Open Letter to Ned/Steemit

in #open-letter3 years ago (edited)

Ned/Steemit,

A lot has happened in the past seven days. I'm sure by now most of the community is aware by now of the fact Steemit, Inc. started a large power down in reaction to a perceived threat of a hardfork that could potentially remove or freeze the balances of Steemit Inc's accounts.

Many of the witnesses, stakeholders, and members of the community are very concerned over what is happening.

In terms of Steemit powering down all of their stake and hiding it from view - we feel very strongly that this is heading in the complete opposite direction of where things should go. We would like to see more trust and more transparency (not less).

A hardfork that would potentially affect the security of Steemit's accounts could only go through with support from a sufficient number (17/21) of the top witnesses.

I would like to make a commitment to you:
If Steemit, Inc. stops the full power downs of all of their accounts and returns them to their normal power down rate prior to the first disbursement of the current power down cycle, I personally commit to you (on chain) as a witness that I will not implement, support, or condone any hardfork that affects the balances, keys, or security of any of Steemit's accounts on the current chain.

I know many other witnesses feel the same way, and will be making similar statements. I encourage all other witnesses to express their views and make similar commitments.

[Edit] Just to be clear, the wording I used is not intended to imply I would fork if the power down continues. This is not a "do this or I will x" type of statement. I have not, nor have I ever, made any statements indicating that I am in support of a fork of the main chain, nor have I ever implied that if a set of demands weren't met that I would do such a thing.

Note: This commitment does still allow any stakeholders / witnesses who may want to go off and form their own chain (as a fork of Steem) in a way that doesn't disrupt the current chain the option to do so.

It is our hope that with sufficient demonstration from the witnesses that your funds are safe here, that you will no longer feel the need to hide them from view.

Sort:  

Never ever fork peoples stake away. And never suggest it in any way shape or form. This kind of behaviour is a violation of property rights and will scare away potential future stake holders.

I would ask you to look at the fact that I haven't forked (even though I didn't "get what I wanted" as some would say) as an indication that I am not going to toy around with these things. I do though still reserve the right as a witness to adopt any hardfork that I truly believe is in the best interest of the stakeholders and platform, and in absolutely extreme situations - that might include freezing somebody's account.

Here is one example to think about - if an exchange has more than enough STEEM on it to be able to single-handy take over all of the top 20 witness votes and they get hacked by a malicious actor who wants to destroy Steem - I would seriously consider it in that case. You can start to get less black and white - let's say that Steemit, Inc. somehow got "taken over" (not hacked) by a group of people that wanted to adopt a hardfork that would somehow screw over all the other stakeholders. Again, I might seriously consider it in that case too. Where does the line get drawn?

Honestly, it is a really difficult question. And a serious one too. Part of me would love to just take a simple "I will never do it" stance, but honestly - I feel that it would be irresponsible to do so. I take my job very seriously, and I reserve the right to use whatever tools exist in my tool-belt if I deem them necessary to do what is best for the Steem stakeholders.

The point is, it is not always black and white, and I am not going to make an on-chain commitment to never consider using it as a tool. I am also not going to cloud up a post which had a specific intention (to ensure Steemit that their funds were safe if they didn't power down) with a long drawn out explanation of when I found it appropriate to use this type of hardfork as a tool.

If [insert conditions], I [...] commit [...] as a witness that I will not implement, support, or condone any hardfork that affects the balances, keys, or security of any [...] accounts on the current chain.

Holy shit guys. Too bad you're discussing this in another slack, I have the strong urge to clean up my witness votes to stop supporting everyone involved in this blackmailing.

Do as we say or we hardfork you out. Seems like the perceived power got to some peoples' heads. You realize that this attitude is what led to the power down in the first place?

I'm far from happy about the performance and behaviour of stinc, but anyone considering this option seriously is way below. Witnesses secure the chain, they don't fuck around with it. If you need that power, move over to EOS.

Holy shit guys. Too bad you're discussing this in another slack, I have the strong urge to clean up my witness votes to stop supporting everyone involved in this blackmailing.

Just to make it clear, I am not blackmailing here. I am not issuing any type of threat that I would support a hardfork if they don't cancel their power down. I have never come out in support of a hardfork that would impact the current chain, nor have I implied that if Steemit doesn't comply with some list of demands that I would do so.

It is not blackmail.. It is just an offer they cannot refuse..

Not only can it be refused but I fully expect it to be refused. Of course I may be surprised, but IMO "an offer they cannot refuse" is extremely distant from reality.

Your formulation starting with a condition gives that impression, thanks for clarifying.

Compare it to how @lukestokes worded it:

I will not implement, support, or condone any hard fork that effects the balances, keys, or security of any accounts on the current chain.

As I'm sure you and certain other witnesses as @lukestokes etc. will NOT

implement, support, or condone any hard fork that effects the balances, keys, or security of any accounts on the current chain,

I set you @pharesim as my witness proxy !

Se also my related committment:

https://steemit.com/deutsch/@diana.feuerberg/mein-kurzes-aber-klares-statement-zum-powerdown-vom-steemit-account-und-dem-angedrohten-hardfork

Hugs

Diana

Thanks for the trust you put in me!

Just added this:

[Edit] Just to be clear, the wording I used is not intended to imply I would fork if the power down continues. This is not a "do this or I will x" type of statement. I have not, nor have I ever, made any statements indicating that I am in support of a fork of the main chain, nor have I ever implied that if a set of demands weren't met that I would do such a thing.

I have gained a great deal of respect for you witnesses. I still must point out that simply by making a demand you are leaving the threat 'on the table' if the demand isn't met.

It's extortion. Please stahp.

The “threat” of any witness applying any fork is always there. As a witness, I can choose to support or not support any changes I want. (Whether I will stay voted in is another matter, but unrelated to what we are talking about now.)

I am not going to make a blanket statement that restrains me from ever considering changes such as this in the future. I am not a witness who will never fork out someone’s stake. If there are extreme circumstances, I might consider it as an absolute last resort.

I have never indicated that the current situation is even close enough to an “extreme last resort” situation that I would ever do such a thing. In fact, I have indicated the exact opposite.

There is nothing in my post saying that there will be any type of consequences if the power down doesn’t stop. I am not making any type of threat that there will be consequences. There is no extortion or blackmail there.

What I have done is stated that if Steemit is willing to “give up” something on their side (powering down), I am willing to “give up” something on mine (my freedom as a witness to move forward with any type of hardfork on the main chain that I deem appropriate).

Again, I want to stress that even if they don’t give up something on their side, and I reserve my freedom to choose what changes to support - that does not imply that I will use that freedom to make any particular choice.

As we are discussing these matters elsewhere, I but thank you for the courtesy of your civil, forthright reply here, and defer our conversation there.

Thanks!

I agree with you. Whatever someone is doing, the chain should never be forked. This is rule number one for blockchain.

I am against hardforking for taking stakes from Steemit inc or anyone else for that matter. It would put Steem in a very bad light.

Loading...

Yep, it would destroy the integrity of STEEM as a unit of value.

It would be great if you could make a post stating your views.

i will go over all my thoughts shared in various channels and will try to come up with a more extensive version. The gist will be something like: Imho, every stakeholder, steemuser, want steem to succeed, so let's work to fix what's wrong, together! we are one, we are many.

Short and simple but truthful answer

Loading...

I translated this post into Korean.
https://steemit.com/open-letter/@ayogom/2nidut

@timcliff,
This is my statement:
I am a minnow but I will only keep witnesses who would not use our faith on them to do bad things on this chain!
So I selected you as one of my witness and now I am looking forward others who worthy to be there!

Cheers~

Great initiative bro!

Hardforking to "occupy" someones account is against all values that blockchains represent.

(I understand what you said in your edited paragraph, but only even mentioning such a fork is not a good sign to the people)

Posted using Partiko Android

I respect that view and would only consider it under the most extreme of circumstances.

Glad to see this public commitment to encourage transparency and trust.

Posted using Partiko iOS

Hats off Tim!

I sure hope that steemit is saved. A lot of people, including me, who are not even well off believed in steem and invested all we had and I certainly dont want all of it to go up in smoke.
I know that you have the best in mind for all of steemians.

Seems I missed the pre-EDIT version, was anything deleted or just the "PS_Edit" was added?
Seems this entire post is slightly too short, plus I am not up on the latest Gossip ;)

The original version can be seen on steemd.com but the post in it’s current form is a better representation of my views.

I have at least understood why Steemit Inc is Powering Down !! I have read many previous posts by the community members complaining why Steemit Inc is not giving us sufficient info.

I am sure now with this clarify you have given us of the hardfork causing security issues to Steemit Inc wallets, Steemit Inc might respond and may be some witnesses also might reconsider their decisions..!!!!

Thanks again leader for bringing this out.

Nice Tim, what time frame would you suggest is reasonable for Steemit to stop their full power down and revert to BAU?

The first disbursement would be seven days after the initially started the power down.

https://steemd.com/tx/f48ee1e8ce602a2884dd3a38308df77fa1ca120f

I don't understand any of this. But it doesn't sound good. Once again greed and deception rule?

In terms of the post, we are hoping and trying to de-escalate the situation.

Thankyou for your efforts and insight TimCliff.

This Knight has watched you from afar for 18 months now and holds you in high regard.

I reply to you now to throw support behind your statements here. Moreso I seek to add:

  • I am against a hardfork removing SteemInc funds - this would set a terrible precedent.

  • However, SteemInc has failed in its mandate to grow this blockchain and its value. As such it has become a dead-weight which Steem can no longer afford to carry.

I therefore throw my full support behind a new blockchain, with the SteemInc holdings removed, should Witnesses choose to go down this path.

This is fair for all parties involved. Some Steemians will choose to stay, some will go and some will use both. But importantly, all will be 'free' to choose.

What would I call this new chain?

'Xteem'

(Pronounced X-steem)

I am... SirKnight.
(Xteemer)

Posted using Partiko Android

Anyone who wants to pursue that option is free to do so, with or without witness support.

This is the beautiful thing about free markets and open source platforms.

Posted using Partiko Android

Any hardfork that gets rid of the likenesses of the "sanders-clan" and all the rest of the bullies and bots on the platform is okay with me! I've got most all my money on the sidelines and will take a wait-and-see approach.

That idea is not even on the table as far as I’m concerned. Anyone who wants to create their own fork and go their own way though is more than welcome to.

Account retention should always be a paramount concern!

Speaking as a tiny little sub-minnow, I have to say this whole business is really discouraging. I hope you big heavyweight guys can sort this all out for the best.

Aside from that, I can't pretend to know enough to offer any meaningful comment.

Unfortunately from the comments, it seems some think, due to the "if this, then this" framing, you would be (under certain circumstances) in support of forking out an account's stake. You may want to clarify in the original post your position on that.

I've made a similar statement regarding this issue here: Is Steem Centrally Controlled?.

#stopthepowerdown

Added an edit

Is there a consensus among Steem witnesses as to if they would go the ethereum classic route or the current edited ethereum route? Is there any instance of a huge wallet being compromised or updated historically? Just looking to see what's on record.... These questions should be a bit more obviously answered for posterity..

Posted using Partiko Android

The 'dan' and 'ned' accounts were compromised by their own carelessness (not any sort of bug in the blockchain code) at a time when they were rather large (millions of STEEM), but not so large as to threaten the integrity of the blockchain to the extent that the steemit account does.

In response Steemit pushed through a fork (unilaterally using the 'steemit' account to replace all witnesses) which reset keys (i.e. taking over control of the accounts themselves) on a wide swath of accounts include those, and likely including a number of accounts which were not compromised. I barely avoided having my (non-compromised) accounts taken from me by a margin of a few hours difference in when I changed their keys.

Some will argue this was all done for community benefit because the 'ned' and 'dan' accounts were not the only ones compromised. I am severely skeptical of this point of view. In my opinion there is nearly no chance whatsoever that Steemit would have unilaterally pushed through a fork to rescue a bunch of accounts other than their own. It is possible witnesses may or may not have done so after considering the tradeoffs.

Oh wow. OK, was this during or around the same time as the cryptotalk forums or whatever they call themselves? Or after?

Posted using Partiko Android

A few months later than the original launch which mostly happened on the bitcointalk forum. Of course the bitcointalk forum still exists to this day but the Steem threads are not very active.

It is hard fork 9 to do this which was unilaterally pushed through by steemit voting out all other witnesses, and all of this is recorded on the blockchain.

Is there a consensus among Steem witnesses as to if they would go the ethereum classic route or the current edited ethereum route?

It is up to individual witnesses to express their views on these types of things. I am not really in a position to speak for the "group".

Is there any instance of a huge wallet being compromised or updated historically?

There is a long while back. If you search through historical information on past hardforks, you will probably find it.

And if they continue their power down? Why do you start your statement with a threat basically.. "If Steemit, Inc. stops the full power downs of all of their accounts and" I have some issue with this style of negotiations.. it's very Trump like... If they dont, what happens? This isn't a commitment, its a threat... One that sounds like "if you keep powering down .. We may hard fork in a week or so".. LoL.. Idk man... I just woke up and haven't smoked my morning bowl or anything, so maybe I should get back to packing my pipe, and waiting for the coffee to brew. ** wanders off **

I have edited the post to provide clarity on this.

This post has been included in the latest edition of SOS Daily News - a digest of all you need to know about the State of Steem.



Farewell steemit

Ned just wants this guitar.

rth.png

@timcliff, hats off to you!

Resteem! Hope some of my followers may find it (this post) very useful.

They should do an airdrop to the community :) Everybody wins

Strong words. Well done for stepping up.

Thank you for expressing your opinion, I am with you.

many whales have power down and left already and now steemit as well.
What happens when there is a fork?, Its just all accounts get duplicated in both chains.

Nobody has really made any proposals for an actual fork to take place, so any details along those lines would depend on an actual proposal. My comment statement about a new chain was not intended to imply that one is going to happen - it is just making it clear that the option still exists if witnesses/stakeholders want to go down that path.

Hi @timcliff!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 8.482 which ranks you at #4 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has improved 1 places in the last three days (old rank 5).

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 233 contributions, your post is ranked at #1. Congratulations!

Evaluation of your UA score:
  • Your follower network is great!
  • The readers appreciate your great work!
  • Great user engagement! You rock!

Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server

Maybe they are propping up the price and keeping the good news coming before the big dump.

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

Nice Account you got there!
Wouldn't it be terrible, if anything happens to it?

But don't worry, we will look out for it.. wink

wow... shit just got real.

This letter is highly encouraging. Steemit should make a statement of honesty, and revert the changes they did on their SP! I will vote for you, this is what we need from our witnesses.

Posted using Partiko Android

I'm glad you expressed this position Tim! I've said the same thing (more or less) for a while now mostly in comments where I felt it was suited, and I'm glad someone with your witness authority makes this statement. The reason provided for the full power down does not hold! The the stake hiding has many implications which will become apparent in time.

It's a nice statement, and probably a pretty obvious one -- but statements are only statements; and there's no real security to be had in there.

I'm pretty ignorant of the underlying code base, but wouldn't it be more effective to propose a hardfork that would eliminate the possibility of even being able to hijack funds (and not just for Steemit's accounts -- but for everyone)?

By hardforking the chain, you can make ANY changes to the code as it is, so there is no real way to eliminate the possibility as anything is up for changing with a hard fork, but it would still take witness approval, which is what would stop this as this would probably lose everybody's confidence in steem and witnesses (earning steem) probably don't want to make their earnings worthless.

Makes sense. If you're able to re-write the code, then just about anything is possible, I suppose.

Thanks for the response.

No problem! Certainly it is so in a 'Code is Law' situation!

The only way that the possibility even exists is to implement a hardfork, and the hardfork would need to have super-majority (17/21) support from the witnesses.

There isn't really a way to do a hardfork that prevents witnesses from doing another hardfork.

I guess that makes sense. If launching a hardfork is essentially just getting everyone congregated onto the next iteration of the chain -- the I suppose you could rewrite the rules however you'd like.

If that's the case -- then wouldn't it also be possible to roll-back the chain to before the funds were powered down, and then go after the funds?

You'd think that the best way to secure the funds would be to leverage the influence that comes with the stake and ensure that responsible witness are in (or remain in) top slots -- rather than scattering these funds all over the place...

If there was a rollback, that would affect other user's balances as well - so that would not good.

Steemit has enough stake to unilaterally choose the witnesses themselves if they decided to use it.

Steemit has enough stake to unilaterally choose the witnesses themselves if they decided to use it.

Which sort of makes pointless the whole concept that

Steemit, Inc. started powering down their accounts in reaction to a perceived threat of a hardfork

An alternative would be for them to vote to replace witnesses, which while I can't speak for them, is something I believe they would prefer to avoid doing

Using their stakes in such manmer would simply signal the end of the entire steem Blockchain .

As it is, the steemit team need to comply .otherwise witnessesay as well start packing their bags and moving to other blockchains.

Users will become distressed as well and start powering down more.