Witness Update (11/10/2018)


10 days agoSteemit8 min read


Had too much good food yesterday afternoon in a casual meetup with the @coingecko team (, all thanks to @bitrocker2020’s arrangement. Please consider voting him as witness if you haven’t done so. He’s been very active for well over a year networking, organizing events, giving talks, flying around, and just plain Steemin' it up.

All said, @coingecko is keen on playing a part in developing tools and services relevant for the Steem ecosystem, so please give them a follow and let them know what you have in mind. Also, check out their recent writing contest here.

Alright, now that we’re in a couple of weeks since the HF20, I'll do a little "update" here following-up on a post made by @rishi556, which I thought are good and fun questions to answer:

1. Why did you decide to become a witness?

I've been using Steem for well over 2 years before deciding to run as witness myself. Why only recently? There are a few reasons:-

  • It's a way to take care of my investment here. Currently I'm in a phase in life that I'm engaging in "slow think" after discovering Tau. So I'm not writing as often and not very social these days as my mental resources are maxed out. This is when I found out that Steem's economy is misaligned, thanks to @trafalgar's wake up call. Is the protocol seriously forcing me to post whatever and vote on myself or sell my votes all the time, just to keep up with others? Someone just selling their votes for the past 6 months will already be ahead of me by a whopping 50,000 Steem Power. Indeed that has been the case. So what's the point of content and curation? If you don't understand what I'm talking about, you can search for the posts on my feed. Just hide the resteems and scroll down. Or just ask some of us more about it.

  • Long-term is more of my game, so I'm here to nudge the network towards what I think is the path to longevity (maybe controversial: deploy Steem on the Tau network in the future). How about stuff like marketing, testnet deployment, etc? They're very important activities, but I'm not the expert. For those I'd definitely engage people with much better experience and discipline.

  • Also, who doesn't like some extra Steem? I also need to catch up with those already ahead of me in SP due to my "mistake" of curating over the past year. I just want to be able to support more communities in the future. So I don't mind getting involved in setting up a witness to do so. Actually I'm very glad to have been exploring this option.

2. Have you made any contributions that have been accepted into the STEEM codebase? If so, what was it?

None. I can deal with code, but it's just not where I spend my time on.

3. HF20 started out with a ton of bugs. What do you plan on doing in order to make sure that we don't suffer a repeat of that?

In the short to medium term, and if witness budget's good, I will get a developer/tester to perform whatever's necessary following the good advice of those with way more experience that I trust. On the long-term, again I'd recommend getting Steem implemented on the Tau network in the future to solve this problem. I will be writing more about this in due time when Tau has a functional MVP to show.

4. What have you done to promote the STEEM blockchain outside of the blockchain itself?

Funding those who do. I'm not much of an active networker and event organizer, not especially at this point in my life. However, I did promote Steem in my music events in the past. But they're really just fun experiments. Also, half of what I talk about with friends and new people I meet these days do include both Steem and Tau. Is this counted as promotion?

Much better way to promote is to actually have a truly useful product. I'd suggest having applications that make full use of both Steem and Tau in the future. In my opinion, that's how you create a blackhole to pull people in. I'm all about going the approach of 10% effort for 90% effect with the right technologies. Just have to wait.

In the meantime, there are better people to use your witness votes for if you're prioritizing excessive promotion. I'd reserve the push for a better time.

5. Communities have become a very big thing in the STEEM ecosystem recently. Have you done anything to promote communities and help them out?

Yes. Nothing major at all. Just saying that Steem makes it easy to do so, especially through votes.

6. Do you understand enough of the STEEM codebase and C++ to be able to tell what changes are being made when they are committed?

Yes, but not effortlessly. I can get by especially after doing some cross-references.

7. Have you developed anything for STEEM? It doesn't need to be software, a community that utilizes STEEM counts too.

@curie along with some others in the beginning. Just the broad ideas of it, in my view. The details of how it functions are all developed through the hardwork of everyone else. I just say and write stuff most of the time.

8. Communication was a major problem for STEEMIT INC. Many people want the public to be able to read whats happening in the private witness channel that STEEMIT INC has created. What do you think about that?

For me it's clear the network has Steemit Inc as a major stakeholder. Anyone's investment then will heavily depend on trust in their curated network. So my default stance since day one: it'll be up to their decision. Is being public is likely the better route in this case? Maybe. There are security considerations that I can't be 100% certain so I don't mind the privacy.

9. STEEMIT INC has done a major part of the development for the STEEM blockchain. Who should be doing more of the development for the blockchain, them or the witnesses? Or is it a shared responsibility where the witnesses do one part and STEEMIT INC does the rest?

I don't have good answers for this in short-to-medium term as I think most blockchain projects have the same bottleneck of core developers, probably due to inherent limitations in human communication and knowledge building without something like Tau. Ideally, top witnesses should be involved in development as well because in the really long-term, of course we can't just rely on Steemit Inc forever.

Anyway, the only sane way to do this in fully decentralized mode over the very long-term is to just get Steem on the Tau network in the future. I know it sounds like a lazy cop-out answer at this point, but that's how highly I think of Tau even though it doesn't even exist yet as a blockchain like Steem. My controversial opinion: Tau is going to be the definitive generalized blockchain, so I'm not spending my time anywhere else anymore, other than Steem. I think 99.9% blockchains out there are a waste of time. Maybe you'd agree with my position once you understand the fundamental breakthrough that is the Tau Meta Language. I'd urge more witnesses, especially in the top to get on the train as soon as possible.

10. Why do you deserve to become the top witness?

I don't deserve it. I'm just a guy trying to take care of my own investment here and offering advice to take Steem beyond most normal definitions of "long-term". I'd also be ready to drop out if I ever find myself demotivated being up there, so better people can take up the role instead. Long-term leadership roles are a highly sub-optimal arrangement in this day and age, in my opinion. Unless truly exceptional of course, which is rare given the many different kinds of circumstances we can go through that may demand something else.

Onwards, post-HF20.

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Alright, that's all. Thanks for reading! I would also like to take this chance to thank all the super active devs, witnesses, content creators and curators out there! I'm actually around most of the time even though I'm not using Steem as often as I would like these days. Just drop me a message here or on Discord if you have any questions.

You can vote on your favorite witnesses here: If you trust in my choices for other witnesses which you can check on steemd, you can also set me as your voting proxy on that page.

Disclaimer: not financial advice.


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