Fighting dilution with vote exclusion.
It is no secret that biz_classic is the largest delegate. We have the highest number of voters, the highest stability in the delegate ecosystem, and unfortunately we are also among the highest in terms of vote dilution. We have taken steps in the past to address this, but it seems that despite our previous efforts we are still the most voted delegate and continue to gain votes outpacing the rate of ARK inflation.
What is vote dilution?
Since every delegate forges the same number of blocks a day (211), no matter where they are in the top 51, they earn the same amount. Since the amount of votes they have may differ, this leads to the #1 ranked delegate paying voters the least (proportionally and assuming equal share) compared to #51. The reason to vote for a highly ranked delegate like ours is to ensure you never have to change your vote or take any associated risks with voting someone lower. We pride ourselves on the fact that we have never dropped out of the Top-51 due to our popularity.
Now, we’ve become a little too popular. Don’t get us wrong, this is a good problem to have which tells us we’re doing something right and we’re extremely grateful to all of our voters. When our “whale” delegate launched — biz_private — that was used to fund the faucet, we had a place for large biz_classic voters to go. Initially, the requirement to join biz_private was 25,000 ARK. A few months ago, when dilution started becoming a problem again, we dropped that minimum to 20,000 ARK. That helped… for a while. Today, we are announcing a lower maximum for biz_classic as well as dropping the minimum for biz_private to 19,000, with the possibility of dropping it to 18,000 in the coming weeks.
In a previous post, when we announced that we would drop the biz_private requirement to 20,000, we also touched on capping biz_classic votes to 20,000. Voters with 20,000 or more ARK could vote for biz_classic, but only their first 20,000 ARK would count. We immediately notified the affected voters with a Smartbridge message to ensure they knew what was going on, in case they didn’t see the blog post. Now that we have dropped the requirement for biz_private to 19,000, the biz_classic cap has also been lowered to 19,000. We have added this information into our FAQ page in order to increase transparency on this issue, as well as sending out messages daily to these voters so they know to move over. Today we had one of these newly eligible voters move, and with the new cap there are four more affected voters remaining. Three of these voters have been above the cap for quite some time — with one being paid less than half of what they would get if they were uncapped for months.
We have added new information into the site header as well as updated our calculator to now account for excluded votes to let users know that they will be paid more than what most calculators will show them. The introduction of vote capping has resulted in a modest increase in rewards for users, and will result in biz_private slowly becoming more stable and less likely to drop out of forging as well. We hope to be able to continue “rebalancing” biz_classic and biz_private, and make sure that biz_classic does not accumulate too many votes. We recognize payouts will drop across the board for all delegates due to ARK’s rate of inflation and as more people start staking, but we hope to delay that as much as we can.
A Careful Balancing Act
Regardless of dilution, biz_classic’s main promise is to ensure that you can safely stake with us and not have to worry about switching your vote due to us dropping out.
We now employ several stability watcher scripts, and we are constantly monitoring our vote amount, calculating how “safe” it is to drop the requirement to enter biz_private. We originally had the idea to lower the minimum several months ago, but each proposal to do so was rejected by our team due to too many unknown variables. We do not want to risk biz_classic dropping out and need to ensure that too many people leaving won’t disrupt the safety of our position in the Top 51.
For a while, lowering the threshold to 19,000 was deemed “unsafe,” but in recent weeks our data has shown that threshold become rock-solid, and we can now announce that it is safe to lower this barrier on biz_private with minimal risk. For example, if every single biz_classic voter with 16,000 ARK or more decided to leave right now, and the requirement to forge increased to 1,500,000, biz_classic would still remain the most stable delegate.
We’re confident that we can remain the most stable delegate and continue to make biz_private even more stable as we lower the entry barrier to it. Thanks for voting and making us your delegation choice. Stay tuned as we approach our 1st anniversary at the end of this month! We’re all gonna make it.