Demystifying HIVE: What are Witnesses?

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avatar of @slobberchops
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3 years ago - 4 minutes read

Demystifying HIVE is a series of bite-sized posts targeted to new Hivians and for people outside of the HIVE blockchain.

The purpose is to try and break down the many complexities of the HIVE blockchain, its acronyms, and the current facts and falsehoods associated with it.

I say ‘current’ because within 6 months some of the things I say may well no longer be relevant. It is an evolving experiment, and little remains static.

It's little wonder that the retention rate is abysmal given the huge learning curve a new person needs to endure.

Without some guidance, most give up quite soon deeming it bewildering and over-complicated.



When I first heard the word witness, I thought of ‘crime’, and then an old movie starring Harrison Ford about the Amish.

Neither are true and many newbies won’t know what the HIVE witnesses are. In a nutshell, these are the people who keep HIVE going, providing storage for your words, your images, providing communication between yourself and the infrastructure, writing HIVE dApps such as Splinterlands, dCity (Games), Peakd, 3Speak, etc…

The difference between a large centralised institution such as Facebook and HIVE is that these people are all independents and providing miscellaneous services to you, the content consumer or creator.

Think of them as MP’s (Ministers of Parliament) or Senators in the USA. You vote them in, or you don’t.

They will rarely come canvassing and knocking on your door begging for your vote, as that practice is mostly frowned upon, so if you don't even know about them, then that is perfectly excusable.

Instead of a single President, on HIVE we have a Top 100+, with the Top 20 Witnesses wielding the power to make changes to how HIVE works by majority vote.

You can vote for these witnesses and every one of you gets THIRTY votes.

Witness Vote.JPG

Do you play Splinterlands? The lead developer for this game is @yapabmatt who is currently loitering around at the number 10 slot. If you think Splinterlands is helping HIVE, then give him your vote.


He has some notes in there to say just that. He's also the creator of Keychain and Hive.engine, fundamental tools many of us use.

How about @blocktrades? This guy holds together HIVE and is the fundamental glue. Does he deserve your vote? He's currently sitting at the top of the tree.


@blocktrades has no notes to read but is probably the most important person we have on HIVE. He also runs a handy exchange here.

You might have heard about LEO Finance, and they also have a witness sitting at #34 in the Witness charts. As they are outside the Top 20 LEO Finance will not get any kind of say in the governance of changes.


Do you think they should be higher and are doing great things for HIVE? Then vote for them.

Unlike when you vote Labour or Conservative (Democrat or Republican), not all votes are equal.

The bigger your HIVE stake, the more weight your vote casts.

Is this fair? Consider the scenario if all votes were equal. I can create HIVE accounts (which will be explained in a future blog), lots of them. If they were equal there would be more manipulations due to mass fake accounts being created and used to skew the voting.

Does this mean that you as a new user yield a useless vote and should not bother?

No, as a stakeholder of ANY size you have the chance to propel or dislodge a Top 20 witness.


Use your votes and use them wisely. If you favour a project such as @curie (currently 24th on the list), then give them your witness vote.


Browse to : https://peakd.com/me/witnesses


Add a Tick to whichever witness you would like to support (far right column).


Browse to: https://wallet.hive.blog/~witnesses

It's a little more spread out in its content format, and to vote there's a small red up arrow you need to check (left).

Hive.blog voting.JPG

Don’t copy my witness votes. I have my reasons why I vote for some and not others. It’s all politics, make your own decisions.

Look outside the Top 20 and consider supporting some of these other witnesses. Besides having a say in changes, the Top 20 witnesses get a large stash of HIVE daily for just being there.

It drops off dramatically when are you are number 21 witness and beyond.

All of them have to provide hardware that is running 24/7 and it costs money, regardless of rank.


Notice that I support some outside the 20. Take time to look them up, and see what they are doing.

Some might seem to be doing nothing, so should they have your vote or be in the position they claim to be?

If you don't vote then don't start moaning about how HIVE works, or 'it's not fair'. You have your say much like everyone else, so get voting or become a witness yourself if you feel up to it.



Drooling Maniac.JPG

If you found this article so invigorating that you are now a positively googly-eyed, drooling lunatic with dripping saliva or even if you liked it just a bit, then please upvote, comment, rehive, engage me or all of these things.

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