Patience with the Hardfork - There Must Be Consensus

in #hardfork-174 years ago

Due to the inability of witnesses to come to a consensus regarding Hardfork 17 this update to the Steem blockchain will be delayed until such consensus can be reached.

We have a vision for Steem and that vision includes consensus.


Thank you. Keep listening to the community, and we will do well. If we've learned anything from this, it's that people prefer smaller changes more often. Hopefully, exchanges won't run into problems if we hardfork too often but throwing everything into one major change seems too much like injecting some pork belly project into a popular bill without a line-item veto option. Keeping changes small and modular makes a lot of sense. That said, it's unfortunate efforts will now be spent to revert work already done and/or figure out workarounds moving forward. Clear communication about proposed changes prior to the actual work being done may help avoid wasted efforts in the future.

Please let the team know we value them and their efforts. Please, don't lose the vision for Steem we fell in love with.

good idea.
break the hardfork up into subcomponents...
do (or not) each one separately.

Needs two simple changes to reach consensus -

  • Eliminate the separate comment reward pool.
  • Add anti-abuse mechanism to 7-day payout.


It would seem like the obvious thing to do - make these changes, let Hardfork 17 pass on 28th March, then work on convincing witnesses why the comment reward pool is a good idea for Hardfork 18. Hardfork 17 has been delayed far too long, we need to get moving.

I agree, those 2 features are the ones preventing consensus to be reached.
I say take them off HF17 so we can discuss them further, all the other changes are good and non controversial.

EDIT: Actually I'm not sold on SP delegation either.

SP delegation will allow large stake holders to completely bypass the current experiment as they will be able to easily delegate power to themselves and use all their voting power. Users have a lot more power now, even minnows can make a small difference so I don't see the point of this feature.
We need something like an investor class to incentivize large stake holder to not vote.

More on investor class

If there is a major problem with 'bypassing' then bots can be told to aggregate all delagated stake votes. Since the delgation is on-chain it is visible. Actually moving the stake to smaller accounts is a bigger potential problem. I agree as you know that better investor-class incentives are needed.

That's a great suggestion. Makes a lot of sense.

the thing i dont like the most is 7 days payment.

1st payment should be as 24 hours like now just without comment votes extending it (now with 1 big comment vote every 24h we can keep old post trending forever)

second payment can be 7 days instead of 30

I do not agree to remove the limit of 4 posts a day. The quality in this way will lower and you risk becoming like Rabataba .... To have the votes gets in everything. Better to leave the limit .... and focus on quality!

4 posts per day rule makes many use cases ineffective, like Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, etc.

The community can deal with this one by not upvoting users who post low quality content. If someone can crank out 10 posts a day that are all high quality, then more power to them :)

The community can deal with this one by not upvoting users who post low quality content.

Or even, dare I say it, flagging

One word: "bots".

The auto-voters will cast votes on authors as fast as they crank 'em out. Of course, the community can take counter-measures to keep the most prolific abusers from hogging all of the reward-pool, but it'll come at the cost of re-awakening the whole flagging/ policing issue and could get ugly if many of the higher rep accounts (accounts with the most followers; hence, most auto-voters) choose to take advantage.

Most people with auto-upvote bots have them set to people that they have determined will get a lot of votes. A lot of times even today with the 4 post limit - if people on the lists start posting a lot of posts, they will get removed from the auto-bot lists, because they aren't earning the owner enough curation rewards. I don't think it will be as big of a problem as people think it is.

I won the whale vote contest - watch out! Good things coming!

I say make it 5 - 7 days, similar to how it extrends from 24 - 24+ hours now, so that last minute votes extend the period as they do now. The 30 day payout is too long and I see 7 days as a nice compromise to make it one payout only - there is no point to the 2 payouts.

Agreed regarding a single payout window. Removing the 2 payouts was one of the key reasons for the change. It simplifies the blockchain logic. It is also less to learn for new users.

There are various proposals in steem GitHub issue 900 to deal with the window extension. One idea is to have it be a fixed 7 day time, but on the last day - slowly taper off the amount of change that a vote can do, until at the end of the day it reaches 0.

first payment at 7 days seems rather long. I don't disagree with extending the first one but 48 hours would likely be plenty.

No we can't, the extension is stake weighted. A vote needs to be as high as all the ones before combined to extend it another full 24 hours.

are you sure if you upvote with YOUR 100% power comment every 24h on lets say my post, it wont stay trending for days? ive seen abit doing this, i dont have enoug hpower i can extend posts payout times by few hours myself

It all depends on the votes that were cast before. I you vote on a 0 votes post you extend it by 24 hours.

I agree with the decision to delay. But we could use some more diplomatic language here:

Due to the inability of witnesses to come to a consensus regarding Hardfork 17

Consensus is easier to reach if we have discussions with professional dialogues. Messaging is essential to the success of social platforms.

Agree. "Delay" would have been a better term here instead of the use of "Inability".

That just begs the question, why the delay? The answer is because of an inability to reach consensus. I don't see anything negative in that statement. If there is a perception of negativity then it is because people don't understand why the consensus mechanism exists in the first place. Not reaching consensus on occasion is part of how it works. I suppose you could say 'because consensus has not yet been reached' or something but saying there has been a delay doesn't communicate as much information and is therefore, in my opinion, an inferior way to state the facts.

I really don't think that the witnesses are so fragile they can't handle the word 'inability'. If there is no consensus then there has been an inability to do so. The only remaining question is how exactly are they going to move towards consensus?

The problem is not with the witnesses sensibilities. It is the problem of how the general market will perceive a failure to exicute a well publicized an needed update, multiplied by the fact that it is well known that there is currently much internal strife and discord with in the steemit operation. This failure to update is unfortunate and needs to be communicated to the market in the best light possible. Words have great influence in mass market phycology, something that all crypto (another bad term) projects live and die by and that few of them understand.

actually, the community needs straight up truth not spin bullshit.

Had the post stated a failure to reach consensus then there may be an issue as it implies fault on the witness side. Inability is just that, inability and it could come from both sides.

Maybe you need to be less nitpicky and more open to honest communication. Or does it offend your fragile sensibility?

We've had more than enough lack of communication. We need more communication and honesty.

The inability to communicate is what is causing most cryptos to remain a small unsuccessful market. Proper communication is not spin or bull shit. Your statement totally confirms what I am trying to communicate. The crypto space totally does not understand marketing or mass public communications.

By the way it is not a community. It is a market, and should be treated as such.

YOU may think it is a market.. those of us who contribute regularly see it as a community and it is US that is most effected by the changes in a hardfork. Your attitude that we are a market is what can and will kill what is being built. People are used as commodities on places like Reddit and Facebook, that is more of the disaster there.

Unable to reply to your last so will briefly reply here. Since the length of the chain has expired as guess it is just as well we cut this conversation as well. Just want to say that, I have contributed far, far, far more to this community than you will ever know.

I look at the messaging problems our social media competitors like Reddit and Facebook have had and I think we could avoid those by being more careful.

Not accepting a change by the majority is consensus.

I'm well aware of that. Apparently you need a more definitive statement. Since no one desires that the platform come to a halt, the desired consensus will be either acceptance of the HF or reaching agreement on what needs to be changed to attain consensus. So the question stands. Do you understand it now?

Yes, the question stands. The most simple way is asking who accept what, and do only those that are accepted, once at a time:

  • Do you accept x?
  • Do you accept y?
  • Do you accept z?

If they cannot answer, that's inability. If they weren't asked, that's not their fault. If Steemit, inc. couldn't ask those questions, that isn't witnesses' fault. The fault of witnesses could be only that if they accept/reject a HF without digging deep what the consequences would be.

The problem is that INC asks questions like:
Do you accept x,y,z?
Do you accept a,b,c?

There will be always something in the package that will be unacceptable for someone.

I don't know why they try to reach consensus out of the blockchain. It's built-in.
Make a change, ask witnesses for HF. If they do, that's yes, if they not, that's no. Simple. Make a poll on the blockchain before new modifications, so devs won't waste their precious time making non-used code. When they get a no, put the code sideline, since witnesses changes, sometimes very quickly, and the answer could be yes next time.

That's my answer for your question.

Well, thank you for your effort but was looking for a more real answer from those involved.

To add flattening the curve?!?

I like your style!

Is it an option for the developers to divide the changes in smaller chunks in order to be able to convince more witnesses?

Everyone wants a closer-to-linear reward curve. There are also some uncontroversial features in HF 17. We should proceed with those.

yes reward curve is the most important imho

Indeed. Once the less controversial features are out of the way, there will be plenty of time to discuss the really tough ones.

There were concerns about several of the changes in the hardfork. The witnesses are planning to continue discussions with Steemit on the best path forward, with the goal of reaching consensus on a set of changes that are right for the community.

Where are those discussions? Github?

The discussions are spread out over a lot of different channels. This post, as well as a few of the other ones about the HF are collecting input from the people in the community. GitHub has a lot of discussion as well. Some of the witnesses have expressed their views directly to Steemit. You are welcome to email Sneak (sneak at if you have anything you want to get to them directly - but they are already hearing from a lot of people, so no need to repeat stuff if it's already been said by other people before.

I really like what you do on the information front, @timcliff. It should be default, intended by all of the actors that all information about Steem could be found at the same place, or at least use the miraculous invention, called hyperlink to point all specific information from one hub.

It requires much work to collect the info and that closes out everyone from the well thought decision.

Voters may think "witnesses know everything better, I just chose some randomly". That's not that true. I found that I was more prepared in some questions than some witnesses, and I know nothing.

Code is the documentation.

I cannot code and so many others. After reading the SWP, my only source of knowledge is accidentally and luckily read some comments from @smooth and @abit, your articles, and reading the chat (sometimes not so) quetly in the witness channel until someone will say me 'GTFO, peasant'.

This open world is f*ing closed.

Steem should be in a comic (OK, I know @mynameisbrian accepted this challenge many times :) ). The whole platform is about sharing information, yet I feel the lack of them every time, in every question, at everyone. Users have big question marks over their heads, or worse, they start to attack and mislead others confidently based on false information or lack of them.

Good idea. Piece meal it.

very nice post @steemitblog
steemit hopefully continue to thrive all time

Oh no. I was literally dying for the nesting limit to be removed. Literally.

Now you have consigned me to death

@meesterboom don't worry I'll bring roses when they bury you - lol

As long as you don't bring more than six ;0)

@meesterboom why? 7 is a lucky number hahahah
its so not related to this post
am sorry :D
I'll try to revive you first :D

6 After the nesting limit!! Hahah!

I look forward to the reviving :O)

It hurts for sure... Commenting and keeping the conversation going ON the platform should be incentivized as much as possible. Minimizing nested comments at some point would be helpful though, or one conversation could bury the rest.

Oh yes... and do you mind sharing a coffin? ; )

That is definitely something that is needed with the removal of the nesting limit. Some kind of collapsing the comments above a certain number. For example 6! To avoid one giant convo dominating them all. Yes very good point.

Lol, coffin sharing commencing!!!

I salute this decision. Looks like being a witness and having your say starts to matter. I'm still keeping an eye on this project and I will encourage every move towards meaningful contribution and improved communication.

I have an unanswered question, please:

When HF17 was originally announced, it was stated that POSTS could be edited permanently rather than only for a month.... I seriously hope that has not changed? Could someone knowledgeable please comment?

I'm asking because I've recently seen multiple summary articles about HF17 mentioning only comments as being editable...

I would really appreciate an answer on this, Thanks in advance.



Posts can be edited indefinitely in HF17. The announcement using the word 'comment' was unclear.


Thanks very much for the clarification, this is excellent news. ;)

Hello @smooth,

Now that HF17 and HF18 are "here," is there some magic to editing my older posts? I've gone back to the one I most wish to edit, and see no "Edit" button anywhere... :O

Any light you might be able to shed on how I can edit an old post would be most appreciated! ;) Thank you in advance.

I'm told there is still needs to be another UI update to support that. Hopefully it won't take too long.

Thank you kindly for the insight. ;)

There are two parts to this:

  1. In the technical documents, a post is just a root level comment. The change that was in the proposed HF applied to both.
  2. As of now, there are no decisions as to what changes will be included in the next proposed HF. I did not see a lot of controversy around this one, so it is likely to be there, but there are no guarantees.

Thank you very much, @timcliff, for the more detailed insight!

don't think we're going to know that or much of anything until consensus is reached @creatr

OK, thanks. I'm strongly in favor of being able to edit articles in perpetuity. The history remains on the blockchain for anyone interested, but corrections, updates, and additions may continue to be made.

I appreciate your response, Thank You. ;)

Can't say that I disagree with that concept since the search engines will continue to find the article ... so changes can be a plus.

I won the whale vote contest - watch out! Good things coming!

@creatr word on

being able to edit articles in perpetuity

I don't mind to wait for a greater good.
Keep up the good work.

If the reward curve becomes linear then what's the point of holding large steem power? Can someone explain?

You would have linearly more reward power instead of geometrically and when the price of steem jumps back to $1.00 because a crapton more people choose to hold any at all, you'll benefit from the price increase .

What's the point of holding massive SP right now? The pool is constantly shrinking at least in part because people come here and feel disheartened when they see the HUGE cliff they have to climb for their vote to mean anything at all.

Look at what happened when Dan left and the @abit started the experiment. The fact is "knowing my vote matters" makes me want to buy more but I don't have exponentially more money, so it feels good to know that even a linear amount helps a lot.

There is no benefit at all in massive centralized holding of SP. All it means is that the distribution is mimicking the real world where we have 1%'rs who get to dictate the financial system to the rest of us chumps.

Thanks I get it now but I still have a question. Won't it be easy to game the system by having many accounts?

No you still have the cost to acquire steem power as a significant factor.

Having many accounts doesn't change this cost consideration and still provides a dilution effect, but perhaps not as extreme as the exponentiation or whatever they're calling it going on now. Furthermore, you'll get far more benefit with the "Proxy or delegate SP", than by having multiple accounts, so the incentive to do that goes away.

Okay, thanks for the info! Steem on!'s efforts are hugely appreciated. I am very happy about this, I hope with some adjustments, HF17 can move forward with strong consensus among witnesses. Hard forks need to become routine, despite the challenges that presents.

Looking forward to the next update, when it becomes agreed upon. :]

Consensus is a very good thing. I think slow and steady progress that is agreed on is best. I don't mind waiting - amazing progress has been made so far.

Great now this gives you guys time to fix the phone sign up that is broken. Since i have joined i have seen 15 people who couldn't join because its just straight up broken.

Slow and steady is better than rushing. Steemit will reach its goal and nothing can stop it.

Great to hear you stick to your roots

Yeah.. I hope the best thing happpen for us. Nicev!

Is a list available of topics where consensus is not reached? I'm very interested to know.

Hello ! What does it mean when a payout is declined ? I see this post with a potential payout of $ 23.51 that has been declined and am wondering what that means ? Thank you for your feedback. Best regards.

It means that the poster is choosing to decline the rewards. They will not receive payout from the post, and the rewards will stay in the "rewards pool" to be paid out to all the other active posts. The UI will still show how much the post would have made though, with a line through it indicating the payout was declined.

What is the "reward pool" ? Who benefits from it ? The ones that upvotes, resteemed of something else ? Thank you very much for your time and explanation.

@steemitblog will not receive a reward for this post, and there's no curation rewards for it.

Appreciate the update... does seem like there should be a way to move forward with the items that were NOT "controversial" (or that most witnesses had no significant issues with) and hold off on the items requiring further discussion and changes... make a "17.1" a month down the road... not sure the "all or nothing" approach serves the community best.


Bravo. I am all for experimentation, but I am glad you are seeking consensus.

great resteem!

too bad. But that is what a blockchain is all about.

thank you for the communication. I would like to hear more and more frequently from the steemit team.

Does Steem have the same broken governance of Bitcoin?

I really appreciate all of the hard work that everybody who is working on hardfork 17 is putting in. I know that it can be very stressful for everybody involved especially when trying to reach a consensus.

I know that it would be easier to push through with fewer changes. Although, I think a number of changes that are trying to be made is a good thing. We don't want to have to many changes on a constant basis as it may be hard for newer users to grasp what is going on when things are changing to often. Either way thank you again for working hard!

How about instapay ongoing forever, someone upvotes boom 1 cent in your wallet, any flags can nullify future upvotes.

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