Our goal was to learn as much as we can about Steem - the blockchain, the community, the economics. Setting up a witness node was part of this learning journey which involved not only the IT part but also the "advocacy": engaging with the community.
Our initial hunch and interest in learning has been amply rewarded:
- the steem blockchain turned out to be one of the best, most robust, versatile, user-friendly blockchain protocols one can dream of having
- the steem community was incredibly welcoming and helpful
- the steem economics is indeed the most fascinating crypto-economics we (and many others) know of
Learning is still a big driver, but in the process we got hooked into the community. It gave us help and we want to help it back. We have a "three layer approach"
First layer: the blockchain
We strive to run the blockchain nodes as compentently as possible. As you can see in the picture above, we are quickly patching to the latest stable version (currently running 0.20.10) and have only missed 8 blocks, 6 of which were during the unfortunate HF20 events. We also store the block_log and have a backup machine "at the ready".
Running a witness is rewarded with SP. There are currently 148 active witnesses. However, the steem blockchain also requires "seed" nodes to run. Seed nodes, while not validating blocks, protect witness nodes from direct attacks and ensure the communication among the nodes.
They are less expensive to run than witnesses (they don't need as much RAM) but ... there's absolutely no reward for running a seed node ... This is probably contributing to there being only 25 active seed nodes at the moment ... and @lux-witness is maintaining one of them
Second layer: the community
We have had a wonderful time engaging with the community. In person, during the latest SteemFest 3 in Krakow and at several meetups, the latest being the one organized by @detlev in Aaachen.
We have contributed ideas such as My blockchain memory and Steembit to mention only some recent ones, as well as a framework for thinking about the best ways to take Steem forward: the framework of "Steemland", a virtual country, with STEEM as its currency
We've also got involved with and contributed to several initiatives around the blockchain such as Steem Alliance, DecentraSteem and others
And the community has given back a lot, demonstrating that steem is so much more than "blockchain technology"!
Thanks to the help of @utopian-io and the willingness of the steemians to contribute code, we managed to deliver the EFTG pilot project faster, with more features and for less budget than originally estimated.
Third layer: the outreach
We believe the success of steem is closely linked to "mass adoption". The more people and the more businesses get involved with this excellent protocol, the better. The "crypto-community" is rather unusual, we are a bit peculiar, each in a different way, and not quite "mainstream".
Mainstream people read the reports published by the Big Four accounting / consulting companies (Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, EY)
And a recently published report reads: "Kyle Lamb, Global XBRL Technical Lead at EY, says that if the EFTG is fully implemented across the EU in the future, it will bring significant benefits to investors. “It’s an incredibly powerful concept,” he explains, “because it would be a single and transparent gateway that would allow everyone to compare entities across the European market"
Mainstream people also follow other professionals on LinkedIn and read their posts, articles and updates
For the moment, these Big Four reports and LinkedIn posts talk about the EFTG pilot. But the EFTG pilot was successful in a significant degree because the right blockchain technology was chosen to implement it: the steem blockchain.
Thus, we are one-step removed from mainstream people realising that, while they were assimilating "blockchain" with Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric, something was cooking, something was brewing ... They better pay attention to steem !...
- The first article introducing the EFTG pilot
- First successful collaboration with Utopian
- The team implementing the EFTG pilot
- @jga joins the EFTG team
- Our custom "steem in a box"
- Why the EFTG pilot is likely just the beginning
- The successful completion of the EFTG pilot and what has been achieved