Witness Update - @themarkymark

in witness •  last year  (edited)

Hi Steemit!

What a week eh?

Now that Hard Fork 20 has been successful and we are mostly back to normal, I wanted to share a witness update.

Witness Position

I am currently position #31 on the witness leaderboards. This nets me around 1,090 or so Steem/month. With all the chain downtime, the number is a bit lower.


I run three witness nodes with the following configurations, each located in a unique country.

Witness 1:

  • Quad Xeon
  • 64GB Ram
  • (2) NVMe Drives
  • 1Gbit Ethernet

Witness 2:

  • Quad Xeon
  • 64GB Ram
  • (2) NVMe Drives
  • 1Gbit Ethernet

Witness 3:

  • Dual Quad Xeon
  • 48GB Ram
  • (6) SAS 10K Drives
  • 350Mbps Ethernet

All nodes are running v0.20.5 with full replays. I take updating nodes seriously and have been the first to run the new version multiple times during this trying situation.

Communities I support

I don't usually talk about projects and communities I support and tend to do things quietly in the background. I have delegations out to the following communities:

  • Helpie (2,500 SP)
  • Helpie Witness (provide primary and secondary witness servers)
  • Helpie Fan Club (15,000 SP)
  • Minnow Support Project (1,000 SP)
  • OP Gaming (500 SP)
  • C-Squared (1,000 SP)
  • Steem Flag Rewards (500 SP)

This is not a full list of communities I am part of, just my current delegations.

I run a few bots that give out 100% free votes only with around 100,000 of my own Steem Power.

Hard Fork 20

Wow, what a forking mess eh? Well, believe it or not, we are mostly done. Resource Credit costs are starting to normalize and users are mostly back to normal. Voting Power should be 100% recovered for everyone at this point minus whatever votes they have made since the fork.

Hard Fork 20 was definitely a challenging experience for everyone. Most iterations from v0.20.0, .2, .3, .4, .5 required a replay and replays typically take 2-24 hours depending on hardware. I can complete a replay ~2 hours per box.

This experience has been trying for everyone involved. The main focus of the fork was to make onboarding new users easier and more efficient. I am not sure we have been successful at doing that. Time will tell on how the resource credits balance out, and I am sure we still have more adjustments to make. I firmly believe the resource credit system is the future and what we need to have an efficient blockchain regardless of the number of users. I also believe it is going to take time to find a balance. It is a difficult problem giving new users with no stake a reasonable experience without giving a user with just a few hundred SP a free ticket to conduct as many transactions they want on a daily basis. When you start thinking about dolphins, orcas, and whales this becomes even more difficult. It is clear a linear system is not going to work. I will continue to participate in discussions and help direct us to a system that works and maintains a healthy platform.

Why is this so damn difficult, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook does it fine.

I hear ya, and it shouldn't be difficult, but none of them use a public blockchain that has to store and synchronize every transaction for eternity. This is very complicated to scale, the amount of growth we have had since I have gotten here is mind-blowing. Around a year ago you could run a witness node on 8GB of ram, now we are around 45GB and a 150GB block log file.

This is a very unique problem that few have tackled much less attempted. On a daily basis, we dwarf the transactions of other chains like Bitcoin, EOS, and Ethereum.

Witness Support

I continue to assist other witnesses to resolve break-fix problems and provide advice and technical support. I won't get into details or name names.


I have created and maintain a Global Blacklist API that is freely available to any Steem based project to prevent abuse on the platform. The blacklist currently makes available the following blacklist in one easy to consume interface:

  • BuildAWhale Blacklist
  • SteemCleaners Blacklist
  • Utopian Blacklist
  • MinnowBooster Blacklist

If you maintain a blacklist and want to add support under the Global Blacklist API, please let me know.

You can see an example here:

My mission

My main business is Information Security and those who know me would understand why I focus on the things I do. I primarily try to protect users and the blockchain from abuse. I also spend a lot of time writing tutorials and talking in communities to answer questions and provide information in an easy to digest format.

Now for something different.

As always, I like to end my witness updates with something unrelated. While I've never made memes in my life until I arrived at Steem, I enjoy rapid-fire memes. While we were waiting for servers to replay and code updates, I made a lot of Hard Fork 20 related memes. I put them together in a post.


I prefer to laugh than get mad and frustrated. It's much healthier and far more fun.

Thanks for allowing me to be your witness. If I am not already, please consider it.


Why you should vote me as witness


Active, Present, Passionate


My recent popular posts

STEEM, STEEM Power, Vests, and Steem Dollars. wtf is this shit?
The truth and lies about 25% curation, why what you know is FAKE NEWS
WTF is a hardware wallet, and why should you have one?
GINABOT - The Secret to your Sanity on Steemit
How to calculate post rewards
Use SSH all the time? Time for a big boy SSH Client
How to change your recovery account
How curation rewards work and how to be a kick ass curator
Markdown 101 - How to make kick ass posts on Steemit
Work ON your business, not in your business! - How to succeed as a small business
You are not entitled to an audience, you need to earn it!
How to properly setup SSH Key Authentication - If you are logging into your server with root, you are doing it wrong!
Building a Portable Game Console

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As I've listened to you, your calm style and willingness to stand by your positions while actually listening to feedback has brought a sense of trust.

I appreciate your blacklist and your attention to the job of witness.

Hence, you have my vote.


"It is clear a linear system is not going to work."

Yes, I get that. A system that makes life pleasant and easy for new users, but not so easy that they can run spam bots, with an exponential scale thereafter makes a lot of sense.

"Around a year ago you could run a witness node on 8GB of ram, now we are around 45GB and a 150GB block log file."

Thanks for the report. That is indeed a daunting statistic. One has to think what that means for one year from now, and a decade from now!!??

How is this to be managed? What workarounds are there? Like you suggest, there are always solutions to be found, if we remain levelheaded, and remember to have fun and laugh about it, when it all seems a bit much.

Doubt you've had much sleep, but thanks for being a good witness.

I’m hoping we have sort of checkpoint system so it is easier on resyncing.

I think it's safe to upvote now :) Thanks for the update. I think you should list what you do for the community that others don't see or ignore to see unless you point it out. It's not tooting your own horn, it's just what it is.

Most people don't understand what you do and just chalk it up to 'owning a bidbot'. If they see past that they'll realize you need to be on that top 20 and once you're in there, you don't need a bidbot to fund what you do for all of us.

You're one of the selfless guys we have dealt with on Steemit. Thanks.

And thanks for the !pancakes and !popcorn. Looking forward to what great projects you will create for this platform.

Thanks for contacting Pancakes Express!

Would you like to order pancakes?

Please upvote this comment with your order:

$0.01+random delicious pancake
$0.05+excellent pancakes suited for a king or queen
$0.25+party pancakes
$1+best pancakes we have ever made
$?it's ninja!

If you would like to order your own pancakes, just make a comment !pancakes anywhere on the blockchain and we will send you a menu.

Great update and particularly relevant with the attention that witness voting has been getting lately due to the issues with the latest Hard Fork. It think these updates will become more important as witnesses are now sensed to be accountable to properly govern the blockchain. I think involved witnesses like yourself will be key to the future of the blockchain as well as those that bring new development ideas in the future. Thanks for sharing!

would you consider making a website for your promotion bot where most of the delegation related actions can be done centrally and with record of historical ROIs for delegators?

I don't have a lot of delegations to justify that, 98% of my delegation is one user.

I see ..maybe that would be a good start to get a more diverse delegator pool...just a thought !!

good job brother... i also heard that popcorn is back..

is this true?


Hi @themarkymark!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 8.062 which ranks you at #29 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has not changed in the last three days.

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 207 contributions, your post is ranked at #1. Congratulations!

Evaluation of your UA score:
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I think we should have had a heads up. I would like to see a prompt like the QA for a news post frequently updated by witnesses. Some of them didn't know about the sudden change (allegedly) lol
I just wanna understand the RC and how it works. I'll get there. There are many without...only heard from a few. May God bless you for being brave and taking responsibility. Nice. ;)

Thanks for all your support of the communities and your witness work. It is appreciated. It's been a dramatic week or two on steemit, but we're getting back to normal. I want to see how it works for the next wave of users.

Thanks for your update, I'm glad that you got #OPgaming 500SP in delegations, it means a lot to us, happy that another gamer is a witness of steem!

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Do not miss the last post from @steemitboard:

SteemitBoard knock out by hardfork

Support SteemitBoard's project! Vote for its witness and get one more award!

It has been rough but honestly it made for some really good buying ops of steem ;)