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 https://steemit.com/hardfork-17/@steemitblog/patience-with-the-hardfork-there-must-be-consensus
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.
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 busy.org 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 medium.com 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 https://steemd.com/witnesses 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!
Updated but not supporting HF17!
Falling Behind! Please Update Your Nodes!
Left the game entirely!
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!