What is a Steem Witness, How to Vote and Why?

in #steemit6 years ago

Would you like to learn what a Witness is, how to vote for a Witness and why, because this is the most important vote that you can do on the Steem blockchain and it costs you nothing?

What is a Steem Witness, How to Vote and Why?

I have seen several comments on my posts and others' from people who do not understand what a Witness is and how to vote for them, so in this post I am going to explain it in a simple way.

What is a Steem Witness, How to Vote and Why?

In other blockchains like Bitcoin or Ethereum you have a process that is called mining and there is a network of millions of computers used for that in the world consuming a lot of electricity.

Steem doesn't work that way and the Steem blockchain is run by only about 100 servers at the moment, which produce the same amount of transactions as Bitcoin and Ethereum combined. The person who run a Steem server is called a "Witness."

What is a Steem witness?

This is the definition in the Steemit FAQ that you can read here.

The Steem blockchain requires a set of people to create blocks and uses a consensus mechanism called delegated proof of stake, or DPOS. The community elects 'witnesses' to act as the network's block producers and governance body. There are 20 full-time witnesses, producing a block every 63-second round. A 21st position is shared by the backup witnesses, who are scheduled proportionally to the amount of stake-weighted community approval they have. Witnesses are compensated with Steem Power for each block they create.

What is a Steem witness?

A witness is the equivalent of a miner in another blockchain.

How is Steem different from Bitcoin?

Another good explanation from the Steemit FAQ that you can read here.

On a technical level, the two networks rely on the same model of a blockchain, but are built upon different technologies and codebase. Steem is based on a new state-of-the-art blockchain technology called Graphene, which uses "witnesses" instead of "miners" to produce blocks.

The "delegated proof of stake" model of using witnesses instead of miners allows for greater efficiency in block production. With BTC, 100% of the new coins that are created are allocated to block producers (miners). With the Steem blockchain, only 10% of the new coins are paid to block producers (witnesses). The other 90% of new STEEM coins are awarded to content producers, curators, and Steem Power holders.

How is Steem different from Bitcoin?

As you can see, only 10% of the new coins is allocated to Witnesses, and the other 90% to YOU, authors and curators, and that is why it's important to support them with your votes.

What does it take to be a witness?

The most important thing is technical and a Witness needs the technical knowledge to manage and update servers.

What does it take to be a witness?

A witness has to:

  • run a stable and reliable witness node on a server to avoid missing blocks.
  • run a seed node to help distribute the blocks (optional).
  • run a back-up server for the witness node (optional)
  • publish the STEEM/USD price daily.

The second thing is about community.

A Witness has to know how to market himself to the community in order to get votes and most of them will give back to the Steem community so that it gives you a good incentive to vote for them.

What does it take to be a witness?

Giving back to the community can be using the Witness SP earned:

  • to delegate to others.
  • to fund projects on Steem.
  • to upvote authors and curators.
  • to market Steem to bring new users.

Every Witness will have a different way to give back to the community.

Witnesses make an introduction post about their witness, then updates using the witness-category tag.

Finally a Witness has to pay for the server and it can be as much as $500 per month to run an efficient server, and a lot of Witnesses do no earn enough to cover this cost when starting.

Why should you vote for Witnesses?

The first reason is that it doesn't cost you anything to vote for a witness as it doesn't take your voting power away like it does when voting on posts or comments.

Every user on Steemit can vote for 30 witnesses and only 5% of users are doing it right now. The other 95% just don't know about it!

Your vote can be changed later if you want and you can also set a proxy to another user you trust to vote for you.

Witnesses need your vote so they can climb the rankings and get more StemPower back, which can pay for their server costs. Without them, there is no Steem blockchain and you don't earn Rewards!

Voting can prevent some newer Witnesses to drop out because they don't have enough money to pay for the server, especially when the value of Steem is low. We need as many Witnesses as possible to run as back-ups for the Steem blockchain.

Why should you vote for Witnesses?

You can see the list of the top 100 witnesses here: https://steemd.com/witnesses

Voting for a Witness is one easy step!

Voting for a Witness or several Witnesses is very easy, just go to this page: https://steemit.com/~witnesses

After you have done your research and know who you want to vote for, just go through the list and give a vote as you would do when upvoting a post.

Voting for a Witness is one easy step!

If you do not see your favorite Witness in the list, use the provided field and type the username, then vote.

Voting for a Witness is one easy step!

You can vote for a maximum of 30 Witnesses.

Finally, if you do not want to vote yourself or don't know who to vote for, you can set up a proxy for a user you trust who will vote for you.

Voting for a Witness is one easy step!

Refresh the page after you have voted to check if your vote has been correctly recorded.

Sometimes you will see buttons or links to click that direct you to SteemConnect to make voting very easy like this: https://steemconnect.com/sign/account-witness-vote?witness=jerrybanfield&approve=1

I hope that I explained satisfactorily what a Witness is and why you should make your votes.

Go make your first Witness vote now: https://steemit.com/~witnesses

All images that are not screenshots are from pixabay.com including elements for the illustrations.

Would you upvote this post and follow me for more because this will encourage me to write more posts about Steem witnesses like this one?

Would you please help @jerrybanfield become a top 10 witness because you can help funding projects to build Steem as explained here? Vote for jerrybanfield as a witness or set jerrybanfield as a proxy to handle all witness votes at https://steemit.com/~witnesses. Read the 5 reasons why I'm voting for Jerry Banfield as a witness and how to vote in my post.

Michel Gerard



Great informational piece indeed @gmichelbkk. Especially the part you added about seed nodes and how they pertain to the community. A lot of people think that if we don't have sufficient resources for steem that they can just go to busy.org or other variants and ignore the overall health of the steem blockchain. I initiated a project that built a witness with the sole purpose of using blocks (if any) to fund public steem seed nodes. No offense to anyone, but most of the steem seed nodes are owned by the top 30 witnesses and that's just not favorable to the "community" imo and we intend to change that for the good of everyone. Good job again Michel . Many people don't understand what witnesses are , and this is a nice way to help inspire awareness for us. Not to butt in to your feed or interrupt anything, but we need more people in positions like you're in to help give positive voices like ours a better chance to succeed. 50687.jpg

Thank you very much for your comment @justinadams, it's good to know that there are projects like yours for the Steem blockchain. I will have a look at what you are doing.

Good description of the concept. I feel most witnesses do not promote themselves very well, resulting in most people not knowing one from another!

@grizgal, thank you very much for your comment. This is why it's so difficult to be a witness.

Thank you so much, for your help and information. I really appreciated your time.

Hope you have a succes week ahead, Upvote*****Follow*****Resteem*****

Thank you @supernova55 for your comment, I am glad my post is useful for you.

Your welcome :) Peaceful evening :)

Thanks @gmichelbkk for explaining Witness Votes elaborately. I think I will utilize my 30 votes now to assist witnesses who are serving community!

Thank you very much @gpalav for your comment and I am glad that after reading my post you are making your first witness votes.

Thanks @gmichelbkk
Infact, I have set my witness proxy to @jerrybanfield because I am sure he knows better usage of witness for our community to grow. Cheers mate!

Thank you for him.

very educative post. I learned a lot from this post . thanks

Great article. I always wonder what is Witness. And only 5% vote so far? Wow! I should start voting now.

Thank you @devytan for commenting, I am glad that my post inspired you to start voting.

You are welcome! I actually made @jerrybanfield my proxy since I like what he's doing on the Steemit community. Also I started following you since I think you will put out more good content in the future. Cheers!

Thank you @devytan for setting your proxy with Jerry and also following me.

Can't wait for the next post you're going to make!

i am happy someone explained this. Maybe some people have done it, but this is the post i came across, thanks for sharing!

I am glad this is useful for you.

Thankyou for the information! Now I have made my first witness upvote 😊

Congratulations @lynxki for making your first witness vote. Thank you for your comment.

Thank you so much for this info man :)

I am glad that it is useful for you @timhau21. Thank you for commenting.

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