Articles

STEEM: The Blockchain of Choice for Steemhouse Publishing

I’ve heard enough fud lately about Steem to understand just how deeply the confidence of many users has been shaken. First by the “first million users don’t matter” rhetoric we heard echoing down from on high, then the wobbly hardfork and drama upon drama upon drama…I do understand why, in its current state, Steem does not make an attractive proposition for most businesses looking for web-based marketing solutions.

Those of us with Steemhouse Publishing come at this from a different perspective. We’re not overly concerned about the fud, because not one bit of it affects our long-term plan. All we need is the workhorse of a blockchain that we have now to continue being the workhorse of a blockchain it was designed to be, and we’re golden.

Many reading this might be tying to learn more about Steemhouse Publishing and may not know what a blockchain is. That’s to be expected, so no worries! It’s new technology, a form of electronic ledger that is distributed all over the web rather than in a single, “centralized” location. This makes it extremely secure, with multiple redundancies to the point that the entire internet would have to fail at the hardware level for it to cease working. This is a very oversimplified explanation, but that should give the average non-tekkie some context.

Blockchains are so secure and reliable that they’re frequently used to back cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, or in the case of our blockchain, Steem. Not only is stability important, however, but so is speed of transaction and the number of transactions a blockchain can process. This requires serious computing power and a series of “nodes,” or devices that each have a current copy of the digital ledger or Blockchain. Each node verifies each transaction and they all agree or disagree that the transaction is valid. If an attempt to alter, or “hack” the information is made at any point on the chain, all of the nodes still have the original data and will reject the change as being invalid. Steem has operated with a bare minimum of RPC and seed nodes since its inception. Yet it outperforms all other blockchains in existence, with a three-second transaction time and no fees. Imagine what it can do with twenty full RPC nodes and a battalion of seed nodes. The scalability of Steem is virtually unlimited. We will never outgrow it.

One other great appeal to us about the Steem blockchain is that it was launched by a U.S. company operating under domestic laws and jurisdictions. Regulation may be undesirable for the anarchist crowd, but as a U.S.-based corporation itself, Steemhouse Publishing needs that kind of establishment. Other blockchains that are introduced by offshore companies may have similar technology, but lack the extra benefit of being influenced by the same commercial laws that govern Steemhouse.

What about the drama, though? The bots? The flag wars? The whispers of pre-mining and collusion among Top Twenty witnesses? Yes, that stuff will still happen. But we’ll have our own front-end interface called Wordrow that is quality controlled and free of those things. That way when mainstream readers come to find good fiction and good, relevant articles, all they have to do is read. They won’t have to know what witnesses are. They won’t have to understand the difference between a hardfork and a salad fork. They don’t have to worry about Bitcoin being the currency of thieves. All they have to do is read and enjoy.

This will provide some of the better optics needed for Steem to obtain mass appeal and mass adoption. Right now it’s the Wild West. But look what the American Wild West eventually turned into. Somebody had to be there first to stake those claims. And we at Steemhouse Publishing thank our lucky stars every day that we were here first to carve out a territory for mainstream fiction on the blockchain.


 


Meet me at SteemFest 2018 in Kraków

Breaking News! New Witness Development!

When I became a witness partner with @Sircork a couple months ago, I knew it would confound a lot of people. A little time has passed, and I haven’t regretted one moment of this decision.

Cork and I both can be cantankerous and outspoken. Oddly enough, put us together on the same team, and we work together seamlessly. In all the time I’ve known him (almost exactly a year now,) we’ve never had a cross word or crossed wires. There’s no power struggle behind the scenes. The partnership just *works.*

One thing he and share is a similar vision for the future of the Steem blockchain. We’ve both been impressed by its efficiency and frustrated by the political maneuvering in upper-level witness ranks to “centralize” it. Both of us agree that users of the Steem blockchain should have a much louder voice in decisions that get made on their behalf. While this community is not a democratic society, witnesses are elected in the hopes that they will represent the best interest of the voters. This is not accomplished through tangible, delegated authority but with vests and hardfork voting potential of the Top 20 witnesses.

With all of this in mind, Cork and I both see that there is strength in numbers. Serving as Steemit witnesses has never been about profit for either of us, nor is it about attention or focus on our own accomplishments. Being a witness affords us a chance to amplify not only our voices, but the voices of users who entrust us with their votes. With my background in writing and publishing and Cork’s background in radio and other forms of media, we’re a sure bet for guaranteeing that the will of the people will impact the future of the Steem blockchain.

Recent events have done nothing but underscore the value of community, and how the combined efforts of many far outpace the efforts of one or two. As conversations heat up around the blockchain about the pros and cons of committee witnesses, we found far more reasons to love the idea than to resist it. This is especially true since we are both driven to see the Steem blockchain succeed at nearly any cost.

When the opportunity came to form a new witness from four existing ones, we tried to pick the idea to death in hopes it would go away. It didn’t. In fact, the more we talked, the better the idea seemed. The cool part is that nearly every current voter the four of us contacted was keen on the idea, too. This means we can come out swinging and push our ideas forward without losing momentum. The combined support for @noblewitness will give us serious legs in the witness rankings and empower four different witness partners to take a stand for your best interest on the platform.

@noblewitness will consist of @gmuxx, @anarcho-andrei, @sircork, and myself. You’ll no longer vote for any of us by name. Those witness nodes will be disabled. We will make every effort to be transparent and approachable, to demystify the role of witness for newer users, and never take any vote for granted.

We hit the ground running with the following server specs and plans to upgrade to 96GB, with an additional 96GB of backup:

64GB DDR3 RAM

Intel i7 Quad-Core Processor

2x240GB SSD

1 Gbit/s network connection

20TB bandwidth limit

Read more about the specs in the official Noblewitness announcement.

I have worked alongside @gmuxx and @anarcho-andrei for a year now, first in the Fiction Workshop at MSP and more recently in The Writers’ Block. I consider them personal friends at this point as well as partners in community-building and now a witness. On the witness announcement linked above, you will find detailed information about all of us, our projects, and what we bring to the team. I have never been more confident that an idea will work than I am about this one. So here’s to the future! Go vote Noblewitness. Find us HERE and click the green thumb’s up, or go to the Steemit witness page HERE and write us in.