Interview with a Witness – yabapmatt

I recently met Matt Rosen (@yabapmatt) online and got a few minutes to pick his brain. Matt is a witness for the Steem blockchain (you can vote for him here) and a prolific developer who has created some great tools for Steemians, including Steem Bot Tracker and the Community Bot.

Witnesses are an important part of the Steem blockchain, which every Steemian can vote for. You should, in fact, take time to vote for Witnesses, as they are the ones running the blockchain nodes we all rely on.

What brought you to Steem?

Despite having briefly mined Bitcoin in 2012, I didn’t really get interested in cryptocurrencies until last summer (when they became almost impossible to ignore). Around that time I started to spend my spare time reading and learning about various cryptocurrencies, how they work, etc and also investing in them.

I don’t remember specifically how I found out about Steem – I’m guessing that I probably ended up reading an article on Steemit.com at some point during my research – but whatever it was, I was instantly very intrigued by the concept and signed up and started to see what it was all about.

What got you interested in becoming a Witness?

Once it became clear that I was going to be making a serious commitment of time and money into the Steem platform I wanted to both gain a deep technical and conceptual understanding of how it works and also to have a say in the future direction of the platform. Becoming a witness was clearly a great way to help achieve both of those goals.

How long have you been coding? What have you developed for Steem?

I started coding when I was around 9 or 10 years old. This was in the early 90s and I wanted to make my own video games. I still want to make my own video games and I have some neat ideas for crypto-based games, but that’s a topic for another day!

My first real Steem project was the Steem Bot Tracker website. When I first started using Steem I quickly realized the potential of buying upvotes as advertising to promote your content and grow your following.

At that time there were a few different vote buying services but you had to kind of stumble upon them and they all worked differently and it was overall a very difficult and not user-friendly experience. So I built the site to help fix some of these issues and based on its success I think it did a pretty good job of that.

Then once the site had been running I encouraged the owners of the services featured on the site to make a number of changes to improve the user-friendliness, transparency, and overall quality of the vote buying business. In that process I found out that they all mostly used one software package that didn’t support any of those features.

So that’s why I developed the Post Promoter voting bot software and I created the @postpromoter account just to test it. I released the software with a free, open source license so that anyone can use it and now it’s used by the vast majority of the vote buying services available. I also continue to update it regularly with new features that are requested by service owners and/or the community.

In addition to those two I have also developed a community-based voting bot that communities can use to promote their members’ posts, a price feed tool for witnesses, and a JavaScript SDK that allows websites to easily accept payments in Steem or SBD.

What long term plans do you have if you were to become a top 20 witness?

Whether or not I become a top 20 witness my long term plan is to be able to work on Steem projects on a full time basis. I have a very good job currently and a family to support so I’m not going to rush into anything, but that is what I would ultimately like to do. Being a top 20 witness would certainly help with that, but I don’t expect, nor am I planning, for that to happen.

Regardless of where I rank on the witness list, I will continue to do what I can to try to steer the platform in a way that I think will best guarantee its long term success.

With all the hard work Matt is doing to make Steem great, I’m glad I had the opportunity to talk to him and showcase his portfolio. This is why I’m long term bullish on Steem: developers like him are incentivized to create awesome products that make this blockchain even more useful!

Have you used any of these tools? Tell us about them in the comments below.


You can vote for Matt as a witness here by finding @yabapmatt and clicking the Up arrow next to his name.


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