CONTINUED FROM PART 1.
Part 1 of A Complete Beginner's Guide To Hive had Harry learning how to join Hive, manage his keys, learn to post with resource credits, etc. We left off in the middle of him learning about Voting Etiquette, so that's where we'll pick up.
"Let's see how well you know the etiquette, Harry...
6. ENGAGEMENT (REPLIES, UPVOTES, ETC.)
...What's the best way to reply, upvote, and reblog?
“OK, I think I got this.”
“I’ll read the comment. If I feel it deserves a reply, I’ll reply. I’ll upvote it too, but only with 10%, because I’m new and I don’t have much Resource Credits / Hive Power, and I don’t want to burn all my Voting Mana. Smart right?”
“Very. You’re almost right.”
“What do you mean ‘almost right?'”
“Well, since you’re new your votes aren’t worth much. And since your votes aren’t worth much, when you vote, you’re only earning a tiny percentage of a Hive token. Like $0.0001 of a cent. And if you remember, there is a ‘dust threshold’, where no one will earn anything unless a piece of content crosses the two-cent mark.”
“Aaaaahhh, I forgot about that. So even my 100% vote won’t push another’s comment past the dust threshold. So I’d burn my entire vote, lose vote mana, and earn myself and the commenter I’m replying to… nothing?”
"'Burning' votes is one of the most wasteful things on Hive."
“Now I get why people might be a bit touchy about it. It’s kind of like watching someone throw away a Michelin-star meal. It’s their choice, but dang, it hurts to watch.”
“That’s as good a comparison as any.”
“OK, so I’ll do what I said earlier, but since I’m new, I will not upvote my commenters.”
EDIT: Following paragraph corrected due to insight from @meesterboom :)
“Actually, the best advice I've seen for a newbie is to 'vote freely.' Yes they may not cross the dust threshold, but it's good karma. It's good will, and your votes recharge anyway. So just show love to people, vote up any comment you like, the thought counts. Just know that upvoting other people’s original content is technically a bit more impactful. Can you tell me why?”
I could see the gears turning Harry’s brain. “Hmmm. Well, because since it’s only me voting on my thread’s comments, my votes remain ‘dust votes’ there. But if I vote on original content, it’s likely many others will click upvote when they see the content too, so it’s very likely the dust threshold will be met, and my ‘dust votes’ will actually become worth something and begin paying out, just like everybody else who voted on the original content. Did I get it right?”
I clapped! “You totally did!
And one more thing about voting etiquette is...
You can upvote yourself. Which is basically like 'paying' yourself, and it's mostly frowned upon. I know what you're thinking, 'should I upvote my own stuff?' And the answer is, try to avoid it. You have a limited number of votes and resource credits, and it's usually seen better by others if you use your resources to engage and show love to others, not 'self-promote.' Instead, try trusting that other people will upvote your content if they like it. That said, occasionally, if you think something really needs to 'float to the top' or be recognized, that might be a time to self-upvote.”
“Got it, thanks chief! I just realized though, I have no clue about re-blogging.”
"Reblogging is easy."
“It’s the same as on other platforms. Similar to retweeting on Twitter or sharing on Facebook. Once you re-blog a post it shows in your (and your followers’) feeds as if you had posted it yourself. Also PeakD allows you to remove reblogs that you've chosen at a later date if you'd like. That’s it.”
“Makes sense. But since everything ‘earns’ HIVE tokens, which can be converted into real money… do I get paid for re-blogging?”
“I don’t believe so. It’s just a fun, kind thing to do. Reblogging costs Resource Credits and returns nothing, at least not directly.”
“Payouts on Hive do happen though.”
"In HIVE Tokens, Hive Power, & Hive-Backed Dollars (The 3 Currencies)"
“This drove me nuts when I first joined. I thought…
Why the f--k would you name 3 currencies all nearly identically?”
“I know, right?”
“Imagine if I made three U.S. Currencies: ‘US Tokens,’ ‘US Power,’ and ‘US-Backed Dollars’… you think any United States citizen would have any clue what was going on with their money? They’d store some in one currency, some in another. Some could be used to spend, others would be locked up. And they all have nearly the same name. It’s pure chaos.”
“Yeah, this doesn’t seem ideal.”
“It’s not. But Hive still rocks. And their 3 currencies are still easy to understand. If you want to earn on Hive, you’ll have to figure it out.”
“You’re gonna help me, right?”
“Well, no one held my hand through all this. Maybe I’m done teaching for now…”
“Bro! No way, we’re at the money part. C’mon ese!”
“Hehe, I gotchu, was just playin’.
First I’ll explain the 3 currencies on Hive.io:
HIVE Tokens (HIVE) is the primary currency on the Hive blockchain. It’s basically the same as bitcoin. (It’s the main token on the Hive.io blockchain.) You can spend, receive, transfer, and trade them. (Also sometimes called ‘Hive Tokens,’ or ‘Hive Coins.’)”
Hive Power (HP, or VESTS) is HIVE tokens that you’ve ‘locked up’ for use on Hive.io’s social platform. This is also called ‘staking’ your HIVE tokens.) Hive Power can also be earned by performing social actions on Hive.io, thus gaining rewards.”
“And I do those social actions through a dApp like Hive.Blog or PeakD, right?”
“Exactly. The thing is, Hive Power isn’t a ‘real’ cryptocurrency.”
“Well, it’s not a ‘liquid’ currency.”
“What’s ‘liquid’ mean?”
“Liquid currency means easily tradeable for other stuff. Picture how easily water flows in your mind. A currency that flows like that is ‘liquid.’ Money on your debit card is very liquid, just swipe and spend, basically anywhere! Money invested in stocks though, is much more solid, less flowing, less liquid. Same goes for HIVE tokens (liquid) & Hive Power (not liquid).
- U.S. Dollars are very liquid currency.
- Bitcoin is less liquid, but still liquid.
- Mutual funds are practically solid.”
“Ah, and because Hive Power is like influence points that only work on the Hive Platform, they’re valuable but not very liquid.”
“Perfectly said. You don’t ‘spend’ Hive Power like currency. Instead you ‘use’ them like points. You’ll likely want to convert between Hive Tokens (liquid) & Hive Power (non-liquid) at times. More Hive Power means more invested in Hive, which means more influence, which means more rewards & earning potential.”
Hive-Backed Dollars (HBD) are ‘bundles’ of HIVE tokens that are equal to 1 US Dollar.
This currency was made because crypto can have many decimal places, even portions of a cent, which is kind of awkward to deal with. So Hive created Hive-Backed Dollars to make things simpler. It’s still basically just HIVE tokens, just in an easier to measure and understand form. You can spend, receive, transfer, and trade them. (Often shortened to ‘Hive Dollars’, or abbreviated to HBD, or HD)”
“Hmm, so what you’re saying is, if I don’t care about nice little 1-dollar increments, I can just swap back and forth between HIVE Tokens and Hive Power as necessary? And that’s all done through my Hive Wallet?”
“Yeah, that’s about right.”
“So should I ever use Hive-Backed Dollars?”
“For beginners, I mostly recommended ignoring HBD. Imagine it like this.”
You earned 1000 pesos on a social platform. But you can’t do much with pesos, so you want to convert it to US Dollars. Most people would be fine converting their 1000 pesos into like $49 USD, right?”
“But Hive decided this simple conversion was too confusing, so they created a ‘middle-man’ currency: Hive-Backed Dollars.”
“So they could display how many ‘dollars’ your post is earning. They wanted people to understand they’re earning actual money. So instead of “your post earned 10,512,319 Hive Tokens”, instead it says, “your post earned $457 Hive-Backed Dollars, which is roughly $457 USD.”
“I woulda went with 2 currencies and just did the ‘peso-to-USD’ conversion like normal people.”
“Same bro, but they went a different direction. Point is HBD are just ‘bundles’ of Hive Tokens, and each ‘bundle’ is worth about $1 USD. And each bundle counts as $1 HBD.”
“I’m mostly going to focus on Hive Tokens & Hive Power, I think.”
“Alright, well whatever currency you focus on, just be aware you kind of have to 'foreign exchange' between them. Similar to a bank exchanging Euros for Dollars. Like if you get HBD you’ll probably be 'foreign-exchanging' it into Hive’s primary cryptocurrency, HIVE Tokens.”
“Or it can become ‘influence points,’ right?”
“Yes. You can exchange HBD into Hive tokens, and then exchange those tokens to Hive Power by ‘powering up.'”
“That’s a lot of exchanging, but it's basically conversion, right?”
“Yep, but on Hive this exchanging tokens for Hive Power is called powering-up & powering-down, so I might as well explain that a bit more.”
"'Power-Up' & 'Power-Down?' What's that?"
“Good question. They’re just fancy words for exchanging specific currencies.”
( Note: This section received minor corrections by @antisocialist )
“Why couldn’t they call it ‘converting?'”
“Yes, but 'conversion' is a word that means something special on the blockchain, so I avoid using it. Plus, you know how new cultures are, they always gotta have their own lingo.”
“Haha. Let’s say you go to your Hive wallet. You see you have 10 Hive tokens in it. You wish you had a bit more Hive Power to play with, you’re sitting at zero. You can click Power Up, enter an amount, say 1 Hive Tokens, and it will be converted into 1 Hive Power instead, leaving you with 9 HIVE tokens and 1 Hive Power.”
“Ah, so by converting HIVE tokens, my ‘real’ cryptocurrency, into Hive Power, I’m basically buying influence points that let’s me do stuff & earn more on the Hive.Blog social platform?”
“What about powering-down?”
“That’s just the reverse. Hive Power into HIVE tokens. Only thing is, it takes 13 weeks.”
“Yeah. Hive transfers one-thirteenth of your Hive Power into HIVE (tokens). It does this once a week for about 3 months. But be aware, although you’ll get a more ‘liquid’ currency in the form of HIVE tokens, powering-down does lower your influence (and earning power) on Hive.”
“Well, imagine you’re a rich man at a bank. Do you have more influence on the bank and the bankers when your account is full and overflowing? Or do you have more influence when you pull all your money out and your account is empty?”
“When I’ve deposited millions, obviously.”
“Right, same goes for Hive. You’re storing your crypto ‘in their bank.’ As long as it’s in tied-up in Hive Power, you’re much more influential on the platform…
If you suddenly withdrew all HP, you’d be just a ‘commoner’ with minimal influence on Hive.”
“But it’s still in my account, right? I didn’t withdraw it, I just converted it from Hive Power into HIVE Tokens.”
“OK fine, but it’s still like moving money from your high-interest investment portfolio, into your low-interest checking account. It’s not a great sign, and it looks like you’re about to pull all your funds out of the bank.”
“Alright, so keep a good chunk of my funds in Hive Power if I want influence & earning power on the platform, got it.
“Fair enough. And what does this ‘influence’ (in the form of Hive Power) do exactly?”
"It affects delegation, RC, witnesses, proposals, rewards, & inflation."
“Oh, great, so Hive Power lets me do many more fancy new things I don’t understand.” “Hey, you know what RC is at least.” Harry’s shoulders dropped, but I barreled on.”
…is investing Hive Power in others.”
“Why would I do that?”
“To earn for yourself & believe in people. Two ways of earning HIVE Tokens is by posting, and by upvoting, like I explained earlier, right?:
“But there’s a third way, delegation. You don’t have to post, you don’t have to upvote. Instead, you loan Hive Power to people you feel are active Hivers. That way you get a share of whatever they’re doing/earning on the platform.”
“Wow, so on most socials I don’t earn for upvoting or commenting. Those platforms don’t even pay me for posting. But on Hive, I can earn doing all those things? And even better, I can do none of that, and simply earn by delegating my Hive Power to other users?”
“You nailed it. That’s the beauty of Hive. Hive lets you earn as a creator who creates, a consumer who consumes, or even as an passive investor who ‘delegates.’ As added safety, you can un-delegate at any time too.”
"I love it. But what about proposals?"
“So Hive is by the people, for the people. This means that when you join Hive, you become a partial owner of Hive. You’re a share-holder. As Hive continues to grow, it’s users (shareholders like you) get to vote on where to invest Hive’s time, money, and resources. Do we want to control spam this month? Or do we want to focus on marketing Hive to the world? Should upvotes cost more? Or less? You’ve the option to vote on all this kind of stuff (if you want.) But some people have more influence than others.”
“Ah, and our Hive Power is our influence, which decides what Hive decisions get made.”
“Spot on. And these decisions are called ‘proposals’ or ‘work proposals.’ They can be anything that adds value to the Hive ecosystem (Development, Marketing, Operations, etc.) Newbies don’t usually vote on them, but you totally can, and it’s recommended. As is voting for witnesses.”
“Yeah, they’re like ‘custodians’ of the blockchain. Hive.io takes a lot of power, bandwidth, and resources to maintain. So it needed a group of people to run the servers and take care of all the tech details. They also act kind of like senators who ‘govern’ Hive. They’re ‘voted into power’ by the users of Hive. Witnesses run the Hive Blockchain on powerful computers which make ‘blocks’ every time anyone does anything on Hive.”
“So I could say they ‘witness’ all that takes place on Hive. Anything else?”
I rolled my eyes at Harry's pun. “Yeah, witnesses earn a lot on Hive. They receive Hive Power as rewards for producing blocks on the blockchain. Their powerful computers basically process every transaction on the Hive.io blockchain, and so, they’re rewarded for that.”
“Which means they have a lot of influence too?”
"Can I become a witness?"
Yeah, but it’s kind of like becoming the CEO of a company, it’ll take some doing. I believe @thecryptofiend made a wannabe-Witness Questionnaire 5 years ago that may still be useful for this:
"Who chooses Hive's witnesses?"
“Well, Hivians do. Any user of Hive can (and probably should) vote on witnesses. You get 30 ‘witness-votes.’ You can vote here:
“Maybe I’ll check it later, I wanna get back to earning on Hive.”
“Oh yeah, that reminds me, witnesses also publish HIVE prices, which helps figure out post payouts, rewards, etc.”
"Speaking of rewards...
…I’ve been pretty patient, mang. I’ve posted. I’ve upvoted. I’ve commented. I even clicked that re-blog button to help some peeps out. I don’t wanna be greedy but, can you please teach me how to get cash?”
"You get your cash from the Hive Rewards Pool."
“It’s where all the cryptocurrency comes from.
Think about it. People are using Hive… so where does the money come from? Thin air? No, it comes from the Hive Rewards Pool. It’s a bunch of HIVE tokens that grows daily, adjusted for inflation. It stops growing by the year 2040. Which means Hive has a real cryptocurrency, traded on the market, that can be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies, or even withdrawn into U.S. Dollars, etc.”
“Wow. How much money is in the pool?”
“Well it changes as the Hive currency’s value changes. Last I checked, it was about half a million bucks, but who knows by now.”
“Sort of. Keep in mind that the amount shown next to your post is a ‘Potential Payout.’ It’s how much money your post will make.”
“What increases it?”
“Upvotes, re-blogs, etc. Great content usually gets great upvotes. Great content gets shared.”
“Shared by who?”
“Curators, mostly. But anyone, technically.”
"So 'curators' can spike the 'author' rewards?"
“Yes. And a ‘curator’ is just a fancy word for a ‘voter’, a ‘hive user’, or ‘a person doing the upvoting.’
Anyway, let’s say your post gets discovered by a curator named @johnsmithhivelover . He spends some of his resource credits to upvote your post. The more voting power he has, the more his upvote will spike your rewards. Also, your post will display a higher ‘payout amount’ in the bottom corner, and more people will recognize it as valuable. Let’s say John also re-blogs your post to his audience. Reblogging doesn’t earn directly, but now even more people will see it and likely upvote it. A lot can be earned if a few big curators (or ‘whales’) upvote and share your posts. Then you get your ‘cut’ from the Hive Rewards Pool.”
“Cool, but the people doing the upvoting get paid too, right? It’s not all for me?”
“Correct. Hive gives a percentage of the payout to the author, and a percentage of the payout to all the curators. Currently it’s 50/50 split. So when a post pays out… half of the ‘reward’ goes to the author, while the curators share the other half (based on their Hive Power / reputation score.) This is why even though there’s only one Rewards Pool in Hive, we often say there is an ‘Author Rewards Pool’ and a ‘Curator Rewards Pool’. It’s a way of looking at the giant Hive Rewards Pool as a separate content-creator (author) pool and a separate consumer (curator) pool.”
“I’m getting all of this. Thank you. But you didn’t cover inflation.”
“I’d skip it.”
"Because inflation isn't too important for beginners."
“Yeah, but now I’m getting into all this. I wanna know.”
“Ok, I honestly say beginners should skip this, but if you really want to know, check out this clip I’ve tweaked from @geekgirl:
‘Consider there’s a group of 10 people who own a company called Snoogle. Snoogle gives 100 shares to all ten of it’s owners (shareholders.) Then Snoogle decides to bring in an 11th member named Jane. Snoogle gives Jane 100 more shares for free. Seems like a bad idea, because it decreases everyone’s share of the company from 10% of Snoogle, to about 9%. of Snoogle But if Jane increases the value of the company, it’s actually a brilliant decision by the initial 10 members. Even with less shares in the company, their net worth would be much higher.’
You get what she’s saying here?”
“I think so. She’s saying that:
Hive keeps ‘inflating’ itself by bringing on new users, who are shareholders.
But they believe that each new user adds value to Hive, so it ends up being worth it. So they have to keep manufacturing new Hive tokens to give to new users, which is basically inflation. But it’s ok, because users are valuable, so Hive will keep increasing in value, which means it will continue being able to make payouts, even as it grows?”
“Yeah, that’s a decent grasp of it.
And everyone who earns anything on Hive is automatically a shareholder in Hive.
(Or an investor, or a stakeholder, or a part-owner, etc.) To be honest, I’m not even sure I get it fully. It’d probably take a course in economics to get it all. All that really matters is that you can earn rewards as HIVE tokens. You can then convert your HIVE into bitcoin or something, which you can then convert to ‘real money’ like US Dollars.”
“OK, well it sounds like every new user has, and matters a lot. Even me.”
“Yes, that’s why Hive Power is so key. Because when you ‘stake’ your HIVE tokens into Hive Power, you’re basically investing it in Hive. It’s like you’re saying Hive is more valuable to you than withdrawing the money for yourself. Each Hive-User (Hiver? Hivian) affects the monetary value of Hive coins with their actions. Plus, the inflation of the Hive Rewards Pool is based on each user’s holdings. The higher the price of Hive on the market, the higher rewards for authors & curators. Hive’s value, like all currency, is decided based on supply and demand. Since newly printed HIVE tokens relies on current supply, every single Hive-holder makes growing rewards possible.”
“So this growing ‘inflation’ is where the rewards come from?”
“Yes, and Hive’s operating margins. At time of writing it’s:
- 65% of inflation rewards to authors/curators.
- 15% of inflation rewards to stakeholders.
- 10% of inflation rewards to block producers.
- 10% of inflation rewards to the Hive Fund.”
“Hah, now I get why you said to skip it.
It doesn’t really impact me getting my rewards now, here, today, does it?”
“Not really, no. But what does matter, is the 7-day maturation period.”
Harry cocked his fingers and thumb into the shape of a gun and pointed it at his temple. His mimed suicide was reasonable, considering I was throwing yet another complication into my original promise of “earn by consuming.” But teaching beats apology, so I pressed forward.
"Payouts only click in after a 7-Day Maturation Period."
“So I joined today, and I get paid in 7 days?”
“Actually, every piece of content a Hivian posts goes through this waiting-period. The post or comment is allowed to earn for 7 days, and when that’s up, the rewards are added to your wallet.”
“So my posts don’t earn forever?”
“Mostly, yeah. They stop earning after one week.”
“Well, voting is closed after 7 days, but PeakD has a ‘tip’ button that works forever, so a post can technically earn that way indefinitely. Regardless, if we look at your posts upcoming rewards, it should give a due date for payout, as well as what amount the post will be paying out.”
“OK, how can I see that?”
"Just look at the 'Payout Amount' in the bottom corner of your post."
Harry clicked around the screen a bit, and eventually found his post.
“What does it say?” I asked.
“It says: Payout will occur in 7 days. 1.056 Hive Rewards (50%/50%). What does all that mean?”
“You tell me?”
“Well, the 7 days thing is pretty clear. I assume that counts down, and it will be 6 days tomorrow,” I nodded at Harry’s guess, “And I’m earning a little over one… HIVE token? HP? HBD? Something, I don’t know. WTF are ‘Hive Rewards’?”
“Since Hive has 3 currencies, you can adjust what you receive, so they just write ‘Hive Rewards’ because each users ‘reward structure’ may vary.”
“So my reward structure is 50% earned as HBD, and 50% earned as Hive Power?”
“Why? Why is my ‘Hive Rewards’ structure paying me half in HBD and half in HP, that seems kind of random?”
"You chose a 50/50 split Reward Structure."
“Uh, pretty sure I did NOT choose that. I don’t even know how rewards work, why would I choose that?”
“OK, it’s more that you chose it by default.
Because when you posted, you left it on the default rewards structure.
The default is 50% Hive-Backed Dollars & 50% Hive Power (at time of writing.) There was an option there somewhere to adjust it. You can choose instead to get your payout totally in Hive Power (100%), or to decline payout altogether.”
“I see. So I’m getting like $0.5 HBD, and 0.5 HP from my post.”
“Yes, but not until 7 days pass. It may still earn more, or get downvoted into earning less by then.”
“Hey! Who would downvote me?”
“Well, no one I can think of, but maybe your post sucks, or someone thinks it’s spam. Anything could happen, I don’t control the thousands of people on Hive.”
“Plus it can also change from inflation, the price of Hive in the ‘real-world’ market, etc.”
“Fine, but as it stands, my first post is earning a little over a buck, split between HBD & HP, yes?”
“Kind of. Some of it actually goes to the curators who upvoted your post. They contributed their reading attention, their voting attention, and you contributed to attention to create the content. So the rewards are split. This is called the Reward Distribution and it makes sure rewards are distributed to everyone involved.”
“So I’m getting less than a buck? “
“Yeah, but chill. Give it time. Like any platform, you get your foot in the door, keep putting out content, and grow your earnings patiently. Don’t be money-hungry man.”
“Alright, I’m just excited. I’ve never earned anything for posting & consuming content before, and it kind of feels like I still haven’t.”
“Don’t worry, you will. Things change as you grow on Hive.”
"K, when 7 days pass, can I withdraw my money?"
“Yes, you can withdraw it. Here’s how:
First, remember that PeakD & Hive.Blog are just ‘front-ends’, like browsers. Your actual Hive funds are stored in your Hive wallet. Which means there’s many ways to access it.
The easiest way is to click ‘wallet’ from PeakD’s dropdown menu in the top-right corner.
(Or replace PeakD with whatever dApp you use to browse Hive) You can also select the ‘wallet’ option from your ‘Account Actions’ menu on your profile page.
Anyway, once your wallet opens up, you’ll see 5 balances: HIVE (Tokens), Hive Power, Hive-Backed Dollars (HBD), Savings, and Estimated Account Value. With me so far?”
“Yes, I’m there and I see it all. I assume I hit the ‘CLAIM REWARDS’ button first, and you already explained the first 3 to me, so I’m pretty clear on those.”
“Right, and ‘savings‘ is similar to a savings account at a bank. It’s just a place to store Hive currencies, but unlike storing it as Hive Power, it’s more liquid.”
“Cool, so it doesn’t take 13 weeks or whatever to transfer it from savings?”
“Correct. It only takes 3 days.”
“Estimated Account Value (EAV) just shows the value of your entire Hive account (at the moment) in US Dollars. It fluctuates, just like the US Dollar does.”
"What are all these options in my wallet menu here?"
“Those are the things you can do while managing your Hive Wallet. Namely:
- Power Up
- Power Down
Can you figure out what each one does?”
“Hmm, I’ll try. Transfer lets me move funds from one (Hive?) account to another? Just like in a bank, I think. Power-Up & Down you explained earlier, it’s just converting to & from Hive Power (which are measured in ‘vests’) Buy lets me buy Hive I assume. Sell allows me to sell my Hive?”
“Not bad! A couple small things. 1) Clicking ‘market‘ will take you to Hive’s market for quickly converting between HIVE tokens & HBD. 2) Buying & selling does what you said, but you can’t purchase (or sell) HIVE with USD, you have to use other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and so on.
Once you have your bitcoin though, whatever crypto exchange you use will likely allow you to withdraw it as US Dollars or another fiat currency.”
"What's the actual withdraw process?"
OK, to actually withdraw your HIVE tokens you’ll need a few preparations:
- First, you’ll need your keys for this. Your Hive Master Password (Private) or your Hive Active Key (Private).
- Second, you’ll need an account on a cryptocurrency exchange that supports Hive (e.g. Binance, Bittrex.) Your exchange should also have a way to withdraw Bitcoin or Ethereum into a fiat currency, such as US Dollars. This may require a driver’s license, passport, or other identity document. It may even require to record video. (Since we’re dealing with money, all these companies like to be very secure. Plus it’s pretty standard for any financial service to comply with local laws.) There’s many exchanges, most are free, some only work in certain countries, some won’t process Hive yet… so do your research first. Binance & Bittrex are the most popular for converting Hive at time of writing.
- Third, you'll need a crypto wallet (separate from your Hive Wallet)
Note: I'll explain crypto-wallets because @grindle mentioned that it might be important:
Exodus is a mobile-app crypto wallet.
Green by Blockstream is a desktop-app crypto wallet.
Trezor is an offline-hardware crypto wallet.
Each of the above cryptocurrency wallets is an app that lets you send/receive crypto tokens (bitcoin, ethereum, etc). Each wallet has a public key and a private key. (Yes, even more keys.) The first two are free to get, the third one costs money because it's a very strong metal device.
You need one of these to buy/sell crypto at a crypto exchange or in the general market. You also need one to convert your HIVE into Bitcoin or something more widely accepted and 'sellable.'
- Fourth, you’ll also need a ‘deposit address‘ in order to send your Hive to an exchange.
Assuming you have all these, here we go:
Login to your crypto wallet and go to your deposit details.
In another window, login to your crypto exchange.
In yet another window go to Hive and access your Hive Wallet.
Once there, click ‘Send,’ to bring up the transfer window, then enter the amount & deposit details, target receiver (ie: your exchange) etc.
Click the ‘Send’ or ‘Confirm‘ button. This will send some Hive to your exchange (e.g. Binance.) Make sure you convert it to Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) on the way.
Once your Hive has been converted to [ Bitcoin or Ethereum ] in your exchange, you should be able to withdraw (‘sell’) it to a traditional bank or buyer as a fiat currency (like US Dollars, or Euro if using a European exchange.)”
“Yep, it’s basically just convert HIVE tokens to a ‘proper’ crypto (like Bitcoin) at an exchange (like Binance), then withdraw your ‘proper’ crypto into a traditional bank as a fiat currency (like US Dollars.)”
"What is fiat? How is it different from crypto?"
“Fiat currency is what most people are used to. It’s traditional ‘paper and metal’ money. It’s ‘legal tender’ backed by a central government. It’s sometimes tracked digitally and stored in ‘bank accounts’ but it’s not a truly digital currency. It’s a fiat currency. The government controls the supply, and you can pay your taxes with it.”
“So, basically USD or Euros are fiat, monopoly money isn’t.”
“Yes. And cryptocurrency is new. It’s not ‘legal tender’ and not backed by a central government or stored in a bank. It’s stored securely on the blockchain, spread across many computers owned by members of the public. It’s a truly ‘digital’ currency, that is quickly becoming mainstream. An algorithm controls the supply and you can’t pay your taxes with it… yet.
A crypto exchange lets you buy and sell crypto, as well as convert that crypto into different fiat currencies, such as U.S. Dollars. I cover this more in my Crypto & Blockchain Guide with Doodles. Besides, you can always Google how to use crypto exchanges.”
“Got it, so Bitcoin & Ethereum, for example. Thanks for being so clear with all this stuff.”
“My pleasure. Anyway, we were talking about withdrawing, and I just wanted to point out, just like a bank, you can store your payouts in your Hive Wallet and actually use them to earn ‘passive income,’ if you’re interested.”
"Holding, stakes, vesting, and delegation...
…Remember before how I said you can power-up your HIVE tokens into Hive Power, and that gives you a lot of influence? Well, you can delegate your Hive Power to authors (content creators) and curators (consumers) who you feel are valuable. As they go about their day to day activities, earning, you get a cut of their rewards.”
“Staking is basically the same as ‘powering up.’
I have no idea why they use different words for this process. ‘Staking’ means ‘to deposit funds and ‘lock’ them as collateral into the blockchain. Doing this means it’s not readily usable by you, but it is usable by the blockchain. This helps the blockchain. It’s a form of ‘investing’ in the blockchain. It’s like putting your money into a savings account in a bank. The cash isn’t readily usable by you, but the bank can do a lot with it. ‘Staking’ funds into Hive provides a service for the long-term sustainability of Hive. It lets them maintain Hive well for all users. Similar to a ‘interest’ on funds in a savings account, staked funds often ‘gain value’ for the staker as well.”
“Vesting is just another word for ‘staking,’ which is another word for ‘powering up.’
Technically vests are a unit of measurement for Hive Power. So for example, when you reach 'one million vests' worth of Hive Power, you're a 'serious' member of Hive and your vote starts to carry more weight.
"Okay, so when people say 'you gotta vest more, bro,' they mean I need to 'power-up my HIVE Tokens into more Hive Power,' bro?"
"Exactly. They're encouraging you to become a committed member of the community. Still, it literally hurts part of my soul that Hive has 3 words for the exact same thing, but there you have it. If you have a lot of ‘vested’ or ‘staked’ HIVE tokens, you have a lot of influence on the platform. Can you tell me why?”
“Yes, because vested, staked, or powered-up HIVE tokens are just HIVE tokens that I’ve converted into Hive Power, and Hive Power is literally my ‘influence’ on the Hive Social Platform.”
“Holding – currently unanswered.
My gut says it’s actually a 4th word for staking/vesting/powering-up. Please help.”
“Man Hive is kind of like an entire culture, or a digital country or something.”
“Yep, it’s an online community, fully digital and crypto-based, complete with an economy and governance.”
“So cool, how can I be more involved?”
"That's a deeper question than this guide can answer."
“But point me in the right direction?”
“Sure, to learn about the Hive Economy, go here:
To learn about Hive Governance, go here: .”
“Thanks, you’re a rockstar.”
"DHF stands for Decentralized Hive Fund. (Also called the 'DAO.')"
“It’s a chunk of funds that has been set aside for the growth of Hive.
It’s only tapped into when Hive users & community has majority consensus on a particular project (‘work proposal.’)
Because this fund exists, any hiver can publicly propose work they’re willing to do in exchange for pay from the Hive corporation. Once proposed, Hive users can then vote on these proposals. in order to mark them as ‘approved’ for funding or, Hive users can disapprove of the proposal by downvoting it.”
"To make earning easier, some hivers use 'Curation Trails' or 'Vote Trails.'"
“A curation trail is more like a ‘curation pyramid’ to me.
Some Hiver at the top of the pyramid is voting, ok? And a bunch of other Hivers (who want to use their voting power to increase earnings) suddenly give some of their votes to the guy at the top of the pyramid. Why? Could be any reason. They’re too lazy to vote. They trust the top guy to find better content than them. They want more efficient, ‘automated’ voting. Etc.”
“It sounds like if I’m not going to vote every day, I should at least give some of my votes to someone who is, then we all earn more together, right?”
“Yep, but it’s a fine line. What if you’re an anti-vaxxer, and you trust your vote to a pro-vaxxer? It may not be an ideal situation for you. So giving away your votes requires care. That said, I’ll link you to a tool at the end of this guide that helps you setup your own trail. Just like in real life, giving your vote away on something requires real wisdom, and isn't something to do impulsively.”
"The Story Of Hive's birth."
The Steem blockchain was launched in 2016.
They ran on Steem cryptocurrency, and the founders decided to ‘control’ 80% of all the Steem tokens.
Users of Steem were pissed, but let it be with the understanding the funds would be used to help Steem.
4 years later, the Tron Foundation acquired Steem and started mis-using the 80% reserved tokens.
Many of the witnesses and users of Steem rebelled against Tron’s takeover and misuse, so they started Hive, a truly by the people, for the people social blockchain.
More details at the link above."
"Is It Hivian or Hiver?"
“I have no idea. I’ve heard it both ways.”
Can I edit my post?
"Yes. You're able to edit your post for 7 days only. And you can't edit your first tag, ever. Also note: When you edit a post, it re-notifies everyone you tagged in it-- be careful you don't spam others with multiple edits. (We're hoping Hivemind fixes this.)"
"What is 3Speak?"
“3Speak is a dApp that’s basically a blockchain-based version of YouTube. If you want to post videos directly on the Hive blockchain, 3Speak is the main dApp to do so.”
"What is Splinterlands?"
Splinterlands is a crypto-based digital card game. Insanely popular. It’s literally the single most active dApp on Hive.”
"I tried HiveSigner over Hive Keychain, but why does it want my active key?"
“The best explanation I could find for why it needs your Active Key is here:
but it didn’t clear things up for me.
Edit: If you give an app (like Hive Keychain) your posting key, it can sign into Hive and do the things you want the app to do. Which is great.
But if the author of Hive Keychain suddenly started to misbehave with your permissions, you'd have to literally change your super-long key to stop them.
On the other hand, if you 'grant' an app (like HiveSigner) posting *authority *(by using your active key to 'grant' permissions) it can do the things you want the app to do on Hive, and if it ever misbehaves, you don't have to change your key, you can simply 'revoke' permissions.
Overall this probably won't be a big deal for hive beginners, but there you have it.
(Basic explanation provided by @antisocialist and I rewrote it to the best of my ability.)
What are 'communities' on Hive?
“They’re basically like ‘subreddits’, if you’re familiar with reddit.
If not… they’re groups that like-minded Hivians can join. Nature-lovers can join ‘C/Natural Medicine’, porn-lovers can join ‘C/DPorn’, and game-developers can join ‘C/Game Development.’ Join them to interact with content (and people) focused on a particular topic.
One thing to know though is that unlike subreddits, communities are basically their own ‘apps.’ They can have their own cryptocurrencies, eco-system, power-structure, and more. They’re kind of like ‘mini-hives’ for like-minded folks.
I wouldn’t focus too much on it just yet.”
Can I 'cross-post' to different communities?
“Yes. While posting, just click the ‘cross post in…’ button, choose a target community, and give a brief note for context. I believe it takes resource credits, but am not sure.”
"What are beneficiaries?"
“When you write a post on the Hive blockchain, there’s ‘advanced’ options at the bottom of the post editor for ‘post payout.’ One of these is to add ‘beneficiaries.’
They are people who’ll receive a percentage of your post payout…
…depending on how much you set it as.
It’s like sharing earnings with friends or collaborators (beneficiaries.)”
"What are stablecoins?"
“There are some cryptocurrencies called ‘stablecoins.’
These are cryptocurrencies, with a stable price that closely matches the value of a major fiat currency.
For example ‘Tether’ is a cryptocurrency pegged to the US Dollar.
Another example is ‘EURS’, which is a cryptocurrency pegged to the Euro.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, is a volatile cryptocurrency.
It’s price fluctuates rapidly, and is not pegged to anything.
Hive has been aiming to create it’s own stablecoin, Hive-Backed Dollars (HBD), they’re making progress.
Note: Unlike some cryptocurrencies, stablecoins are mostly created by centralized organizations that ‘own’ the currency. Even DAI, a well-respected stablecoin that markets itself as ‘decentralized,’ has faced scrutiny for its centralized organization. Stablecoins must also be audited through 3rd parties, in order to make sure their fidelity to their fiat currency. Involving 3rd parties can sometimes be sketchy. Also, stablecoins don’t provide the potential for high growth, unlike unpegged ‘standard’ cryptocurrencies.”
"What does DeFi mean?"
“Decentralized Finance. A term to describe apps and projects in the ‘blockchain’ space, aimed to disrupt traditional finance. “
"Re-summarize rep, RC, vote mana, vote weight, & HP again?"
“Hive Power = Influence Points.
It goes up and down mainly because of voting and how much funds you have currently invested in hive. More HP generally means more earnings.
Reputation Score = Mostly a vanity metric.
Edit: User @crosheille reminded me that it goes up and down based on votes... but ONLY from hivers with a higher rep score than you. It basically means that other high-rep people have rewarded/upvoted you (or if your score is low, they haven't.) More Rep Score doesn’t mean a lot, but sometimes vanity metrics get more clicks and lead to more earnings.
(Edit 2: I misunderstood crosheille so @antisocialist clarified even further.)
Resource Credits = Points you spend for every interaction.
These are mainly to prevent spammers from posting everywhere. They go down with every Hive interaction you do, and recharge daily. Doesn’t directly lead to earnings, but you can’t earn if you can’t post/vote/etc. so still important.
Voting Power/Mana = The amount of votes you have, & how ‘powerful’ they are.
Goes down with every vote you make. Goes up after daily recharge. There’s also a similar ‘downvote’ mana. More Voting Power (Mana) generally means more earnings.
Voting Weight = How much ‘weight’ you’re giving to a vote you make.
More weight given to a vote, means it’s worth more & earns more, but it also depletes your daily voting mana much more.”
1. Join At Signup.Hive.io, Using HiveOnBoard.
2. Get The Hive Keychain (Wallet) Chrome Extension
3. Create & Backup Your Account & Keys
4. Import Provided Keys Into Keychain
5. Login To PeakD.com and Browse Hive!
6. Gain Resource Credits At GiftGiver.Site
7. Make First Post
8. Consume Content
9. Engage (Vote, Reply, Reblog)
10. Reap Rewards (HIVE, Hive Power, HBD)
11. Manage Funds, Get Paid
12. Create, Consume, Earn, Repeat.
A quote from @nonameslefttouse sums up Hive nicely, in my opinion.
“Buy a book or magazine. That money is gone, forever. Buy a single audio track or album. That money is gone, forever. Buy a movie or subscribe to Netflix. That money is gone, forever. Consumers are ‘spending’ their attention, their time, their money on other platforms all day long. They do so without getting anything in return. It’s a total no-brainer for them to do so here on Hive, where they actually get paid for consuming.”
“What? It’s obvious! Using Hive is win-win.”
“Dude… we’ve been talking for hours.
I could’ve been a doctor or a lawyer by now…
That ain’t a no-brainer. You’re basically saying ‘Hey, I’ll pay you less than a cent to consume, but to get started, you have to explode your brain learning crypto & Hive.’
For most people that ain’t a no-brainer, it’s a no-thank-you.”
“I mean, I admitted it was overcomplicated…”
“Yeah, and there are less complicated, easier ways to earn money. I’m happy consuming on the ‘gram. Sure, they don’t pay me…
…but they also don’t make me earn a f--king Instagram-Degree to join.”
“Wow. I guess being on Hive makes a person sort of overlook how off-putting the platform may be for new users.”
“Yeah man. Even if you wrote our entire chat up so I could share it with others, I’m still not sure I could get my friends to join.”
“Yikes. Well, do you wanna stop talking?”
“Nah, in for a penny, in for a pound. Let’s keep going.”
“K, almost done anyway.”
“Finally.” Harry said, but his upward-smirk told me he’d been enjoying our talk all along.
“The point is, you don’t own shares in Facebook. You don’t own shares in Twitter. Social corporations have been using you as their product for a long time.
Hive turns that upside down because everyone who joins is a shareholder.
Every user’s portfolio and net worth grows along with Hive. Every social action you take contributes to the blockchain and raises the value of the Hive network. So every action you take (potentially) adds funds to your crypto-wallet. This is revolutionary and a huge blessing.
With a diverse community of stakeholders and without controlling bad actors, individuals can experience true ownership in a decentralized blockchain & cryptocurrency.
That’s from Hive’s ‘about’ page. It’s a beautiful vision they’re aiming for. But it’s still new and rough around the edges. Which means it takes a bit of learning to navigate it. But you don’t have to learn it all at once.
You can always refer back to our conversation here for anything you don’t understand.
“Yes! I’m psyched! And I appreciate all the help.”
“Great, then I’ll leave you to your Hiving, because I’ve been ignoring my account while we did all this. Time to give it some TLC.”
Bonus A: Hive Resources
This could be helpful for beginners because many of these tools make life on Hive much easier.
Bonus B: Hive Influencers
This could be helpful, so you have some role models or context when you see names mentioned.
Big thanks to all the following people!
Guide-makers who inspired me.
I hope I didn’t forget anyone. Each of the people listed have created guides or pieces of content that answered some of my questions about Hive. I’d have had a lot of trouble making this without their already existing work.
Lastly, @saintchristopher gave Cyn a personal walk-through on how to sign up, and without that I wouldn’t even be on Hive.
Hivers who answered my questions.
These are hivers who engaged with me, supported me, helped me with this guide, and answered my questions directly. Some of them delegated me Hive Power to get me started, and others have also made guides of their own, so they’ll get an ‘asterisk.’
One Hiver went the extra mile to help me with this guide.
@nickyhavey gets a special mention here. Yes he was a guide-maker who inspired me. Yes he answered my questions and encouraged me. But more than that, he spent hours going over corrections, typos, misunderstandings, and more with me to make sure the guide was polished and correct. Huge thanks bro.
Hivers who encouraged me to make this.
A kind word or encouraging remark on my other posts makes a world of difference, thank you all.
Stock photo sites that helped me with illustrations.
Any stock images I used are from DreamsTime.com and Envato.com. They’re both amazing sites and I highly recommend them.
(Note: Actually one image came from ClipArtCreationz.blogspot.com and two came from Unsplash.com :D)
The beginners of Hive.
Especially @cynshineonline !
And all the witnesses, users, & others who make Hive possible!
I’m new to Hive so I know very few of them, but I’m truly grateful to all.
P.S. This guide makes joining Hive easier & clearer, please help it reach people.
I love to see great content be elevated. It’s sad when it gets buried in the noise of the internet. This guide could be doing so much good work, as long as it gets visibility. Visibility isn’t my passion, but if it’s yours, or if you can think of even a single person this guide might benefit, please share it so it has a chance of reaching them. I, and many others, will appreciate it.
Introduce your grandma to Hive, or a teenager, or anyone who is new to blockchain. Anyone who wants a friendly explanation of Hive will find this article useful, and I greatly appreciate you keeping it in mind.
P.P.S. I am a beginner with less than 3 weeks on Hive, so...
I know it's ambitious to try writing a guide while being such a noob, but I poured my soul into this and did my best. If there are mistakes or corrections please let me know gently and I'll do my best to fix them. If I broke some etiquette or did something I shouldn't, I honestly don't know, please just tell me and I'll make amends.
Thanks to all who read, comment, upvote, share, etc. I appreciate.