Witnessing the Dawn of an Era
Blockchain eco-systems are evolving and maturing. Governance has proven to be one of the thorniest challenges they face. This is loudly illustrated by the on-going shouting match between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash and by the oversized influence 2 persons (Vitalik Buterin and Vlad Zamfir) have over the fate of Ethereum.
Thanks to the DPOS consensus algorithm, Steem (after bitShares and before EOS goes in production), brings an advanced solution to the governance challenge. This solution is akin to (but better than) the Representative Democracies that advanced countries have come to select as the best among those that can be implemented in practice.
Blockchain systems like Steem have the ability to change the society because they can be strongly linked and extend how people interact with each other, economically and socially. They are a "life extension", they are a new institution. And institutions need responsible behaviour.
Proof-of-Work systems like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, etc. assume that people cannot be trusted, and replace trust in people with trust in mathematics and code.
DPOS systems like Steem and EOS take, philosophicaly speaking, the opposite approach. While mathematics (cryptography) and code are used as powerful tools to secure the system, they also require people to step forward and assume responsibility. Become witnesses - testify that the dealings (transactions) recorded on the blockchain are valid and honest and happened in a certain order.
Those witnesses submit an application not unlike a "political program" and request that the owners of stake in the system (holders of Steem Power in Steem) vote for them. Improving on the real-life democracy, in Steem people can give or retract their vote for a witness at any moment and the votes are tallied every 63 seconds !
If the analogy with representative democracy sounds a bit unsettling to you, I've recently read an equally good one in this excellent paper
In DPoS (n.red.: steem), however, the validators can be thought of as contractors that are hired by the owners of the network (n.red.: owners of Steem Power). They are hired (voted in), given a job (to produce blocks), paid (through inflation [...]), and can be fired (voted out) for not performing their duties.
The New Generation Steem Witness
Steem as a blockchain functions remarkably well, as the @blocktivity stats attest. Current block-producing witnesses are highly skilled computer engineers and they do theirs jobs extremly well
We want to take Steem further! We want to help this great blockchain onboard more (real) people faster and "touch" them with its magical touch, for the benefit of all. We have therefore joined forces. We believe that a team, pooling skills and working together, can help secure the blockchain alongside the great 20 witnesses that are already constituting the "Steem government".
But while safety and seamless functioning are non-negotiable, this blockchain deserves more, much more than that. And a team, with complementary strengths, can do more than reliably minting blocks.
Having a witnessing team is central to our approach. Our team is currently small, only two people, but it might very well grow in the future.
We are hereby applying to become an approved witness on the steem network.
Heeding @gtg's call we are also going to run a seed node. We plan to leverage what we learn with this small configuration before growing to a full setup using powerful dedicated servers with the aim of eventually running a full RPC node.
However the hardware configuration is clearly not why we ask for your vote. Rather, we plan to focus and deploy energy and skill in spreading steem awareness far and wide, at every level including in the business world. We need your vote for our political program!
The Political Program
Thanks to @gtg, @jesta, @roelandp, @good-karma, @timcliff and all the other great witnesses, we know that our proving ground will not be the quality and speed of the server, at least not until, thanks to your votes, we'll climb up the rankings.
We have accordingly decided to focus on short-, medium- and long-term objective to help the eco-system of the steem blockchain, including Steemit.com, Busy.org, Utopian.io, Fundition.io, DLive.io and all the other great applications tapping the power of steem.
Spread the word about steem and its apps to as many people as possible. The first step in this direction is the First Steem Meetup in Luxembourg taking place on May 23rd with special guests from the three neighboring countries:
1.1. Belgium - @roxane and @oroger will talk about Steemit and Utopian
1.2. France - we'll welcome representatives of @fundition
1.3. Germany - we count on @alexvan to either be here or help us welcome someone from the thriving German community of Steemians.
In the medium term, besides encouraging more content creators to come on Steemit.com and Busy.org, we plan to also encourage businesses to try out the code-base of the steem blockchain for specific business applications. The Chainbase (Graphene) codebase as well as steemd are indeed available in GitHub on an MIT license and many real-world business applications could be implemented much faster from steem clones rather than using IBM's Fabric. If successful, this endeavor can have a hugely positive effect on several levels: spreading awareness about steem in developer circles but also in investor circles. We hope to increase the number of people who, in the future, will be able to help the wonderful teams currenty developing the core blockchain system and the many applications relying on it.
In the long term, as Luxembourg hosts two of the biggest fiat - crypto exchanges, Bitstamp and bitFlyer, we plan to work on getting STEEM quoted on at least one of these exchanges! Once STEEM is directly exchangeable for fiat in the SEPA banking area, we have an even more ambitious objective: work together with the company Payconiq International, a Luxembourg-based company that runs a successful mobile payment solution here, in order to make the "pay with STEEM" dream come true!
We need you!
Many people have not used their 30 witness votes. There is strictly no downside to choosing witnesses. Voting for witness is totally different from "upvoting good content", your "voting power" is not impacted.
Make your voice heard!
If you care about these goals, you can help!
As we are not (yet) in the top 50, you 'll need to enter "lux-witness" in the form as shown below:
Post written in busy.org, edited in steemit.com