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Unlike many other crypto currencies, STEEM does not charge a transaction fee from users. Witnesses that run the servers for these transactions are paid from the blockchain to compensate operation costs. Developers and exchanges have to pay their infrastructure costs from their own pocket. Increased transaction rates increases operation costs for them. In order to prevent "unreasonable amounts of transactions" [1], the concept of bandwidth was introduced.

Each operation a user does on the blockchain consumes a certain fraction of his bandwidth. The bandwidth of each account is directly proportional to his STEEM Power. The overall bandwidth allowance per user scales with the load on the blockchain. In times of high network load, accounts with low STEEM Power may not be able to interact with the blockchain. The bandwidth of each account is shown for example on Steemd.

Bandwidth Errors

The Steem network has gotten very busy recently with all the increased use, so some users are occasionally bumping into bandwidth limits. The more transactions a user does, the less bandwidth they will have left (until it recharges). If they pass their limit, or the network gets busy and their limit is reduced - they may be unable to transact until the limit is raised, or their bandwidth recharges. This will primarly affect users with a small amount of Steem Power.[2]

Move to Resource Credit System (RC)

In June 12th the Steemit, Inc staff announced that they are reforming the Bandwidth Formula for the Steem blockchain updates planned for Hard Fork 20. As they continue to scale the blockchain to more and more users, the bandwidth formula that we use to allocate resource usage across all of those users becomes increasingly important. To address this issue, they have completely rewritten the bandwidth system and created a new, state-of-the-art resource allocation system built around a new unit called “Resource Credits (RC)”. This resource allocation system would be the first of its kind in the blockchain / cryptocurrency space and according them it will be the most advanced “freemium” blockchain model in existence.[3]


  1. Steem Blue Paper Published in, retrieved in January 9th, 2018
  2. Steem Bandwidth - User Experience Issue Written by Tim Cliff (@timcliff), published on January 9th, 2018
  3. Blockchain Update 2: HF20 Progress & Bandwidth Changes Written by Steemit, Inc Blog (@steemitblog), published on June 12th, 2018


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