Statement on Steem Soft Fork 0.22.2
Steem Soft Fork 0.22.2 Deployed
In light of recent events that have occurred involving the Steem blockchain, I wanted to briefly discuss the recent Steem witness actions of which I was and am a participant.
The Steem and greater crypto community is now learning about actions that were taken by Steem witnesses to help secure the Steem blockchain from potential continuity and security risks that were thrust to the forefront due to the recent sale of Steemit Inc’s majority shares.
These actions were not taken because of who purchased the company and its stake in the Steem blockchain. The actions were taken in order to ensure that the stake and tokens involved in the acquisition would remain non-voting until more information is released to the public and until prior commitments about the use of that stake have been addressed.
Due to the history of the Steem launch and the accumulation of tokens by Steemit Inc. during that period, a large amount of stake in the Steem blockchain was left in control of a single entity. Despite Steemit Inc.’s commitment to not use this stake for voting purposes on-chain, and despite holding to that commitment for the past three years, it was still at least a potential risk to the governance of Steem, particularly if that stake were to ever fall out of their control, either voluntarily or via other means.
In fact, the risk remained even if it was never relinquished because there were no on-chain actions taken by Steemit Inc. to decline their voting rights or remove/reallocate the stake even though the options were available.
For the past four years, Steemit Inc., Steem witnesses, Steem developers, and the community in general failed to adequately address the potential risks and take actions to ensure better security over Steem’s governance. The past week’s events effectively brought to fruition the potential threat and failing to address it would have left the security of the Steem blockchain in a very compromising position.
In other words, continuing to ignore this risk to Steem’s governance model would have been wholly irresponsible to Steem’s investors and users. “Good faith” agreements should never be necessary in a system of trustless protocols.
With such a potential existential threat to the continuity of the Steem blockchain, it was a bit comforting to see witnesses come together, address the risk, reach consensus on how to proceed, derive a temporary solution, and then quickly take action. By no means was this a rushed process without careful and adequate deliberation, nor was it any attempt to permanently seize any assets.The actions taken were carefully considered in order to have the smallest impact on the new ownership of the stake and to ensure that exchanges would not require an update to their nodes.
The updated code being run by certain witness nodes is neither a permanent hold against the affected accounts nor should it be interpreted as a sign of hostility by the Steem witnesses toward the account owners. On the contrary, the actions taken were simply meant to ensure the security of the Steem blockchain during a time of considerable uncertainty.
Witnesses who are running the updated code have simply opted to decline certain transactions, which is wholly within their rights as a block producer/signer. It is also wholly within anyone else’s rights to vote for whichever witnesses they want to support.
A Personal Note
The hope of the actions taken by myself as a Steem witness is to have a candid discussion about Steem’s DPoS governance and security, how it has continually been at risk due to Steem’s launch and the stake held by Steemit Inc., and with the new owners of that stake in question to ensure that prior commitments to the Steem community are considered and publicly addressed.
After four years of considerable neglect and mismanagement by Steemit Inc. leadership, I welcome new energy and investment into the Steem ecosystem. I would like to be hopeful about gaining investors and users and also about potential marketing efforts for Steem.
I would also like to be hopeful about Justin Sun and the Tron Foundation’s realization that they have acquired a rather significant stake in a phenomenal blockchain and now have a significant impact on how this blockchain proceeds - and that the opportunities to grow an autonomous and decentralized Steem blockchain are nearly endless with good leadership.
However, any hope and optimism comes with a fair amount of cautiousness, as we have very little information coming from both the Tron Foundation and Steemit Inc. since the announcement of the buyout on February 14th. I would encourage both entities to expedite their meetings and initial plans and then inform the community as quickly as possible to ensure that any fears, uncertainty, and doubt can be curtailed for the benefit of everyone involved in both the Steem and Tron blockchain ecosystems.
Amicable and productive relationships are possible but information is critical to that end.
My priority, as a Steem witness and user of its apps and social media interfaces, will always be to secure and protect the blockchain that I have been deeply involved with for the past 3.5 years. I hope that the new ownership of Steemit Inc. can respect the dedication and relationships that many of us have with each other and with/in this ecosystem and that they can respect the amount of resources and personal investment that many of us have poured into building that ecosystem over the past four years.
Please feel free to ask any questions, vote your conscience regarding your Steem witnesses (including me, @ats-witness), and/or leave any replies or statements you wish to make on this matter. Let your voice be heard, regardless of what other people may think.
Links for reference regarding previous uses of Steemit Inc.’s acquired stake in the Steem blockchain and code written for it:
Announcements and articles regarding the recent acquisition of Steemit Inc. By Justin Sun and the Tron Foundation: