Final statement on rejecting Hardfork 21, and what rejecting hardforks mean

in #steemlast year (edited)

UPDATE (22nd August): Instead of making a new post, I'm confirming my decision to reject Hardfork 21 here. I'll disable my witness node on 27th August when HF21 goes live, and it'll remain disabled till the network meets my minimum standards. You can read below for further thoughts on the matter.

Here's what Steem needs to do to make me support the active fork again:

I have written enough about Hardfork 21. I have been committed to rejecting this hardfork, unless there were significant improvements in certain areas. Whilst the final code for Hardfork 21 is pending, reviewing the testnet makes it abundantly clear that my expectations will not be met. I can confirm that I'll be rejecting Hardfork 21, short of a dramatic overhaul.

But what does it mean to reject a hardfork?

In short, I will not be running the code for HF21. If a supermajority of top witnesses approve HF21, I'll be left behind on the HF20 chain. My witness will be disabled and I'll be giving up all witness earnings.

So, why would I give up on a steady 200+ Steem/month? It's simple - I value sanity, social and cultural enrichment far above any economic benefits. I have never used bid-bots, I have never delegated to bid-bots or any other such profitable schemes. I have only ever delegated to or followed positive curation and community-oriented projects, and I have never asked for anything in return. I have (almost) never self-voted, instead of focusing on voting engaging community members. I do these because greed has a devastating impact on my mental well-being, while positive interactions on social networks leaves me a happier person. Of course, economic factors are important to me, so it's always a balance. For me, personally, the balance is heavily tilted towards being Steem a social network over a lucrative economy.

Hardfork 21 is lipstick-on-a-pig. It has the potential to offer marginal gains for the Steem economy, but it comes at social costs. I have provided enough evidence before, so I won't go into it any further. This is absolutely a valid approach, of course, but one I ethically and morally, I want no part of. I completely respect fellow witnesses for focusing more on the economy, but I'd point out it's ultimately futile with the interests of content creators and consumers being diametrically opposed to those of investors. It'll never coalesce, ever, no matter how deeply you ignore fundamental economic and historical evidence. Still, a pig with lipstick on arguably looks better than a pig without it, so I understand and respect where supporters of HF21 are coming from.

Regardless of Hardfork 21, I remain cautiously optimistic of Steem's future in carving out its own niche.

Let me clarify:

Rejecting Hardfork 21 does not mean that I cannot approve future hardforks and reenable my witness node. We have seen plenty of witnesses rise up from the ashes, though usually, it's because of a price increase or something. For me, it would be a network that I can support whilst maintaining a moral compass.

Ned had shunned stake-weighted voting decisively well over a year ago. He's no longer around, and who would blame him? But Steemit, Inc. are still active and executing well. They have refocused on SMT and Communities which is very more in line with Ned's vision of moving away from the stake-weighted abomination. I remain cautiously optimistic they'll eventually figure it out, and when they do, I'll consider witnessing again. Eventually and cautiously, being the keywords.

What does this mean for you, the witness voter? You don't have to unvote a disabled witness. You may appreciate the witness' stance, or at least appreciate their sincerity. It's up to you. I'll keep voting for the better witnesses, even though at this point it's abundantly clear I don't agree with most of them.

Finally, I'll remain a STEEM investor and an occasional contributor. I was one of the most active contributors to the Steem network between July 2016 and April 2017. Since then, I have reduced my contributions gradually for obvious reasons stated above. I have always been wanting to be back active on Steem, but the platform has simply gone in the wrong direction since, and continues to do so post-HF21. So, I'll remain a sporadic contributor and continue to hope Steem improves as a social network when SMTs and Communities launch.

PS: Witnesses that claim to be against HF21 but still end up running HF21 code are untrustworthy and duplicitous. You're either for HF21 and end up running it, or against it and end up rejecting it.


I expect we'll see a double whammy on the price of Steem.

  1. From this hardfork's failure once it goes live
  2. From people dumping to party at Steemfest in a few months (it happens each year)

I've always enjoyed your stance on things. Thank you for stating it clearly.

The price is a measure of confidence in the platform. I don't have any confidence that creators and altruism will flourish with hf21.

The EIP will be a farce used by large stakeholders to fund projects that may go nowhere, when these very same shareholders will have unchanged incomes from bidbots

Price is its own thing. If there's a bull market, the price will pump; if not it'll drop. Of course, long term this model is unsustainable.

So, I'll remain a sporadic contributor and continue to hope Steem improves as a social network when SMTs and Communities launch.

hope is no advisor. Isn't the nice thing with crypto that economic proposals are predictive? You can see by its design whether it benefits the user/customer and will increase network-effects which give a network its user-value and finally its marketvalue. Decentralization is quantifiable, there is no maybe. Either a system is a more equally distributed system or it is not.

The pockets of complexity where there is irreducibility are the tricky part, but here you have science and simulations. When there is a hardfork proposed by the Ethereum foundation or Bitcoin foundation, then they write tons of peer-reviewed papers on the issue, they run simulations, co-lab with universities like MIT. I wonder why Steemit Inc. needs nothing of that kind?

I have been demanding some evidence to support all major changes for a long time. That's one of the reasons I'm rejecting this hardfork.

Thank you for your honesty. It is great to see those who stand by their beliefs.
I really believed that this HF would be a good thing for content creators and increasing engagement, after reading your post I realised that I may not be in possession of all the facts. I Will have to research this more and make my own stand.

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Sorry to disappoint, but the only thing that'll increase engagement is a) short-term an increase in price; b) long term a complete overhaul with a social-centric system. By that I mean scrapping the current system entirely and starting from scratch.

I'm pretty sure HF21 will backfire in at least one of seven posible ways, and the lack of solid contingency planning, especially after the HF20 disaster, is quite shocking. Think there might be ways to limit the risk of backfiring, but as things look now, trying to get some "I told you so! Now here is how you might fix it with an EIP version two" story ready and positioned for after HF21 hits, might be the best thing to aim for.

There are too few voices of reason on this platform at this moment when it comes to the EIP if you ask me, and I really hope witnesses like you could pick up writing up a decent EIP v2.0 and have it ready and fully specified at the moment all these EIP accolites end up discovering the EIP doesn't even create half the incentives it set out to create, and things start babk firing badly.

I think, if a few vocal witnesses like yourself have the awnsers ready when disaster strikes, the witnesses up higher in the tree might be ready to hear you.

I don't really think there'll be a major disaster. Things will be as before. Sure, there'll be a short time when there'll be toxicity and flag wars (which even the HF21 fanboys will admit) but things will settle down to the shitshow Steem already is.

And no, top witnesses don't care what I think.

Thanks for your open words.

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I resteem very few posts, but I very much appreciate your perspective and stance. I'm only looking to vote for witnesses who reject EIP in hf21, so you and your disabled witness will continue to have my vote.

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Thank you, but at this point, I seem to be the only one.

They have refocused on SMT and Communities which is very more in line with Ned's vision of moving away from the stake-weighted abomination.

Im not sure Communities fix the stake-based voting problem, they seem to be copying it. Not only that but the stake based voting it seems will always run side by side with communties...

Do you have an idea of how they will marginalize the effect of self voters like Haejin with communities?

There's no way to "fix" stake-based voting. It needs to be replaced outright.

Is there an alternative that wouldnt be as abused?

You can see the YouTube video I've linked above where Ned suggests an alternative. Voice also offers an alternative. Who knows if they'll work though...

I like how you state you stance clearly and that you're not going to leave STEEM because of this. I don't like what I know about HF21 (I don't know much) but I'll still be a STEEM user. Keep on STEEMing!

I wouldn't blame anyone for leaving Steem, there are far superior social networks out there.

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"I have never used bid-bots, I have never delegated to bid-bots or any other such profitable schemes. I have only ever delegated to or followed positive curation and community-oriented projects, and I have never asked for anything in return. I have (almost) never self-voted, instead of focusing on voting engaging community members."

This is why we have nice things. People like you don't sell them for a quick profit. I wish there were more witnesses with your principles, and the courage to stand on them.


That several top witnesses not only do all of those, but actually run bid-bots obviously shows that the entire network is broken and aching for a complete overhaul from scratch.

I suspect HF21 will so reduce retention and engagement that the platform will be abandoned in short order once the cost of extracting Steem via profiteering no longer is justified by the profits. It is my hope that those left afterwards will then be able to implement incentives appropriate to generating capital gains.

EIP is accerelationism. The basic idea behind accelerationism is to increase the rate of societal destruction, so that a new societal paradigm can be deployed in the aftermath that cannot be gradually introduced into a dysfunctional society. I abhor accelerationism, but I'm not in charge, and make lemonade from lemons.

I don't expect any major change. It's the same thing, really. There'll be a short term of flag wars, but bidbots will be back bidbotting, self voters will be back self voting, and content creators will be back submitting as usual. There'll be some casualties, sure, but overall the impact is not going to be as significant as you suggest - it's just not that big of a change.

Cutting author rewards in half is a huge change, and it will be more than that, particularly when you consider a 10% tax on inflation, and free flags equal to 25% of VP. Most of the VP on the platform is held by whales, and they'll be flying those flags to return rewards to the pool, where they can extract ~90% of them.

The mean payout last I checked is .01 SBD. The average payout is ~15 times that, and the difference is whales self voting and delegating to bidbots. Cut the mean payout to .005 SBD, and increase the average to 30 times that, and the writing is on the wall.

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