A bit of soul searching, and my resignation as a witness
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:
- maintain the seed nodes status page for all chains:
- run a seed node on those chains
- keep developing the bts_tools software, on a best effort basis
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.