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@TimCliff's Updated Witness Application


3 years agoSteemit6 min read

A lot has changed since I submitted my original witness application seven months ago. I thought it would be good to submit an updated witness application explaining why I believe I would make a good witness =)

What is a Witness?

Witnesses are the elected leaders of the community. They are ambassadors for the project, and many of them work on things to improve the value of the platform.

Witnesses are tasked with validating and producing the blocks for the blockchain, which ensures everything in the network operates smoothly and correctly. Every three seconds one of the witnesses assemble all of the transactions that have occurred (such as posts, comments, votes, STEEM/SBD transfers) into a "block" and then they store all that information in the distributed database network called the "blockchain".

Witnesses are also responsible for maintaining an accurate and up-to-date price feed, as well as deciding on several important blockchain parameters. Witnesses control the cost for websites like to create a new account, and decide how much interest to pay for holding SBD. Many witnesses also host a public 'seed' node that other witnesses and the rest of the community can use to interact with the blockchain.

For more information on what witnesses do, and how to select good witnesses - check out this Witness Voting Guide!

Who is @timcliff?

I'm 33 years old, and I live in New Brighton, MN. I am happily married to @artist1989 =)

I have a Bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Minnesota. I have nine years of experience in professional software development, working for a "Software-as-a-Service" company that develops applications for the energy industry. I spent most of my career as a software developer, although I have recently transitioned into more of a project management role.

If you want to learn more about me, you can check out my "reintroduceyourself" post!

How is @timcliff Involved?

  • I am actively posting, commenting, curating/voting, and resteeming good content.
  • I helped to organize all of the community's ideas into the Steemit Wish List.
  • I worked with @bitcoiner to create the Quick Start Guide (formally the "Welcome Page") to provide new users the information they need to get started after signing up for a new account.
  • I am heavily involved in discussions on how to improve the platform and whether to accept hardforks.
  • I review all activity in the Steem and Condenser GitHub repositories and frequently comment and make suggestions. I frequently submit pull requests with various enhancements and glitch fixes.
  • I ran an experiment called @the.masses to see what would happen if everyone in the community had access to the private posting key of an account.
  • I worked with @pfunk and several members of the community to submit pull request 1352 to add over a hundred new questions/answers to the FAQ page.
  • I submit periodic Steemit Development Updates - GitHub Report posts to let the community know what the Steemit dev team has been up to in GitHub.
  • I create a weekly Reports from the Witnesses post that provides the community a summary of all the witness update posts from the past week.
  • I attended the Beyond Bitcoin Show to talk about the Steem/Steemit platform, and experience a backup Steem/Steemit witness.
  • I created Instructions for Installing a Instance (for Developers).
  • I have hosted several bounties and contests to reward the community for participating and being involved.
  • I regularly submit witness reports to the community to let everyone know what I'm up to.

What are @timcliff's Views on Steem/Steemit Topics?

Server Architecture

I run a primary witness server as well as a backup server, that both run 24/7/365. I have an automated script that runs to detect if my primary server starts missing blocks, and if it detects that the node is failing it automatically switches over to the backup server. I do periodic maintenance on the servers, but I only work on a server when the other one is running as the active node.

Server Specs:

  • Operating System: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • Processor: AMD 3.1 GHz, 6 cores
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR3
  • Hard Drive: 3 TB


  • Remote Hosting
  • SSH keys to login
  • Password authentication disabled
  • Root login disabled

Seed Node:

I run a seed node with high availability. It is hosted in a data-center in France, so it will provide the best latency to European users. The address of the server is The status can be seen on @wackou's seed monitor page.

Interested in Becoming a Witness?

If you are interested in becoming a witness, check out this guide from @bitcalm. It is a great resource, and provides pretty much all the info you need to get a witness node up and running! You may also be interested in learning how much witnesses make per block. The information in the posts may be slightly out of date, but they are still fairly accurate, and at least a great place to start.


If you think I will make a great witness, please vote for me here:
Or via the command line: vote_for_witness youraccount timcliff true true


Thank you for taking the time to read my witness application post!


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