Okay. Now What?

in #steem9 months ago

Yeah, It's Me. Again.

A couple of days after the soft fork, I wrote a post wondering if there was a plan in the event that Justin Sun/TRON, et al decided they wanted the 75 million (or however much the heck it is) Steemit stake back without having to grovel or say pretty please.

I did have a couple discussions with witnesses and a couple of other users where some of that got answered, but I think Sun himself answered it without even knowing I'd asked it.

Sun/TRON/exchanges/whoever not only brought in enough witnesses to undo the soft fork, they replaced all the top 20 witnesses in one stroke.

Now, it sounds like there's some scrambling around going on as to what's the next step. People seem to be rallying around the witnesses in an attempt to try to get control of the STEEM blockchain again. A few prominent Steemit employees (including blockchain engineers) have announced their resignations. Even Steemit was down for a while today, and it must have extended beyond just the site as I couldn't get through Steempeak for a while, either, and Steemworld started cycling through its ample APIs.

Meanwhile, STEEM prices are moving a little, but mostly shrugging and saying "Meh," for now.

Ever The Contrarian

I sit here watching all of this and I see so many running in one direction—save the blockchain! Help the witnesses!

And I can't help thinking—what the heck makes me trust the former top 20 witnesses any more than I trust Sun?

The belief in decentralization?

I do believe in it. I want it to work. Unfortunately, I have a hard time getting past the fact that the former top witnesses took it upon themselves (along with several others) to make such a big decision behind closed doors in the name of urgency and surprise.

On a side note: I didn't vote for most of the top 20 witnesses. And, I didn't give a blank check to any of the ones I did give my vote to. I'd like the community to be advised of what the witnesses are thinking, have them listen to more feedback than just a select few, and take time to consider it all. In other words, communicate, just like they were wanting Sun to communicate with them.

Even so, I understand why they did what they did. I get the need for secrecy. I even feel they thought it was the right thing to do. I just don't agree with it.

I'm agreeing to disagree.

The Facts Remain

Two wrongs don't make a right.

There's always a bigger fish.

You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger and you don't mess around with...

...Sun/TRON, et al, when you don't have a bigger stick stake.

Especially when you know going in what he's capable of because he's already done it somewhere else.

You can't say, "See! We told you he was bad!" after you essentially dared him to respond.

Life On STEEM Goes On. For Now.

As far as I know, unless there proves to be something untoward in the new code the 20-in-1 witness is currently running—all Sun has effectively done is take the Steemit stake back.

I mean. I'm still here. I'm commenting as normal. I'm upvoting as normal. If this manages to make it to the STEEM blockchain, I will have posted as normal.

I have yet to see a post saying anyone's accounts were frozen out with the 22.5 hard fork. So life on STEEM is proceeding just as it was before the soft fork.

With the huge difference that what was at least debatable decentralization before (witnesses running different servers in various locations was definitely decentralized, governance, that's another question).

Now, not-so-much.

Therefore, while I can't really condone what Sun has done—I've never been one for brinkmanship—I can't just excuse what the witnesses did before it.

To tweak the old adage, You live by might makes right, you die by might makes right.

I Know That's Not Popular

I wish I had a way to convince everyone involved here that instead of running pell mell into the next counterstrike, that taking a step back to take a deep breath, calm down, and then, you know, maybe actually try some dialogue rather than preemptive strikes and escalation might be helpful.

I know. Witnesses and others tried to get ahold of Sun for 10 whole days.

Wow. Eternity.

No Legal Repercussions?

Blocktrades in a couple of posts last week laid out the fact that there's at least not existing legal recourse for someone losing their stake to a hard fork. That's good. My guess is, that also applies to someone coming in and using the existing witness voting system to get what they believe to be their own stake back.

Is It Possible?

I don't know if there's going to be a better man (woman, person) in this scenario or not. I don't know if anyone is going to say, "You know what, I screwed up, and I'm sorry," and really mean it.

I don't know if trust can be established or not. I don't know if all sides can ever get to what's best for STEEM while also doing what's good for them. Amid all of the uncertainty, there was at least a slim chance of that happening before the soft fork and top witnesses swap.

Now, I don't know if that slim chance exists or not.

For What It's Ultimately Worth

This was supposed to be a rant. I don't think I got there. I think it's more of a tell it as I see it and then just let the chips fall where they may.

What else can I do? I can try to be true to myself. So, as I did in the previous post, I'm mainly putting this on the chain so I can at least say I shouted into the void.

Again.

Image source—Pixabay. Videos from YouTube

P.S. I don't know if anyone else saw this, but the amount of stake keeping the TRON witnesses in place have all dropped significantly within the last hour or so.

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One of the exchanges canceled their vote.

Hey, @oldtimer.

Interesting. I wondered if that might be the case. Getting some push back maybe? Can we hope for this actually misfiring? :)

Yeah, Binance cancelled due to pushback, which surprised me as they have pretty close ties to Sun.

I was with you on voicing disagreement with the soft fork, I switched my votes to the couple witnesses that stood against it etc. But I just read Justin Sun's twitter announcements and it's such a load of bullshit I'm just completely against him now.

I completely understand that from his position he would disagree with the actions taken by the witnesses, and if he voiced that in a reasoned and rational manner, even forcefully stating that he unfroze his stake because he will not have it used as a bargaining chip in talks with the witnesses... I get it.

But he's attempting to control the narrative by classifying this as a hack by a few malicious individuals who threatened to nullify the entire Steem network... but the community united and solved the difficulties!

Of course the truth is the hack was in fact the result of much discussion by 20+ individuals elected by 10,000+ individual voters; while his community uniting counter hack is comprised of only one individual. He couldn't even be troubled to find 20 legit witnesses who agreed with him, and just spun up 20 sock puppets.

I don't see any way he'll return voting power to the community as he's promising. It'll be a facade that's somehow stacked in his favor. He'll code in all the protections to retain control while he holds all the witness spots. However, with the resignations of some senior Steemit Inc. developers, I honestly think we're going to be in for some chain freezes and bugs as they try to force through these alterations on a limited timeframe with developers not fully familiar with the inner workings of Steem.

Hey, @bryan-imhoff.

It's a big mess now, no matter how you look at it. :)

I'm feeling it most for the Steemit folks who feel caught in the crossfire along with most of the rest of us stakeholders on the chain.

Sun is Sun. We're getting a firsthand look at his true colors. When the chips are down, he will fight back, and he will win at all costs. The only way to combat that is to have our own connections, dollars and PR arm. Or, someone takes pity and comes to our rescue.

As of the moment, we've got none of that. If we did, we wouldn't be here now.

And in my opinion, it's a lot easier to get and maintain sympathy from the rest of cryptodom if you're not the one making the first move.

Even if it was dead on arrival, we had an opportunity to at least try to appeal to Sun's seemingly insatiable desire to make money by showing the value of a truly decentralized STEEM. There was at least a plan to do that from the Steemit team.

re: Binance

I'm also a bit surprised that Binance would be the one to bow out first, since they're supposed to be TRON's highest ranking super representative, right?

Well, they only had to take over permanently to remove the soft-fork.
After that the votes from Steemit inc would do the trick.

He talks about defending the sanctity of private property in his tweets - double speak and centralisation aside, he does have a point!

There has been a significant withdrawal of support from those witnesses, for now!

Hey, @revisesociology.

He does—double speak and centralization and not really feeling deep down the sanctity of private property aside. :)

But now, he can use it to his advantage because our witnesses handed it to him.

Unfortunately, on our side, I've been finding out through this process that private property wasn't nearly as protected or hallowed or whatever as I thought it was.

And without any legal recourse, too. We essentially need to toe the line, whatever and wherever that line may be, or it can be taken away. I'm not sure what I thought STEEM was, but that wasn't it.

There was a big discussion some time ago ether Steem should be viewed as 'security token' or not.
It's pretty obviouse that what's happened is a huge 'pro' argument. And some shitcoins did already had troubles with SEC because of that.
So the SteemTron doesn't actually have the green traffic light yet.

Hey, @svamiva.

I can see there might be some saving graces, regardless of how this goes, but I don't like the costs of any of them. Being beholden to TRON/Sun and whoever might be behind him is not all that palatable, but neither is being beholden to the SEC and regulators, either.

So, I'm glad there's not a greenlight for STEEMTRON. Also, we're being told that just having the two fold into one another is technically impossible now, and would take a long time to do, however long that turns out to be.

That in and of itself gives me the most comfort. If we'd managed to keep our powder dry instead of alerting Sun to our intentions, we may have been able to walk through that process a little further. Now, it's even harder to tell where all of that stands.

I'm hoping we can here from the resigned STEEM crew soon. They've probably signed a confidentiality agreement of some kind, though, so who knows when we'll get the full story.

From 8 days ago on friendsofgondor post I left the following:

And now we wait on the fallout of the economic sanctions the witnesses have begun. Steem is going to be pretty interesting over the course of this coming year. Bow shots have been fired, from both side, will the whales breech the surface, will the whale hunter win, will his ship be capsized, I look forward to the coming WWCF (world wide crypto fights) season one Justin standing in the Tron corner, and the witnesses in the steem corner. Ninja Mind vis-a-vis Ninja Miner

Round one it seems goes to Justin Sun and Tron.

Hey, @bashadow.

Yes it does, and unless I'm completely missing the boat (which I have before and would rather I am here), the witnesses don't have any other surprises. I don't count somehow forking the chain as unexpected. That seems to be the one and only option I've seen brought up so far, however that can happen.

Although, if anyone were paying attention, they telegraphed their soft fork punch last year when someone started putting up "dummy" code on Github and "some" of the witnesses and others "wargamed" the "potential" of doing such a thing, should the need arise.

So, I don't know. We've got the land barons (witnesses and their big stake backers) versus the conquering emperor. I like your analogy better, actually. I've just been thinking in terms of history. :)

The reality for me right now is the question does it really matter who controls the witness, 1 person or 3. It was pointed out to me that it does matter, I disagreed, but that was then. Today does it matter who controls the witnesses? We knew what Sun's response would be, or I should say I had a good feeling of what his response would be, I was told it was impossible for one person to control the witnesses, I guess it wasn't impossible. I still hope that after this all washes out that the 15SP down vote army that is being supported by @steem will have their delegated steem taken away.

Who knows maybe it will lead to the witness vote selection process being fixed, and the down vote problems being fixed, but I know the reality is that none of it will be fixed fixed very quickly, and that next year I will still likely be here, occasionally voicing my displeasure at some of the choices, and still complaining about the down vote bot army, and the witness selection process.

At the end of the day here I still think of steem block chain as a social place, I am sure in six months or a year I will still be here. I will just have a hard time adjusting to a new name if they change it from steem to something stupid like tromit or stronit or something equally odd.

!ENGAGE 25

I like SteemiTron myself. :)

It doesn't really matter if it's one or three. Those three could be one for all we know. Freedom has been suspected to be everything from Dan or Ned to a ninja miner, an angel investor, etc. Being able to vote for yourself as a witness is kind of odd, too.

It's funny how people can look at it as us versus them (when they do it, it's bad, when we do it or someone we like does it, it's okay), and yet it's essentially the same thing.

I don't know where I'll be in six months. I've been contemplating since this happened this morning life after STEEM, and I don't think I want it.

I've never blogged so consistently for so long, ever, nor have I gained even remotely close to the amount I've received through rewards. Doesn't amount to much, given the time and effort, but still, it blows away anything else I tried to accomplish.

The social aspect would be missed, too, to a degree. I'm just not so social, on or off STEEM. I mean, I try to engage and interact, but I could go for a while without doing it, too, and be okay.

What I would mostly miss is the creative outlet, and the promise STEEM provides, whether reality is still afar off or not. The light at the end of the tunnel, even a pinprick, is better than total and utter darkness. :)

!ENGAGE 25

I look back at the other two Hard Forks, the EIP and then the Resource Credit one. Neither lived up to expectations of most people, the users just got use to it. The normalization of down votes succeeded, and the RC fork that promised everyone they could create accounts for free meant you were not part of everyone if you had less than 5000SP at the time.

The users, the bloggers, the content creators really have no say in the operation of steemit, never have, and likely never will even more so since it is in the hands of Sun now.

The investors have very little control over the direction of the social side. The programmers, the dreamers, the outsiders, they see the social side, they see the investor concerns, and they sometimes have good ideas, they are the entrepreneurs.

Steempeak stands head and shoulders above steemit in...well...everything. SteemMonsters, uses the block chain and is pushing the block chain tech to limits, like old school game developers used to push the technology of the day to make their game stand out above the rest.

There is going to be a shake up, people will leave, people will come, and things will pretty much stay status quo. At least that is partly how I see it, so I am sure I will still see you around in six months, as I will see others still in six months, and I'll still be out voicing my thoughts and opinions on peoples works and post. I still plan on having those 20000 comments by the end of the year.

I may just have to stick around to see you get to those 20,000 comments. :)

re: HF 20 & 21

Unfortunately, I think the RCs were necessary, along with all the other cost shifting and cost saving that was done. That meant it was very difficult for the majority of us for a while, and virtually impossible for all of the plankton and quite a few of the minnows from that point forward

But, there are plenty of people here who don't think STEEM should be for the masses, anyway. At least, not unless the masses are willing to stake. From a business standpoint, that makes a lot more sense than it does from a "the people's blockchain" standpoint.

As far as the EIP goes, I have to say, I've been a beneficiary of it. And with communities, that benefit has amplified in the few times I've been able to use it so far.

So, I don't know. I decided early on that I wasn't going to get anywhere nearly as fast or as much as I wanted to unless I did put some money in. I know not everyone can do that. I probably shouldn't have from a purely financial standpoint, either. But it was a short term pain for a long term potential gain.

A risk. And now we all get to see what's going to happen to that risk.



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