Verbaltech2 - BitShares Witness Quarterly Update
Welcome to my quarterly witness report.
In this report I'll cover:
- infrastructure / technical topics
- assessment of trends / activities / BitShares politics
- crypto market prices
- status of all nodes
Infrastructure & Technical
In July I started to update one of the nodes to the 3.2.0 release, however that was delayed until after 3.2.1 was released and no other witnesses reported issues. The testnet was also updated in this past quarter. I just now noticed version 3.3.0 was released 10 hours ago, so I will be updating all of the nodes again in the next couple of days.
The amount of network traffic continues at it's elevated level as I last reported, though I haven't seen a significant increase since the elevated levels were first noticed.
I have also disabled bts_tools price feeds and I now use Zapata's price feed script based on Xeroc's "BitShares Pricefeed". More on this topic below.
Assessment of Trends / Activities / BitShares Politics
This last quarter saw the conclusion of BEOS "rainfall" and the decline of the BEOS voting strength as new depositors declined and others withdrew their BTS. I couldn't possibly quantify the extent of the decline, but I did see it reflected in the voting. The next phase of BEOS is called the "Manna" phase, and is yet another form of sharedrop or incentive to participate. See Stan's blog for details.
A very serious and disturbing trend in voting is occurring right now. It looks like a major effort is underway to either 1) destroy the BitShares platform by crashing it's price, or 2) dramatically drop the price so more BTS can be bought cheap. Almost all workers have been voted out, core being an exception thankfully, and the refund400K worker suddenly voted up to increase the worker funding threshold thus cutting off workers. Even the UI worker was voted out. This just shows how far short-term thinking has come with these whales that don't care about BitShares beyond what short-term profits can be squeezed out of it. How can BitShares possibly remain a viable project if funding for work is cut off?
Until BEOS, the strongest influence has been with proxies from the eastern cultures. With BEOS power briefly swung back to those in the west who were instrumental in setting the vision and operating principles of BitShares, based on free markets and Austrian economics. Unfortunately that balancing influence is not as effective as it once was.
I stopped feeding BitCNY and BitUSD (but continued all other feeds) in protest to the price manipulation and continual reduction of collateral requirements, at a time when they should be increased due to higher levels of market volatility. At the same time I began to dig into the bts_tools feed code, and made many improvements. However I also looked into Zapata's feed script and made the judgment it was superior to the feeds code in bts_tools, for several reasons, the main one being Zapata continues to maintain it. I still use bts_tools to provide a web interface and monitoring of all my nodes.
I need to investigate how to eliminate Zapata's script hanging, waiting for user confirmation when the market causes the price to swing to much since last publication. He has 3 settings that affect that but I never want the script to wait for user input. Rather, it should just skip publishing the feed if the markets are so volatile, no reason to stop all price feeds b/c 1 has changed too much.
I wrote a small Python script to run Zapata's script 3 times, 1) main set of assets and currencies, 2) HERO price feed, 3) HERTZ price feed. I pass the config.yaml file specific to each run as a command line option. The Python program that runs each feed is just a simple scheduler that waits a specific period of time between each run. In retrospect cron might have been a better choice to schedule feed runs, b/c if one instance hangs it wouldn't prevent subsequent runs, well at least until memory is exhaused by a bunch of zombie processes waiting for input that never comes.
I also run the feed script on 2 different servers with a 3rd feed server in reserve if necessary. This approach provides fault tolerance and redundancy as well as provide frequent price updates and spacing around the clock. There was a time when witness verbaltech2 had the most operations, or at least in the top 3 accounts with the highest number of operations, and this was due to how often I updated my feeds. I will monitor the operations count to see if that still holds true using Zapata's feed script. If it does that reflects it takes lots of operations to publish feeds. If not could be Zapata found a more efficient way to get the job done.
Despite those at the governance helm, BitShares has a shit-ton going for it. It is a very mature project with a huge list of features, including HTLC. I was surprised when I read this review of BItShares, not so much because of specific content, but rather due to how positive, comprehensive and accurate the report was. Can't find the link in Telegram right now, but I believe Alfredo has added a new HTLC tab to his explorer. Keep an eye open for it. There's a lot more HTLC activity going on right now than I thought there would be for a feature without a GUI yet. The activity I observed may be only testers, I don't know.
Full stop. So much for the "end of the bear market" I mentioned last month. It was a short lived upspike, and the bear continues its rampage. Here is the market summary since last update (all prices via CMC): BTC=$10,364.82, BTS=$0.0334, STEEM=$0.165, EOS=$3.33, PPY=$0.822. I'll list WLS when CMC does.
Gemany, node 1
Germany node 2
And the testnet server for BTS:
is greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time and attention