Establishing a Wallet with Greymass – Voting and Staking EOS
In my last piece I explored Scatter and the some the web apps that make EOS such a powerful environment. This piece will build on that information. While Greymass is a desktop app, we will look at a few sites to learn how to invest and build your network resources as well. What you may begin to see is that EOS has become a platform where every piece interacts with every other piece. I have used Scatter and EOStoolkit on my Android, Greymass, Scatter and webb apps on my desktop, it really depends on what I need and how it is cleanest to work with the blockchain. Greymass works as a wallet for your accounts but it is actually designed as a voting application with additional functionality. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. I installed mine in a Debian based Linux but they are essentially the same in Windows and Mac. When I got started in EOS I actually used Greymass not Scatter. I’m still kind of attached to Greymass. In this piece I want to explain some of the functions of Greymass, but also what those resources mean to you once you have them. How you set up Greymass, vote, and stake with Greymass, and how can you earn EOS with those resources once you established them.
Greymass is a block producers that began released this wallet / voting software during the EOS ICO mainnet. This was a critical part of the inception of EOS and continues to be a very important part of the ecosystem. 15% of EOS holders had to stake their EOS, vote, and create the block producers when the mainnet went online. The media wrote about the votes and problems making it all in to a huge deal, but they completely failed to see that in a relatively short period of time the EOS community’s understanding of the platform grew exponentially as the holders learned how to vote and formed a consensus on the blockchain. It was actually a huge feat. EOS investors learned enough about the platform to associate their account to their key pairs and begun participating by initiating smart contracts to vote. Greymass setup was straight forward and voting was easy allowing EOS holders that were unfamiliar with the platform to participate. Software like Greymass played a big part in making this process possible, but Greymass had one feature making ideal for new users, it was a complete desktop application. Everything needed to start interacting with the EOS platform was available in the platform, and the developers continue to refine and improve its functionality. I described in my previous work how to perform these tasks with web services and Scatter, now we will place them on your desktop.
The voting process is critical to making EOS work. It is important to exercise your rights and your account. Most EOS is currently held on exchanges voting by proxy for their account holders, but the actual owners are not able to use the resources associated with their accounts. You are buying resources on a decentralized computing platform when you own EOS. In order to utilize these resources an owner must have an account and stake their EOS. The platform requires a certain amount of resources to function and just because you own some EOS on an exchange does not necessarily mean that you have an account or can interact directly with the blockchain. It does, however, mean that the exchange holding your EOS is utilizing your resources to support their account. Once the largest holder Huobi Global, AKA www.eoshuobipool.com is currently at fouth with 2.01% of the vote. Bitfinex, the BP bitfinexeos1 holds the number 6 slot with 1.94% of the vote. These are the extremely large holders of EOS directing the votes and resources of the EOS held on the exchanges to become block producers. I am not criticizing their efforts, but I am pointing out that those resources could be moved to accounts that belong to the “owners” of those resources. In fact over the short period of the EOS mainnet the voting has decentralized. It you compare the numbers in the graphic below to current voting it is clear that the community is exercising their right to vote and the top 21 is changing daily. When I began this piece Huobi was number 1 and Bitfinex was number 6.
The first step once your EOS is in your account is voting for block producers. It is possible to vote with the EOStoolkit, but Greymass is an application that provides a straight forward and simple interface to vote for block producers. Just because you own EOS does not necessarily mean you have an account or a key pair associated to it. One complication with EOS is only someone with EOS and an Account can make an Account. If you need an account ask a friend, refer to my previous article Scatter, How this dApp is a Portal to EOS World or try a web app like EOS Account Creator.
Installing Greymass from Github
This was copied directly from the Greymass Voter Github…
The latest release will always be available on the releases page of this repository:
To determine which file you need, if you are a…
MacOS User: Download either the DMG (eos-voter-***.dmg) or ZIP (eos-voter-***-mac.zip) file.
Windows User: Download the EXE (eos-voter-***.exe) file.
Linux User: Download either the SNAP (eos-voter-***-_amd64.snap) or DEB (eos-voter-***-_amd64.deb) file
Security: Private Keys
When using eos-voter, all transactions are signed within the application and your key is never transmitted. If a local wallet password is specified, the application will also
save and encrypt your key for future use, using AES-256 encryption. The current password/key encryption scheme can currently be found here.
Installing Greymass in Linux is an .appimage just like scatter. It runs, can be deleted, rebuilt with minimal effort just like an executable in Windows.
Download Greymass EOS Voter Tool from Github.
Open a command line termial in the directory where you put EOS Voter and type the following commands to make the appimage executable and execute the image.
$ chmod u+x linux-eos-voter-0.5.3-x86_64.AppImage
Installing Greymass step by step…
1. Open the application.
2. Enter the Public Key or Account
3. Enter your Private Key to Sign Contracts in Greymass
4. Set up a password for the wallet
Getting Started with Greymass by Voting…
Greymass is actually described as EOS Voter by Greymass, a tool to vote for block producers, but as it progresses Greymass continues to add functionality. It is possible perform administrative tasks on your account, stake resources, lock the account, establish rules, make another account, or execute smart contracts directly on the blockchain. Greymass is a versatile but straight forward tool to manage EOS accounts. Several of these tasks are beyond the scope of this document, but I would like to look closely at voting, transactions between accounts, and staking EOS.
When Greymass opens for the first time the Governing Constitution of EOS opens. If you haven’t read it I would recommend taking 5 minutes to look it over before you accept the terms of agreement. You will have to accept that you understand what is in the EOS Constitution before continuing in to Greymass.
Voting is an important part of the EOS community. The constitution governing the blockchain is a pop up when a wallet is made, and Article XV requires that account creates a transaction at least every 3 years or the account is subject to auction. Voting counts as a transaction on the blockchain. EOS allows each voting account to select 30 nominations for Block Producers weighted by the amount of EOS in your account. I strongly recommend using those votes. I doubt Huobi will be knocked out of the top 20 any time soon, but I supported Greymass and EOSauthority from the very beginning after the ICO and I have seen them rise until currently they are at #21 and #09 respectively. Greymass was 23 and EOSauthority was at 16 when I began this piece. Again, this shows the process of decentralization and that no Block Producer holds absolute control over the vote. The Block Producers are constantly shifting. Your vote actually matters. Spend some time looking in to the block producers you support. Many of them support projects that are important tools for using EOS. I found some of the information that helped in researching this piece produced by eos-blocksmith so I voted for them. The top 21 nominations for Block Producers are the nodes responsible for processing all the transactions on the blockchain. In the big picture voting elects 21 Block Producers, The 20 largest stake holders, and 1 that is chosen at random from the voting pool. This know as a Delegated Proof of Stake algorithm to achieve consensus in an efficient manner. These 21 Delegates produce a block every 0.5 seconds.
First, The wallet has to be Unlocked with the padlock icon in the upper right corner to interact with the block chain. This is done with the password set during the installation process.
In Greymass simply select the block producers you wish to vote for by selecting the check box next to their name. In the image below I selected 10 of my 30 votes for my account and clicked Submit votes for selected producers. Greymass will pop up a smart contract for you to accept for your submission of votes to the blockchain making the selection official.
Staking and Unstaking EOS
Staking and Unstaking EOS is what provides the resources to interact in the EOS blockchain. What does that mean for the EOS hodlers?
At the top left of the screen there is a drop down to select an account, producer voting, wallet, and tools. The wallet will display the EOS held in the account and the RAM, CPU, and Network resources available to the account.
Staking and Unstaking EOS
I am going to go a little off topic here and describe some of the resources available for your staked EOS because it really didn’t mean anything until I started to learn to use my stake.
An owner of EOS has purchased resources on a distributed computing network. You own RAM, CPU, and Network resources. The CPU and Network resources are designated by your staked EOS. RAM, however, being the scarcest resource, must be bought.
There is a lot of talk about the possibilities to lease Network and CPU resources on sites like chintai.io. These sites are building exchanges to lease network resources, but the resources still have not become scarce enough to build a large market for leased CPU and Network resources, but as dApps consume more resources the prices will become competitive and they both can be leased at a profit.
RAM, however, is the one that you will use the most and must be bought. Whenever a smart contract is initiated EOS uses RAM to maintain the contract. It is possible to see this when claiming Airdrops, the RAM will be allocated until the contract completes. RAM is currently traded as a market with a fluctuating price related to the supply and demand of available RAM. The price will roll up as EOS dApps are adopted, but physical and protocol limitations establish how much RAM can be added to the blockchain by Block Producers. The price will rise with adoption and drop as resources are released or Block Producers add more RAM. It is possible to gain EOS simply by speculating on the price of RAM, CPU and Bandwidth. I have included some resources to view the price of RAM and FreeXploer is a market for trading RAM. I know I’m getting away from Greymass and getting into resources that you can log into with Scatter, but it is important to begin to see EOS as a suit of tools rather than simply a cryptocurrency.
EOS Related just did a good article on Chintai and REX for trading EOS network resources.
“As a hedge against speculators crowding out developers, block producers have the authority to vote to add new RAM to the network, which they have now done for the first time. Prior to the upgrade, the EOS network had a RAM capacity of 64GB. Now, that capacity will increase by 1kb per block (~120kb per minute) until it reaches 128GB.”
EOS Block Producers Vote to Raise RAM Supply to Lower Cost of Running dApps
CPU are the staked tokens allocated to CPU time measured in microseconds. The measurement is an average calculated on a rolling average off CPU usage over the past 72 hours for the Account. Usage is accrued when a smart contract is initiated on the blockchain. EOS tokens are staked to obtain CPU bandwidth that can be unstaked at any time returning the EOS to your account. At any given time network resources can be staked to get the going price for network resources. The transaction will take 72 hours, 3 day, to complete.
Network are the staked tokens that provide the network bandwidth to your account. It is measured as an average of usage in bytes over the previous 72 hours. Network bandwidth is allocated to support any contract transacted on the blockchain. EOS tokens are staked to obtain Network bandwidth that can be unstaked at any time returning the EOS to your account. At any given time network resources can be staked to get the going price for network resources. The transaction will take 72 hours, 3 day, to complete.
RAM is required to store transactional data on the blockchain. It works essentially the same a RAM on your computer. The temporary data to move transactions. As a finite resource restricted by hardware capacity, RAM is the most expensive resource. It must be purchased and has a speculative price. Currently RAM has an appreciating value and can be sold at a profit if the price continues to increase. When RAM is sold it is recovered in EOS at the current market price.
The EOS Resource Planner, is a good tool to view the current price for network resources on the EOS blockchain and to calculate the cost of resources required for a project.
Lease or Rent CPU and Network bandwidth on CHINTAI
Speculating on RAM can be done at FreeXplorer
Enough toys, back to Greymass
Back in to Greymass we can look at staked resources and adjust those resources with Greymass. Updating the staked resources for an Account is simple. Click on Update Staked EOS and set the new staked allocations for CPU and Network. The changes to the staked resources will be written to the network in 72 hours. RAM must be bought or sold using the Buy RAM or Sell RAM buttons.
The Tools Tab and Airdrops
The Tools tab has, among other things, Airdrops/Custom Tokens in the Wallet Tools. Any tokens claimed from the EOSToolkit can be added to the wallet with the Airdrop tool. The tool will also display if the account has a balance of any of the tokens being created on the EOS network once track token is selected. If you were involved with EOS from the ICO and have not checked your airdropped tokens you may be pleasantly surprised. I know I was. If a token is added to the wallet it will then be available in the wallet. The tools page can also create Accounts, Keys, Validate Keys and Register Voting Proxy.
It is possible to view Airdrops/Custom tokens. As Tokens are added to the EOS network they become available in this view. In this image I have selected to show a balance for the top three tokens in my wallet. When I initially found this in Greymass with my actual account I was surprised that I had received several airdrops to my account. In EOStoolkit I staked my Karma and when I claimed my dividends I was able to see the update to my balance immediately across every platform attached to my account. This selection process allows an Account to track tokens received immediately available in Greymass.
After selecting the tokens ADD, ANX, and ATD in the Airdrops/Custom tokens section of tools, they are now visible in the Greymass wallet.
Greymass voter provides all the functionality of a wallet and allows the maintenance functions of voting and staking to be performed on an EOS Account from a desktop application. The Greymass team is constantly working to improve the application as shown through the governance preview of the various releases. If you end up using the software and liking it be sure to vote for them as a block producer.
EOS-voter 0.1.6 – A better welcome experience + tutorial
EOS Account Creator
What is EOS Blockchain: Beginners Guide
Understanding EOS Resource Allocation for Layman
EOS Block Producers Vote to Raise RAM Supply to Lower Cost of Running dApps
When will the Chintai (and REX) EOS leasing market explode? Here’s my take.
Scatter, How this dApp is a Portal to EOS World
Leasing EOS RAM with Zero Fees and No Forceful Memory Frees