The year is complete and it is time to look at how things played out in terms of the distribution of Steem Power (MVests).
Part of the key to cryptocurrency is that, unlike the world of fiat, where the holdings move into fewer hands, the distribution spreads out over time.
One of the advantages that Steem has is that there is a distribution system which continually rewards accounts throughout the year. This means that those who are active will see their accounts growing. The impact is that we see a change in the holdings as more people realize this outcome.
A major point to keep in mind is there is no graduation from the Whale category. The only way to leave this, once it is achieved, is to power down.
Also, it is important to understand that each category is a power of 10 compared to the one below it. Thus, it 10x the amount of MVests to become an Orca as compared to a Dolphin. What this means is that when one moves up a level, it will take 10 accounts to replace that single account.
Overall, it was a fine year for the distribution of STEEM. We did see a marked changed from the start of the year, as analyzed by the STEEM that is powered up.
I use the charts provided each day by @arcange.
Here is what the distribution was on 12/31/2018.
The percentage breakdown of the total reads as such.
Here is how things looked on 12/31/2019
Here is the change that was seen over the year.
The big shift is obviously the Whales. A lot of this could be attributed to Steemit Inc selling part of their ninja stake to cover their ongoing operational costs. The company is selling 800K STEEM per month, with two months where they omitted doing this. That means the company put 8 million STEEM on the market.
Another big factor here is the fact that roughly 22 million STEEM was added this year, which was distributed among all the different accounts. This means that the net impact on Steemit Inc's holdings, the largest token holder, was a shift of roughly 30 million STEEM.
Total MVests tell one story. There is another layer to this when we look at the number of accounts.
Here is the breakdown of accounts on 12/31/2018:
The numbers tell reveal a great deal to us. To start, the increase is MVest is spread over more accounts. This is a good thing. Not only is the distribution spreading out by category, there are a greater number of accounts in each one.
We also see that the Whales decreased by 1 when every other category increased. Thus, the impact on the Whales is much greater as they lost a great deal of holdings.
Orcas and Dolphins saw nice increases in the number of accounts as people in those categories were active and moved up. They great at 20.06% and 12.70% respectively.
The Minnows grew but at a slower rate of 5.96%.
So what does this all tell us?
The distribution model of Steem is helping to spread the holdings out. Many fret about Steemit Inc selling their stake, believing it affects the price of STEEM. Oddly enough, when the company stopped doing it for two months, the price fell anyway. In the end, it is good that the ninja mined stake is having less impact. Ultimately, the Whales are less powerful today as compared to a year ago.
During the last hard fork, the economic model was changed. Thus, it might take a bit more time to see the impact, either positive or negative. We know the lack of new people getting active is a problem. This is causing the Plankton level to affect the Minnows and Dolphins. As stated above, for each account that moves up, 10 more are required to replace it.
Thus, we would have to see an increase of 2,480 Minnows to replace the 248 accounts that became Dolphins in terms of MVests. Instead, that category saw an overall increase of 184. Thus, I conclude the Minnows are still active, working their way up. The Planktons, they are lagging compared to the overall.
2019 saw the price of STEEM reach levels that are close to the all time low. This enabled many people who are committed to this blockchain to add to their stake via purchase. I would say this also had a significant impact on the distribution. Personally, I took advantage of this to power up more than I would have.
Overall, there is more Steem Power held in more accounts as compared to a year ago. This shows me that the distribution method employed is having a great impact. There is no reason to believe this will not continue, further reducing the impact that some of the larger accounts have.
As a fun comparison, to give a bit more contrast, here is what the charts looked like the month I joined Steem.
These are from 8/1/2017:
Here are the links where the charts were located.
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