chainBB - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

in chainbb •  11 months ago

This post will serve as a living document and be edited in the future to answer common questions that arise surrounding chainBB and it's operation. It will remain a sticky post at the top of the chainBB forum, and you can read it in it's entirety on chainBB:

chainBB, Steem, and Steemit

What is chainBB?

chainBB is a blockchain based discussion forum engine - powered by the Steem blockchain. It was created by @jesta in May of 2017 as an alternative interface to Steemit.

What is Steem?

Steem is the name of the blockchain that powers Steemit. The Steem blockchain not only holds a cryptocurrency token called STEEM, but also content created by it's users, a system to vote on that content, and many other features you would find on popular social networking sites.

What is Steemit?

Steemit is a social networking website launched in 2016 by Ned Scott and Dan Larimer. The site offers a full suite of tools to manage your Steem account, discover content (much like Reddit), and create content on the Steem blockchain.

What's the different between Steem and Steemit?

Steem is the blockchain which holds all of the data for the network; while Steemit is a front-end website built to interact with the blockchain. When you use Steemit to create content, all of that data is recorded into the Steem blockchain.

What is the difference between chainBB and Steemit?

The primary difference between chainBB and Steemit is in how it presents the content from the Steem blockchain and prompts users to participate.

Steemit uses a weighted voting system to find posts which are "hot" or "trending", while chainBB functions like a traditional discussion forum, where the most recently replied-to posts are displayed at the top (or "bumped").

Another difference is the type of content which is encouraged - Steemit encourages the users to create full, media rich blog posts with an emphasis on reading; while chainBB encourages short text content with an emphasis on discussion and engagement.

Why would I use chainBB over Steemit?

There is no definitive reason over why you should use one of these websites over the other. The key is understanding the differences between them, and then choosing the platform that best fits your personal preference.

Using chainBB

How does chainBB work?

chainBB reads the same blockchain as Steemit, and thus the same posts, from the Steem blockchain. It takes these posts and organizes them into user-defined categories (aka sub-forums) to help organize all of the content by topic.

How do I sign-in?

You can sign-in to chainBB by using your Account Name and Posting Private Key from the Steem blockchain. If you need assistance finding your posting private key, check out this guide.

Can I create an account on chainBB?

Currently no, you cannot. To participate, you must create an account through Steemit.

The reason being that to create an account, the account needs to be given an initial amount of Steem Power to be created. chainBB currently does not have the funding to create accounts - but does.

Can I run my own forum with chainBB?

At this time no - but future plans are to expand and allow anyone to run their own forum with the chainBB engine.

When I vote or post on chainBB, what does that do on Steemit?

Every action on either Steemit or chainBB is performed on the Steem blockchain - and in turn - on all websites powered by it.

For example - you can read a post on chainBB, which was written by someone on eSteem, reply to it through chainBB, and then someone from Busy could respond to you.

There are a number of different websites all powered by the Steem blockchain that create one massive community of users.

Where can I see what rewards I've earned?

Currently chainBB does not display any rewards information, though it will soon. In the meantime, you can view your rewards on Steemit, Steemstats, SteemDB, or many other Steem powered websites and apps.

How do I post into a specific forum from Steemit?

Yes - you can post directly into a forum by using one of it's tag as the first tag while creating your post. Each forum on chainBB has a set of tags associated to it, which you can view in the header of the forum in question.

Is there an easy way to switch between chainBB and Steemit?

There are a number of ways you can easily switch between the sites, including:

  • Simply changing the URL in your browser between and
  • Using the blue button on the left of each post on chainBB to view the post on another site.
  • Using a bookmarklet that swaps for you, created by @lukestokes.

The beta forums

What are the beta forums for?

The forums are for testing out the chainBB engine and to build up the initial community of forum users.

Will there ever be advertising?

No, there are no plans to ever do advertising. With the revenue sharing model on the Steem blockchain, there is no need to sell your data or advertise to you!

How can I request a new forum?

All forums currently have to be created by @jesta during the beta, and requests can be made in the chainBB suggestion forums.

How are the rewards split with chainBB?

The chainBB beta forums located at are running under the following rewards model: 60% Author, 25% Curators, 15% chainBB.

Where can bugs be reported?

Bugs can be reported either on the forums in the chainBB bugs forum or directly on the github issues page.

Where can I leave feedback or suggestions?

You are welcome to leave feedback in the chainBB suggestion forums.

Account Safety and Security

What security risks do I face by using my posting key on

By using your Posting Private Key on a site like chainBB, the biggest risk you face is that someone obtains your Posting Key. With this key, a user would be able to (as you): vote on posts, create new posts, claim pending rewards, follow/unfollow accounts, and perform other non-wallet based transactions.

Your posting key will never allow anyone to access your wallet or transfer funds out of it.

What is the difference between a posting key and a Steemit password?

The Steemit password is actually an encoded string that contains your keys. The way to tell the difference between a password and a key is that the password will start with the letter P, and a key will start with the number 5.

Where private keys are stored on chainBB?

The private posting key you login with is stored in your web browsers cache - and never transmitted to any of our servers. When you post or vote, your web browser loads the key from your computer, and uses it to sign the transaction and broadcast the operation to the network - preventing your key from ever leaving your computer.

Can I use my active key or owner key?

No, chainBB will never allow you to use your Active or Owner keys, as that would compromise the security of your entire account. The only place you should use your active keys are in a wallet like Vessel, Steemit, or the command line wallet. Your owner keys should be encrypted and saved offline.

How can I managed my profile?

You currently have to manage all of these settings through Steemit, eSteem, or Busy.

Additional Resources

Do you have questions you'd like answered?

Feel free to reply directly to this post and the original will be updated to reflect an appropriate answer.


2017/06/19 - Initial FAQ created
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Thanks for the post, @jesta. I'm new here and wasn't sure why there were multiple interfaces at first but this helps explain it and helps me wrap my head around it a bit more. Myself I think I prefer shorter posts rather than really long posts and I think the forum format which is designed to be more conversational would be nice from time to time. I really love the Steemit interface so would not want to stop coming here, but I could see myself perhaps doing both now after reading your post.

Excellent FAQ!

I see you put in a change log. Will you be able to edit this after 7 days using the feature I've heard about to temporarily unarchive a post?


I think so, at least I was acting under the assumption that HF19 was changing that.

I suppose I may need some clarification on how it'll work :)


I sure hope we can edit old posts. That would be great.

Funny thing... I clicked on the chrome notification popup I got for your comment and steemit gave me a 503. Came over to chainBB with problems at all. I love the blockchain. :)


You can do that?! That seems like a game changer! There are so many great posts that are 6-10 months old that could easily be revised for great returns!


Well - old posts won't start a new payout cycle and earn additional rewards past the first 7-day window.

But being able to revisit and revise those posts is a huge deal. So many old posts come up in google results and still get large amounts of traffic. I'm questioning whether or not this change made it into tomorrow's HF or not though... need to go ask.


Another thing is that you could get the hold on the markdown code that you've used in now locked posts. Very useful :)

Nice one jesta :)
Having a look about now, great work!

Thanks for being so forward an on the ball with your whole project jesta. The pay spread feature you added is awesome too! Keep up the good work sir!

Thank you very much for this. I'm more comfortable in a forum setting, as that is what I'm used to, but wasn't sure how it connected to Steemit and if they could be used in conjunction with each other. This answered all my initial questions. I feel this will make the transition much easier for users that prefer the forum format and will undoubtedly help the growth of both platforms. Great work!

Great work! With these different use cases I'm wondering if eventually it will be confusing as to what is going on when a person looks at the new posts section on a site like Steemit where there are tons and tons of posts coming in from sites like this or from Zappl.

Also is there anyway currently to not have a forum post show up on a person's regular blog feed? Or is the ability to hide a post not available in general on the STEEM blockchain?


It's totally possible to do that, but would require Steemit Inc to change in order to do that.

All of the posts onto the Steem blockchain (for the most part) have an app tag that indicate what they are and where they originated.


Ok, that makes sense. So,, or Chainbb could even eventually have settings to either control what the user sees or let them decide what data they want to display depending on where it came from.
Thank you for the reply!
Also do you feel that the STEEM blockchain can handle the needs of most applications or do you feel it will be more likely that most applications will be database driven but connect to STEEM to pull information and do transactions?


For scaling purposes, I think applications will need to cache the information to an external source (mirroring the blockchain) and then pull from that. The APIs from the blockchain can't handle the same amount of load as time-tested web tech :)


Thanks for your honest reply. I saw there was SteemSQL out there that was mirroring the blocks and was a 10 second delay behind the blockchain.
I have been exploring the idea of creating a Fiverr clone but I'm not sure if reinventing the wheel is the right way to go about it. There is a lot of existing code out there and I was thinking it might be more plausible to run off that but pull info from the blockchain for reputation and implement a system for the user to pay possibly using Steem connect V2 but I can't find much info on what it is capable of. I see it is performing some functions using the Active key. But I don't see any payment related solutions with it yet.
I'm not a cryptography expert and it isn't an easy thing to tackle.


Yeah it'd be a decent sized project to pull something off like that. The handling of funds is a bit behind in terms of development compared to some of the social features (for most 3rd party/open source apps currently).


Yeah, hopefully it can catch up. I would like to see Steemit Inc to pay consulting fees or give you grants to work on these type of projects.


Would be nice! They've got a mountain of cash, would be nice to see that used to help 3rd party development that's happening.

Thanks @jesta! You've mentioned that this pinned post will be edited in the future — does it mean ChainBB posts wont' be locked after the 7 day period?


I thought so, but doesn't appear to be that way. Going to have to ask around.

Thanks, @jesta, I listened to a NedTalk yesterday and was baffled when he mentioned ChainBB. You've cleared up my bafflement with your excellent explanation. I hadn't realised there were so many ways of interacting with the Steem blockchain.

A question about rewards as they are seen on steemit wallet page.

Recently I've noticed entries like this one in my wallet:

{ "type": "comment_benefactor_reward", "author": "ervin-lemark", "permlink": "waferfriday-starting-new-challenge-get-some-wafers-post-their-photos-fridays-only", "sbd_payout": "0.034 SBD", "steem_payout": "0.000 STEEM", "vesting_payout": "33.127274 VESTS", "benefactor": "chainbb", "reward": "74.536291 VESTS" }

I guess that these are related to posts originating on ChainBB.

The question: what these entries really are and is there any documentation about this kind of transfer?

If this is not related to ChainBB dismiss me immediately :)



That's the post rewards beneficiary split - which I've written a few posts about and is also displayed on the login page, as well as on the new rewards tab when writing a post.


Thanks for the answer. I'll check your posts to find out more.

I understand about the 85 / 15 split. The details are yet to be learned.

Am I correct in assuming that the steemit wallet frontend doesn't recognize this (yet)?

Thanks again and congrats. You are doing really astounding work here.

This is really helpful information to understand the reality of chainbb site. upvote and follow

AWESOME, I am on your chainbb now and very pleased!
I am entering my 6th day on steemit and yesterday I was suggesting and requesting for help with navigating the feeds, and BAM!
There you are with the solution on chain bb - You are awesome 😃

@jesta please explain my voting power I've read the steemit FAQ but I'm confused with my voting power remaining at 64% for the last 6 hours. I didn't know the steemstats url until about 8 hours ago, so I have never viewed my voting power at 100%.


Each 100% vote consumes about 2% of your remaining voting power, and you regenerate 20% of your voting power each day. If you were to stop voting for 2 days, you'd regenerate back to 100%!


Thanks for your answer 😃
In smart general terms what strategy to develop with handling upvotes (I don't know how to adjust the voting power for a upvote on steemit, I guess your chainbb is the only way, right)?

I played with the voting power slider for upvoting but not sure about using it properly and haven't linked to my community posts.

Wow this looks really cool. Having an "old school" forum style format just adds more depth and dimension to all of this. I love it. Thanks for the detailed faq write up it was very helpful. Gonna go check out chainbb now.

Thank you @jesta! Definitely clears things up :)

This is the first time that i learn about chainBB. I will defintely check it out to see how it can enhance my experience at Steemit.

My question is always the same, how to join the chainbb team :)


There's no team yet, still planning everything out and determining which way it's heading, and how much it'd cost me to actually have a team!


Okay, I will love to know whenever there is opportunity. I am a hard working individual :)

For a post to appear on ChainBB, does it have to be created in ChainBB? Or can it be created on Steemit and then discovered and interacted with on ChainBB?



Every post appears on both chainBB and Steemit (as well as the other interfaces). It doesn't have to be created on chainBB to show, though chainBB does automatically tag your posts properly to appear in the proper forums.

If you were to write a post on with the first tag being #chainbb-general, that post would appear in the General Discussion forum.

Hey @jesta,
What langauges and framework did you use to code chainbb, this is a question I have been thinking for long time :)
I think design part is through bootstrap ?


The frontend uses reactjs + semantic-ui (no bootstrap), and the backend is written using python/flask and python/python-steem, communicating with each other via a mongodb instance. No bootstrap! :)

I like it jesta this is a good initiative To grow steem community

AmI the only one that can't figure out how to add pictures to comments made from ChainBB? Currently, I make my comment here and then edit the comment at Steemit to add the picture.

how do you add your profile picture in chainbb?


its showing up now. thanks

awesome mate
thank you so much for helping the community

chainBB is a great site by @jesta as well as the innovations he has done such as the saving of draft automatically.

Thank you for constantly reminding us all these details!

This post definitely answers a lot of questions. Keep up the great work!

Thanks @jesta for this comprehensive guide on what Chainbb is. I'm pretty new to Chainbb so this was helpful.

i love living documents
we need a steemit declaration of independence
and an amemdable Steemit Constitution, where we ask whales to upvote and flag only according to certain guidelines we all vote on, each commets will be its own Amendment to the constitution and this idea of a digital constitution is nothing new, Tim Berners Lee and thn i think thee Electronic Frontier Foundation has done stuff like this, and i also made a steemit post on chainBB about a new Magna carta
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is an international non-profit digital rights group based in San Francisco, California. Wikipedia
Tax ID: 04-3091431
Founded: July 6, 1990, United States of America
Executive director: Cindy Cohn
Location: 815 Eddy Street, San Francisco, California, United States
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Founders: John Perry Barlow, John Gilmore, Mitchell Kapor

21 years ago they created the declaration of Inependece of CyberSpace
w007 w007 the cyberchickns have come home to cyber roost!
I believe this was the original website! And the Wikipedia came along, wikipedia needs its own cryptocurrency i know #Lunyr is supposed to be that when it comes out and I first got a Bittrex account just to buy Lunyr and when that ever comes out it will be the blockchain wikipedia and i believe theres ALOT of hope for a type of wikileaks blockchain DUH right All decentralized and even uses Mystereum VPN to give the users a free VPN experience before even using the service so NOONE can find out WHO wrote the article or LEAK and we ccanahve LEAKS and have the user get PAID in CRYPTO CURRENCY and REAL crypto currency should be CRYPTO or SECRET anonymity SHOULD be built in! anyway u can pay people with bytecoin monero or Dash or Pivx and use Mystereum and pay people for Good wikipedia type content, or reward Leakers for leaking info!

This could be the next step in evolution of the human race in cyberspace

As Alex Collier said, we must Create Spaces for freedom and evolution, and this is us Creating a Space for Freedom (haha like a Safe Space for Higher Awarenss haha)

Thanks a ton @jesta for this article
@shivek check this out

Great! I saw a lot of users flooding in through ChainBB channel (I suppose so). Can you answer why my impression is that a lot of them come from Hong Kong? (or this isn't true?) Also, is there a plan for ChainBB to go mobile in the future? I think the forum style is full of potential, especially after we have subcommunities.


Not sure what channel you're talking about and where you're seeing many from Hong Kong hah :)

chainBB is already mobile friendly using your mobile browser - no concrete plans on building an app at this point, too many other things to do!


Thanks. Ok, never mind. Cool, will try it on phone browser soon. Cheers.


This looks pretty awesome. I'll be replying from there soon enough, I think.

Chainbb demystified

thank you very much :)
it is really helpful

Thanks for posting, I myself had a few questions, but after this post everything its clear. Thanks again.

I like this. I love message boards, though never thought that one could be set up on the blockchain! My development experience is in .NET, though, and I'm already forgetting what the framework for that is. LOL

Thank you @jesta! I'm already testing :)

How many people are currently using ChainBB?


In the last 24h, around 160. Not too shabby!


Cool, but how about the total amount? I thought we are at least few thousands.


I'd have to write a query to find out - I don't have that info readily available.

Just an excellent post. Thank you

i like your post

Good post hope it all works well

Thank you!

THNX J - i am on chainbb and have enjoyed the posts i have read - i still don't know how to add a picture when posting on it though


Currently it requires using Markdown or HTML.


would turn into



ok -- that is beyond me but i guess i will learn about it enough to use it soon. i hope you do well with chainbb and i like the site - i am keen to grow with it . Hope you make it easy to link photos in upcoming improvements - keep well -David



It is easy with a workaround :)

  • copy paste your image to steemit new post
  • copy paste the link you've created to chainbb new post
  • forget about steemit new post and finish chainbb new post

Easy :)

@jesta - I hope that you'll like this workaround ;)


hey thanks mate --even i can cope with that -- haha --sorry i was hard work


No problem at all.

I am using this recipe all the time. I love how you can paste images directly into steemit new post. It's a free image hosting service in disguise :)


hey Ervin - i really appreciate people who point me in the right direction and take time to give me a hand - i will be doing the same when i have things sorted out a bit. Drop in and check my stuff if you like -David


Thanks, David. You are very kind. I will certainly do that - drop in :)


who knows we might end being friends - here is one i did yesterday about my holiday a few weeks ago

Resteem and learn later. Thanks a lot

Thank You for doing this for the community. Much appreciated by those of us that are new.

Hmm, a decentralized Reddit? Very well done @jesta!


@jesta great work

Very interesting! Thank you for this

Golden post. Learning everyday on here. Thank you. Keep BOOMIN!

Congratulations @jesta
You took 58 place in my Top 100 of posts

Great resource. Thanks

Very helpful, thank you

Better would be if all sub sites like steemstats, steemdb, stremian, chain bb etc get access from single platform which is For instance, when these sites compile together on single platform, they will look part of steemit more than they are now.


All of those sites (and more) do get their information from the Steem blockchain. None of them have their own data sources with unique content.

As for access - that's all coming from the Steem blockchain as well. In the future we'll have a new version of steemconnect that will serve as a central source of authentication as well! :)


Thanks again for the info

@jesta you are the man! As much as I like steemit UI, I also love to use tranditional way to look through posts and comments. It just makes it easier. Appreciate for your work. Looking forward for the next update. Is it opensource? Love to see if I can contribute a tiny effort for it.


Yup, it's open source, but I haven't written any documentation yet.

It's still in the very early stages where everything is bound to change and I don't want to waste time writing documentation that'll likely be invalid within 30 days :)


Haha I feel you. Being agile is what makes things moving. Anyway, tiny support here in this comment from me to me on this amazing Steem blockchain :)

Awesome. Thanks @jesta. I have recently been wondering about chainbb, great resource to have.
Now I have a definitive place to get concise updates!

Thanks Jesta, Being a newcomer, I came to know about so many things from this post. following you for more.

Nice. I had heard of ChainBB before but I really had no idea what it was. Do have a link perhaps to a for-dummies version? The kind you can send to people you are just trying to get interested on Steem? Thank you for sharing!

Just saw this thread, nice one @jesta you really care about this community and I am so honored to be a part of this movement, let's make the change together!
Keep up the good work, regards :)

I like the layout here @ chainbb plus the fast load times for my slow connection, but there seems to an auto correct feature that makes it hard for me to message.
Funny, as I type this message its not happening LOL ?
maybe grammarly works different on this page? back to the drawing board with me.
while I have your there a a post on how the " free gift " button works that shows up from time to time left of my avatar ?

Thanks for this helpful wonderful article. It is really useful for us nobs.