Vlog 459: A sad day for Steem

in #exyle4 years ago

I have seen a lot of euphoric reactions to the recent Soft Fork Annoucement.

I see no reason to be euphoric or proud.

What has happened has set a precedent that will be felt for the rest of the lifetime of the Steem Blockchain.

I talk about that in my vlog.

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Thank feck dude. I'm with you. It's hard to see so many, we did it posts. It's a precedent that on top of all the other things that has happened here just adds that little bit more tarnish to the perception we have.

The exit criteria lacks definition, which is worrying too.

Sad day indeed.

Freeze first, talk later. I would have preferred the other way around.

Yes it is a sad day, I agree. It should not have come to this. This should risk have been mitigated by code long time ago. Why wasn't it? It's a tough cookie to crack, but has always been on the table. But only recently gained critical mass. Just as @steem.dao is a special coded username in the blockchain, the Steemit Inc stake should have that coded in (IMHO).

Per your suggestion: if it was (more) talks first, freeze later: it could would have resulted in a hardfork once a huge powerdown would have started. Which then all exchanges in question need to have had addressed. This is a softfork which blocks certain operations from being executed by accounts owned by Steemit.inc. No funds are nullified.

That said for over a week numerous witnesses have tried to reach out to Steemit INC, talks with Steemit INC devs and we formulated pretty specific questions for the AMA. But the AMA was very disappointing: self-moderated, picking 3 lame questions on the spot and one vague answer: "for now". I feel that with the PR moves from Tron Network specifically there is an anology with your "Freeze first, talk later". What they did, and are still doing is pushing a narrative of an upcoming Token Swap of the STEEM Blockchain, thus: "Publish first, talk later".

Please understand this:

  • Nobody took it lightly to decide upon doing this.
  • This is not a precedent: My opinion is, if any single person buys a major stake now, wether OTC or via exchanges in STEEM, and starts voting with it then so be it: But the Steemit Inc stake is a special one as defined in "social contracts", code upgrades, video interviews.

Some articles which are good reads on the current situation:

I do understand why the action was taken and the reasoning behind it (even though I completely don't agree with it).

If you ask anyone here if it's ok to freeze their account, they would run for that PD button indeed.

So you don't ask. You do it (with consensus but obviously without debate).

For me, that is a problem, I believe it has set a precedent and it will be a looming option over the chain for anyone that in the eyes of the current governance might have bad intentions to the chain (whatever that may be, and that is the slippery slope).

Unfreezing the account will be a whole new puzzle to solve now too.

I hope you can imagine that it hasn't been easy for me to have such an opposing view from others on this topic, especially after all these years.

Thanks, Roeland, for your reply.

the precedent is more like the biggest whale threatening the safety of the chain and the community reacting to it. you're nitpicking the investment side of it. for any future investors the lesson is keep your fingers off twitter if you dunno what you're doing. not a bad precedent if you ask me.


governance ...

the simple fact that accounts CAN be frozen whatever the reason proves my point that this thing is about as centralized as any government, a few people decide and you are fucked, and that's that

the exact opposite of what BTC originally intended : DE-centralization ... no one is the boss, this stinks, another reason not to buy one cent of STEEM anymore

Agree, temporarily freezing pre-mined stake is actually a bold and protective move for the community and all who have honestly invested in Steem. Steemit's stake is similar to Steem DAO and should not take part in voting for example but only be used for maintaining, developing and marketing Steem. That was an unwritten agreement we had the last couple of years and should now be set in code, steem on :)

Yup. Talk first. Them take action if need be.

It seems that communication and transparency is only cared about when 'we' demand it of others.

Communication was done first, Exyle was too busy to acknowledge this I guess. Doesn’t fit his narrative maybe 🤷‍♀️ Not sure.

The key question of whether or not the stake would be used for voting, and if it would be non-voting and for community growth the way it was promised by Steemit Inc before the acquisition, was asked by the witnesses to Steemit Inc just minutes after the news broke.

The witnesses then got together to formulate questions for the AMA between Justin and Ned which we were told would be used, instead, they were completely ignored.

On a daily basis, we asked for clarification on the most important subjects, such as whether or not there would be a forced token swap or if the stake would be used for witness voting. No answers came (I do understand that it may have been difficult to give a prompt and absolute answer to those questions, but it was still a very serious situation).

It is important to note that this soft fork is not a change to the blockchain or the relevant accounts. It is temporary, and can be completely undone once the situation is clear and different. I would consider it more of a "pause" while the Steemit Inc team and Tron gets the time to discuss and clarify their planned future to the rest of the community. Where there's now no need for the same irrational fear that existed before.

At least, I only approve of this conditioned on it being temporary, and that those who run it pursue a positive outcome with Steemit Inc and Tron.

What are the exact exit criteria of the fork?

I think that is quite important to nail down. There are no clear criteria for the cessation of the fork. In fact, If I were to be picky the wording of the statement implies that based on community feedback the fork can be adjusted.

That doesn't sound temporary to me.

If an action such as this is going to be taken then it should be communicated very clearly what needs to be done in order for the fork to be removed.

Unless the intention is for the fork to never be undone completely? If that is the case then it should not be ambiguous. It should not be open to interpretation.

Communication should be clear and concise and unambiguous.

I would challenge the idea that clarification was never received on the forced token swap, from what I saw it was. I am referring to the conversation with Andrarchy that Exyle himself had and posted about just recently. There was a lot cleared up there.

This asking ona daily basis. Who asked who? Via what channels? How was it escalated when no response was given? Was there any response?

Finally, the perception is what is key. The perception outwith this little fragile bubble we live in. We already have a poor reputation. This, in my opinion, does little to paint us in a better light.

I am glad that you approve of it being temporary. But how can it be if we do not know what I have outlined above?

What are the exact exit criteria of the fork?

Different witnesses may have different expectations. So far, there seem to be only two witnesses in the top 31 who do not run the soft fork (timcliff and jesta). Of these, some may be content with Steemit and Tron giving more information such as a roadmap or vision, plus stating what they will be doing with the stake. Others may have a more drastic view and think that the stake should not have been Ned's to sell for profit to begin with, and should instead stay with the community.

So how would it be resolved if there are different views for what the criteria should be? It's quite simple. As we learn more, some witnesses may be comforted by what they see and choose to not run the soft fork, then eventually there'll be a majority who do not, and it will be reverted.

My criteria is first that we get a concrete and detailed answer by Steemit Inc and Justin Sun themself. If their answer is drastically different to the original promise Steemit Inc had, then I think it would be fair for the community and stakeholders who invested time and money into Steem on that basis to have the time and availability to leave before such changes are applied. If they promise to treat the stake the way they did before through not voting, then I would expect them to use the "decline voting rights" operation which removes those functions from an account. If they do go along with the opinion that some have that the stake they have is supposed to be used for community growth and further decentralization, then I would hope to see some action performed that make this "trustless" through either a donation to the steem.dao, or a foundation.

The important part is this: We need to know if the previous conditions for the stake still apply or not. And if not, what the new conditions are. And then be able to move on from there.

I agree that there is a risk here in terms of perception. I also think Tron and Justin Sun offers a unique opportunity for Steem to gain some much needed marketing talent and financial resources. So I am motivated, and can promise, that I will do what I can to pursue a positive outcome for Steem, and hope for a situation where the two projects can find mutual benefit and create a win-win for users and stakeholders on both sides. Therefore I will be spending a lot of time and effort the next few days in a diplomatic way to try and make that happen.

The precedent set by what they just did is going to be felt throughout the entire crypto industry by all DPOS and POS blockchains. There had to be a better way.

What exactly were these witnesses saving btw? Their seat at the table?

Even if Justin tried to move steem over to tron, everyone would have the option of remaining with steem classic if they so desired. This looks like more about preserving witness spots then actually protecting steem. All of the Top 20 Witnesses (that voted for this) should step down indefinitely to prove that this was best for steem and not just for them financially.

While it may have taken this soft fork to trigger the news and install the potential FUD that it may, unfortunately, bring. It still was possible the whole time and thus never really changed in terms of dpos security and quality (although perception is of course important).

Also, the demonstrated negative effect that one entity of aligned witnesses can have also reinforces the argument for why it is so dangerous for one giant stakeholder to be able to vote in all the witnesses needed to have super majority...

My preference would be that following this, we reduce the total witness vote to 10. While it will still be theoretically possible for someone to spend a hundred million dollars (assuming they would make price go up) in order to get the stake needed to vote in 20 witnesses, it would take a lot more stake than it does right now.

That said, I can understand that in the face of such a vulnerability, witnesses find it responsible to "pause" the ability for that to happen until a workable solution or sufficient clarification/guarantee is in place.

Therefore I will be spending a lot of time and effort the next few days in a diplomatic way to try and make that happen.

That is very comforting to hear. I appreciate that.

I wish, reading your criteria above (third para) that they were defined as such by the community consensus statement because your criteria are concrete and do elicit confidence.

As we learn more, some witnesses may be comforted by what they see and choose to not run the soft fork, then eventually there'll be a majority who do not, and it will be reverted.

They may, or they may be caught up in the group think and not wish to step out with the common thinking. You might be able to tell but I am not very fond of may in this circumstance. You could say that there may be a chance that strong personalities push their own distrust if Justin Sun onto others through the coming weeks. There may not be a sufficient answer and the softfork may remain in place forever.

I guess we will see. Sorry for removing your witness vote after such a short time, I will, based on your splendid discourse here, re-instate it.

Told you I was flighty ;O)

I very much appreciate it! I also realize how providing clear criteria would make this appear more thought through and also make the whole situation more clear and not look as uncertain.

But the intention is for it to buy time for such conversations to take place without any fear of sudden irreversible actions being done.

In any case, I look more forward to getting to know what future plans Steemit Inc and Tron have come together to find. I am an optimist at heart and do think that we can turn all of this into strength going forward. I have never seen this many witnesses get active as has happened following the acquisition news. Nor have I seen as many users participate in witness voting and conversation on the fundamentals of what we want this blockchain to be. And that is promising to me of a community that cares deeply about thsi chain.

Yes, I understand that groupthink can be an issue. Which is why these conversations now with the rest of the userbase is so important.

I much appreciate that you put trust in me and my team. I'm here for the long-game with Steem and will do my best to see it succeed.

do you have an information that witnesses did not try to talk to tron foundation? Because they said that they did try and were not able to. If you have that info would be nice to share it.

Also do you think that Steemit ninja mined stake (that was promised to not be used for votes and influencing witnesses) should be used for votes and witness votes?

It is a sad day. To me this looks like they were trying to protect their spots as Top Witnesses more than actually trying to do the best thing for steem. In my opinion to prove they actually believe this is best for steem every one of the Top 20 Witnesses that voted for this should step down indefinitely because from where I am sitting it looks like they are just fighting to remain in power.

The thought that their motives were fuelled by self-preservation had crossed my mind. In defence against that I understand there was a pile of them outwith the top twenty also in on the discussions. Then again, maybe the ones outwith the top twenty were vying for approval and playing the long game with an eye on the top 20 prize!

It sounds like a Bank. I did not get into crypto for this kind of crap.

Yeah, it's exactly something a bank would do. For the good of all...


As I wrote in my statement, I struggled with this decision a lot. Few sleepless nights... Multiple people tried to communicate with Tron/Justin, but no respond and meanwhile their actions about token swap and voting his own validators on Tron, showed real threat to the Steem. I wouldn't want Steem to be spoiled by bad marketing and absorbed Steem name just because it helps Tron to market itself. You mentioned someone in witnesses said if powered down and sent to Binance, it would be different? I don't agree with that, powering down is same.
Many who invested time to build/invest made decision with good faith knowing that Steemit Inc. stake will only used for development of Steem, not abolishment of Steem. Content creators are investors as well, but there is slight difference.
Also, this is temporary until there is clear communication with Tron/Justin. Of course only time will show now, consequences of these actions. I respect your decision and would've chosen same if facts/actions were in favor. It wasn't easy, first time in my entire witness years, I really considered to take smooth's path but we sometimes have to make hard choices.

I hold you in high regard and am glad that it's not only me that had sleepless nights over this.

I also thought of just walking away but I can't, and believe me, having an opposite viewpoint from all the people I have known for so long has not been easy for me either.

Now that the decision to temporarily freeze is taken it seems silly to oppose it, the idea can't be put back in the box. It will always be out there, that parts pains me.

It's good to see you in the decision making progress regardless. You are, in my opinion, one of the best witnesses Steem has.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, man. It means a lot.

@exyle, Thank you so much for Speaking Your Mind and taking your absolute stand. Your points are really valid and no doubt in it. But in my opinion there were so many doubts and choice of words like, Token Swap, Bringing Steem to TRON and Steem Tron will be considered as real Steem on exchanges and words like Old Steem and New Steem. In my opinion all these words definitely raised many questions and AMA Session was reflected as a Joke. Definitely your points are valid but i have mixed feelings towards this decision, i am with this decision but after watching this video i am able to see the depth of it so now i am in the State Of Mixed Feelings.

As you said now we can just move forward. Let's see what is about to happen in near future. Stay blessed brother.

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Hey, @exyle.

Up until last night when I came home and saw my blog feed blowing up with the statements of witnesses, I was considering the idea of a forked out stake as a position of last resort. Very last resort, after it was evident that everything else had failed and that the STEEM blockchain was in jeopardy of existing and thus the stakes of everyone along with it.

And even then, it would still set a precedent and have repercussions because not everyone would want to recognize to what length or extremes were taken to preserve the STEEM blockchain prior to the freezing out.

But then last night I come home and find out it's not the absolute last option, but seemingly the first, couched in a softfork that while potentially reversible, basically states, "your stake is no longer your stake if we say so."

I've read the posts of several witnesses who were for it. I either missed it in each one, or there was no attempt on their parts whatsoever to reach out to Sun for some kind of clarification on his intentions. Did they? Was one attempt made? Two? It seemed like they were expecting him to come to them is what I get from it all.

I also wonder if they know whether or not Sun has any other STEEM sitting out on exchanges somewhere that can be brought in. He's highly suspected of doing that with TRON. If such is the case, and it's big enough, all of this is for naught. And as you say, at this point, how do you trust one another—how does Sun not move to secure his investment and position, and how do the witnesses ever allow the stake to go back?

All over a "social contract" about what the 'ninja-mined" stake would be used for with a previous owner that no one seems to like? For all of what he could have done better and not done, as far as I know, Ned never used the known Steemit accounts to do anything with other than pay his employees.

I don't know. It seems like there are people here who feel like they own more than they actually do. Which includes the stake of a company that created the blockchain in the first place. Social contract or not, this softfork, and the way it was done, was not the answer. And especially not the first answer.


I think you said it well. I have not much to add. I also don't feel entitled to the STEEM of the company that created the blockchain. I never have.

On a side note: I do believe efforts were made to contact Justin before taking this action as other witnesses have replied here and in other posts.

i wanna be friendly here. i dunno what's more "dangerous". if what justin has been implying on twitter becomes true, nothing will be felt about steem because it'll be gone, "migrated" over to tron. so it's like justin was the one that's been telling steemians they'll be forked out?

as far as i can tell, the biggest stake holder talking about a transition to another chain and leaving out literally 100% of the details seem like a legitimate threat.

but acting vs saying is completely different so i do feel like fork could've waited. and justin did let stinc launch communities.
(maybe not stinc anymore cuz ned's stink is gone)

i was hoping both witnesses and justin would be reasonable and focus more on SMTs, but oh well..

only time will tell how much value steem will have in the market, but justin really needs to improve his communication skills.

사불급성 (駟不及舌). out of all people, he should know.

This whole episode conveys that assets in dPOS blockchains are not safe either by the actions of a single large holder or buy few coordinated stakeholders. We need to think through how to avoid such eventuality, for whatever reasons, through code.

Thanks for your opinion on this. I think if I was running a witness node, I would have followed your reasoning.

I think ultimately this decision by the witnesses came from a lack of communication from @justinsunsteemit which created irrational fear in the community. Some feared he would start voting for witnesses with the stake. So witnesses are doing that softfork 222 in order to protect their positions in the top 20.

Everything would have been perfectly fine, had he been half as active here as on twitter following the acquisition's announce.

Of course as you said, the the first thing a logical person would do after getting access back to the funds, would be to power down in many anonymous accounts and start voting for witnesses who did not support this move. So there's probably going to be a very long discussions before anything changes, and meanwhile the stake is held hostage...

"So witnesses are doing that softfork 222 in order to protect their positions in the top 20."

I'm not in the top 20. GuiltyParties is not in the top 20. Netuoso is not in the top 20. Nextgen is not in the top 20. Neither is SteemPeak, Actifit, Abit, liondani, riverhead, bhuz, pfunk, arcange, jackmiller, c-squared, mahdiyari...

Neither is theycallmedan or johal or Transisto.

There were plenty of people engaged in discussions over the past 10 days and plenty of witnesses that were not in the top 20 who were very vocal and very much involved in the entire process. To paint this as a "protective move simply for the top 20" is just factually incorrect. You guys can repeat it all you want, but the truth says the exact opposite, as you can see by the number of people who began running the code last night. There are witnesses all the way down in the 80s now running this version.

In fact, a pretty large majority of witnesses are now running version 0.22.2, so it seems that continuing to paint this as only a top-20 undertaking or protective measure is just a flat-out and provable lie.

Yet 2/3+ of the top 20 at least, agreed and patched to 2.22. Else the funds wouldn't be frozen. Most of the sub-20 are influenced by the bigger ones with more stake.

"So witnesses are doing that softfork 222 in order to protect their positions in the top 20."

for one, I am pretty sure no one did this to protect their position. As I outlined in my post, this was done having Steem at heart. All for Steem. Steemit Inc's stake as far as we can tell is not voting for witnesses, so that would not change. It is preventing the Steemit Inc stake specifically, which is bound to social contracts, to vote. As they where not voting anyhow obviously this doesn't change anything.

  • Or are you suggesting that Top20 (or better said all participating witnesses including even more beyond top20) were afraid of being removed (by using that big Steemit inc stake) because not in line with the "Tron Vision"?

Yes, that's a nicer way to put it.

Overall, adding code to arbitrarily change permissions like this is completely against decentralization principles. It also destroys the trust in the STEEM currency. If a mafia of 20 nerds can freeze your funds so easily, why would you want to ever invest into or hold steem?

Today maybe the only victim is Justin Sun, but tomorrow it could be apps or other large investors whose funds are taken hostage in a similar fashion, who knows?

Good. Justin Sun hoovers up I.T. and blockchain tech assets for the CCP. It's highly speculative to imagine any other outcome for STEEM blockchain than being disassembled and picked apart like a carcass for the fattening of one other.

So SteemIt will be disassembled by communists ?!?! That sounds like cold war fear propaganda.

I really don't see think that Justin Sun having chinese nationality as an argument for freezing funds, sorry. Communists are allowed to buy companies, they are people too!

Now, what I'm wondering is: would witnesses have acted the same if it was Elon Musk who bought the stake?

all this was communication shitshow. we will assimilate steem and swap your steem for whatever tron token. we have no intention to do that, for now. Steemit employes say no one in talks with them said anything about assimilation and swapping, then two hours later Justin on twitter again tweets about assimilation...

i would like to think that if Elon bought it and started talking about moving steem to another blockchain and swapping steem for some kind of SMT that they would do the same.

Of course they would not, they are racist witnesses! lol

I wasn't thinking only about that, but also the fact that with Elon Musk we would be able to put STEEM witness nodes in space and making sure everyone on the planet can receive new blocks

I noticed your interest in developing this community and making it move forward, so I suggest you join this community of support for beginners and reinforce their posts in order to motivate them and I am sure that you are someone who will do this. Greetings and all respect and appreciation towards the forward Welcome to You Deserve https://steemit.com/trending/hive-183209


Actually they did what I recommended. Even I am not a witness.

Feel free to be on the old chain with Justin "FUD" Sun.... in the meanwhile we the real people will build the real STEEM.

Your voice sound like you are on 2x speed.... you sound so stressed out... are you in the pockets of Justin?? Sounds like it!! So sad!

We can agree to disagree!!

Also Justin "motherfucker fud" Sun said he would make a token swap, then he change the statement later.... so he asked for it!

No other accounts will get nullified... you are just a Justin sucker ... Sucking at the power tit!


Hi Lasse. This is not the case that has happened.

  • This is a softfork, not a hardfork: a big difference is that all versions of the 0.22.x Steem software continue to operate, including those of exchanges.
  • No stake has been "forked out". Certain accounts, owned by Steemit Inc are currently blocked from executing certain operations on the chain.

I understand, in effect isnt it close to the same?

Justin can't powerdown, powerup, vote, not even move the steem in the steemit inc accounts?

In effect those accounts are frozen... even they still exists.

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