To be frank I had lost interest in being a witness. 1 month = $0. You can blame me if you like.
Then while I wasn’t looking, Jerry Banfield voted for my witness. Thanks @jerrybanfield , what a star!
So while I was off earning my crust, my witness was supercharged. So from out of the long grass, my witness was thrown into contention. After a day or so I received a summons from the court of the Steem oligopoly and I was offered my first ever block to process.
Literally. My witness fell over into a coma.
Drakos pointed this out to me while I was paying a visit to Steem. Thanks @drakos .
He recommended I reboot. My witness was still running but inspection of the logs threw up this error.
fork_database.cpp:43 push_block ] Pushing block to fork database that failed to link:
Apparently I’m on a blockchain fork? A restart will fix it. Was it me? Was it a bug? Who knows. Is it fixed? Who knows? In a month or two I might find out.
So it seems as a new witness, having waded through the sludge of getting the system up and waiting forever, it is quite likely your witness will be misconfigured or bugged into catatonia. That is if you ever get a block to try. Without a big leg up from @jerrybanfield I'd still be waiting.
Remember I’m just reporting what happened to me for the record. I feel people need to see how it works out for someone trying to be a Steem Witness. Booster-ism is little help to anyone.
So here is a chart of the rewards on offer to witnesses, which demonstrates the outcome of the POS oligarchy system employed at the core of the Steem system. The axis only shows every other person on the list.
Still only 96 folks get a block, with 76 getting from very little to essentially nothing. It you are outside the top 100 you may never get a sniff of a block.
Now boostering a side, unless my calculations are wrong, a Steem Oligarch is making about $3000 a month. This is a nice sideline but not a real job for someone with these kinds of technical skills.
Outside the top table the next 30 are making $3-400 a month, which is about the mining income from 5 Nvidia 1080 GPUs, call it $4000 of kit. The next 15 earn over $100 but less than $300 and the bottom 20 are earning from $18 a month to $1
My calculations are below, if they are materially wrong please feel free to correct. These types of workings rely on dredging through piles of unofficial ramblings for useful numbers and pulling logs from my Steem witness server.
So if you are outside of the oligarchy, in the $300-$400 zone, you are getting paid the same as if you spent $4000 on kit, use ccminer and did little or no work.
This comparison makes the whole witness system seem fragile to me.
I make more per month mining, a $50,000 micro-marketcap Doubloon (BOAT) coin on my notebook’s 1060 Nvidia card, than the bottom 13 witnesses make for all their trouble, and that’s not including their server costs. If you allow $50 for server costs, I’m beating the bottom 30 Steem Witnesses for remuneration mining an obscure coin with a weak gpu.
Does that strike you as a sustainable model for the crucial maintenance of the STEEM Blockchain?
It would appear that the whole $250m Steem blockchain, the spine of the ecosystem, is being driven on about $1m of rewards per year. That’s 0.25% of the coin float/market cap. For Bitcoin the equivalent miners receive 3% of the coin float per year.
It’s an interesting comparison.
Steem’s ‘proof of waiting’ witness system looks to be dramatically underpaying its janitors.
My gut tells me 1%+ of the float per year spread over a less toxic distribution model would be sensible. The top of the pyramid should be getting a full time pay packet, a Goggle style basic salary, and the goodies should roll into the top 500.
Steem witness is, after all, the engine room of this community and at least from my part of it there is coming a strange high pitch whine.
I'll likely keep you posted.