The importance of the upcoming hardfork and how you can cast your vote!steemCreated with Sketch.

in witness-category •  2 years ago

In an earlier post, I explained the importance of witnesses and how you can vote for a witness and why you would want to do that.
In short, witnesses are the guardians of the blockchain!

Today I decided to completely reset my voting preferences and as promised, I wanted to take a moment and explain whom I'm voting for and why.

My votes going forward are going to be exclusively for those who share a vision of steem as the future of social media.
That sounds a bit pompous but allow me to explain.

The impetus behind this post is a recent update from @steemitblog
For those who haven't seen it already, check out

In it, Steemit Inc, is saying we can't do this without consensus.

There are changes in the upcoming hardfork, that enable actual businesses to be built around the steem blockchain.
These businesses are not really possible without the changes slated for the upcoming hardfork.

Why? Because there is literally no reason for a business to adopt steem. There isn't a profit model to be had, unless these changes go through.
In my witness update I went through and explained each change and why @viva.witness is supporting them.

But I want to explain a couple of these changes in depth and if you agree with them, I'm going to give you a very simple method that you can use to show your support.

First I want to explain supply and demand and it's effect on the price of everything including steem.

You see when the demand for an object increases, so does it's perceived value and this is reflected in the price.
At the moment there are no use cases for steem that result in a profit, with very few exceptions.

For example, @tradeqwik powers up it's coldwallet and uses that power to upvote our traders. As far as I know this is the only exchange in the world that does this. But even @tradeqwik doesn't buy steem on the open market. We don't buy it, because there isn't a good reason for owning it other than the power law in place which translates to "the more steem you have now, the more steem you'll get in the future". Even that reason is going away because the price of steem is depressed.

In hindsight it's easy to see that this model was flawed. And my personal belief is that HF17 is @dan, @ned, @sneak and the rest of Steemit Inc, recognizing these flaws and trying to correct them.

The primary features here and the ones my company is most excited about are as follows...

Comment Reward Beneficiaries

All content can now specify beneficiaries to receive a part of their author rewards. The beneficiaries are specified in the extension field of the comment_options_operation and is a sorted vector (by account name) of account name, weight pairs. The beneficiaries can only be specified once and must be specified before any votes are cast on the comment. Most apps are already adding a comment_options_operation in the transaction that creates the comment, so this should not be much of a challenge to add to existing apps

Delegated Steem Power

Steem Power can now be delegated to other accounts. This transfers content voting rights and bandwidth allocation but not witness voting rights. Delegations come in to effect immediately, both when increasing and decreasing a delegation. However, Steem Power being returned by decreasing or removing a delegation has a one week delay in limbo before it is returned to the owner. This is to prevent a satoshi of Steem Power from being able to vote on the same content twice.
Accounts cannot power down Steem Power that is being delegated, nor can they delegate Steem Power that is being powered down.

Accounts can be created with a smaller fee and an initial Steem Power delegation.

Instead of paying the entire account creation fee with Steem, creators can now pay a smaller fee (30x less) and delegate some Steem Power for 30 days. The exact amount is 5 * min_fee + STEEM_POWER == 150 * min_fee. You can pay any combination of STEEM and Steem Power along that curve (so long as the minimum fee is paid).

The witness voted STEEM fee is now the minimum required STEEM fee for delegation. Witnesses should reduce their fee by 30x when the hardfork goes live to preserve the same required fee for an all STEEM account creation.

Taken together, these features mean that people can build real businesses and services directly on top of steem and expect to turn a profit, by increasing both the use cases and users for the platform and this will drive both the acceptance of steem and it's price.

A great example of this would be the long belated "Havin Store" game. We had to mothball it because the costs involved with bringing users to the platform could never be be recouped when considering the abandon rate of accounts especially for casual gaming. Yet by with the reduction in signup costs and the fact that we can sign them up by proxying a little SP, this suddenly becomes very profitable and we can launch this perhaps within a few weeks. Another example would be a non-blog socialmedia service like a Twitter or WhatsApp style of service, or even an Uber competitor.
All of these are possible if the cost of user acquisition is lower than the profit generated per user brought to the platform.

However there are several witnesses who are choosing to block HF17 for various and sundry reasons, mostly related to the old familiar steemit model. A model which no matter what way you slice it, has not been great for the price of steem. I read their arguments, I understand their arguments and honestly I think those arguments simply aren't valid when taken in the context of the rest of the changes as a whole.

These are GROUND BREAKING features and they represent the future of steem and it was the promise of these features, that I believe caused the recent run up in price. But now @steemitblog is reporting that HF17 has been delayed due to a failure to find consensus. It's heartbreaking and it's also caused a massive dump of steem on the open market as businesses that WERE looking to utilize these features, and those who were betting on those businesses, dump out.

If this were politics, HF17 would be called an omnibus bill. A compromise bill that touches on numerous subjects as a way to provide everyone with at least one win. When I read the anti-17 arguments I see people thinking about how things are now and how this impacts the way things are now.

But to my mind, how things are now, isn't sustainable. And it's clear that HF17 is a clean break from the way things were.
It looks to me like HF17 is just Steemit Inc's admission that a new forward is needed. Rip off the bandaid as it were.

This isn't a reflection on the other witnesses.
I have the utmost respect for @smooth, @abit and others who have been voiciferous in their opposition.
Yet I am baffled. These guys invested literally hundreds of thousands of actual cash dollars, and thousands of hours in this platform only to see the value of those investments march almost inexorably towards 0. If anything we are doing now was going to fix things, if this was "going to turn around any minute", I think that turn around would have occured. Instead what did turn around the price for a time were @dan quitting, @abit's experiment to nullify whale votes and of course the promise of HF17 which will drive business sized purchases of steem which can then be powered up and still be useful.

Just consider for a moment what HF17 means for for example!

And about those "business sized purchases"...

$100k USD is a lot of money to the likes of you and me. But for a serious business, it's barely a rounding error on the marketing budget, line item in a spreadsheet somewhere.

Point of fact. A company like won't adopt steem unless there is a way to profit from it. But a single company that size could purchase every single outstanding steem at current market prices without batting an eye. Giving a business that size a compelling reason to buy steem is perhaps the strongest reason to come out in support of HF17.

So to help this process along I've pulled data from and sorted it first by version, then by miss rate, then by name.
Miss rate is something we need to talk about really quickly. It means that the witness has missed finding a block a certain number of times.

No matter what your stance is on the HF issue. If a witness is missing a significant number of blocks, that means it needs to be brought down for maintanance. What is significant? I think anything over 100 is probably a good number.

The other thing that shocked me on this list was the sheer number of top 100 witnesses who aren't even upgraded to HF16 yet.
There were significant changes in HF16 and I have no idea how these guys are able to find any blocks at all.
Perhaps most shocking is @dantheman hasn't upgraded since 0.14 which is like September if memory serves.

If you care at all about the blockchain, no matter whether you support HF17 or not, please drop support for any witness I've listed as "Left the game entirely!" In many cases they're still producing blocks, but those blocks can clog up the network and these witnesses are making steem less reliable than it could be.

If you support HF17, please vote for those listed under Leading Us Into The Future!
If you do not support HF17, then please vote for Updated but not supporting HF17!

If you'd like to always vote for witnesses who see the same vision that I do for steem, it's extremely simple to add me as your voting proxy. You do it on the same screen where you vote for witnesses. Doing that will cause your votes to automatically match mine and I'm re-evaluating my voting decisions daily now, so proxying with me means that on the whole you like the way I think about this subject.

Either way, this is YOUR steem and you have the right to vote for who best represents the steem you want to see. So please no matter what your stance is, make sure to check your votes regularly and stay in touch with the issues, or set a proxy who will.

Disclaimer @viva.witness is owned by my company and operated by @someguy123 to our specifications.

Leading Us Into The Future!

Current RankWitnessApprovalMissVersion

Updated but not supporting HF17!

Current RankWitnessApprovalMissVersion

Falling Behind! Please Update Your Nodes!

Current RankWitnessApprovalMissVersion

Left the game entirely!

Current RankWitnessApprovalMissVersion

In order to prevent this embarassing issue from happening again, I'd like to ask you to come to github and add support for this feature request which will allow us to establish consensus on updates more quickly by expiring out "forgotten votes".

As always, this post is 100% steem powered!

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One note from me:
You listed in "Falling Behind! Please Update Your Nodes!" witnesses running nodes not only with version v0.16.0 but also with versions v0.16.1 and v0.16.2 (includes my own) and that is wrong.

The latter two are not a consensus altering releases (only affects API serving nodes and read-only nodes) so there is no difference for witnesses running v0.16.3 vs v0.16.2 or v0.16.1.
I am running v0.16.1 on my witness node and v0.16.3 on my seed node and full node + on some backup / supporting nodes.
I am also running v0.17.0 which I support as mentioned in my witness log (being neutral in worst case), currently delaying switch after reading: Patience with the Hardfork - There Must Be Consensus.


Additional notes:

There's no real opposition to the features you wish for, and they will hopefully soon be available with HF17.1
The majority of the witnesses and steemit agree that changes need to be discussed better, and ominous omnibus bills are not the style we want have this run. Businesses should be able to wait a couple of weeks, until the bigger community came to an agreement.

The missed blocks number is an all-time count. Maintenance is necessary when it grows, not depending on its size.


Thanks for catching that!
I'll update the chart right now.

Obviously I do urge you to move to 17.0 though, because it's the lack of witnesses supporting it that are keeping it from becoming consensus and as an omnibus I think we can agree there are wins for everyone.


I am one of those witnesses that are aware of some issues regarding this release, but I do not consider them as "grave". However, delaying HF a bit would not be a big deal if that is necessary for reaching a better consensus. Think of it as ordering a pineapple pizza. ;-)




Nice post! I upvoted it. I think the more witnesses we can get to update and the more users we can get to switch over their votes, the faster we will reach consensus.

I think the real problem is we have numerous witnesses who have just gone asleep at the wheel. Waking them up and also letting the ones who aren't asleep but who are afraid to speak against the louder voices know that "hey this is a good thing for everybody. There's something in here for you, no matter what your plans are for steem". Is essential to making this consensus happen.


Judging by the massive amounts of conversations I participated in with about 15 of the 19 top witnesses, no one is asleep at the wheel and everyone chipped in the discussion.

There were two main sticking points that overwhelmingly caused some of us doubt:

  • The comment rewards pool was the most controversial for a number of reasons. Some are concerned with the ratio used, some are concerned it may limit steem's utility for other types of content, some don't think it fits the KISS principals that HF17 was set out to address and is too complicated, and some may support it if the ratio was a witness parameter that could be adjusted. However, no one could stand out and explain exactly why it was a beneficial change that we should be making, so no one really threw their support behind it.
  • The 7-day payout period was another highlighted issue. My take away from the discussion on this topic was that the 7-day period is likely alright, but the fact that they removed the abuse protection (at the end of a post's life cycle) was a sticking point. The way it is designed now would allow votes at the last minute of the post's payout cycle, and not increase the amount of time left before it paid out. This leaves a vulnerable opening that could be abused by whales voting during the last hours/minutes of a post, with no one really noticing, thus draining the rewards pool.

Now, whether or not you personally feel those are reasons to delay the other features, well that's up to you to decide. We asked for HF17 to include everything (including the awesome stuff you listed out above in your post) with these two features temporarily removed. We can then have a discussion about those two features, and may or may not support including them in a future release.

There's no malice or laziness in how we approached all of this. We all want what's best for steem, and while our opinions may differ, there's very likely always a compromise that can be reached. I personally am pretty proud at the hours of conversation and polling that happened, and how well the witnesses came together to discuss these issues.


@jesta I can respect this point of view. Keep in mind that the purpose of this post is to let people know that if they want the changes from HF17 to go through, they need to vote witnesses that will support it.

I think the change to comment rewards and the change to a 7 day payout are wrong, but I'm willing to accept them as a concession to the other features that do make steem an attractive business proposition.

This isn't meant to be a name and shame for anyone running 0.16 and above. But it is there to highlight who is supporting what.


The comment reward pool could really be the best or worst thing. We don't know. It's true that making it a parameters could help us determine what are the impact of such a pool.


I won the whale vote contest - watch out! Good things coming!


I urge you to update your post to remove misinformation. :) The 0.17.0 release will not hard fork the network. Although as of now, if you don't have your sources from a previous build, 0.16.x can't be built because a necessary repository was removed.

Edit: 0.16.x may be available on Github again soon.

Edit2: I've downvoted this post because I don't believe Steem should reward misinformation about itself. I also find the ranking of the witnesses has been tailored in a meaningless way to put yours on top. Missed blocks is only a useful statistic when compared to the number of successfully created blocks.

Further, as @gtg said, the versions 0.16.2 and 0.16.3 have no impact on running a witness node. 0.17.0 is functional but will not hard fork the network, which requires 17 non-miner witnesses running it in a round after 21 March 2017 15:00:00 UTC to switch over. As only witnesses below the top 19 are running it, there can only be one 0.17.0 DPOS node per round, in the backup slot.


Updated the chart!


Thank you.


Very welcome! Thanks for your patience!

I think you make wrong assumptions here. The most of witnesses are for the delay because of a strong belief that it will lead to a better HF17 (with more consensus)... Not because they like more the current version... There are many subjects open and great debates are happening... I personally believe it will not hurt us if we delay for 1 week (for example) but we make the right tweaks that will reach great consensus... Take a look for start on this table about witnesses opinion's....

  1. Remove Posting Rate Limit
  2. The comment depth limit has been increased to 255.
  3. Comments can now be permanently edited.
  4. Comments are now paid out independent of their discussion.
  5. All comments are paid out 7 days after creation and there is no longer a second payout window
    5a. [proposed] Add meaningful abuse-mitigation to new 7-day window. Steem issue #900
  6. There is now a comment reward fund separate from posts.
  7. All payouts now look at the prior 30 days of payouts to determine the share of the reward rather than the current pending rshares
  8. Reward Balance
  9. Comment Reward Beneficiaries
  10. Delegated Steem Power
  11. Accounts can be created with a smaller fee and an initial Steem Power delegation.
  12. PoW is being removed.
  13. NTP is disabled by default

This is an excellent chart @liondani thank you for posting it!

Keep in mind this posting is to let people know who is supporting it in it's current form. Which to my mind is the correct stance.

Adopt what Steemit inc has proposed in it's entirety and see how it goes. I trust these guys to make the right decisions in part because I can see how this plays out long term and I think they have the right vision.

What I fear is that we're going to fall into the same trap bitcoin is under where nothing can happen because too many people have too many opposing ideas and don't trust the dev team to deliver the very best product for the people.

Eitherway, people should be made aware that this is going on and I hope I rang the alarm bells loudly enough that people can hear it and make up their own minds.

Hey I actually asked the people that vote for my witness to debate whether or not I should update, the answer was a clear YES, so I UPDATED and I also support the HF but went back to 0.16.1 after @steemitblog posted today that the hardfork will wait. I can assume there will be another version of 0.17.0.


Please consider coming back to 17.0 with us. I read that blog as "We at Steemit Inc, will not be acting unilaterally, so the HF is delayed until such time as you witnesses can form a quorum".

I think by people backing down on HF 17 due to the message, it hurts the cause here. These changes are absolutely the best thing to happen to steem since launch in my opinion. Also as a side effect we're seeing reduced resource consumption and a more stable node overall.


I will find out if there will be a new a version with modified changed, if so I will upgrade to that version, if not I can go back to HF 0.17.0, but I am unsure whether people on 0.17.0 will miss blocks after the HF deadline tomorrow.


People on 0.17.0 won't miss blocks if no another 0.17.x or 0.18.0 released, or if one is released and incompatible with 0.17.0 but less than 15 witnesses upgraded to that version.


Thanks, I really wasnt sure about it

'I have the utmost respect for @smooth, @abit and others who have been voiciferous in their opposition' Huh? As far as I know I have never had or expressed voiciferous opposition to the current version of HF16 HF17 (EDIT: typo). Reservations, yes, but that is hardly the same thing at all. Also, let's not fall into the trap of concluding that just because the STEEMf price hasn't mooned yet, we need any and all changes ("Something must be done! For the children price!"). Some changes, yes, may be needed (or perhaps just more time is needed; I've been around enough crypto projects to know that sometimes, it just takes time for the market to be ready to move more than anything else, especially when there are enormous issues with the initial distribution, as is the case here) but if so let's make sure they are good changes. Some in HF17 are good, but not all.


@smooth I'm not being sarcastic when I say that either. On most issues I find I defer to your opinion and you've always been one of my biggest supporters. But here you're misunderstanding my point.

Yes I believe HF-17 helps the price. More importantly it enables businesses to build on top of steem in a way they never could before. This increases adoption. I don't see a down side to any of these changes and more to the point I can see how only grabbing some but not all, could harm the value of the overall package.

I respect your opinion as I always have. We don't see eye to eye on this, but I believe you are right to stand where you are.

This is why I said "if you support HF 17, here's a list of witnesses to vote for it and if you're opposed then here is another list."

Great post and thanks for putting this all together. I think many on here share your same vision but don't really know who to vote for, this is helpful!


I'm really glad you found this helpful! Most important takeaway from all of this. Find witnesses who support your beliefs.


There are more witnesses then you expect that they do... The end result will give you the right answers... patience ...


:D Fair enough. Still the community should know and I'll add that chart to my revised posting here in a bit if you don't mind.

Thanks for the mention! Yea I like to be on the cutting edge.

Way to stay vigilant on those who were lagging! You can't have it if you don't work for it.


Thanks! I had hoped by calling everyone together like this we can assess where we actually stand with the future of steem.

Anyone on 16.3, 16.2 or 16.1 could reasonably be said to be voicing an opinion. But anyone running a node below HF16 has fallen asleep at the wheel and needs to come back to the table with the rest of us.

I just want everyone to actively vote and know who they're voting for and why, or to choose a proxy who will stay on top of it, because we are at a critical juncture and half the witnesses appear to be asleep!


And that makes even more sense if I log into the correct account first :D

Wow, thanks for sorting this all out for us. I understand much better now!

Thanks for breaking this down in such a clear and concise way.
I have one question though,the votes that I have made,will they be changed be changed automatically to follow the proxy,or will they have to be manually removed?
I confess that I'm not sure how the witness voting works in detail,I just know how to vote..
Upvoted and resteemed.


When you set a proxy, it resets your witness voting and causes it to precisely follow the proxy.


Ok,thanks,good to know.I will set you as my proxy,because I really want HF 17 to go through,I think it's a must.

thanks for sorting


The entirety of that post reads...

Due to the inability of witnesses to come to a consensus regarding Hardfork 17 this update to the Steem blockchain will be delayed until such consensus can be reached.
We have a vision for Steem and that vision includes consensus.

Which was the impetus behind this post. The commentary got long there and it made more sense to post it as a standalone blog posting. I'm hoping that by showing the otherside of the this debate, that we can come to consensus more quickly.

I'll update my post to include the link though. Thanks!