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Steem Developer Portal - Glossary

Understanding the common terms used by the Steem blockchain is an important part of being able to build applications and tools that use it.

This section outlines several of the common terms.

More terms and information can be found on the FAQ.

Chain Basics

Decentralized ledger and consensus protocol
Steem (blockchain)
Name of the blockchain and platform
formerly the limit of data each account can send/use (replaced by Resource Credits)
Resource Credits
is the limit of data each account can utilize resources on the blockchain (also known as RC)
The fundamental unit of accounting that STEEM Power is derived from
STEEM (currency)
Currency of the blockchain, liquid version of Steem Power
Steem Backed Dollar, $1 worth of STEEM
Steem Power
Locked version of STEEM which gives account influence on the platform
Operations/Activity/Write requests to the blockchain. A transaction is a submitted update to the Steem blockchain. This can include token transfers, posts/comments, votes, etc.
Every three seconds, the Steem blockchain produces a new block. Each time a new block is produced, the distributed network is updated with all of the transactions that occurred within that block.
Block Header
Information about block, root, and witness who signed, etc.
Price feed
Feed that is maintained by witnesses to ensure SBD/STEEM price stability
An account is a container for all of the activity associated with a particular user's wallet on the blockchain. This includes all of their tokens, posts, comments, upvotes, transfers, etc.
Each Account has multiple authority and keys to manager different permissions on the platform
Owner authority/permission of a given account
Keys are used to authenticate transactions. Each key contains a public/private pair. When a transaction is submitted to the Steem blockchain, it is signed by the account owner using their private key. The blockchain is able to determine that the transaction is valid by validating the signature against the public key from the pair.
Public Key
Public key of account's certain authority
Private Key
Private key to sign a transaction with account's authority, should be kept secret because it grants access to account
Wallet Import Format/Private key, should be kept secret because it grants access to account
Active key
The active key is used to make transfers and place orders in the internal market
Posting key
The posting key is used for posting and voting
Owner key
The owner key is the master key for the account and is required to change the other keys
A post is a root level comment - one that has no "parent".
A comment is text content that is stored on the blockchain. Comments can be linked to other comments as "replies" through parent/child relationships.
A vote is an expression of like (upvote) or dislike (downvote) for a post/comment. The Steem blockchain uses the votes that a post/comment has received to determine its share of the rewards.
Account's reputation on the platform
Markdown language
Easy to read and write, plain text format language commonly used to create Steemit articles
The 'production' Steem blockchain network wherein real STEEM is held and actual transactions take place.
The assignment of STEEM Power for content influence by another account (cannot be spent, can be revoked by the delegator in 5 days)
Convert STEEM to Steem Power and vice-versa with PowerDown
Reward Pool
Every day, a fixed amount of STEEM tokens are allocated to the network reward fund, commonly called the "reward pool." These get distributed to authors and curators for posting and voting on content.
Plug-in architecture that provides a robust foundation for scaling. It enables many components of the Steem blockchain to become modular by creating additional non-consensus blockchains as dedicated plugins.
A fast-on-disk data store with an advanced caching layer, which minimizes latency when reading/writing to and from disk.
Multi Index Rocksdb Adapter that updates the database backend of Steem from memory mapped files to a disk log-structured merge-tree implemented via the RocksDB library.

Tracked voting power that is regenerated from 0 to 100% of max linearly over 5 days. It is a function of STEEM Power, delegations, and active power down that tracks unspent reward fund shares.

Each user also has a manabar specifically for downvotes, which is 25% of the upvote manabar. Downvotes will consume this mana first before consuming regular mana. When voting, 1/50th of the remaining mana is used for a 100% vote. The same math is used for downvote mana but multiplied by 4 because the downvote manabar is 25% the size of the normal manabar. The maximum of these values is used. When both manabars are at 100%, the values are the same. When downvote mana runs out, normal mana is then used.

Reverse Auction
The window of 5 minutes where curation rewards are sent back to reward pool.
Also known as Steem Proposal System. An on-chain decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that allows users to submit proposals for funding and use stake weighted voting to select which proposals should be funded.


Delegated Proof of Stake
The assignment of STEEM Power for DPOS governance and SPS approval by another account (cannot be spent, can be revoked instantly)
A node is an instance of the Steem blockchain running on a server.
Witness is a position/role for the people who are chosen by community (delegate trust) to support platform and run consensus protocol to ensure security and validity of transactions/blocks on the blockchain. A witness is responsible for signing and validating blocks for the Steem blockchain.
Process to release protocol/blockchain consensus upgrades
Process to release protocol/blockchain software improvements
Witness Vote
Voting/electing witnesses with account's stake
Decentralized Autonomous Organization (see: SPS).
SBD Haircut
Rules to stop printing SBD when the supply is too high. Note: SBD printing for the SPS (@steem.dao) does not follow these rules and will continue to print SBD regardless of the supply.


The peer-to-peer network is how transactions are broadcasted to mempool until they are included in a block.
Where a transaction that is being conducted over the p2p network is transmitted and held until a witness picks it up and includes it in the next block.
Pending Transaction
Transaction that is pending and to be included to the blockchain
Transaction Hex
Hash of the transaction
Transaction signature signed by an account with a private key
Canonical Signatures
Reduce entropy Signatures that follow the BIP-0062 specification to prevent transaction malleability. All Signatures on Steem are Canonical Signatures, since 0.20.2.
Broadcast Transaction
Event where a signed transaction is broadcasted to the p2p network so that witnesses could validate and include in a block
Virtual operation
Operations that are derived from blockchain activity, but aren't actually stored as operations themselves (ex. curation and author rewards). They happen based on consensus from the blockchain based on other normal operations


Posts/Discussions that are highly valued with shorter time interval update
Posts/Discussions from followers of a particular account
Posts/Discussions that are still actively being engaged
Newly created posts
Posts which was paid out recently
Pending Payout
Estimated pending payout for blog posts/comments
A tag is a descriptor that is used to identify the type of content contained within a comment/post.
Account that is being followed
Account that is following the user
State of blockchain for path - accounts/tags/filters/posts
Dynamic Global Properties
Current blockchain global properties in play for each block
Median Price
Median Price feed provided by all witnesses
A steem user who upvotes a post by using their daily voting power to assign value to a post that they believe has good quality content and should be seen and the author rewarded
Curation reward
The reward given to a curator, which is their portion of the 50% allocated to all curators that have upvoted a post
(Reblog) re-posting another authors' post in your blog feed for your followers list


Conversion Requests
Request submitted for Converting SBD to STEEM
Order Book
Internal market order book to exchange SBD<->STEEM
Smart Media Tokens
Limit Order
A direction given to the DEX to buy or sell an asset at a specified price or better, that expire within 30 days of creation.