First Decentralized Witness Candidate — Rogier Eijkelhof

Rogier Eijkelhof from The Netherlands

This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. After 22 months of all publicly known witnesses being operated by founder Tony Churyumoff, we have finally arrived at the point where the network is gradually going to be decentralized!

I am very pleased to introduce to you our first decentralized witness candidate: Rogier Eijkelhof from The Netherlands.

I urge you all to watch this video interview to get to know him better.

Valerius Coppens (Head of Strategy) interviews Rogier Eijkelhof

If you don’t have time to watch the whole interview Rogier also wrote a short summary of his crypto projects and his software company:

Arnhem Bitcoincity is our project we started early 2014. We were enthusiastic about Bitcoin (or cryptocurrency in general, but that was mostly just Bitcoin back then) but there were very limited possibilities to actually use Bitcoin in practice. Our goal was to make Bitcoin more accepted, more accessible, and more used for every day payment purposes. In order to do so, we approached several business in Arnhem, The Netherlands (where we live) explained them about Bitcoin, and offered them a way to accept Bitcoin very easily.
And more importantly, free of charge or risk or volatility or investment or technical hassle. For this purpose, we developed BitKassa (more below), which started out as a Bitcoin payment processor. We wanted to make sure there was absolutely no barrier (technical, financial, practical, or otherwise) for any merchant to give Bitcoin a try.
We started with 15 merchants (mostly restaurants and pubs) and nowadays there are almost 120 shops, businesses, and other places here in Arnhem that accept Bitcoin. In May 2019 we will celebrate the 5th anniversary of Arnhem Bitcoincity!”
BitKassa is our Bitcoin payment processing service. We started this mainly as a tool for merchants, to make it as easy as possible for them to accept Bitcoin. Using BitKassa is really a no-brainer, it was developed with the goal to allow any employee of any business with any random internet device (phone, tablet, laptop, whatever) to accept Bitcoin immediately.
Whenever a customer wants to pay with Bitcoin, the merchant (or their employee at the cash register) simplify specifies the amount in euros. The customer is charged the equivalent amount in Bitcoin (based on current market price, we add zero fee, this is a free service) and as soon as the customer sends the bitcoins, we convert it to euros and the merchant receives the amount on their bank account.
Of course we try to stimulate merchants to actually not convert the bitcoins to euros, but just keep the bitcoins instead. Fortunately, more and more merchants are doing so. Our ultimate goal would be for merchants not to depend on services like BitKassa anymore, as they could simply have their own wallet and customers can pay to the merchant’s wallet directly. But that’s obviously a slow process and probably something further down the road. For now we are still in an early adoption / migration phase, where a service like this can help people to make the switch and give crypto a try.
Besides the payment processing service, we later also added a broker service where anyone can directly buy or sell bitcoins. Unlike the payment processing service, this broker service is not free, we charge a small commission rate (currently 1%). This currently generates some income which helps us keeping the payment processing service free.
Note that so far we have been doing Bitcoin only, but obviously we are looking at other crypto currencies as well.”
BenVista is my main business (I co-own the company) and my regular day job. It’s not crypto related, we mainly develop desktop software for digital photography and imaging processing, both stand-alone applications as well as Photoshop plug-ins. We started this business in 2005 with four people (currently we’re with five) and we sell our software through our own webshop as well as through distributors and resellers throughout the world.
We mostly sell niche-products, our flagship application is a patented enlargement/interpolation technique which I developed many years ago and improved over time, and we have built several other graphics applications, plug-ins, and filter packages. Our typical customers are photography enthusiasts, graphics editors, web designers, studios and publishers.”

I still urge you to watch the video interview though :)

Rogier also made a pledge to run his Byteball node 24/7 and have it consistently issue new units from his witness address.

A quote from his pledge:

“I have been enthusiastically involved with Byteball almost since its beginning, I strongly believe in its technology, and think compared to other cryptocurrencies it offers a unique solution to the decentralization and consensus problem. Becoming a witness is part of my contribution to make Byteball a success, and hopefully results in more decentralization, increased acceptance, public awareness and recognition, a larger user base, and growing overall usage worldwide.”

You can read the full text here, here, here or here (several copies in case any provider goes out of business).

SHA256 checksum of this PDF is 9ca386373c0c2c2de1bbdebbb25431889dfa6acf19dd59b82f616a6d99f57dd0 (Proof in the Byteball DAG)

Changing the witness list to include Rogier

Like what you see? Then take action now! You can edit your Byteball wallet settings to start using Rogier as a witness.

To do so, open your Byteball wallet, click on the hamburger menu, go to settings and under “TRUSTED NODES” click on “Witnesses”

Then flip the switch to disable auto-update from hub and click on the following address:

JEDZYC2HMGDBIDQKG3XSTXUSHMCBK725 (explorer)

Replace it with Rogier’s witness address, which is:

4GDZSXHEFVFMHCUCSHZVXBVF5T2LJHMU (explorer)

And you’re done :)

You can also watch this short video to see the steps in action:

Progress

A small step for you, a huge step for Byteball. Tony will add Rogier’s address to the default witness list once enough users actively change their witness list to include Rogier’s address and community feedback is mostly positive. Hopefully sooner rather than later. He does operate all other witnesses still, so he has the power to do that. Then we will have finished step 1 in the decentralization process of Byteball.

I’m not waiting till that day though, I’m opening a bottle of champagne today. I am very happy this is now finally happening and I’m sure a lot of you are as well. Cheers!

One swallow doesn’t make a summer

Of course we’re not stopping here, we have a few more candidates lined up for you. We’ll introduce them to you over the coming weeks and months. Or, if Rogier’s story inspired you, maybe you want to become a witness yourself, please contact us and we’ll talk about it.

Doubts?

Not convinced Rogier is a good candidate? Got the feeling that not enough information was shared and you have more questions before you want to make the switch? Please leave your comments and questions below and we will try to address all of them to the best of our ability.