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Messages - Thom

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1
General Discussion / Re: Shorting Attack Protection?
« on: September 25, 2019, 03:25:29 pm »
My idea is essentially to stop maintaining the peg when we can't afford to maintain it.

The cost to maintain the peg "in all conditions" is simply too big for us. Better to give up at some point.

You're scaring me @abit, I agree. But it's not consensus, is individual move. 

2
Stakeholder Proposals / Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« on: September 03, 2019, 06:02:57 pm »
Welcome to my quarterly witness report. For node performance graphs please see them posted on whaleshares.

In this report I'll cover:
- infrastructure / technical topics
- assessment of trends / activities / BitShares politics
- crypto market prices
x status of all nodes (please see whaleshares link above for performance graphs)

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](https://www.google.com/url?client=internal-uds-cse&cx=011445933062884569876:-jmpkfnkicw&q=https://steemit.com/bitshares/%40stan/beos-spacedrop-manna-from-heaven&sa=U&ved=2ahUKEwiAvIqSxLPkAhUhnq0KHWTOAIEQFjACegQIDhAB&usg=AOvVaw1GBIpyCrMf-SRq1zXqmZhb) 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.

Price Feeds

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.

Cryto Market Price Update
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.

3
As the poll worker proposal 1.14.210 has been voted active and got more support than the "do not change" worker proposal 1.14.211, MCR of bitUSD will change from 1.6 to 1.5.

The change will happen after  UTC 00:00 21st, Aug, 2019.

Every witness is requested to update the feeding script to publish 1.5 as MCR of bitUSD, please do the job after UTC 00:00 21st, Aug, 2019 and finish before UTC 00:00 23rd, Aug, 2019.

For more information about the poll for this change, please check https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=28670.0

I have complied with this change, but for the record I don't like it at all.

4
Stakeholder Proposals / Re: Proxy: dls.cipher
« on: August 15, 2019, 03:17:00 pm »
Thanks for your support DL.

Once again, voted out. This time by biggest delta, was in the 600 million vote range, now in the 400s. I appear to have lost the support of 2 proxies early yesterday.

I just finished upgrading my feeds to use Zapata's feed script, but can't put it into operation while being voted out.

5
Sounds like a good thing to try @Bangzi. I don't see a downside, unless it's too complex or difficult to implement. I applaud you recognizing the concern of under-collateralization.

I do suspect however that the problem with this approach will be in identifying only the under-collateralized accounts in a workable fashion, but let's see what the devs say about it.

If it were easy to identify those accounts, I would love to see them published. Perhaps public shaming might be an adequate disincentive to minimize the behavior.

6
General Discussion / Re: Price Feed Review
« on: July 16, 2019, 03:25:41 pm »
Those interested in this topic may also want to review https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=20792.msg332496#msg332496 as I just posted a reply there, and Thule has responded.

7
Stakeholder Proposals / Re: Proxy: xeroc
« on: July 16, 2019, 03:21:30 pm »
Why this argumentation now and not before when GS Protection have been voted in ?
Am I the only one required to be responsible here Thule? I don't know why other witnesses failed to provide arguments, but I have been pushing against price manipulation since before the BSIP42 fiasco.

Also i disagree about bad debt holders behavior.They took debt to push the ecosystem of bitshares.If some people start collecting all stablecoins from that bitassets and keep holding them even in a downtrend
Would you please elaborate on this point? I don't understand it.

what do you want the debt holders to do if there is no USD they could buy in a reasonable price range ?
I want them to manage their own debt better. If they wish to trade in a volatile market, they need to increase their collateral. It's not a difficult concept to understand. Problem is traders see collateral as a limitation of how much profit they can gain rather than as a necessary means of providing trading safety in such markets.

A few people and workers sucked out majority of USD.
I believe that is irrelevant to discussion of GS "protection".

8
Stakeholder Proposals / Re: Proxy: xeroc
« on: July 16, 2019, 02:59:29 pm »
Please Unvote 9 Witnesses that have No Feed Global Protection for BitUSD.

liondani, verbaltech2, delegate-1.lafona, xn-delegate, abc123, xman, fox, roelandp, in.abit

https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=28662.msg332430;topicseen#msg332430

It would be nice if you said what this Feed Global Protection is. Your call to unvote witnesses for some fictitious "protection" just shows how the need to reform expectations about GS.

There is NO SUCH THING as GS protection besides people learning to manage THEIR OWN collateral properly. This platform was built to provide trading safety for all participants, but UNDER THEIR OWN PERSONAL CONTROL.

Those who cry for price manipulation as a means of "GS Protection" are pushing their responsibility for collateral management onto others. It is  irresponsible and causes everyone to pay for it. Black Swan events will NOT STOP until this behavior is disincentivized. This is the 2nd black swan of BitUSD in under 1 year.

How long will this be tolerated? As long as those with voting power continue to allow the draining the reserve pool through subsidizing bad trading behavior of those who refuse to manage their collateral properly.

I have found no info that anyone has used the MCR fix (which took devs a very long time to implement, test and deploy into production) to control feeds better. Why not? Why ask for fake price feeds (changing prices ignoring feed sources, i.e. price manipulation) to protect a bad debt position?

Such repeated behavior is killing whatever integrity Bit Assets had on this platform. Just shows how far the Austrian economic principles of free trade have been corrupted in favor of mainstream Keynesian thinking that is destroying economies worldwide, and how short sighted people are in not seeing it occur right before their own eyes.

Until I see more responsible actions taken I have stopped feeding CNY and USD prices to remove this witness from participating in further corruption.

If you call for unvoting witnesses for not publishing specific feeds, make sure you also call for unvoting witnesses that refuse to publish ALL feeds (gdex-witness, abit, magicwallet.witness, xn-delegate, delegate.freedom, xman, witness.hiblockchain and sahkan-bitshares), or come up with a list of BitAsset feeds all witnesses must supply or be voted out. Such a list does not exist now, so calling for witness removal is premature based on which BitAssets feeds are or are not published.

Any idiot can call for unvoting anything, workers, witnesses, committee members etc, that is what we here in the USA call freedom of speech. Those same people show their lack of responsibility and ignorance by not providing good reasons, and those who blindly take such action without such reasons show they are simply order followers who do the bidding of their commanding overlords, just like the inhuman monsters that killed millions in Nazi Germany in WW2.

When will this attitude of violence, aggression and irresponsibility end? When good men step up and take action to stop it, and unfortunately I don't see much of that going on.

9
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.

Amsterdam


Gemany, node 1

Germany node 2

Singapore

And the testnet server for BTS:

Your vote for witness
Verbaltech2
is greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time and attention


10
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.

11
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: https://roelandp.nl/bitshareswitnesslog/ 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.

12
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.

13
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. 

14
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:
https://whaleshares.io/@lets-share-waylz/6jah3w-verbaltech2-bitshares-witness-update

or on steemit here:
https://steemit.com/bitshares/@full-steem-ahead/verbaltech2-witness-update-for-1st-qtr-2019

If you find this information useful please give an upvote.

Thank you!

15
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:
https://whaleshares.io/stateofthewitnesses/@lets-share-waylz/verbaltech2-bitshares-witness-update

or on steemit here:
https://steemit.com/bitshares/@full-steem-ahead/verbaltech2-bitshares-witness-update

If you find this information useful please give an upvote.

Thank you!

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