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

in #steemit5 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.

Wow! Great explanation about steem witness. Now i know the importance of witnesses to the steem blockchain. Thanks for sharing sir. Just voted for some witnesses

Thank you very much @emma001 for your comment and making your votes.

Michel thank you very much for giving us an in depth look at what witnesses are on Steem at https://steemit.com/~witnesses because I have hope after reading this that more of us will continue participating in the witness voting process where currently less than 5% of us are making any vote at all! I appreciate you sharing that you are voting for me!

I will resteem this post soon to help more of my followers find your blog and learn about our witness system here!

I am glad that you like the post @jerrybanfield. I tried to explain it in a way everyone can understand and that motivates voting. Thank you for the resteem.

Thank you very much Michel, for writing this clear and correct article on Steem Witnesses, and their importance!

@bjornb, thank you for your feedback. I am glad that the post is useful for you.

Noob here and I do understand the idea of a witness with the way you explained it here. Great Job! I follow EOS and understand the importance of block producers so this explaination made it simple. Now finding time to research to see who I want to support.

Thank you very much @gardengranny. I am glad that the post is useful for you.

Steemit is so generous. And now I'm going to vote more for Witnesses. Thanks for teaching us.

Thank you, I'm glad my post is useful for you to make your first witness votes.

Thankyou very much. Although it seems hard enough for me to catch a whole understanding, such as it sounds so difficult to be a witness (?)

Yes, it is difficult. Thank you for your comment.

Congratulations @gmichelbkk! You have received a personal award!

Happy Easter 2018
Click on the badge to view your own Board of Honor on SteemitBoard.

Upvote this notificationto to help all Steemit users. Learn why here!

Oooooh this is amazing. Anytime I read your post, it's like am I'm a class. Coz I learn something new. So in essence, the continuity of this platform is on the shoulders of the witnesses. Wow... Thanks for this. I'll sure vote the witness you vote. Lol... Being a good teacher commands loyalty. Lol

Thank you very much @t-flames for your kind comment, I am glad that my post is useful. The 18 years I did as a licensed teacher in classrooms with kids seemed not to have been for nothing!

that is really very helpful and knowledgeable article you shared about witness. I did not know much about it but now i learn a lot about this. Thanks a lot @gmichelbkk. now I choose more accounts for witness,.

I am glad that this post is useful for you @rabeel. Thank you for your kind comment.

Omg michael i am soooo glad you have done this.In my last post a fellow steemian asked me to vote for witness.I honestly didn't have a clue.I posted back and ask if they could give me quick overview.They did not and i was still non the wiser.Thank you sooo much.Wish my vote was worth more as your guides are fab!!! 👍🏼

Thank you very much @pamcooks for your kind comment. I am glad that I have successfully explained about witnesses in my post and that it was helpful for you.

Thanks for the information. I do want to get more involved and will do some voting

I am glad @mech820 that my post gave you the motivation to get more involved with witnesses.

Which other witnesses did you vote for?

Can I also read a blog about that?
I mean there are 29 more to select. So it remains quite a difficult choice for all others.

Thank you for your questions @crypto-econom1st. I set up @jerrybanfield as a proxy and you can read why here: https://steemit.com/witness/@gmichelbkk/5-reasons-why-i-m-voting-for-jerry-banfield-as-a-witness
You do not need to vote for all 30 witnesses today. Just add them as you come across one that you like.

I like the proxy idea. Do you know for who Jerry now votes for you?

Or does he not need to to pick 30 witnesses?

You can see his witness votes here: https://steemd.com/@jerrybanfield/


To bad he doesn't vote for two of my favorite ones @roelandp and @steemcommunity

And his account is a reward pool draining bidbot with no blacklist in place.

Not for me.

If you already have favorites, maybe it's better not to set a proxy, but just vote yourself.

I can see his votes by referencing his wallet sends last year as he was bribing witnesses and whales to vote for him!

Thank you for your comment and I appreciate your opinion @abh12345.

Hi Michel, i’m a newbie on steemit. I’ve vote for @jerrybanfield after reading your post. It help me understand much more about Steem’s witnesses system. I hope the Budget Proposal project will help o add value to the Steem blockchain.

@nauthnael, I am glad that my post has been useful for you to make your vote today. Thank you very much.

I liked the article very much, simple and easy to understand.

Would I like to know if I can translate it into Spanish? with their respective mentions, and a personal touch, greetings.

@axorve, thank you for your comment. Yes, you can translate it in Spanish. Make a comment here with the link to it when it's ready so other users can see it.

Excellent, when I publish it I will be leaving the link here, greetings and thanks.

At first, I tried it without knowing facts why i should vote..i voted before even i don't know much about them, Just learned from this post how it works and why..i read some articles too about witness before but seems it didn't synch in to me...thank you @gmichelbkk. I think i have to re state my witnesses...can i still do it?

Thank you @jerelyn for your comment and I'm glad that my post motivates you to review your witness list. You can remove your votes at any time and vote for new witnesses as you wish. The only condition is that you can only vote for 30 witnesses.

Great explanation of what is a witness, clear and straightforward. I've voted for a few witnesses already but will keep looking at that closely!

Thank you @jessicapixie for your kind comment. I am glad that my post is useful and motivates you to keep looking at it closely.

Bedankt hoor! (Dutch for thanks!). Are you a proxy voter. I noticed JB is a proxy. I suppose he'd be a good one to delegate that vote too! Thanks for the clarification.

@mistermercury, thank you for your comment. Yes, I set @jerrybanfield as a proxy because I trust his choices and it makes it easier for me.

More Great stuff! Cheers! You are being followed.

Thank you very much @barefootskinny for your kind feedback.

I didn't know much about this since I am a newbie here in steemit. I don't actually study how steem dollars works and how to make some $ from it, I Just look at steemit as a free space where I can write my thoughts and reach people. Thank you for letting us know how important to vote a witness. I difinetely will. Looking forward for more helpful information @gmichelbkk

Thank you for your comment @gavinci13. I am glad that my post motivates you to learn more about witnesses.

I am kinda new user and I didn't know what is going about with theese witnesses. Thanks for helping me out, didn't know how it all is working, I am really surprised after reading this. If you could explain one more thing - what is "setting a proxy to witness" ? Is it some auto voting or somethig like that? I will look the list today and give my vote anyway, thanks!

@kolegaotaku, thank you for your comment and question, I am glad the post is useful for you. Setting a proxy means that the user you choose will have your vote included when they vote for a witness. For example I chose @jerrybanfield as a proxy and when he votes for witnesses, my vote is included in his. This is useful if you don't know for whom to vote for and do not have time to research, setting someone as a proxy is the easiest way. I hope this makes sense.

Yes it does, so I can choose you and when you vote for someone, my vote counts too on that person. Understood! Thanks bro

thank you @gmichelbkk i also want to setup a steem witness i have got server for it too, please advise thank you

Thank you for your comment @a381. If you want to set up a witness server you may read a few guides listed here http://steemit.guide.

Why do you get thirty votes if there are only 20 full time positions and one rotating back up position....can you delegate all thirty votes to one person or does each person only get one vote, if one person gets one vote where do you go to learn about what each witness does for the platform so you can make a informed decision?

Thank you for your comment and questions @gavinci13. Only one of your vote for one witness, you can't assign all 30 votes to one single witness. I do not know exactly why it is limited to 30, the thing is that we need these 20 full-time witnesses, but also back-up witnesses. As the Steem blockchain grows with more users and transactions, I think it is necessary to have as many witness back-up as possible. Witnesses put their updates on Steemit using the #witness-category tag. You can also go to their profile, and might see regular updates on their blogs.

I'll have to commit some time this weekend and wade through a few. Jerry's and MarkyMark are okay, they seem to engage and educate the readers quite a bit, do you have any recommendations of others witnesses who you consider engage with the community and deserve a look at?

Its been a long time i visited you post, it's like an appointment, meeting a topic i have been looking for more explaination, "steem witness" and what the voting is for, but you have really put me through, and now I have set my proxy with @jerrybanfield,,,he's the man I love . thanks

Thank you for your comment @princluv. I am glad that my post helped you make your witness vote.

Thats a awesome blog ! Every things explains clearly .thanks for posting this :)

Thank you very much @deusx for your kind comment. I am glad the post is useful for you.

Yah its usefull for me .welcome :)

I just went from zero knowledge/bafflement about what a witness is to having I think a reasonable basic idea about it, thanks for the post!

The thought that does immediately spring to my mind though is, is there no way the witnesses can be rewarded in an automatic way for the critical work they do? The problem that I am seeing here is simply that you explain that people generally are lacking awareness of the witnesses and so are unlikely to be rewarding them therefore. I guess there's probably a reason for this approach that is not yet clear to me, so I ask the question partly in an effort to improve my understanding.

Thank you for your comment @chaunceytinker, I am glad that my post explained what a witness is successfuly. Steem is set up this way, imagine if we had to vote for miners in Bitcoin!

i have you vote for witness Sir

Oooooh this is amazing. Anytime I read your post, it's like am I'm a class. Coz I learn something new. So in essence, the continuity of this platform is on the shoulders of the witnesses. Wow... Thanks for this. I'll sure vote the witness you vote. Lol... Being a good teacher commands loyalty. Lol

This post has received a 3.56 % upvote from @booster thanks to: @gmichelbkk.

You got a 1.85% upvote from @postpromoter courtesy of @gmichelbkk!

Want to promote your posts too? Check out the Steem Bot Tracker website for more info. If you would like to support the development of @postpromoter and the bot tracker please vote for @yabapmatt for witness!

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