Whether you receive STEEM or SBD is determined by the SBD Print Rate.
At the moment, the SBD Print Rate is at 100%, which means that 100% of our liquid rewards will be in the form of SBDs. This is a complete reversal of the SBD Print Rate from two months ago until right before the Hardfork, which was at 0%, that's why our liquid rewards were all in STEEM and 0 SBDs over the last two months. Consequently, if the SBD Print Rate goes down to 50%, we will be receiving half our liquid rewards in STEEM and half in SBDs.
So, what determines the SBD Print Rate? This is determined by the level of the STEEM/SBD Debt Ratio. (FYI, this is a percentage, which is calculated by the total SBD in existence divided by the total Steem market cap.)
Up until a few days ago, before Hardfork 20, the rules were:
Over the last two months, the STEEM/SBD Debt Ratio has been above 5%. That's why we have been getting STEEM for all our liquid rewards and 0 SBDs. However, with the implementation of Hardfork 20 the rules surrounding the SBD Print Rate has been updated with the following:
This shift in the print rules resulted into the 100% SBD liquid rewards that we have been getting over the past few days. This is because even though the STEEM/SBD Debt Ratio is still higher than 5% limit pre-hardfork, it is now lower than the new 9% limit under Hardfork 20.
Why the change, though? Apparently, the change was done in order to limit the supply of SBD and therefore, prevent further downward pressures into it's price. This way, people will be more likely to hold STEEM, than SBD.
Hope this helps.
(UPDATE: Made a correction, changing the word "STEEM" into "SBD" in the second sentence of the final paragraph.)
The thing is that the monetary ecosystem of the Steem blockchain can be quite daunting for somebody new. I congratulate you for gathering the courage to ask a question which I am sure hundreds have wondered about but did not vocalize.
To fully answer your question, first we need to understand that Steem is the native token of the Steem blockchain and SBD is technically a smart contract. Remember that the SBD its pegged to USD (Peg is to a dollars worth of Steem and not the actual USD). In essence, the SBD acts as a debt instrument.
For the sake of simplicity, let us call the total market cap of SBD as 'Debt' and let as call the market cap of Steem as 'ownership'. Now the ratio between the two would be called 'Debt to Ownership Ratio'
Debt to Ownership Ratio = Market cap of SBD/ Market cap of Steem
Normally the Print rate of SBD = 100% * (5 - debt to ownership ratio)/3
When the ratio falls below 2% than all payouts are in hundred percent SBD (No Steem is printed and only SBD is printed)
When the Ratio is above 5% than all payouts are in Steem and Steem Power (No SBD is printed). Recently, this is the current condition and we have no SBD in the payout rewards.
It all depends on the average Debt/Equity ratio 3 days prior to the post payout. Debt Ratio can be easily calculated by using the formula below:
Debt Ratio = (Market Cap for SBD / Market Cap for Steem) x 100%
With Hard Fork 20 just implemented days ago, the new rule on how the blockchain reward it's users is as follows:
The current Debt Ratio is at 6.14% which is far below 9% and is the reason why all liquid payouts everybody gets are in SBD.
If you want to check what the blockchain's Debt Ratio is at the moment, you can easily check it here yourself: http://www.steemreports.com/steem-sbd-info/
The current hardfork determinant whether our rewards are in Steem or SBD is by checking the debt ration of Steem.
With the new hardfork, if the debt ratio is below 9% we will be receiving 100% rewards in SBD (50% in the form of Steem power is constant).
If the debt ratio plays in between 9-10%, then a proportion of Steem/SBD will be given to us (the same thing happened last hardfork where the debt ratio became in between 2-5%). The closer the debt ratio is to 10%, the bigger portion of Steem rewards will be given.
If it exceeds 10%, then we will be receiving all Steem rewards (100% in Steem).
To calculate the Debt ratio :
Debt Ratio = Market cap of SBD/ Market cap of Steem
check steemd.com for more information or steem.supply
It is all calculated on the debt ratio.
When the STEEM/SBD debt ratio is between 3% and 5% we will receive no Steem and all rewards will be in SBD.
When the STEEM/SBD debt ratio is between 2% and 5% it will be a mix of SBD and Steem depending on percentages.
When the STEEM/SBD debt ratio is more than 9%-10% we will receive 100% Steem like we had recently.
This has just changed recently during the hardfork.
Steemit determines whether you would be rewarded in steem or SBD. they can change the reward currency at any time. Though I think demand and price also determine the currency that you'll be rewarded in. But all is determined by steemit
The Steem debt ratio determins it. If you go look on steemworld.org under steem info tab it will tell you where it is right now. On this hard fork anytime the debt ratio is over 10% you will get steem only payouts. Under 10% and you will get SBD.