What is a Steem Witness, How to Vote and Why?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you do not see your favorite Witness in the list, use the provided field and type the username, then vote.
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.
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.