A bit of soul searching, and my resignation as a witness

in witness-category •  3 months ago

During last Christmas, there have been some discrepancies between the feed values I was publishing for bitCNY, and the "correct" value that was expected of me by the Chinese community. I am not going to discuss what the proper value should have been, as it doesn't matter because the market always rules in the end, but I'd rather want to highlight this fact as it made me realize that I've been having a hard time lately to be a proper witness, and react timely and appropriately when needed.

I am originally a developer, but still decided to start on the path of becoming a witness when BitShares was originally released, even though this also required some sysadmin skills. Although I have been able to do it for all those years, it has been taking a significant amount of my time. There is also the fact that being a witness requires one to be on call 24/7 and I can't really afford to do this any longer as I have a family that also requires that from me, and a job which I can't realistically drop in the coming months.

One could argue that the situation is better than a few years ago, when chains (BitShares, Steem) would stop during planned upgrades, or in the middle of the night due to some unexpected circumstances, however this was also part of the thrill of being a witness.
Reviving a frozen chain is one of the most intense, stressful and rewarding activities I have done in my life. In those times I felt like we were surgeons in an emergency room trying to bring some very important person back to life. :) Today, witness responsibilities still include maintaining a properly running server at all times, but the tools ecosystem has developed and the stability of the chains is much better now, so witnesses somehow "have it easier" in that respect (although there are now scalability issues), but they also need to assume other roles now (community, development, etc...) and cannot defend their position on server maintenance only anymore.

I have also felt that I started to burn out due to trying to do too many things at once, and the motivation made place to a sense of defeat and apathy, explained by the fact that I wouldn't be able to do everything I had planned to.

I have tried to think of all the ways that I could to keep my witness(es) running and provide an adequate level of professionalism, however I have spread myself too thin and realistically cannot do that any longer. It is in light of this that I announce the following:

I officially resign as a witness on the chains where I have been witnessing: BitShares, Steem, Peerplays, Muse

I will still keep them running for a week or two before turning them off definitely, so that people have time to remove their votes.

I am not going away!

Obviously, I haven't lost interest in crypto, and keep feeling that extremely interesting times lie ahead of us, so my plan is to come back to a more active role in the community whenever I have managed to make some time/room for it in real life. Although I will stop my witness activities, I will still keep doing the following:

Final thoughts

First, I'd like to apologize to people towards which I have been very little responsive, or even sometimes plainly ignored / couldn't respond to in a timely manner, but more than making excuses, what I want to say is:

I want to thank everyone that voted for me or supported me in any way during all these years,

I want to thank all the witnesses on those chains, past and present, I really had the feeling of being part of something special, and this wouldn't have been possible without you,

and finally, I wanted to thank @dan for creating this technology, which has kept me awake so many nights in the past years, and opened my eyes to a future that I had given up on, a future where the people will have (technological) ways to make the world a better place and achieve freedom.


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That was a really awesome resignation letter Nico, and I am not alone in saying how we will miss you and the contributions you've made.

I've felt this has been awhile coming, and I'm very happy for you to realize it and find a way to relieve the stress that has only increased in your life over the last year or so.

Really makes me wish I had attended the Steemfest in Lisbon last year to meet you in person. We've been partners in this effort to restore freedom for years, literally and philosophically. You're one of the pillars I've been inspired by to get back into coding, albeit with some new limits to curtail my stress level!

Take care of yourself my friend and please stay in touch as you have the time.


Thanks for the kind words, we've indeed had a good run together, and you're in the top of the list of persons that I want to get to meet in person at some point in my life. Will definitely want to go to SF3, so that might be the occasion ;)
And thanks to you too for what you've been doing, it's been refreshing to see that even in the face of changing environment, people like you have never lost sight of the philosophical and ideological tenets on which all of this has been originally built. Given that technology is neutral, we always need watchkeepers that ensure it is used to do good and not evil, especially since blockchain technology is so powerful. Really looking forward to how that ship's going to be steered in the future.


i want to bring witness to my d 0 w/(h) e (a)d https://steemit.com/g0fig/@xubrnt/ned-steemit

and opened my eyes to a future that I had given up on, a future where the people will have (technological) ways to make the world a better place and achieve

Thank you for everything Wackou! I feel also the same in regard to what Dan's created.


Thanks! We really do live in interesting times.


i want to bring witness to my d 0 w/(h) e (a)d https://steemit.com/g0fig/@xubrnt/ned-steemit

Thank YOU.

Sad to see you stop as a witness, but glad you'll still be around. I appreciate all the support you have given me from day 1 since I started witnessing myself. I wish you the best of luck with your other projects.


I'm glad I did support you, if everyone that joins would be as active and engaged as you've been, it would be a much different place!

Thank you for your service.

You've always seemed honourable to me and maintained it which is incredibly important. Best of luck with your future endeavours.


Hearfelt thanks, I've always tried to be, and will strive to keep it that way in the future.



(RandoHealer has healed this post because you have been randomly selected from the whitelist. Lucky!)

Thanks for everything! You did a great job!

You've contributed a lot more than many other witnesses. I'm glad you'll stay around. :-)


Thank you! Coming from you, it means a lot to me ;)


I am only 3 days old and came here as i wanted to see or know why such a high placed person on witness list would deactivate the account.
Hope your friend is doing well months after he deactivated. From reading all the comments it sounds like he was a nice human. I wish him all the best and that his dreams do come true.

You too @cyrano

Thanks for supporting my blog and for supporting the community in general.


@dana-edwards i think yours is the highest reputation i have seen so far in steemit.
I am only 3 days old in steemit so maybe there are others but i avent seen them. I am excited to see a person with this much reputation so i will be following your work


No I'm not anywhere near the highest reputation on Steemit. @craig-grant and @stellabelle have higher reputations than me.

Thank you for your service, @wackou.
It was a real pleasure to meet you...
wait, that sounds like good bye.
Have a good rest, and see you soon(-ish) :-)


Thank you @wackou for your outstanding service both here at Steemit and at Bitshares.

Hopefully time will avail itself to you and you will be able to come back to Steemit and Bitshares in a big way.

Wishing you and yours all the best.


Appreciate your kind note regarding @dan.

Hey @wackou, are you stopping your Bitshares (specifically hertz) price feed publishing? I'm comfortable trusting you as a non-witness to publish hertz price feeds, if you're still interested.

Cheers, take it easy! :)


hey @cm-steem, sorry for taking so long to respond, been a bit away from the computer ;) and yes please, I'd like to continue publishing feed prices for Hertz, for a couple of reasons. One, I still have a feed I can publish so I can keep working on my code (it's hard to test feed publishing if I can't actually publish!), and two, I really love the Hertz asset as it shows what BitShares is actually capable of. Everyone has heard about crypto assets pegged to the USD or some other fiat currency, but pegging to something like Hertz, or Hero, or Bit20, or any other formula-based asset, algorithm-based asset, market index (or anything, really!) is really one of the fundamental strength I see in the platform, and I'm glad I can help with that. Not sure if a lot of people know or even remember, but the title of the original whitepaper was BitShares A Peer-to-Peer Polymorphic Digital Asset Exchange, which is very direct and to the point. The concept of polymorphic digital asset is really brilliant once one fully understands what it entails!


Thanks wackou 👍


Great gesture @cm-steem. Hertz is looking nice by the way.

Thank you for your help you gave to the community :)

I want that to get eternal... so I cross-posted it on the blockchain :)

Love. @wackou.memories.huge.bts.forks.drama.sleeples.moon.pump.dumps.updates.witness.101.+5.bytemaster.delegates.bitsharestalk.3sec.backup.server.tag.master.git.checkout.steem.bitshares.replay.resync.wewillfuc%@£ingmissingyou!!!!!!

Screenshot from 2018-04-02 23-36-09.png

PS I really believe you are a significant part of crypto-history! Thanks for everything.

Kudos for doing it in a orderly fashion. It will be strange to not see your nick there anymore. Even though I never voted for your bts witness. As you might know, there are plenty of development tasks to get done. A retired witness might be what it takes to get to them.


After browsing the comments to your post, I am surprized that no one took the opportunity to thank you for what you did for the French community. You have after all somehow indirectly helped a small number of French-speaking Steemians.

I therefore thank you for what you did, although this is not my role (as involved in other (invisible) projects for the French community)...

I know that I don't know much about witnesses and their work but this is a great resignation letter indeed, I could feel the love in what you wrote, and in the comments too, as I said, I think I have no business in here, I just felt like commenting and showing some respect, thanks to all of you I can be here right now so, thanks.

That even made me feel a bit sad

Thank God. For some crazy reason I thought you meant a witness to Jesus Christ. I do appreciate how deeply that stung to think though ... thank you for that moment.

Que triste noticia, tomate el tiempo que necesito espero verte de nuevo, y espero puedas leerme algún día 💖 .

Sorry to see you go as witness as yours is amongst a slee of names that, to me, are a source part of steem.

Very much respect for resigning on basis of not being able to be a proper witness anymore. God knows there are others that have passed that station long ago and still keep going.

Good luck in the things you do and another up-top for choosing familly over technology & economy.

Hope to keep seeing you around.


Thank you, I'm definitely not going away, just taking the time until I can resume doing stuff properly :)

Sinceramente: GRACIAS!

Why not hire somebody to maintain the witnesses?


Because that takes all the fun out of it! I'm not in it for the money, what I like is playing with the technology. If I can't do it myself, then I'd rather not manage people doing it for me either...


Ah ok. Makes sense. Good to know you still will be around.

Very respectable resignation, much dignity. Job well done. May the four winds blow you safely home, and stuff. /salute!

Thank you for what you have done.

Sorry to hear you step down. Did you know @art-universe has made a painting of you in your honor?

here is the original post if you wanna take a look!

Thanks for everything you've done for these cryptocurrency communities thus far, take it easy! :)

Hey wackou! I really sorry that you have made this decision, but I understand that sometimes you have to prioritize in life. I hope that everything you propose in the near future will be fulfilled. Personally, I wanted to thank you for all you have helped and how you continue to help the Spanish speaking community. I do not know you personally, but you opened a door for me when you did not even know me, and beyond your aptitude as a witness, what I rescue and regret from your resignation, is that we lose an excellent person as a witness.

Mucha merd en todo lo que te propongas y de verdad gracias por haberme leído y respondido, cuando ni me conocías. Termino en español, porque se que lo manejas bien. Abrazo grande amigo y que disfrutes mucho de tu familia.


Hey, really happy that I've been able to support the Spanish community as much as I could. Having been living for 15 years now in Spain and feeling at home, I thought that helping the Spanish community here is the least that I could do to give something back.
Muchas gracias por tus palabras y suerte tambien en lo tuyo. Abrazos!


We do need more Spanish community in crypto... I'm seeing more of them more everyday. Until now it's all been all English, Chinese and Russian...

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvote this reply.

It’s understandable you need more time to be with your family man. Being involved in crypto certainly consumes a lot of time and it’s easy to spend like 14 hours straight sitting in front of the computer without realizing a whole day has gone by.

I just saw your position in the witness rank and I didn’t knew you were close to the top 20! So at least you have a great run as a witness :D

Cheers and enjoy your new free time :P!

Much respect for your decision, and I know it was not easy to make. See you around!

Nico!!! Me acuerdo que me contaste que estabas hasta arriba y que no tenías tiempo de hacer tantas cosas en la que estabas metido. Pues mira, seguro que si has decidido dejar de ser witness es porque lo has meditado bien y es lo que mejor te viene ahora para quitarte stress, que todo sabemos lo que es estar 24 horas pendiente. Aun recuerdo el día que me comentaste que cervantes estaba perdiendo bloques y tuve que llamar a mi hermano a las 3am de la mañana y sacarlo de la cama...Un abrazo tio!! Y espero verte como mínimo en el SF3!!


jeje si, me acuerdo de ese chat nocturno, buenos momentos! :)
La verdad que si, hace meses que me lo estaba contemplada, pero al final tengo que ser realista y hacer lo minimo posible no me conviene mucho, asi que he preferido dejarlo de momento.
Y nos veremos seguro al SF3, y esa vez no tendre que arreglar mi witness de bitshares a las 4 de la noche volviendo de la fiesta llevando un pedo monumental XD

Hey sorry to see you stop as a witness @wackou You provide some nice stuff for steem and other coins

I really like your seed nodes status website, it helps keep an eye on nodes and node diversification .

Good luck on current and future ventures sir :)

Sorry you stopped being a witness. fortunately you'll stay around. I wish you all the best, thank you for your work.

those of us who are new do not yet understand the work that the witnesses have on this platform, but being available at all times should not be easy, the family is latent and demanding attention, the children grow and we miss many excellent moments, I hope you can organize and return to us, much successful

fff... I don't want to unvote you even though
that's sad though
another good one out
sighs ..
oh well, good luck and thanks a lot for all your support to the many of us here


At least @wackou demonstrates a great example to follow. He goes down in the witness history books under the chapter "great past witnesses that helped get graphene chains to 2018 successfully"

@wackou, I hear you. I too have been trying to do too many things and splitting my focus. On top of having a heart attack at Christmas time.... silly me right!
But since I got sick, I just find myself in search of some substance in my life.
I too think that I should make every effort to focus my efforts on just a few things instead of everything all at once. Great post by the way, it is a very eloquent resignation.


Take care of yourself @paddysground - health must always come first. I wish you the best.


Thank you for your kind word. Yes I am learning to put myself and my health first. Which isn't as easy as it sounds most of the time.

wackou.. those are very responsible and deep statements you wrote. I'd also like to thank you for doing what you did all these years.

The emergency room surgeon stuff, I have a lot of a gratitude for you being one of the surgeons during those times that helped save us.

I have also felt that I started to burn out due to trying to do too many things at once, and the motivation made place to a sense of defeat and apathy, explained by the fact that I wouldn't be able to do everything I had planned to.

You're right. Time to focus and specialize. You have more than enough experience to apply yourself strongly to specific areas... I wish you the best in your endeavors going forward.

...and this isn't the end of you. :) It's just a new beginning. :)

thanks for all ur work wish i had the ability to help the community like u have done

good luck on ur future endeavors​​

Wow. Really sad about this, but i am glad i voted for you. No one recommended you for me, but it was just a feeling. I know being a witness is not as easy as it sounds. With greater power, comes greater responsibility. I am glad you said you are not going away. I really wish you all the best. See you around, and well done for all you did. Stay motivated.

i want to bring witness to my d 0 w/(h) e (a)d https://steemit.com/g0fig/@xubrnt/ned-steemit

Hello! I followed you, let's increase the power of Steemit together! I hope you follow me. I'm always glad to have a new acquaintance with good people! ;)

Thank you for all your support of me.

It's really not easy being a witness and so I feel all witnesses should constantly be appreciated for their sacrifices towards the successor the blockchain .

I am earnestly waiting for the time you'll have more time for the blockchain @wackou. Take your time. I will be your fan every step of the way

Hi there, hope you won't get me wrong. I just wanted to ask if you are interested to support Filipino community?

Filipino steemians are increasing at a greater speed and most of them were left unsupported. Like you, we wanted to bring the platform to the mainstream and by supporting Filipino steemians, you are making this possible in our country and is a huge help for the community as well.

Filipinos are not that well-acquainted with cryptocurrency and by bringing them into the platform by way of influenced by those who were already here, there's no doubt that we could bring a huge number of the population in the platform.

Thank you and have a nice day.

This is the right call as I understand what you say about family needing the same time from you. You can surely five right in when you have more time.

I hope it's not late!
Goodluck with your family first in real life then crypto world. Thanks for what you did for us and thanks for your time.

With all the drama and the fights between witnesses and large accounts you really came off in this post as a genuine guy. Im literally browsing Steemit right now trying to find a few more witnesses i can fill up my 30 votes, still 15 remaining, found Drakos which led me here.
Id genuinely would have gave you my vote after reading this.
I know im a month late and youre probably chilling somewhere warm not reading your Steemit feed so have a cold one and some rest ;)

Wow, that was a nice read, even if you quit being a witness, you were so kind and supportive to the platform and the technology. Also, thanking @dan in the end surprised me, when it is actually a natural thing to do, because actually as you said, he created most of this place...

Dear Wackou,

A friend of my will organize a world cup contest around the world cup soccer starting half June. At this moment there is already a nice amount for prizes (75 SBD in total). But I thought it might be nice to find some upvote sponsors. Which means you can sponsor this world cup contest by providing upvotes. I think that could both help to encourage good things in the Steem blockchain as well as you receive some free promotion.

Please let me know if you are interested?

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Hello my dear friend, I recently joined to steem and saw your posts. i like art, science, adventure and photography. I upvoted and follow you, If you like, please see my posts to support each other because i need to your help for being successful. thanks for sharing useful and beautiful post. have good time.

Hey, how's it going? I saw your witness thread was disabled, is that so? Hope everything is good! Greetings.


As a new Steeminian it makes me stoked to see people with 70+ reputation. Is there special things to learn that will help me keep going up? i am only 3 days old but i want to be this big a year from now. Thank you @joythewanderer
Also i like your profile picture haha those glasses are epic


Hey! Thanks for your kind words, bbyflavour. Welcome to Steemit! Nowadays the best way to gain rep is via different applications or searching for your communities. By applications, I mean things like DLive, Dsound, Dtube, Busy, esteem, steemhunt, zappl, steepshot, etc. Check them out. As for community, there are many of them in discord. I guess if you google « discord steemit « you will find those. Some countries have their own community as well.

I hope it helps. No worries, when I joined for the first months, my payout was 0 for a while. What you are doing is great. Comment and replying also help.

BTW: I see you are from Tanzania, which is interesting because I’m going to Zanzibar for holiday :)

@wackou i know maybe you rarely come on this post because its is very old but to say the least reading all the comments makes me realize what type of the person you were as a witness.
I am only 3 days old and through your resignation letter i have learnt one or two things how much witnesses do.
I voted for a few but as i said, i am a newbie so didnt really know half the things these witnesses do.

Most of us may take them for granted for we do not really know what they do but now that i know i really want to send my Goodluck to you. I have a lot of respect to the work you have done over the years as a witness because i believe its part of the reason why we have steemit running everyday seemlessly.

I also hope your family is doing well and that you are happy. If you decide to one day go back to witnessing i will then vote you with one of my votes.

It was an honour to read through all these great comments contributions from all these senior members who write great essys about you and the milestones you have helped steemit get to.

I really can't write much about you as i have only been honoured to read about you from the eyes of others but i feel like you are a very great person.

As i grow in this community i hope i get to learn from the great many contributors like yourself.

Sorry i made a looong comment but i felt it was worth it to let you know that your contribution is appreciated by newbies too