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Arcange - Witness Update

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arcange
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last yearSteemit10 min read

It's really been a long time since I wrote a Witness Update. Thank you @lukestokes for kicking my ass and reminding that, even if you work a lot behind the scenes, people want to know more about the witnesses as productive and trustworthy people.

I think a lot of people know me on the platform, either by having exchanged comments with me, during my appearances at the different forums organized on Discord or even by meeting me personally at SteemFest or meetups in which I participated.

However, this is probably not the case for everyone and it may be hard for some to dig the blockchain to find my previous posts about my work as a witness.

TL;DR

  • I’m a witness on the Steem blockchain for more than 2 years now, with a performant and reliable nodes infrastructure.
  • As a developper, I created several apps and tools on top of Steem, among them SteemSQL, SteemitBoard, Steem Ranking, SteemToolbar
  • As a human, I do my best to support all users (especially newcomers) and try to interact as many as I can, both online and in the “real” world (hence my presence at SteemFest and several Steem meetups in different countries).
  • I’m addicted committed to the Steem ecosystem (social and technical)
  • IMHO, this post is worth reading if you really want to know more about me ;)

Here is a non-exhaustive summary of all the work I've done so far for the Steem community.

First steps on the Steem blockchain

As a developper, I have a solid C++ and .NET background. Therefore started my journey on the Steem blockchain by creating a .NET library. My goal was to make the Steem API accessible to the widest audience.

At this time, mining was still existing on the Steem blockchain and I wanted to know whether it was profitable to mine STEEM or not, and therefore needed an analytical tools to do so.

That’s why few days later I initiated the SteemSQL project, a public SQL Server database with all the blockchain data.

SteemSQL allowed me to be one of the first to be able to provide detailed statistics and some in depth analysis of the blockchain activity. Once again, my goal was to provide an easy way for people to use the Steem blockchain data, even for non-technical users.

SteemSQL quickly became very popular and more and more people and projects started to use it for their services or to collect information on Steemit's activity. As a result, the server undergoes a first infrastructure upgrade to a more efficient infrastructure in order to be able to cope with the growing number of requests made by users. As second major upgrade was required lately because of the ever growing amount of data collected from the blockchain.

I also have to adapt SteemSQL to the changes generated by the many HF that have since occurred. Add to this the regular performance monitoring of the infrastructure, and you get a lot of maintenance work.

To serve and to protect

Few days after launching SteemSQL, I introduced myself as a witness.

One of the main witness work is to secure the blockchain by safely producing and signing blocks. Of course, I run several Witness and Seed nodes which were several times updated to the latest version, especially when Steemit inc published security patches.

My nodes have been running smoothly and I only missed a few blocks when one of my node crashed unexpectedly.

But the Steem blockchain is not a blockchain like the others because it has a very important social facet. So I quickly wanted to extend my role of "securing the blockchain" to this facet as well, both at the technical level (by monitoring attacks attempts) than at the social level by regularly reporting scams and phishing attempts.

Fighting scammers is an exhausting and endless task. I think that many of you had to receive one of my warning bot notification to inform you of a scam attempt in one of the comments you received. In total, I published warning posts on no less than 39 different scam attempts and sent out thousands notifications.

This scam fight is also a collective work done with the @steemcleaner team (@anyx, @ fubar-bdhr, @guiltyparties, @logic, @patrice, @pfunk, @pjau), but also with other people who have joined this initiative and are working behind the scenes to protect the platform and its users: @naturicia, @bullionstackers, @crokkon, … (I'm sure I've forgotten some, please forgive me).

Many of you have also regularly informed me of the new scam you are discovering. It is truly a precious help!

Fortunately, with the HF20 (although it had a catastrophic impact at its very beginnings), the number of scams dropped sharply and so I was able to allocate more time to more fun projects.

Bringing gamification to Steem

My next big project after SteemSQL was about adding some fun to the Steem’s user experience with the creation of SteemitBoard and its Chrome Extension which allows you to quick jump to your board or any other user’s board.

With SteemitBoard came new concepts like the dreaded dead fish and the appreciated red fish. Moreover, the app’s website has already undergone a first facelift few months ago.

With the SteemitBoard project, I added entertainment around differents events like Valentine’s day, Easter, Halloween, Saint Nicholas’ day or Christmas ... to name a few.

The 2018 World Cup Contest

One of the most fun event was the 2018 World Cup Contest which allowed us to distribute 1766 SBD to thousands participants thanks to @good-karma, @lukestokes, @roelandp, @drakos, @stoodkev, @yabapmatt, the @steemitboard team and myself who were sponsoring the contest.

Believe it or not, but it was totally unprepared. Just one week before the start of the World Cup, I woke up one morning with the idea of organizing the competition. I asked my team if they wanted to follow me in this crazy idea, crazy because everything has to be done: collect funds for reward, create graphics, define the rules and adapt @steemitboard to handle them. They all said "let's go", so did I.

OMG, that was exhausting! I found myself watching all the World Cup matches and process results four times a day, distribute awards, update the contest ranking, etc… Moreover, before embarking on this project, I completely forgot that the World Cup was going to last a month.
Stupid me! I can say I (myself) it partly fucked half of my holidays ;)

But the reward for all this efforts came with the many comments I received on the quality of the contest, the quality of the graphics and the fact that many of the participants, who usually were not interested in football at all, took the game and had fun.

Add to this that the first prize allowed the winner to help his mother get surgery, then you will find me ready to repeat the adventure!

SteemFest - SteemFest² - SteemFest³ and even GolosFest

As mentioned before, the social part is what makes the Steem blockchain different from any other blockchains. That's why I also consider it important to meet the people I interact with on a regular basis.

And what better opportunity to meet them, if not going to SteemFest. I even went to GolosFest in Moscow with @roelandp an @sneak. This was an amazing experience even if none of us was speaking Russian. They all were very welcoming and curious as we shared our Steem experience.

I also went to several meetups in France, Germany and Netherlands

The experience accumulated with the first two editions of SteemFest and in Moscow encouraged me to go even further in this idea of reinforcing the notions of community around the blockchain.

For the last SteemFest edition in Kraków, I wanted in to incentivize meetings between participants, especially for the newcomers. Therefore I created the SteemitBoard Meet The Stemians Contest.


This time, it was prepared well in advance, but it did not require less work. Oncee again, I had to find sponsors (and collected 2333 STEEM shared among all participants thanks to the fabulous @ausbitbank, @blocktrades, @reggaemuffin, @cervantes, @lukestokes, @roelandp and @teamsteem), create graphics, adapt SteemitBoard, ensure everything is running smooth on d-day (and after), etc...

And once again, it was exhausting but worth doing it! I got so many positive feedback from the people attending SteemFest³, telling me how much the scan/talk 2 minutes/scan rule was such an ice-breaker and enabled them to really meet more people.

This positive vibes went even further when several of the contest winners (@gtg, @suesa, @abh12345 and me) decided to give our contest prize to support either the @t-r-f funds or the @rutablockchain project.

THIS is why I'm so committed to the Steem ecosystem: you can really feel that notions like “sharing”, “caring” and "community" makes sense. There are some gems among people who are part of it and they are an example for us to follow.

Other things I did or still do for Steem

I created the Steem Toolbar, which has been updated to support the new Resource Credit introduced with HF20. Steem Toolbar is a Google Chrome extension that helps you keep an eye on key indicators like Voting Power and STEEM/SBD exchange rate and allows you to permanently monitor these values while browsing various Steem front-end website.

I revived the Witness work real-time visualization tool that helps witnesses know when they will sign a block.

I am publishing a daily hit-parade dedicated to beginners in order to help them and to put the spotlight on new emerging authors.

With @heimindanger, we decided to revive steemwhales.com by switching it to the SteemitBoard Ranking in order to allow people to compare each others and view how they perform on the blockchain. More features to come on this project soon.

What’s next

I have been working like crazy (close to 24x7) for my out-of-chain business since December. A big infrastructure migration project, involving several sites. I didn't even have time to do what was planned for my existing and new Steem projects like SteemFlux, which I introduced at SteemFest³

This work is completed, so I can now again allocate more time for the Steem platform:

  • I'm going to unveil projects I've worked on for a long time, but for which I have not yet taken the time to write.
  • SteemFlux should be made official next month.
  • I’m preparing new contests for SteemitBoard
  • ...

I will stop this (very long) post here. I have so many idea I would like to develop… I really wish days would be 48 hours.

Thank you

Finally, let me express my gratitude to everyone who support me as a witness. Thank you for your vote and for your trust! I see it as a clear appreciation of my work.

Thanks also to all those of you who follow me and regularly upvote my posts. There are more than 15500 following me and I consider it an encouragement to continue the work I do for the community.


I am currently ranked #39 in the witness list. If you believe my work makes me deserve a better rank, vote for me as a witness!

Thank you all for your support!

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