of Steem currency are worth compared to one another. This is important so that you can make the best "rewards option" decision before you actually post your blog, if you are interested in stacking as many Steem tokens as you can.

Many people think that having to wait 7 days to receive a pay-out, then another 3.5 days to convert SBD to Steem and then another 7 days to Power Down, Steem Power to convert it to its most liquid form (which is Steem) is a negative thing.

I would like to suggest that this is not, but that it is a protective mechanism for the Steemit platform, Steemers and investors. It protects against there being a "run" on Steem where everyone tries to take their currency out of the system at the same time. It also offers some level of protection if your account is hacked by someone who has stolen your password/keys. They'll be able to potentially steal your liquid Steem tokens instantly (if you are holding any), but they won't have as easy a time stealing your SBD or your Steem Power due to the processing time it takes to make the conversion of these forms of Steem into its liquid Steem form. It gives you time to stop the theft.

There you have it folks, everything I currently know about SBD, Steem Power and Steem. Plus, the reasons why a Steemer might want to use the different forms of Steem currency.

The best place to start is just to jump on the Steem train and Steem On!

All systems are a go and full STEEM AHEAD! Please join me.

I welcome your comments and I invite you to follow me on my journey. ;)

~ Rebecca Ryan


Very well explained!!

Thank you @sureshgajjela! Welcome to Steemit.
I have followed you. Thanks for taking a minute to read, comment and vote.

@rebeccaryan .... Thank you immensely for writing this post! I can related to the disbelief that I would have had as well just 6 weeks ago; if you had said I'd be waiste deep into Cryptocurrency(s) and loving it. Let alone attempting to research it and explain it to those around me. 🤔I have TBI from my time in the Army yet this was the easiest STEEMIT economics 101 (🤣)I've come across. 🤕I've watched several videos and have also read other post yet nothing as made sense as much as yours has 🤔. I have followed, upvoted and I'm about to resteemit.... I'll also be promoting this post as well so others can find it easily. Random (biology/chem) question do you know your blood type and rhesus factor?

Thanks again and I look forward to reading your future posts.

Hahaha! Why yes I do...and allegedly I am not from these parts... A-

Gotcha. Anyone with a negative Rhesus factor is definitely made a lil different than the rest. I'm
O-neg RH.

Well @inkbeard, we might as well go a little farther down the rabbit hole...
I gather that "we"(in our human bodies with DNA code) are a bit like a decentralized organic system and torrents combined. I hold just a small piece of cryptic info and I would wager, so do you...put us together with others just like us and the info can be recovered and read.

I'd love to see a post about your thoughts on it. I wonder what Satoshi's blood type is and rhesus factor is... I can see it now Rhesus coin. 🤣🤣🤣

It would explain a lot. My guess is that there are a high % of rh- blood types frequenting Steemit. The platform is running on a frequency that we were all drawn to syncronicitically. (I'm not sure if that's a word...but it is now) Hahaha!

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and support. It really does mean a lot to me. I have followed you and I will help you when ever I can.
What blood type are you?

Posted one message too early lol.

Upvoted and followed. Also, judging by the bit about using the inflated SBD to get more steem power your math is up to par nowadays ;)

Thank you so much @rymlen! I really appreciate your support.
I have followed you too and upvoted your comment!

Rebeccaryan thank you for this fantastic explanation. I love your analogy, I am sure this will help a lot of people grasp the different aspects of the platform. Re-steeming this great info! Steem on....

Thank you Thank you Thank you @sunscape! I really appreciate your support and that you took the time to read it, comment and re-steem it.
That means the world to me. ;)

Rebecca Ryan ! DUDE that was a most excellent & bodacious explanation of STEEMIT tokens. I'm going to re-steem this !

Thank you so much @outerground! I really appreciate your support, comment and the re-steem!
I have upvoted your comment and have followed you. :)
Thanks again!

Cheers RR ! Good work

Nice information👍

Thanks for taking a minute to comment @engraqin!
(I am now following you.)

Thanks for Following :)
Followed u too👍

excellent, I'm going to share this with a friend to help convince her to join steemit

Fantastic @natureofbeing! I had hoped it would help to make it a little easier for people to understand. :)

The best place to start is just to jump on the Steem train and Steem On!

Well said, @rebeccaryan

Thank you. There is nothing to fear. Most of us started from the same place. Just jumping on. :)
Thanks for commenting.

Thank you for the post, I've learned so much.. before this post i was like:

Great meme @costafafs! I like it!!!
Welcome to Steemit!
I have followed you and upvoted your comment. I'm glad to learn that the post helped to make things a little clearer.

Thank you so much for this detailed explanation! For some reason, this whole SBD, Steem Power, payouts, Power Down stuff makes my brain run and hide. My eyeballs are reading the definitions, but my brain is off somewhere painting a unicorn.
I joined Steem partly because of the investment, but mostly for the opportunity to be a part of such an awesome platform. Of course, now that a couple of my posts have earned more than I ever expected, I'm motivated to learn more about the technical ins-and-outs. My brain still wants to go paint unicorns, but posts like yours REALLY help bring it out of hiding. It's starting to sink in now! Haha.

Hahaha! Very good...we all still need to remember to have fun while we are doing this, otherwise it's just another job. ;)

thank you helped a lot..

Thanks for taking a minute to comment @jiva34. I'm glad you found this post to be valuable.
I have followed you and will help where I can. :)

What's better - converting sbd to BTC or steem, which one yields best results?

My opinion is that buying Steem with your SBD is the better way to go in the long run. Steem, just like BTC goes up and down with its value, but you have more opportunity to make more with Steem. There was a time, when Steem was at $.07 cents....1000s of % differences when it rises in value.
I've never run a model to determine what the outcome would be if you bought BTC when it was lower and then turned around and bought Steem back during a dip. I think you'd have to be on the ball with your trading skills. It is something that folks here are doing, but you have to have nerves of steel to take those risks in trading.

nice interpretation of steem tokens,. great article!

Thanks for taking a minute to comment @evesick!
I really appreciate it.

It's funny, ten months ago I never thought I would be explaining it to anyone either. It's madness, but cool madness!!

( Ok, this is a "choking hazard warning" for anyone who may read this and has been following my blog posting activities for a while. Finish eating or drinking anything before you proceed to read any further.)
I'm about to unleash a little B.J. (Think Betty White and Joan Rivers together, because that's how my mind wroks).
I think this is so funny @meesterboom and I'm probably going to be thrown right off the damn train as it's barrelling down the tracks for this particular "train of thought".
I was thinking isn't it funny that one day I go from explaining the devastating actions of my beaver...
which seems to have a ferocious appetite for eating pussy willows...
to explaining how I take on SBD, Steem Power and Steem at the same time.
My entire blog's got the makings of a horribly written porno...set on a train...
Sing along if you know the words...
"I've been working on the rail-road...Dinah won't you blow, Dinah won't you blow your horn!"
Seriously, I can hardly stand it. Hahahaha!

Will it sounds like a winning ridiculously written porno hahaha!!! You are right though it's hilarious!!

Hahaha! Welcome to my big crazy train.

🤣 I wasn't ready!!! 🤣
Comedic gold... I'll take the advice in the future and won't be drinking (coffee)while reading. I cannot confirm or deny the presence of a shot of Jameson in said coffee.

Hahaha! Welcome aboard my crazy train @inkbeard! So glad that you and Jameson decided to join us and I do hope you enjoy the ride! LMAO

Thank you Becca . I needed this being that I am a #steemit newbie ha ha. I enjoy your posts.

Hey @nickygee! Good to hear from you. Glad that you "get" my sense of's a dry sarcastic wit that is lost on many...
Speaking of that, please read the thread under @meesterboom, Somehow I think you'll get it...LMfAO

I was hoping to get some more of "it". You came thru for me once again. @rebeccaryan will check out @meesterboom thank you

check out @meesterboom's blog for sure, but I meant the comment thread with him on this post. He read my Beaver update too. LMAO

Becca with your BJ mind , lil beaver who devours pussy willows as was told on your blog my hopes are that you will ride the train , without being thrown off, so that it makes it thru the tunnel as you blow the horn.

Hahahaha! I'll try my best. You have my word.

Great explanation and analogy...a train, cool. Thank you for the post it is very useful.

Thanks @manycoolthings! I hope it helps to make the workings of Steemit a little easier for people to understand and then explain or re-teach to others.
I have followed you and will help where I can.

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain all this. I find Steemit token system to be VERY confusing. It is still confusing to them, but less so thanks to you.

Thanks for taking a minute to read and comment @bianca12!
I have followed you and will help whenever I can...
The tokens are all basically the same thing...just different forms that can do slightly different things depending on what your personal preferences for currency uses are. :)

Thank you so much for following me and for the offer to help. So nice to connect with you on Steemit.

It was very pleasing to read :)

Hi @foxkoit! Thanks for giving it a read and commenting. ;)

you are welcome :)

Many thanks for that wonderful explanation. I have been spending far too many hours reading about how steem works this past week (I just got my first week under my belt and got my 1st weekly pay-out). I had a reasonable idea about how things worked, but your explanation made it real clear. Thanks again.

You are most welcome @happyme! Glad you joined us on Steemit. It's a great time to build your blogging reputation on the net through this platform.
I have followed you and will help where I can.
Thanks for reading, commenting and upvoting. I really appreciate it and I'm happy to learn that this info helped you. ;)

Many thanks for the follow. I hope at least some of my posts add value to your life. I will not be posting multiple posts per day so as not to overwhelm my followers. I will be actively working at growing my following in the next while. It seems to me that having a following is the best way to get more people actually reading what I write. Making money is nice, but the sharing of information is actually more important to me than having a bot upvote something that has not even been opened to read. Perhaps I'm being stupid about that concept but that's how I feel at this time.

I am grateful for any help I can get. Thanks again!

No, you are not being silly. I feel the system is better without bot voting. In fact, I personally think that you shouldn't be able to upvote without opening a link and I think there should be a 5 minute time lag between voting. I do not like that people can vote based on a title and a thumbnail picture.
Not working at continually building my following has been my biggest mistake to date. I think your stratedgy to grow your followers is correct. I'm sitting at 620 followers right now but 176 are considered dead because they haven't posted in a month. The website to track this is:

Wow! Every day I learn something new here! The more I interact with people, the more good information I discover. The problem is that I only have a finite amount of time each day. Today I spent approximately 6 hours reading and responding, but did not actively work on growing my followers. I can hardly find time to submit any new stories! I find this very informative and a lot of fun. I suppose eventually the learning slows down enough to get busy and add more posts? How many more sweet data sites are there? That dead followers site is great! Many thanks for that!
Any idea how I can add 48 hours to each of my days? :-)

Hahaha! I haven't figured out how to do that yet @happyme! I'll definitely be sharing that one with you if I do.
Actually there are a lot of good websites to look at valuable statics. I also use:
As I am learning more and more, your success is directly tied to the amount of followers you it's very important to keep growing this portion of your account.

Very informational, @rebeccaryan. Thank you for straightening that out. I will keep all of this in mind.

Thanks for taking a minute to read and comment @gypsydanger! I really appreciate it. I know it's confusing because of the 3 different forms of basically the same currency. It took me a bit to get a handle on how each different form of it works. :)

You explained it very well.

Very informative. Love the subway train synonym. Thanks for helping me learn more and more about the way STEEM works. The more you know, the more you realize how promising this platform really is! Cheers

Exactly! I couldn't agree more. Thanks for commenting and upvoting and reading @jeffjagoe!
I really appreciate it. ;)

Great and enlightening post. As a newbie here the more I can learn about the platform, the better. You helped in a big way 😀

Oh I'm so glad that this is providing some value and making things a little easier for you.
Welcome to Steemit! I have followed you and will help where I can. ;)

Wow. You are at it again. Thank you. I don't want to just read this important work. I want to study it. Learn it.
And for me, it may take some time. Ha
Just as I named you as my favorite go to coach for learning, in a question posted of everyone's favorite poster.
You have once again validated my claim. Thank you Rebecca. I know that you don't have to do this. But you do. We are indebted.

Awww! Thanks so much @francisk! That's such a huge compliment to receive. I will cherish it.
I know we will all get to the same destination on this train. We just have to keep feeding the Steemit engine and teach others how to do it too.
Thanks again for your heartwarming comment. I really appreciate it. ;)

I've tried to explain this platform to other IRL. This is a great analogy you've come up with.

Thank you @cavemanrob! I'm glad you thought it made some sense.
Thanks for commenting. :)

Really helping to steemit community, very helpful post for those who have not more knowledge about Steemit.

Thanks you for reading and commenting @how2steemit! I'm glad you think it has value and is useful.

You have value and respect.

Thank you. :)

Great article @rebeccaryan. I was confused at the start about the whole 50/50, powering up thing.

I felt the same way but once I figured out a practical use for it, I have started to use it more and more.
Thanks for commenting!

Always looking for helpful posts on how all this actually works! Thanks for creating this distilled info I really appreciate it!

Thanks so much for commenting @chrissymchavez! I have followed you and will help where I can.
Thanks again for your encouragement. :)

Absolutely! Looking forward to more great content from ya :)

I know there is huge competition for all of our time and attention on here. Lately I have been writing "how to" pieces so if you go backwards on my blog, you'll see my other work, which is on different aspects of how to Steem.
Have a great day!

You da real MVP.

Nice piece @rebeccaryan Practical applications of each 'coach' in the steem power train is very cool :-)

Thanks so much for your support @bilbop!
(PS: still seeing double and triple digits every day...all signals are a "go")

You are most welcome @rebeccaryan. Much deserved digits too. :-)

Helpful article for the Steemit noobs like me! Thanks!

Thanks for commenting @xredsoulless!
I have followed you and will help where I can. Welcome aboard this crazy train. LOL!

Upvoted, followed. Happy Follow Friday. Thanks for sharing this information

All Abord!!!!

What weighting would be best for people who just started out? 50:50?

It depends on the value of the SBD compared to the value of a Steem Token.
When they are trading at a 1:1 value then I would say take your awards in 100% SP. Currently the ratio is 1: 1.49, so if you take 50:50 your SBD will buy a little more SP, but it's another couple of steps because you've got to take you SBD and sell them, then take those profits and buy Steem tokens with it.
We are always in a position where we need to check what that ratio is in order to make the best buying get the most bang for your buck, so to speak. :)

I just looked at this again. Right now the Steem Token is worth almost 2 dollars, so you'd be better to take 100% payouts in Steem power because the SBD is worth less at $1.49. You should always check this ratio to make the best decision about how you want to be rewarded. For months and at the time that I wrote this post, the SBD was trading higher than the Steem Token. In that senario it makes sense to to take a 50:50 split. Just check what this ratio is before you make a decision about how you want to accept your awards.
On another note, if you take your awards in 100% Steem Power, the funds are protected and you can withdrawl it in 13 equal weekly payouts. This is called Powering down. When you hold Steem Power it gives your upvote more weight, depending on how much steem power you are holding and what your reputation score is. This is because you are ultimately choosing to re-invest your funds into the platform which strengthens Steemit. Lots of people take their SBD and Steem and sell these on an exchange to buy other alternative just depends on what you need to do, versus what you want to do.
I hope this helps to clarify things a little more. I know that it is confusing.

You remember the type... where you read about poor Jane who had to leave from a train station, cut 8 apples into 1/16 pieces and launch a rocket before her friend Betty who lives in a different time zone on the other sided of the planet does.

Yeah, I can relate. I'd much rather be sharing the cider with you and Jane.
Thanks for moving me 1 step closer to figuring it out.