The corrupt platform that is - My brief experience as a Wintess on bearshares.

in beware •  last month  (edited)

Warning!! Bearshares is NOT a decentralized blockchiain - and it never will be one

I've been on a little adventure!!

This is my one and only post here about this topic.

I've always been keen to learn the ropes of how a witness node runs, but until recently there have not been any Steem clones out there, that I knew of, which could run a node on a bare minimum spec server. That was until the infamous @bilalhaider opened up his dictatorship of, and asked for some people to set up witness nodes, and help his platform grow. Well, we thought he wanted to collaborate with others and carve out a new niche, something to make bearshares a cut above the rest.... We were wrong!

Bearshares is running an old.. very, very old fork of the Steem blockchain. You know, the one where powering down takes 2 years. Conversion takes 7 days instead of 3.5, but that is a forbidden function according to the dicktator's "terms of use policy," even though it is a working function of the blockchain. There is nothing that sets it apart form any other Steem clone, and it is a 3rd class attempt at a clone at best, but it did have some educational value for me.

Why did I become a witness?

Now, I had my reservations about spending any money on running a node, which would quite likely earn worthless tokens, but thought it would be a great way to learn a bit about things. And I did learn. I even made it up to the no. 4 witness slot, thanks to the support of the greater bearshares community. In the background, I have been learning a few things here and there, and so my money spent on hosting a witness node has not been completely wasted. I did setup my witness node with the primary goal to learn, and that I have done in some small way. I learned, first-hand, a lot about the devious and uncouth ways of the platform dictator, that is for sure!

Censorship is the name of the game

Things seemed to be going quite well for a while. That was until I, and @nnarvaez started asking some pointed questions of Bilal, and how he was running the platform. Specifically, I asked him about his vision (or lack thereof), what his governance model was, and how he would be protecting the pre-mined 900 million tokens, which he had at his sole disposal, from misuse, and abuse.

No vision or roadmap - we are wonderers!

There was no, and still is no, whitepaper or development roadmap. Just look at the FAQ:

This is about as close to a whitepaper we can get for bearshares right now:

Instead of answering the questions, he came at me with his usual vitriol. He blocked me from Discord, and is still actively blocking my content on the front-end. He prefers to hide the truth, and exert all his power to do things his way, and without accountability, or providing reasons for his actions. @nnarvaez did the exact same thing, calling out his unethical practices, and received the same treatment.

This is how he responds to questions:

Now I may have been a little heavy-handed with him and his fragile ego, but I'll let you see how this response was triggered. After watching him verbally abuse others, and shut them down in similar fashion as he did me, I would not back down, and he didn't seem to know how to answer other than how he did above.

I can't say it was unexpected. We have had disagreements before too, but he conveniently deleted the public comments in his Discord server, so nobody can see what's been going on, and how he is unable to hold a civil conversation with anyone questioning him about his behaviour.

Here is something from a while back, also deleted shortly afterwards, bu I learned quickly to take screenshots of his outbursts.

His latest course of action has been to use the premined tokens to power up his "bearshare" account, and vote up the witnesses who are happy to follow him blindly, without questioning his ethics, or where he is trying to take the platform. He is consumed by having sole power to call the shots, however bad they are, and anyone who wants to help steer the platform in a more professional, and better governed manner, will get shut down. There will never be a witness in the top 20 unless he permits it through voting their nodes up witht he platforms pre-mined tokens. I am now witness number 22 on the platform, and am powering down and offloading as much as I can, selling my BSD to him and anyone silly enough to be buying.

Here is how he uses "his " pre-mine to power up and hand pick his witnesses... The power up is at the bottom.

This lastest hand-picking of the top 20 witnesses, with the exception of a few, who will easily fall out of favour if they start asking the "wrong" questions, is conclusive proof that there will be no freedom of speech on the platform. There will only be what Bilal allows, depending on what he feels like on the day. There is no economic framework to which he is working, other than to see how much money he can get out of anyone who is naive enough to invest real money in his game. A large portion of the higher stakeholding members have started powering down, to at least try to get some rewards for their tokens out throught Easydex gate, whose buy market is almost solely being supported Bilal's BTS. Yes, he's buying his own tokens to try to make it look like there is a market.

Be warned!

Bearshares has no sound governance model, nor does is have any hope of being anything other than @bilalhaider's pickpocketting sandpit. Unless you're going there to mess around, and cross-post from other platforms, or use it as a learning tool to run a witness node, don't waste your time or energy on this one. Now that I am outside the top 20, the only reason I am keeping my node runnign is to have access to my wallet, and to continue powering down and selling my tokens for whatever pennies the market is offering for them.

Right now, Bearshares is the perfect example, and definition of a shitcoin. It is a complete joke of a platform.

I'm glad I stuck around long enough to gather my own opinion, and to be able to collect the evidence to show you all. That in itself has been worth the journey.

Tread carefully if you decide to look around there, and don't invest your coin without studying the platform very carefully. If you are on, feel free to upvote my witness node, just to screw him around a little more ;)


Shortly after this post, Bilal powered up another 10 million coins, so he now has complete power over the witness list, and can control who is in the top 20 positions. This was evidenced in the Discord chat where he acknowledges he is in complete power:

Don't say nobody warned you!

Have a great day!

Team Australia, Team South Africa, and The Alliance banners by @bearone

My Awesome Upboks by @ryivhnn

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Thanks for providing and informing about these type of person

Thanks for the heads up mate. Sounds like you put a bit of effort in over there so hopefully you've got some value from the learning experience.

I hadn't got around to investigating bearshares yet but definately won't waste my time doing so now. Like scooter I've been poking around whaleshares - not convinced it's a winner yet either but at least they have a white paper. Probably the most advanced steem clone I've seen.

Anyways, I'll try to catch up with you on discord once I've finished resettling (almost there) and would be keen to share notes. Might also finally have that new project idea to bounce off you.


Thanks mate. Possibly a little too much effort, and shouldbhave seen the writing on the wall earlier. All was not lost though, and I've learned a few things along the way, and met a few more cool people.

Glad you're settling in, and still popping in to see our blogs. Looking forward to catching up soon.

Wow.... There are a few different clones out there. I ventured into the Whaleshares Witness domain for a while, but it became too cumbersome and I wasn't willing to get into the 'in-crowd' to get up the ranks.


Yeah, politics is a funny game, even on a blockchain platform.

Bilal Haider LOL.


Say no more... say no more... hahaha! I've learned a lot about him and why he has such a bad rep. He seems to just get worse as time goes by.

Thanks for the insight into this.

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Gotta love these people. So many chains that claim to be decentralized, but yet few truly are. Even STEEM isn't truly decentralized. Are we making progress? Yes.

But what I see there, is the opposite steps. Powering up and declaring yourself king? Watch your shitcoin get dumped some more.

Owch :S Well at least you got some good stuff out of it? XD


I did learn a fair bit, that's for sure. Learned quite a lot about why the dude has such a bad rep, and his bad is justified.