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Messages - Thom

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Stakeholder Proposals / Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« on: June 03, 2019, 07:38:34 pm »
I have published my quarterly witness report on the  Whaleshares platform:

I am the text here as well, since some may not have access to that website:

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
All nodes were updated recently to address a vulnerability that could potentially halt the chain. This patch was announced by @abitmore and was applied to all verbaltech2 nodes the same day. Prior to that in this past quarter the new 3.0.0 release was deployed into production as was mentioned in the last update.

I have observed a significant increase in the amount of network activity as reflected in the number of connections reported by each server. This causes an increase of logs, requiring either changing logging rotation parameters or more space. I have added additional drive space to accommodate this increased traffic.

The testnet has also received 2 updates in this past quarter.

It is anticipated all nodes will soon require another update, this time to version 3.1.x.
Assessment of Trends / Activities / BitShares Politics

This last quarter has also seen the launch of BEOS. With the migration of BTS onto that platform to obtain the BEOS rainfall, a substantial amount of voting power has gone with it. This represents a concentration of voting power in fewer hands. Whether you agree with what those hands are doing is separate from the issue of centralization, however as in most everything in life balance is important.

Anyone that understands the premise of PoS and DPoS concensus knows that the power of influence is ultimately determined by how many BTS an entity has, either directly or via a proxy. Control or influence over the direction the platform evolves is not as decentralized as the number of accounts. If that were the case AND those accounts participated in voting there would be far less centralization. Voter apathy and non-participation pushed the developers to implement proxy voting to mitigate that, so the platform could evolve and move forward, but at the expense of centralization.

Until BEOS, the strongest influence has been with proxies from the eastern cultures. Now it has 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. I see this as a balancing action. I don't necessarily see it as more centralized, but simply a shift in the balance of power.

Price Feeds
I commented in the last report that the MCR bug fix has finally been released, thus it is now possible to implement algorithms to dynamically change the MCR. When BSIP42 was put into production the implementors chose to manipulate the feed price rather than wait for the MCR fix. BSIP42 was a disaster as a result, and split the community due to it's effects, and caused a black swan on BitUSD.

Despite the availability of the MCR fix, I have seen no effort to refine the BSIP42 algorithm to eliminate the price manipulation and replace it with dynamically changing MCR as a control mechanism to tighten BitAsset pegs. Why not? If you are aware of any please let me know in the comments.

Instead we see complaints against individual witnesses, that claim their feed is causing a significant (negative) influence on the price of CNY. That is simply not the case. The "official" price recognized published for a BitAsset in BitShares is the median price price published from all active witnesses. Using the median price guarantees no fringe or outlier price affects the median price. Verbaltech2 monitors his feed prices with RoelandP's witness log, which is a wonderful contribution that provides quality feedback about witnesses, including price feeds. It is the most objective tool available to evaluate witnesses.

I looked into exactly how the "median" calculation is made, and it is far simpler than I previously thought. Since the number of witnesses is always odd, it's easy to calculate (Note: not all witnesses publish feeds for all BitAssets, so the 2 middle values are averaged to define the median when the number of prices are an even number).

The median or "middle" is based on ordering all the values from low to high. The median value is the one with an equal number of values less that it and greater than it. In other words, in the middle of all values literally. Changing the magnitude of the sample at each end of the scale has zero effect on the median value, none, zilch.

There are many factors that affect a witness' feed price.Among them are which sources does the witness use, how often are they sampled, and the volatility of the market. All sources of prices are not available to all witnesses. Diversity is important in arriving at price that truly represents the market for that asset.

It appears to me that a lynch mob mentality pervades the assessment of witness price feeds, and ignores the careful design intentions built into the platform. This mentality doesn't serve the diverse needs of a world market but rather coerces conformity based on biases and agendas that don't acknowledge free trade and the difficulty imposed on witnesses to produce a feed with the sources he has access to.

I for one am glad for the BEOS voting influence (now that they have stabilized their voting) that recognizes these considerations and counter-acts this witch hunt mentality that targets witnesses based on only one narrow definition (I haven't even mentioned other very important criteria a witness should be measured by) of performance, that being price feeds.

That's all for now, but wow! This quarter has seen the end of the current bear market. Whew who! Up up and away! Here is the market summary since last update (all prices via CMC): BTC=$8,584.53, BTS=$0.067, STEEM=$0.399, EOS=$7.26, PPY=$0.904. I'll list WLS when CMC does.


Gemany, node 1

Germany node 2


And the testnet server for BTS:

Your vote for witness
is greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time and attention

General Discussion / Re: Price Feed Review
« on: June 02, 2019, 08:06:02 pm »
median does not mean correct.

the median of a mess is also a mess.

it's not difficult for one user to find what a value is correct at a moment. only when every witness' feed price is good enough the median can be a dependable value.

Then one of us is definitely wrong, and I don't think it's me. Abit has commented as have others about the nature of the median price calculation. We use the median price, not an average for the very reason to exclude large influences by individual witnesses.

This leads me to think you're only trying to manipulate prices / trades through your pushing your perspective. It wouldn't be the first time you've done that.

@binggo, I didn't understand the calculation you made in which you claim my feed prices affects the median by more than 2%. I will study it more to try to make sense of it and will comment about that later.

General Discussion / Re: Price Feed Review
« on: June 02, 2019, 01:32:11 am »
I've adjusted my feed pricing a couple days ago and have been monitoring the results.  I hope you find it more in line with expectations. 

I'd like to mention that depending on when you take a snapshot of feed prices it might not be an accurate representation of how well any witness it tracking price, with regard to how often a feed script is checking for price changes.  For example if taken just after a significant price movement it might appear that some prices are off from where they should be.  Where as, if given more time (at least 1 hour), their feed price script will make the appropriate adjustment.   We are looking at many different markets also, so picking a time where all of these have been relatively stable for a period of time would be important for having a snapshot be an accurate representation.

I'm not saying this applied to my feeds abnormal prices, just wanted to mention it, as it might for some look worse than it actually is.

I'm currently only checking once an hour for price changes due to certain free API limit restrictions.  As far as I understand it, this is still adequate.  Please inform me if this is no longer considered acceptable.

After looking at my feeds, I found it was in fact a bit off and needed attention.  I'll continue to keep a closer eye on this.  Thanks everyone for paying attention.

Indeed, but I don't believe after reviewing bitcrab's link to the "standard" he is using takes such things into account. His "standards" are simply not comprehensive enough, but that doesn't matter to him apparently, or do other factors that should be concerning the witness role, such as the number of feeds a witness provides, or how frequently they are updated, to say the least.

When I check my feeds most of the time they are < 0.1% from median. When they are checked makes a huge difference. If they are off at certain times are they off enough to skew the median by a significant amount (do my "bad" feeds skew the median by more than 1% ?) I seriously doubt it. The charts on the page in black, how are they calculated? Which exchanges / sources are used? How often are they sampled?

Just throwing up a chart of some numbers to rank witnesses' feed accuracy without that info is not helpful. If that info is available consider publishing it for the benefit of the entire BTS community.

The tool I rely on is RoelandP's witness log: As of this moment my feed for CNY is only off by 0.05 BTS from median price, that's less than $0.0034185, and that is just one witnesses' influence. Calling for witness unvote for such small deviations is a witch hunt and is ridiculous. Not surprising to see such behavior from you tho. I am surprised to see alt agreeing with bitcrab tho.

General Discussion / Re: Price Feed Review
« on: May 30, 2019, 11:45:29 pm »
I am so tired in complaining what the current witnesses have done.

I am so tired of your complaints as well.

Why not complain that gdex witness only provides 2 feeds? Why complain when witness doesn't meet >your< standards, when no standards are set? My feed as of right now is 2.1% off for CNY.

With no standard of measurement, you're complaints are meaningless. Besides, I am only 1 out of 21 witnesses, don't you understand how the price is set? 2.1% skews the median how much?

Your complaint is baseless. Better, you target witness that don't do the rest of their duties well, rather than complain about the few who don't always provide the feed the way you want it.

General Discussion / Re: Bitshares at the cross roads
« on: May 19, 2019, 06:27:31 pm »
I still have reservations about BEOS, primarily due to the favorable attitudes I've read concerning regulatory compliance by members of the BEOS team. I have much respect for Stan, OnceUponaTime , MichaelX and Dan Notestein, but I also see their track record of mistakes. We' all have one, we're all only human, and mistakes can't be eliminated. However, when mistakes become a pattern and ignored, aren't seen as a lesson to learn from, something must be done to raise awareness to a higher level, to stop the cycle.

For the record I have not participated in the BEOS rainfall. I am on the fence about it and I would hate to succumb to manipulation or bribery. It is very difficult to know the actual agenda of all the players, especially those behind the scenes, so abstaining is the best way I know to avoid that.

The main question is, is the BEOS voting power being used to restore the original disruptive, decentralized vision that BitShares was created for, or to dominate and control stakeholders towards a legally regulated, personal freedom limiting ecosystem the uninformed masses will accept? Is this a slippery slope towards incremental control, or the restoration of Austrian / free market economic principles that provide an ecosystem with integrity, accountability and promote personal financial freedom?

One question you need to ask yourself, if you don't want to see kyc and increasing regulator influence on BitShares, is whether the BTS held by those in control of BEOS deposits was intended from the start to be used to do more than facilitate the integration of BitShares and EOS, or, whether such integration requires kyc and fundamental regulatory changes to BitShares. If you don't care about that, feel free to put your head back in the sand and pay no attention to this question. If you do care I urge you to choose your course of action wisely.

I have observed the centralization of control through voting proxies, which was established to address the problem of voter apathy. It did solve the problem of apathy that paralyzed development and growth, but at the expense as time went on of centralizing control. I was not happy with the changes  imposed on BPs wrt price feeds. BSIP42 was a disaster in my mind, particularly in how it was thrust into production, and without any type of report or written conclusion to summarize the results of those "experiments". We now see a downward pressure on MCR from 175% down to 160%, rather than holding individuals personally responsible for their own collateral management. The global MCR value for an asset should be set with investor's safety, not profit as it's primary criteria. I see the influence of Keynesian economic advocates and if those are allowed to prevail we will end up with the same "brink of disaster" situation as mainstream financial markets are experiencing right now.

Perhaps we need more centralized planning to restore the vision and replace the Keynesian perspective with the superior Austrian approach. Ofc if that is to be done the centralized control must be trustworthy and be committed to doing that. I myself have more trust in those I specifically mentioned above, than I do with bitcrab and those who defer to his proxy.That's not to say I totally trust them, b/c of the regulatory attitudes they have expressed, especially wrt kyc policies. 

Whichever way you decide, the choice is currently yours to make. Choose wisely. 

Stakeholder Proposals / Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« on: April 02, 2019, 10:54:55 pm »
I posted my witness update today. You can find it on Whaleshares here:

or on steemit here:

If you find this information useful please give an upvote.

Thank you!

Stakeholder Proposals / Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« on: February 01, 2019, 05:05:26 pm »

I posted my witness update today. You can find it on Whaleshares here:

or on steemit here:

If you find this information useful please give an upvote.

Thank you!

Stakeholder Proposals / Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« on: January 02, 2019, 02:22:06 am »
I posted my monthly witness report for December today, you can find it on Whaleshares here:

If you find this information useful please give an upvote.

Thank you! 

Stakeholder Proposals / Re: Proxy:baozi - proxy for anti-dilution
« on: December 18, 2018, 10:40:26 pm »
I highly recommend that people who are voting for this proxy should think again what they are doing.

Bitshares isn't just another pump'n'dump currency but a DAC. This means we are a company that is creating services and products for paying customers.

Currently baozi is voting against every worker proposal except refund and burn workers. This is basically same thing as voting for destruction of Bitshares. Without any development we are pretty much unable to serve our customers. Without customers we can't be a succesful company and make money.

For example xeroc's worker proposals are highly valuable for DAC because they enable other businesses to build on Bitshares blockchain. By voting against these proposals, you are voting for restraining other businesses and developers using Bitshares. Is that really what you want?

Also the whole antidilution talk is misleading. There is no dilution anymore in Bitshares. The quantity of BTS is hardcapped to 3.7 billion. If you want to grow the portion of BTS that is in the reserve pool, it is much better choice to try to get more paying customers rather than deny a salary for a worker. It is true that not paying a salary for a employee is a way to save money for a company, but it is also highly risky way of action because it is very hard for a company to become succesful and make lots of money without any employees.

So I think you have misunderstood the concept of DAC. If you don't like the current model that we have now (no dilution, reserve pool) you should suggest a better model rather than bluntly hamper the development of Bitshares. Voting for baozi is not helping anybody, on the contrary it is a way to decrease the value of BTS which will harm all of us.

I totally agree with you. This seems to be the same sentiment returning as we saw in the last bear market of 2015 and 2016. It severely hurt our progress. Now that we have solid dev teams for core and UI here comes alt and boazi to HALT ALL workers under the guise of "anti-dilution".

There is no dilution going on here. The amount of BTS is fixed, set in stone.

It is crazy to push for this and I sincerely hope proxies join together to defeat this wave of ANTI-PROGRESS.

General Discussion / Re: another way to development the economic
« on: December 18, 2018, 10:28:50 pm »
How about we start punishing bad debt holders? Stripping them of their LTM would be the simplest option.

I'm all for that, a penalty for those that push for unsafe debt. Let's disincentivize those who abuse the collateral requirements. Otherwise they'll continue to do it as long as they can.

General Discussion / Re: another way to development the economic
« on: December 17, 2018, 03:46:12 pm »
Your idea makes perfect sense Alex, but need to get an attorney to weigh in if it is likely to be considered a security to USA jurisdiction. If so, perhaps maintain option of payment in BTS.

Ofc there is the issue of the changes required to witness payment / vesting code, severing it from a fixed amount of BTS per block. Not sure if that will be a major issue to deal with. Not even sure why vesting for witness pay was ever involved tho, seems that could be eliminated IMO.

If there were an option to set a "multiplication FACTOR", whereby the BTS paid per block were calculated by a formula like:

committee witness rate setting (currently 1 BTS / block) * FACTOR == BTS paid per block, then if USA witnesses want to retain current pay method their FACTOR = 1, otherwise FACTOR is set to value that takes feed price into account to achieve a USD / CNY / EUR pay rate.

That would also require additional committee parameters to set USD / CNY / EUR pay rate values.

Haven't thought this thru in detail through, so may have some issues that haven't occurred to me.

Stakeholder Proposals / Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« on: December 05, 2018, 03:53:53 am »
Where did you get that info @j.galt? Actually it wasn't far off the mark, but upon reflection I've decided to post links to my monthly report here and on steemit, with primary content being posted on the Whaleshares blockchain. So here you go:

If you find this information useful please give an upvote.

Thank you! 

I agree fox. I don't think we need the overhead of a totally new wallet in order to provide HW wallet functionality.

Not that a simple sign / transfer in / transfer out wallet design wouldn't also be nice to have, just not an initiall requirement for HW.

For anything that requires voting (witness, worker proposal), reptuation is key.

Exactly. Well put xeroc I couldn't agree more. @clockwork is a perfect example.

why don't we improve step by step?
I guess reduce MSSR will be more easy to reach the concenses.
But dynamic tuning the MCR is not acceptable for me,  at least you need to give enough time to the shorters before adjustment the MCR.
you just can't make me margin call when you decide to increase the MCR next seconds. I consider this as   manipulation.

I understand that letting witness tune MCR introduce much uncertainty, so now in my mind it will be better if we can do this in another way, like:

1.witnesses just feed market price and premium.

2.system tune MCR periodically based on the fed premium, for example the rule can be: system adjust MCR every hour, if premium is inside -2%-1%, do not adjust the MCR, otherwise, tune it 0.001(start point 1.75) to according direction. 

maybe need to set max and min limit on MCR, for example 1.25-2.

however I am not sure whether this is technological possible and whether community can reach consensus on this.

This sounds like the most reasonable proposal I've seen from you @bitcrab:
- it requires honest market price reporting
- it sets limits on MCR adjustment
- preserves baseline collateral at 1.75

Clearly trade-offs are required between various "feed factions" that want their advantage / opinions implemented. This is easier to understand, easier for witnesses. Will it work?

Depends on the goals you have. We need to define those, otherwise we'll all vacillate between appeasing one camp or another.
Main things we need to define is what is minimum safety - i.e. absolute limits on MCR and how tight the peg must be held.
Another consideration is do we need to define different sets of limits when market is "volatile", and how to define what metrics to use to say market is volatile. You could define criteria that sets a boolean "isVolatile" flag, or, it could be an analog value from 0 (stable) to 1 (volatile). Perhaps this is same or similar to what is now labeled "premium". Can't say I understand how "premium" is calculated and what factors are involved. 

Also, why not publish a report to describe all this great knowledge learned from experimentation so we ALL can learn? Still waiting on that. If you've learned so much please summarize these "golden lessons" for those of us with lessor economic skills. Please help raise our understanding with a summary.

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