Witnesses create our Steem blockchain in real time based on votes at https://steemit.com/~witnesses. In blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum we might call this mining. On Steem, we use Delegated Proof of Stake or DPoS which means the creation of our blocks is chosen by our votes which are weighed by the Steem power we hold.
One big advantage of this system has been our ability to stick together through 19 hardforks because the top 20 witnesses make the decisions on forks. Another is saving on the huge and unnecessary electricity costs created by Proof of Work or POW mining on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Costs and Earnings?
While being a top miner on Bitcoin and Ethereum might make a fortune compared to being at the top of the Steem witness list, the costs required to run the witness servers on Steem are a fraction of that necessary for mining Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many other cryptocurrencies!
I have 3 servers for my witness including a primary witness server, backup witness server, and a seed node capable of handing a top 20 witness load indefinitely with the following specifications from @privex hosting which is about $500 a month.
64GB DDR4 RAM
2x Intel Xeon E5-2630 V3
2x 240GB SSDs
Our top 20 witnesses earn about 260 Steem power a day in rewards from witnessing which today is worth over $1,000 a day. Witnesses below the top 20 are considered "backup" witnesses that rotate in with the top 20 every 63 seconds because our blocks are 3 seconds apart. At rank 21 to 30 the earnings are about 40 to 60 Steem power a day equal currently to around $200 a day. At rank 94 and below the earnings are 3 Steem power a day or less.
While many of our witnesses earn enough to cover expenses, those under rank 80 are not earning enough to cover expenses if we expect our backups to be prepared to go into the starting rotation at a moments notice and we consider a full power down constantly would be needed to convert the earnings from Steem to Steem power. Here is a way we can change that!
Offering 100 Steem to Witnesses Below Rank 80!
Any witness at rank 80 or below can now follow the steps below to receive a payment of 100 Steem worth about $440 today from @budgets to help cover the server hosting costs for this month. Based on the success of this first round of funding, additional rounds may become available with higher requirements.
- Maintain an active witness server for at least a month with a consistently updated price feed on the newest version of Steem while earning at least 10 votes for witness as seen at https://steemian.info/witnesses.
- Request the 100 Steem by publishing a post with the first tag "budget" along with the tags "witness" "witness-category" and "witness-update." This post will explain the contributions made as a witness, thoughts on the development of Steem, server specifications, plans for the future, etc. @timcliff wrote a Guide to Being a Good Witness that was helpful for me to see that nearly anything we contribute to the growth of Steem can be considered part of our service as a witness.
- When I see the post on the budgets tag, I will send 100 Steem from the @budgets account which currently has about 2,500 Steem ready to send and $1200 more SBD to buy Steem as needed.
Who is Eligible Now?
These 29 witnesses can make a post and get the 100 Steem.
Eligible with Updates!
The following witnesses need to make updates in order to be eligible. As soon as the updates are made and communicated in the post, I am ready to send the Steem.
@rcarter.witness outdated price feed, no witness link.
@hagie outdated price feed.
@silversteem outdated price feed, registration, and high blocks missed.
@bue outdated price feed.
@cloh76.witness outdated price feed.
@castellano outdated price feed.
@masteryoda running 19.1
@precise outdated price feed.
@cryptohazard outdated price feed.
@beerbot outdated price feed.
@stuwhisson outdated price feed.
@drorion no price feed.
@globalvanguard running 19.0 on outdated price feed.
Some of us will argue that there is no need for backup witnesses below 50 let alone to bother with helping make sure we have over 100. Others of us might suggest the @budgets account and budget proposal system were made to fund our growth on Steem and not to pay witnesses.
As Steem continues to grow, we may need a lot more backup witnesses than we think . This may not be obvious until just before, during, or after a disaster which might take half or more of the witnesses offline at once while potentially keeping many offline for hours, days, and maybe even weeks. It could be a fork dispute, a global conflict, a natural disaster, and/or an epic hack. Whatever it is, we benefit greatly from having a deep witness list prepared to run a top 20 load.
For growing Steem, helping reward those already trying the hardest to contribute is likely to be a great return on our investment. Witnesses generally are some of our most active and enthusiastic members. When we help with funding the hardware, we may also be providing some positive feedback that we appreciate the service as a witness and value the contributions above the rewards directly provided by the blockchain.
I personally have been motivated to help this way because I want to support the newer witnesses and have run out of votes. There are many more witnesses I want to help to earn more blocks and I only have 30 votes. I will do another post about collaborating more effectively on witness voting for all of us. Long story short my suggestion for newer witnesses especially and potentially for all witnesses is to find and encourage users not voting for even one witness to choose a witness proxy voter.
Witness Voting and Proxies!
Our witness voting participation is very low with about 95% of accounts not even voting for one witness let alone using 30 votes. Setting a proxy at https://steemit.com/~witnesses is the ideal solution for most of us because setting a proxy effectively copies the witness votes of the user we choose along with any updates.
I am grateful for the responsibility to make votes on behalf of hundreds of us that have set me as a proxy on about 750,000 Steem power. Thank you especially to the top 5 @glitterfart, @onealfa, @kiporen212, @nikez452, and @craig-grant. I try to make witness votes that do the most good. I use all of my witness rewards along with all of my Steem power to fund additional growth projects like this through @budgets and my voting bot because I am grateful I have enough already to live a simple and comfortable life.
Thank You for Reading!
I appreciate the chance to be of service here and hope we have a wonderful day today!