How did the early whales get their massive amounts of Steem Power?
before you stop reading as you think that you know the answer already, this is not a rethoric question - there is indeed a missing piece which I cannot find so far.
I was inspired by a post from @lauch3d ans started to dig deeper. I read the early beginnings in the ninja mining thread on bitcoin talk and some explaining other posts from @aggroed and others. It was fascinating to read all these early posts when @berniesanders and @smooth were just starting to learn more about Steem and finally became whales. There was drama from the beginning when a bug after the first hours of mining led to the decision to start over again, and yes, multiple accounts and bot farms dominated the place from the beginning on.
It is unbelievable that this is just 3.5 years ago - so much has happened since then and yes, I admit that I am a little bit sad that I have not been here at the time.
I wanted to understand more and tried to find out which accounts belong together - I put hundreds of accounts into excel spreadsheets and in deed, the early miners which became whales were all using multiple accounts - to be precise they were even encouraged by @dantheman himself.
steemit and blocktrades were two of the most active ones using dozens of accounts to mine. I do not want to judge on this behaviour, in the end it was the result of the decision of the founding team to avoid the legal consequences of an ICO.
In the beginning, roughly 95 pct of all newly issued Steem was issued to the miners. They had to solve a Proof of Work puzzle - and when they did that they were put in a cue. New Steem was than issued to these accounts in the order of the cue. You can see these PoW transactions in the early blockchain data.
When looking up this data I also ran across some other accounts of people, which appear rly were part of the early team or close to them. These accounts, however, got there massive accounts of Steem somehow differently - and this is exactly were my question comes into play. I simply cannot figure out how that worked.
One of these accounts is @ben, but there is others as well. Looking if the account data of @ben from the start, you can see that he never mined. Indeed there was not much activity, so you can see very well what I mean in just one picture:
As you can see, @ben never mined. The account was created by steemit, then steemit bested 8,071 Steem to the account. But looked at what happened then. @ben powered down 4,124,440 Steem. How is that possible? What am I missing? I do not want to spin around conspiracy theories, I am sure that there is a reason which might just not be shown correctly by steemd.com - but I would like to understand.
Do you know the answer and can help me? I would be glad to learn.
Many thanks in advance and best regards,