Why I'm posting this today
In opposition to Jerry Banfield's course
This is in response to A gentle guide to becoming a steem witness by @jerrybanfield, by @mattgimel, and to be clear this is not in critique of @mattgimel in any way. I do not support @jerrybanfield 's charging for freely available information.
The the linked video Jerry Banfield spends a really long time telling us how excited he is to become a witness (what's a witness?), and asks for $180 to sign up to his course.
However by his own admission he is in no way technically skilled and has never been a witness. So in other words, he is not qualified to be charging for information.
Instead of that, you can follow my guide here for free, or look up the information and chat to existing witnesses as I did. You can vote for my post but that's it. I need the votes as I'm not self voting any more. 😜
The claim of earnings
@jerrybanfield claims you can make thousands in a few months. Well maybe you can, but I would not be disappointed if it doesn't happen for you. You need a lot of votes to get up in the list in order to start getting blocks, and you need to keep your server ticking along.
You can honestly probably earn more blogging on Steemit as a genearl user. One witness in particular is fond of saying "blogging is the new mining"!
Here are the two best general guides to becoming a witness that I found:
They are old but still relevant for the most part. It is where I got the bulk of my knowledge.
Script to do most of it for you
I've created some bash scripts to do most of the work to set up a witness from scratch on a Ubuntu 16.04 server. I did this to keep track of what I learned anyway, and I believe in open source and sharing code, so here it is:
I wasn't intending on publishing this today but I was prompted to do so by the post I linked to at the start, so there's no readme (i.e. instructions) yet on GitHub, but here they are.
Before you get started, you'll need a server
You can run it locally on your own Ubuntu 16.04 installation, or in the cloud.
If you use the cloud, here are two suggestions:
- BuyVM - I use them and can vouch they work AND they accept Bitcoin which is great.
- Privex - @someguy123 runs this. I haven't used it but I know he has a good reputation and other witnesses do use it
Running the scripts
Just enter the following commands:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y git
git clone https://github.com/Steem-FOSSbot/witness-setup
This process will take a really long time as the following things are automatically done:
- Update the system and install build tools
- Download the steem blockchain software and build it
- Download a recent-ish compressed copy of the blockchain (from my seed server) and decompress
- "Replay" the blockchain downloaded so far, and sync with the other seeds to get the remaining block until the current block
Note that your witness config and blockchain data will be in the
~/data/ folder and
~/data/blockchain/ folder. The tilda (
~) symbol is shorthand for your home folder.
It could take a really really long time, but as long as you see something happening it's all good. Note that the blockchain decompression can take a while and has no use feedback so just wait for that part.
After this you'll need to add your witness account name and WIF key to the file at
From then on you just will need to just run
steemd, the program which processes blocks. You can start it with the following command:
steemd -d ~/data
We have to specify the data directory here.
If you find that
steemd is failing, you might need to replay the blockchain again, or even delete it and start again. These are the trials of witnesshood
These scripts are "as is" and I have used them to set up a witness but that does not mean it will work in every scenario.
I got the server, now what?
You need witness votes! This is what Jerry referred to as "trust". You need to let people know you're a witness, and they need to believe you are worth voting for. As with the rest of Steemit, stake is the decider, so votes from high SP (Steem Power) users are going to make the biggest difference in your rank.
This is very much a social task and there's a few ways of going about it. I'm just a freshman witness, a backup, so I'm not very experienced, I only have a few votes.
Other useful tools
My-NetData.io is great for keeping tabs on how your server is performing.