Steem Witness Survey V1

In my last witness update post I promised to post more often, so here I am doing my best to keep that promise! The @witnesssurvey account has recently put out - you guessed it - a witness survey, to which I, along with all of the other witnesses, have been asked to respond.

This seems like a great initiative, and I want to first say thank you to everyone who has spent time putting this survey together and to everyone who has submitted a question!

What is your position/stance on bid-bots (ownership/delegations/opinion)? - @abh12345, @ammonite

I've always held the belief that the concept behind paid content promotion services is a great one. An important value driver behind the STEEM token is being able to use it to reach the Steem audience, and that's what content promotion services (commonly in the form of bid-based voting bots) are trying to accomplish.

While the concept is very good, the implementation leaves much to be desired (from the Steem UI perspective, not the services themselves), which in my opinion is the reason behind most of the issues and complaints. I could go on for pages about this, but the short answer is that I am very much in favor of a system where STEEM tokens can be used to promote content (i.e. advertising), and where it is displayed clearly as such in the various user interfaces.

What does the witness want to do to make the blockchain more user-friendly and help to on-board new users. What do THEY personally want to see done and what will they do to get it there? - @ericwilson

The user-friendliness of the blockchain all comes down to the user interfaces built on top of it. does a poor job at this, and since they are still the primary user interface it makes the whole blockchain seem not user-friendly.

I haven't seen much outside-the-box thinking on how to make a really user-friendly Steem interface. I think this is for two main reasons, (1) since condenser is free and open source, most sites use that as their base rather than reimagining things from the ground up, and (2) most of the projects are run by developers who don't typically have the best sense of user-friendliness.

I want to see some new UIs be created that really come at it from a completely different perspective. Something you never even considered before that makes you go "wow, I never thought of doing it like that!". I hoped that the "Destiny" project from Steemit, Inc would be that project, but unfortunately it seems like that will no longer be happening so it's now up to the community to take the reins on this one.

As for what I have personally done to make it more user friendly, well I don't think you'll find a simpler way for an average person to get an account and start using the blockchain than Steem Monsters.

Do you think votes for witnesses should last indefinitely or should they time out (or perhaps decay over time) so that periodically voters will need to reevaluate and affirm their positions by recasting their votes? - @harvhat

I'm very much in favor of vote decay on a conceptual level; however, on a practical level I don't think it's something that we should spend any of our limited resources working on any time soon. There are much more important things to be done which will have a much larger impact on the future of the platform.

Do you think the 30 witness votes each steemian gets is the correct number, especially in light of the fact there are only 20 top witnesses to be seated? - @harvhat

This is one that, frankly, I don't really know. A lot of smart people chose the 30 witness vote number and agree it's the correct amount (including @gtg here) so for the moment I am trusting those more knowledgeable than myself in this regard. In the meantime I have made a note of this because I would like to make sure I fully understand the reasoning behind this choice.

What is a concern or two that you have about the #steem blockchain? - @johnspalding

My main concern is that it lacks strong leadership. Many will say that it doesn't need leadership because it's a decentralized platform, but being decentralized doesn't remove the need for strong leadership.

Bitcoin is an anomaly in that regard, and if we were one of the top cryptos I wouldn't be worried about this, but as a struggling platform in a sea of other projects run by impressive teams, it's absolutely essential that we have strong leadership that can push the project in the right direction and inspire confidence in users and investors.

What are you hopeful about for the #steem blockchain? - @johnspalding

I'm hopeful that sooner or later an app will be released, built on top the Steem blockchain, that really breaks the mold of what we've seen so far. Something with a real team and resources behind it, with a solid business model and strong marketing.

Something like that will really open people's eyes, particularly investors, to what the Steem platform is capable of. I am doing my best to make Steem Monsters fulfill that goal, but I'm hopeful that other projects that are more focused around the core content publishing / social media aspects of the platform will do that as well.

What is the monthly cost of equipment? - @abh12345

The equipment costs to run my witness are approximately $400 / month which includes four witness nodes and one seed node.

Where do your earnings go? - @abh12345

A portion of my witness earnings go to pay someone who helps run my nodes. I think it's vitally important for any critical infrastructure that there's more than one person available to step in if there are issues. You can rest assured that, even if I end up in the hospital the night before a hard fork, my nodes will be taken care of.

Aside from that, I work on Steem full time and that is the only source of income for myself and my family. I'm fortunate that between my savings and earnings from Steem Monsters I don't currently have to power down and sell any of my Steem Power to pay my bills.

As a result, I'm currently delegating about 50,000 Steem Power to help support promising people and projects on the platform.

[What are some of your] Current projects? - @abh12345

In addition to Steem Monsters, which takes about 100% of my time, I'm also working on the Steem Keychain browser extension (for which we just pushed a big update that I will post about soon), and starting to work with @harpagon on his Steem Smart Contracts sidechain platform, which is amazing and you should really check it out if you get the chance!

[Will you provide an] Alt accounts list? - @abh12345

Of course. In addition to @yabapmatt, I also own the @postpromoter account (no surprise there I'm guessing), and the @mjrcrypto account which is for my IRA funds which I invested in STEEM. Lastly, there is @abide which is my "cold-storage" account for liquid funds...and, because, you know, "the dude abides".

I'm also co-owner of @steemmonsters and @steembottracker and I have a whole slew of other random accounts, created for various reasons, which I don't use and which don't hold any funds.

What are the benefits associated with being a witness? - @klassic

The main benefit, in my opinion, is really being able to see and experience first-hand how the Steem platform works, both technically and non-technically (I'm sure there's a better word here but it isn't coming to me).

Once I started to become heavily involved in the platform last year, I wanted to learn everything I could about it and how it works. The best way to learn about something is usually to go do it, so that's why I decided to become a witness in the first place.

How do I become a witness? - @steemingmark

Becoming a witness is relatively easy, but earning the support of the community is hard. To become a witness, you just need to set up a server running the steemd software and contribute to the block production. There are many guides for how to do that, but here's a good one (though a bit out of date).

What do you think the SBD [STEEM] price for a new account should be? - @harvhat

It's a balance. Accounts have a real cost as far as resources required for running the network and there is a limited namespace, so the cost should be just high enough to protect that. Now that extra resource credits can be used to claim free accounts, and the price of STEEM is so low, I would support increasing the cost.

In any case, just creating an account doesn't get you very far, so I think the more important question here is about how we can allow new accounts to perform a reasonable number of transactions on the blockchain without it being prohibitively expensive.

The concept of RC delegation pools is one of the best ideas I've heard to help accomplish that, and I'm pushing to have that get implemented in one of the next hardforks.

What is a witness and how I become a good worker? - @rubaethsyed

At the bare minimum a witness is someone who contributes to the block production by running the steemd software. To be a good witness requires much more than that and I talked a bit about what I feel are the responsibilities of the witness in my latest witness update post.

Have you implemented any new procedures for evaluating potential hardforks? - @patrickulrich

Once the next proposed hard fork is ready to be evaluated, I plan to work with the other witnesses, Steemit, Inc., and the rest of the community to create a comprehensive test plan by which we can evaluate the changes. A lot of people say we need more testing, but everyone randomly testing things on an ad-hoc basis won't work. We need an organized test plan which lists all of the features of the blockchain, not just the new changes, and how they are expected to work.

Additionally I plan to organize the creation of, and help fund, a bug bounty program to heavily incentivize people to thoroughly test the changes and report bugs. I can almost guarantee that a lot of the bugs with HF20 would have been caught if there was enough money on the line.

How does a new user make the availability of his vote known to the cabal of witnesses wannabes trying to overthrow the current witness regime? - @grimgriz

There's a whole lot of connotation behind the wording of this question. I would ask why you're concerned about the availability of your vote being known? Regardless, if you own Steem Power then you are a stakeholder in the platform, and your witness votes are one way you can influence the platform to push it in the direction you want it to go.

So I would say that you should figure out what you want to see happen on the Steem platform, and find and vote for witnesses who support that same vision.

Should we have interest for SBD? - @patrickulrich

In the current market conditions I would say definitely not. The only time I would support interest for SBD is if it's trading significantly under the peg and the debt ratio is significantly under 10%.

What takeaways do you have from the Hardfork 20 issues that occurred? - @patrickulrich

I covered that in my most recent witness update post.

Do you think 20/21 top witnesses a good number or should there be more or less? - @harvhat

In my opinion it is a good number, mostly based on the fact that it has been working very well for a long time (in crypto time that is). I would have to see pretty strong evidence why a different number is better before considering changing it.

Let me know what you think!

Let me know what you think of my responses to the witness survey questions in the comments and I'll do my best to respond when I can. It's great to see an initiative like this and I want to once again thank those that took the time to put this together and everyone who has submitted a question!


These are really great answers.

I wonder what your ranking is?

Let's say I discovered a bug / exploit in Hardfork 20. Who would I go to with that?

I'm currently at rank 17, which you can check here:

Also, the best place to report a bug is on the GitHub repo for Steem: but if you're not comfortable doing that you can always ask one of the witnesses to help you or even just make a post about it!

i hate hard fork 20 many investor boredom from steem and power downed i believe adsence advertisement will be good idea for steem platform revenue generation.

I believe it's the low steem price that is to blame for that, and not HF20.

HF20 removed the conservative cushion that SBD had with the intention to artificially overinflate the SBD supply. I voiced my opinion that this was dangerous. I also recommend that witnesses and Steemit Inc consult economic experts before rolling out this change, which never happened. Now we have SBD haircut for the first time ever.

I have one more question to add:
Are you going to accept future changes to our currency without consulting an economic expert?

There would have been the same SBD "haircut" with or without the change in HF20. Those two events are not related and the timing is merely coincidental. @timcliff, who proposed and coded the change, had very solid reasoning for it, and I consider him and a number of the other top witnesses at the time who approved and supported the change to be experts in these matters.

So that is a NO or YES?

It's an "it depends". If I feel that a change requires bringing in an outside opinion then I will pursue that. If I don't think it requires that, such as in this particular case, then I won't.

Thanks, I think we all can appreciate the consideration to perform a proper review if it is necessary.

It could be as simple as going to your local college and finding a professor of economics. Someone that has been trained in economics and has dedicated their self to the field. I'm sure that a professor of economics will be thrilled to explore it. The professor may even get some students to perform a case study on the currency and possible outcomes with the change. You might even intrigue the professor enough to join.

Finally, your voters will appreciate that you took the initiative to get a proper review.

That's a great idea, regardless of whether or not there are new proposed changes to the Steem economic model. You also don't need to be a witness to do it :-)


Hello, sorry for off topick, but I dont know how to contact you. I have your code for upvoting bot, but it is not paying to delegators. Do you maybe know what it might be wrong.

Thanks for the detailed answers. Resteem

Hi @yabapmatt!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 8.264 which ranks you at #17 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has not changed in the last three days.

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 226 contributions, your post is ranked at #10.

Evaluation of your UA score:
  • Your follower network is great!
  • The readers appreciate your great work!
  • You have already shown user engagement, try to improve it further.

Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server

Hi, @yabapmatt!

You just got a 1.19% upvote from SteemPlus!
To get higher upvotes, earn more SteemPlus Points (SPP). On your Steemit wallet, check your SPP balance and click on "How to earn SPP?" to find out all the ways to earn.
If you're not using SteemPlus yet, please check our last posts in here to see the many ways in which SteemPlus can improve your Steem experience on Steemit and Busy.

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 upvoting this reply.

I finally have some time to read this post. You weren't kidding when you promised you would write more! This one post is almost as long as your techie ones for SM. :)

Additionally I plan to organize the creation of, and help fund, a bug bounty program to heavily incentivize people to thoroughly test the changes and report bugs. I can almost guarantee that a lot of the bugs with HF20 would have been caught if there was enough money on the line.

I think it is pretty awesome that you're taking the reigns on this one and implementing a bug bounty program. I'm surprised no one in the top 20 witness list took these steps before you.

Thanks for taking the time to answering these questions. It does let us get to know you better as a witness. You are one of the witnesses I proudly support and definitely glad you're up there to contribute your thoughts.

I also have to thank abide for the opportunity to grab some great SM cards on the market. I'm excited about SM ranking #1 on!

Thank You @yabapmatt
Interesting TANK in this Battle..........


hi @yabapmatt I'm one of users of @postpromoter .
And I just send 10STEEM for biding but it move on to the next round.
It reduce 25 percent of compensation for curation.

Can I refund it?

krytonika get vote in last round,

and I'm in Current Round.

But I sent it before Krytonika.

Ho Ho Ho! @yabapmatt, one of your Steem friend wished you a Merry Christmas and asked me to give you a new badge!

SteemitBoard wish you a Merry Christmas!
May you have good health, abundance and everlasting joy in your life.

To see who wanted you to receive this special gift, click here!

Click here to view your Board

Do not miss the last post from @steemitboard:

Christmas Challenge - The party continues
Christmas Challenge - Send a gift to to your friends



(Lark did not post it here yet)

Hi - @yabapmatt, I know you have more than enough going on, but if you ever have the opportunity, it’d be really useful if your curation rewards estimator tool was a bit more compatible with web browsers on iPhones.

As is appears to me, the window to enter the account name is unable to be effectively scroll up to enter info. If you scroll up, if scrolls right back down so that form field can’t be populated.

Thanks in advance if it’s a simple adjustment you feel is worth the time given your schedule.

My view:


Dear @yabapmatt

I didnt see you posting anything in very long time. Are you okey there? Hope you didn't give up on Steemit completely?

Hope to see you here again one day.


Oh man I have definitely not given up on Steem! I don't post a lot because I have so much development work to do on Steem Monsters and some other Steem-related projects that I literally don't have any time left to post. But I know it's important to post and keep everyone updated so thanks for the reminder!

Dear @yabapmatt

Thank you for your prompt reply.

I don't post a lot because I have so much development work to do on Steem Monsters and some other Steem-related projects that I literally don't have any time left to post

That make sense. I didn't know that you're the one behind Steem Monsters. If you would ever need some extra exposure to any of your steem-related projects then let me know. I will be happy to help.

I was wondering if you would consider supporting my efforts in building a crypto community here on Steemit.

Since HF20 took place, myself, along with a few other active "Steemians" decided to put in extra effort into making our little community stronger. And community build mostly on mutual engagement and support instead of financial rewards.

I recently delegated over 3500 SP to a group of 80 active steemians who struggled with low RC levels (resource credit). And the results has been great so far. One of my latest posts reached over 800 comments, which I found insane

Those results are only proving that our efforts are worth something. The only thing is that I can only do "that much" with my current resources.

Perhaps you could consider supporting our efforts and delegating part of your SP for a period of time while you're not active on Steemit?

Please let me know what do you think. I will appreciate every feedback, regardless of your decision.


Thank you for your transparency and some great answers. I think youre only one of 2 people i vote for in the top 20 and Im really hoping the rest of them will take up this challenge with similar aplomb.
Thanks again and best wishes to you and your family.