Changing Hands And A Milestone In The Steemit Witnesses Ecosystem

in steemit •  11 months ago

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I don't know if you saw this already, but I just bumped into it a few minutes ago, when I wanted to check out some messages left for me in the

In short, @riverhead, one of the most respected guys in this ecosystem, and the owner and maintainer of "got fired".

I didn't understand very well how he "got fired" and I don't want to enter into the intricacies of his work relationships, as this is entirely his job (pun not intended).

But I am interested in another part of this story, namely the one in which top 21 witnesses are seeing a huge discrepancy in payments compared with the rest of the witnesses. And the discrepancy, as he writes it very clearly, is that top 21 witnesses are seeing payments between $200,000 - $500,000 per year, whereas the rest are seeing $50k - $90k.

I share a lot of @riverhead's opinions on this topic, although we never met and I don't think we ever talked, not even in the - now defunct - chat. But I know how difficult it is to create and maintain a service related to a constantly growing community.

When I started I did it mostly to solve a personal problem: how to see when and how much am I getting paid.

But the community picked up on this, started to provide feedback and, before I know it, became a service on which businesses built on top of Steemit are relying. Thousands of people are visiting it every day and are expecting it to work and to work accurately. Just like thousands of people were expecting that @riverhead's would work all the time.

And, just like @riverhead', needs hardware, bandwidth, maintenance and improvements. All of them were provided as is by myself, in exchange of a witness vote. Which I always thanked for and felt a lot of gratitude when offered.

I'm well under the top 50 witnesses (not even dreaming to ever reach top 21) and I never complained. I'm not complaining now either. But I'm just saying that, if there isn't a massive change of perspective about how witnesses are treated on the Steem ecosystem, valuable and consistent services, like, or, will simply disappear.

There is no free lunch in this world. Everything has a cost. Luckily, these services are only costing you a vote.

Think about it.

And vote consciously.

I'm a serial entrepreneur, blogger and ultrarunner. You can find me mainly on my blog at Dragos Roua where I write about productivity, business, relationships and running. Here on Steemit you may stay updated by following me @dragosroua.

Dragos Roua

Wanna know when you're getting paid?

I know the feeling. That's why I created, an easy to use and accurate tool for calculating your Steemit rewards

It's free to use, but if you think this is a useful addition, I'd appreciate your witness vote.

Thank you!

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The noble idea of decentralized and open community creaks and groans. I joined a months ago, just getting familiar with the system, but I can see fights and battles, supportive and destructive emotions. I think that's the human nature. Where it comes to money some people keep trying benefits from it. Especially if you have a chance to have a look in each wallets.
Anyway, I follow you, because you write about things I'm interested in, I use and I hope I can do it in the future. And now you will have my witness vote as a thank you for your efforts.


Thanks, appreciate your support!


top reply, sorry this is a crap reply but I really couldn't add to that perfect summary.

Some witnesses 'game' the system as regular members do and with huge sp, their success is obviously greater. They are also not immune from posting shitposts.
I didnt realise that witnesses who were outside the top 40 were actually witnesses as opposed as trying to win the votes to become a witness..hence I didnt see your name but will go back and look and vote for you.
Id also ask you why members get 30 votes ? Why not just 4 or 5 ? Ive only had any sort of interaction with a few so would never vote for someone I didnt know ! The vast majority can never be arsed answering their comments anyway, especially after 30 mins after theyve posted......
On top of this, most of the witnesses who post just post about crypto. This whole ecosystem is so much more than that. On top of that, it gets a bit boring, the whales and big players with their guides to help new members (which rake them in a fortune)....if they tried reading a few memos posts and gave them a decent upvote to get them started , that might actually be something useful to encourage newbies. (will mention the amazing @surpassinggoogle over in the philippines communities at this point of being a perfect example of how a whale or witness should act)
Without new members joining and staying and being nurtured, all that will be left are a few people sat on a pile of money. Good for them. Anyone taking 200-500k in payments is taking the piss no matter what they do here.
Crypto was about creating fairer communities but as in the old world, it seems more and more that the rich get richer. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely....
PS will go back and vote for you again :-)

May be @riverhead was supporter of @dan ...

I feel like this is the free market at work. Steemit Chat is great but maybe the market didn't feel like it should be paid $500k per year when perhaps $90k per year is enough to cover all the operating costs and pocket a reasonable profit besides.

He could've campaigned to try and get back into the top 21, right? Perhaps adding a few flashy features to get attention and reach the trending page a few times?

He's free to do it his way, but I don't think the system itself is flawed in this case.


I feel like we can safely agree to disagree on this one. I truly believe that top 21 witnesses should provide serious extra services, the type @jesta does, or @riverhead, with his chat. Top 21 witnesses are active stakeholders, they are actually improving the system. This is different from what a huge token owner, a whale, does. A whale can live very easily off of curation / interest rewards, without clogging the pipe of the 21 witnesses with a static spot.

On the other hand, nobody said Steemit is fair. Nor is it life, FWIW...


" I truly believe that top 21 witnesses should provide serious extra services"

yup I believe this too, and also agree that whales are not automatically good witnesses


I felt like this also. I don't use, (which isn't to say it isn't important) I haven't heard or seen a sign of @riverhead since he flagged Beanz for opening a channel on Discord.

I guess we are magically supposed to know what he contributes and what his costs are.

Instead of writing a few posts explaining what he is doing, he throws a rage fit and shuts down If those are his problem solving skills I am glad he isn't on the top of the witness list.

Thanks for this post @dragosroua . I did happen to see this in the am but wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Part of me thinks it's a bunch of Steemit drama in which some rich people don't wanna share with everyone else regardless of the value one brings to the ecosystem. The other part just simply doesn't 100% understand the whole witness process. My simple mind figures it like this: hmmm, I like the feature and I use it on a daily basis and I like his posts, I find them informative. Sure- I'll give him a witness vote. Beyond that I really don't know what the top 20 do or why. Kindly let me know what else I can do.


You can start here <- this post explains what witnesses are and why are they relevant

I think, one problem is that a lot steemit user did not vote at all.


I agree, and why would they bother with all the apparent crap going on that clogs our feeds daily, especially when huge figures are being mentioned !

Its always been a stacked deck whether you are a witness or a content contributor. Regular users unfortunately can only push witnesses like you so far up the list. You are on my witness list - unfortunately even a thousand of me wouldnt get you near the top 20! Really enjoy your posts - hopefully change will come and witness pay will be more equitable to everyone outside the top 20.


Thanks for your support, really appreciate it!

Man i loved steemit chat but i never new who made it. If i knew i would of voted. needs a Donation button

Anyone having issues should hit @transisto up. Him and his various account are building a @devfund and he has begged for money a couple of times.

We need to make sure people appreciate what the witnesses do and use their votes to show it. I hope the chat comes back soon as it's just so useful

Excellent points made and I think many would like to know why there is such a difference in the payments.

I appreciate all you do with your application..I use it almost every day so the idea of this, or many other apps going away is not enviable.

I believe there needs to be serious discussions about how the community wants to take this blockchain. There is a lot happening and many riches for all involved...yet a few seem to want to hold onto things. On the MVest side, things appear to be changing slowly (perhaps with heavy hitters cashing out their SBD since it was so high priced). Nevertheless, as you point out, the witness program requires some attention.

Oh no I didn't know about :(
I will also read @riverhead post to find out more!
Btw I adore, you have done an amazing job @dragosroua!


Thanks, appreciate your support :)

That's sad, I started my steemit journey with

But I left it later as it crashed a lot from time to time and started using discord as an alternative.

Do you think steemit chat will return?


I hope so.

As with most bullshit in life it's a distribution issue, the funds are clearly there. Already tossed you a vote with what little SP I have because I enjoy reading through your posts, and you seem to give them more thought than a lot of people on steemit do and don't buy into the hype blindly.

Thanks, I use often, and I've used your pages to illustrate posts before. I voted for you today. Just as in sales, sometimes you've got to ASK for the sale/vote.

And from most of the Top 20 witnesses I haven't even read anything in the last month here in the blockchain.
They should write more often, as should the main developers.

Also, every T20 should have a public RPC node, for others to use.

Currently Steem is very centralised in that regard.

and .. vote for me! :)))
Or is this rude?

Yeah, a lot of people don't even vote, because they either don't even know about it, or not sure how to do it. I think witnesses should be treated better and differently than they are now...
For example, you were one of the first witnesses I voted for, because has been incredibly valuable to me and I use it every day. I enjoy each new update and feature added on it.
I think you deserve a much higher spot. Definitely in the top 21...

I haven't gone through ever but I do use of steemsupply to check my statistics regularly.I don't want to steemsupply disappear it's indeed a good platform to hang around .
its sad that @riverhead got fired I only know him as the big gun in the high 20s.did it mean is also over.

Thanks for the info Dragosroua. I just don't understand these inequalities. I agree with you, if the top 20 witnesses are being paid so much more they should be giving an equivalent amount in extra value.

I appreciate that it's different from the top whales issue but from a newbie perspective it looks very similar. People at the top getting a bigger slice of the pie, just for being at the top. Once again it just reflects the outside world to me. The longer I am here the more it seems that Steemit is a just a micro reflection of what goes on outside.

It's not surprising but I wasn't expecting it. In order to stay and to continue to enjoy it here I feel I need to accept that and focus on all the stuff I love here. Some days it's easier than others.

always a scam.
some people could fuck up a wet dream.

When i am complaining about functionality, then i read this post. I think it is time to stop complaining and be grateful for service that you have rendered, i can do this in term of my vote.

This reminded me of @shango. He created and excellent tool called He stopped working on it because almost nobody cared to support him.

Yes, I also read his post and got a bit puzzled with what's happening on the higher level. If we dont vote or maintain people that are helping the ecosystem and community, all will go bandy. I kind of like already the platform and I put my effort to vote and to select people that are sweating to improve it.


Thank you! :)


read his post and got a bit puzzled

When I joined Steemit I use at first Steemit Chat, but then I start using Discord because there romanians are more active :)

I also use, keep up the awesome work.

Best wishes, Dragos!


Multumesc :)

You already have my vote based on the great work you’re doing here. I’m a noob and slowly adding witness votes as I come across witnesses who are deserving. I’ve already found 3 outside of the Top 50. I know my vote won’t swing it but I still take it seriously.

I’m thinking about solutions for what you’re talking about and will post once I have at least a bare bones concept laid out.

As a noob to Steemit I've been pretty conservative with my witness votes.

Mostly, because I had no idea what they meant when I first got started LOL

And while some folks will say a witness should stand for this that and this....I vote because I see the value that a witness brings. And if they create something I enjoy or use daily (as a service on Steem or whatever) they get my vote.

I appreciate and use it daily, the least I could do is send you a vote sir. Thank you for everything you do!

Please who fired @rivershead? I thought steemit is decentralised enough, or is there a boss somewhere?

don't know much into the details of it but you are really doing an awesome work for the community as a witness :)

weill nice share .. nice infor

Yeah, shame is now ... in limbo I guess? And of course everyone that does a service should expect payment. This isn't communism after all, it's quite the opposite.
I'm not sure who the big guys are, and I don't really care, I'll support who I like, so I'd like to vote, but not really sure how this witness voting works... I know I sure use your service, and would vote for you :)

Sometimes things do not work out the way we expect them to, but we're lucky to have tried.

Hey @dragosroua - been a while and I hope you're well! Thanks for sharing this. Very interesting stuff and really a little disappointing to see another area in which Steemit mimics the real world with a large majority of the wealth and major earnings being concentrated among a very small number of people. This appears to be the case with both posters and witnesses.

Let's catch up soon for an interview again, if you can find time. I think a 'the state of Steemit' discussion is in order!

Looking forwards to chatting again.



Useful information for me and everyone, thank you for sharing


seriously, if youve nothing constructive to say, then don't say anything. You give new members a bad name.