Karma is a gameplay mechanic in Strife. Karma points can be accumulated through winning the game (or even just playing), having a good attitude and cooperating with their team (getting appreciation karma points from teammates), or basically not getting one's karma points decreased through downvotes. When players reach a certain number of karma points, they can spend it to unlock treasure chests for special in-game items.
Because karma is directly tied-in to rewards, players might find a way to abuse the system by trading karma points. To counter this, the more a player votes, the less it counts for. If a player starts spamming votes for their friend in exchange for him/her to get the rewards, or if one decide to downvote everyone they come across just because they can, a player's votes will have an increasingly less-obvious and visible effect on their overall karma score (to the point where it becomes negligent). However, if one stores their votes, and one comes across this player who contributed to the victory at the end, voting the player up is going to see a significant increase in their karma score (or a huge dent in karma if (s)he is nasty).