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Hive Witness

Hive witnesses[1] are block producers for the Hive blockchain that operate consensus servers called nodes. They also take part in governance activities: setting [price feeds](/wiki/Price-Feed), Hive [account creation fees](/wiki/Account-Creation), [HBD saving](/wiki/Savings) interest rates and accepting protocol changes such as [hardforks](/wiki/Hard-Fork)[2] on the blockchain. Any Hive user can run a witness node by setting up the required hardware, installing the software, creating special signing keys and syncing to the Hive blockchain.[3] Thereafter, they need to attract votes in order to be ranked, as the ranking system determines how many blocks a witness gets to produce.
## Block production When blocks are produced by a blockchain, there are 3 main methods of reaching consensus[4] for the data in the ledger: 1. **Mining** - Proof of Work (PoW) where computers compete to solve algorithms to produce a block 2. **Proof of Stake** (PoS) - block producers are chosen based on the size of their staked tokens on a network 3. **Delegated Proof of Stake** (DPoS) - members of the network use their staked tokens to vote to choose which block producers are selected Hive uses [DPos](/wiki/Delegated-Proof-Of-Stake) and the first 20 witnesses in the ranking have an equal opportunity to produce blocks on a rotating schedule and witnesses ranked 21 and up are treated as backup witnesses and given opportunities to produce blocks in proportion to the amount of staked support they receive. Hive [Blocks](/wiki/Block) are produced at three second intervals, which allows for high speed transactions and if a witness is unable to sign a block due to any kind of technical issue, signing is granted to the next witness scheduled and that particular witness is recorded as having missed a block. 10% of the daily inflation[5] is distributed among the witnesses who sign blocks, in proportion to the number of blocks that they sign. ## Witness activities Witnesses must each run a witness node which signs blocks that validate transactions and participate in Hive governance, namely 1. Setting dependable and consistent [price feeds](/wiki/Price-Feed) to promote exchange rate stability, price accuracy and dependable monetary policy[6] 2. Setting new [account creation fees](/wiki//Account-Creation). 3. Setting the [HBD saving interest rate](/wiki/Savings) on HBD which is transferred to savings within the wallet. HBD not in savings doesn't attract interest. 4. Applying protocol changes to the blockchain ledger: the community may agree on a major shift that requires changes in the core protocol of the blockchain, which is called a [[Hard Fork]]. Hardforks and key protocol changes on Hive are accepted by 17 out of 20 consensus witnesses. Witnesses accept protocol changes by updating their nodes to the latest version and those that do not update their node to the latest version will be unable to produce blocks once a hardfork has taken effect. ## Voting for Witnesses All Hive accounts with Hive Power, that is Hive staked in their wallets, may for up to 30 witnesses and the total amount of staked Hive voting for each witness is used to rank consensus witnesses. Witnesses usually attract votes based on the development services they supply to Hive, such as [Dapps](/wiki/Decentralized-Application). But to foster more decentralization, in principle anybody is encouraged to setup a witness server. There are tutorials available, also for users without specialized IT-skills [7]. Voting for witnesses is accessed from a users wallet requires using your Active Posting authority. Some frontends like [[Peakd]] or [[Ecency]] have a witness-voting in their settings. ## Further Reading [[Blockchain]] [[Price Feed]] [[Reward Pool]] [[Hive Node]] ## References 1. HIVE Whitepaper (2020) 2. Hard Fork: What It Is in Blockchain, How It Works, Why It Happens 3. 4. What Are Consensus Mechanisms in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency? 5. Cryptocurrency Inflation and Deflation 6. Monetary policy of cryptocurrencies, explained 7. ## Related Articles [[Hard fork]] [[Peakd]] [[Ecency]] [[Blockchain]] [[Price feed]] [[Reward pool]] [[Hive node]]