Steem Consensus Witness Statement: Code Updated

in #steemlast year (edited)

This statement has been co-authored by the Steem community, which includes witnesses, developers & stakeholders.

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Consensus witnesses are bound by our task to maintain the integrity of the Steem Blockchain.

Fellow Steemians,
With the recent purchase of Steemit Inc by the TRON Foundation, the Steem blockchain obtained a new major stakeholder. As another major player in the decentralized space, the TRON Foundation's interest in the Steem ecosystem has the potential to bring marketing power, resources and other potential benefits to both companies. It is thrilling to think of what will be discovered and shared with this introduction between our two vibrant blockchain communities.

While these opportunities are exciting, in these early stages the most important task for witnesses is to ensure the security of the Steem blockchain. To this end, we have updated to a temporary protective protocol to maintain the status quo currently established in regards to Steemit Inc's stake and it's intended usage. This update is reversible, and is simply to be used to ensure that the security and decentralization of the Steem blockchain remains intact.

Communication on the company acquisition is scattered and conflicting at this time, and we believe it is important to be proactive, rather than risk a possible security threat to the Steem blockchain. Since there are many new developments in the ecosystem, this is an ideal time to take a look at one of our long term impediments to decentralization with the involvement of the entire community, old and new. With this announcement, we're providing a detailed look at this soft fork update, why it was implemented, and how you can get involved as the voices of the Steem community.

What A Soft Fork Is, and What Soft Fork 0.22.2 Does:

A soft fork is a fully reversible code update, which is an excellent way for Steem consensus witnesses to deploy changes for the community to review and give feedback on, which may include changing their witness votes if they do not agree. What is especially important when considering a soft fork is to remember: it does not require any exchange to update their node, and all 0.22 versions running now will continue to operate. A soft fork does not mean that anyone running a backup witness will suddenly disable or necessarily miss blocks!

In general, Soft Fork 0.22.2 and transactions on the Steem blockchain will continue smoothly across the board for everyone with absolutely no change to a majority of the current Steem code. With the soft fork running, if any of the below clearly defined set of transactions happen (it is unlikely that they will), they will not be processed by the consensus witnesses. As there is more community feedback, and the Tron Foundation and Steemit Inc have a better chance to detail their roadmap and their plans for the future, this temporary soft fork can be adjusted to fit whichever direction the future holds for everyone.

Here are the Technical Details of Soft Fork 0.22.2 :

Relevant Accounts

  • misterdelegation
  • steem
  • steemit
  • steemit2
  • steemitadmin

Excluded Operations

  • account_witness_proxy_operation
  • account_witness_vote_operation
  • update_proposal_votes_operation
  • vote_operation
  • withdraw_vesting_operation
  • set_withdraw_vesting_route_operation
  • transfer_operation
  • limit_order_create_operation
  • limit_order_create2_operation
  • transfer_to_vesting_operation
  • transfer_to_savings_operation
  • escrow_transfer_operation

The GitHub repos for comparison and consideration:

Files Changed:

Why Was This Soft Fork Deployed?

With the recent developments for Steemit Inc with the TRON Foundation acquisition, there have been a lot of uncertainties around the company and its continued use of the assets it controls, as well as plans for the future. This makes it an excellent time to return to a long standing situation that has had lasting repercussions for the Steem blockchain: Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake. In an ecosystem where we are moving towards true adoption for decentralized technologies, this large amount of stake, mined at the beginning of the blockchain with an "unfair" advantage, has always been problematic in terms of creating a potential for heavy centralization.

The Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake is a special case, as up to this point it has been clearly declared on many occasions as earmarked solely for the development of the Steem ecosystem, and to be non-voting in governance issues.

There has always been a good-faith trust by the community that this would remain the case into the future. This social contract was defined by Ned in the 2017 roadmap, and has been an important background factor for the Steem ecosystem for many years. With the changes in the company ownership, this is an excellent time to transition the good-faith agreement into a truly trustless one, utilizing blockchain code, and taking further steps to help Steemit Inc support even better decentralization and the development, onboarding, and expansion of the Steem blockchain.

For now, because there has not been a clear declaration from Steemit Inc on the use of this ninja-mined stake, Soft Fork 0.22.2 has been deployed to allow for the entire community to discuss how best to achieve the original goals that this ninja-mined stake exists to support.


This reversible soft fork will not process certain transactions related only to Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake as listed above, and is simply the due diligence required by consensus witnesses in regards to centralization that could have an impact on the integrity of the Steem blockchain. It is very likely that the soft fork code will not impact any transactions at all, and that there will be further announcements from witnesses, community members, Steemit Inc, and the TRON foundation in the near future.

Let's talk about the future of Steem!

We have a vibrant platform (with many front ends) which gives us all the ability to voice our concerns and excitement while discussing topics like this one in a public manner. We encourage you all to do so! No matter if you are a witness, a content creator, a business owner, or new community member — if you feel these actions are not representative of your vision for Steem, be sure to express that and vote for witnesses accordingly. As consensus witnesses were elected to represent you and to uphold the security and integrity of the Steem blockchain, we are here to support everyone in our ecosystem. Please get involved by voicing your thoughts, and using your votes.

All rewards from this post will be sent to @null.

Steem on!

The Steem Consensus Witnesses

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We support this conditioned on it being a temporary limitation made until it has been made clear by the new ownership of Steemit Inc how the stake will be used, and where sufficient guarantees has been made to ensure that it will be used as promised.

Well said.

And what if those guarantees are not made? We take this guy's stake away from him?

The damage done to steem from doing this will likely never be undone.

It would indeed make sense!

My position on the soft fork:

I do support the overall mission that the top witnesses and community/stakeholders are trying to achieve: Finding a way for Steem to progress in a way where the security of our governance and blockchain is not under the constant threat of a single stakeholder.

I however am not running the changes on my witness node. My post along with my explanation can be found here.

The precedent set by this will never be able to be overcome. Why would anyone invest in something that can be taken away from them by the Top 20 Witnesses?

Why would anyone invest in something that can be taken away from them by the witnesses Justin Sun could elect unilateraly?

but has steemit not been ruled by one small group for a long time?
I was seeing a possible future where we get rid of kowtowing witnesses and create a Steem that would change the world forever. You know.......... start distributing Steem and create some growth, get rid of flags and find another option for plagiarism sensible basic honest things - NO MORE FLAGS

I don’t foresee that in the future, although once/if SMTs launch you may be able to launch a new SMT token that doesn’t allow downvoting.

I support and run this update on my witness @roelandp. It has been an intense 10 days but great worker with a big group of long term Steem stakeholders, consisting of investors, community members, witnesses.

I will issue my own views shortly on my account - but the gist is:

  1. This is a preventive temporarily measure - softfork nonetheless
  2. The Steemit inc stake is a special fund, just like @steem.dao is and should have had been coded with special ruleset long time ago.
  3. Mixed signals from the new owner of the Steemit stake rise the risks in irreversible use of the stake.
  4. Again: this is temporal and done for the s(t)ake of the Steem chain. Your chain, our chain.

It's not temporary if he doesn't meet these strong armed demands though, correct?

Please show me on this rat doll where the witnesses touched you.

Thank you for protecting Steem @roelandp Voted for you as witness.

PLEASE investiate the Matrix-8 Multi-Level Governance Platform to be, as a potential system of governance for Steem. You can begin to find out about it here: https://steempeak.com/naturalmedicine/@atma.love/why

Namaste
Atma

We are looking forward to seeing the Steem blockchain become an even more decentralized place to develop our interface. We believe these moves can produce a step in the right direction ... the early mined stake of Steemit INC has not been used for 4 years to impact the governance of the chain and it was kept that way as trust based agreement with the community that luckily worked until now, we were always at risk but the risk never came to fruition.
NOW... We feel much more secure with it being a trustless system in the future.

It's one thing to prevent the stake from witness voting it's another one to prevent transfers and selling. Even if they did do that, powering down takes 13 weeks which would have given the community 6 or 7 weeks to prepare a countermeasure should they power down, transfer and power back up.

besides the giving reasoning: a started powerdown could only be stopped either by the keyholder, or a hardfork. A hardfork would be a way more drastic implementation which also requires exchanges to update the software.

Even ONE week would have a massive effect. Not necessarily unilateral control but still enormous influence, by itself probably in the top 5 stakeholders on the entire platform. It isn't practical or meaningful to talk about non-voting without preventing power down in my opinion.

I stepped down as a witness due to concerns over the ongoing time commitment as well as anticipated increase in witness demands connected to this fork and the recent sale of Steemit more broadly.

However, as a stakeholder, I support the actions taken, I am voting for witnesses running the modified code. I believe that firm action to address Steemit's lack of transparency and candor, repeated empty and broken promises, mismanagement, and exploitation of the community should have been taken long ago, though, unfortunately, consensus to do so could never be reached for a variety of reasons. Better late then never, I guess.

Is there an easy way to see who has upgraded and who hasn't so people might adjust their witness votes?

Thanks

0.22.2 is the updated version. Look on https://steemd.com/witnesses

Thanks

Time to reshuffle my votes

Is there an easy way to see who has upgraded...

https://steemian.info/witnesses

Better late then never

Well said, @smooth!

Doesn't this look like a form of the Top witnesses just entrenching themselves in the top witness spots?

Not to me, unless you think that the way to get them out would be with the ninja-mined stake voting. I don't believe that.

No other votes are affected. The top witnesses can be voted out just as easily today as they could two days ago. In fact I would venture to say there has been more movement in and out of the top 20 in the wake of this fork than most times before, but I'm not basing that on real data, just an impression.



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As a STEEM witness, I've implemented the related soft fork, and support the statement in this post.

This is an excellent representation of witnesses coming together to ensure the sanctity of the Steem blockchain. We are in full support from all aspects. Running on this version.

STEEM witness @liondani supports and runs softfork 0.22.2 !Screenshot from 20200224 010708.png

@smooth shut down his witness today.. Got a free spot. ;)

Actifit supports this update, and our witness has been accordingly updated to run the soft fork.

How would you feel if it was your stake which was frozen?

I appreciate your feelings on this and have had many discussions regarding this subject over the last twenty four hours. I am really sad to loose your Witness vote, but I also appreciate why and everyone has to have their own perspective on what is happening. In fact I just had a very involved discord discussion with @freedompoint who has exactly your feelings in the @innerblocks discord.

For sure! And it is ok that we all have different feelings and opinions ...that's how we find balance! I am glad that this whole thing is getting a rise out of people haha atleast we are all doing something haha

If it is any consolation all witnesses which installed 22.2 have lost my support. It concerns only this issue and is not meant to demean your other great work as a witness.

Something had to be done, yet in my opinion it needed to be something generic and not targetting one account. For exanple requiring 51% of all registered witnesses install a new HF before it becomes the new law. That would make corrupting the top 20 not such an easy thing.

There must be better approaches, yet something that would affect all accounts while protecting the blockchain from STINC's stake would have been my suggestion if the community had been consulted.

Does your governor or congressman consult you before making a decision? No
Does your joint chief of staff consult you when there is an immediate threat to your country? No.
Why? because there is no time and because they are responsible, not you.
Then why are you expecting this from the steem witnesses, this is a representative system just like a parlamentary system, not a direct democracy, and you knew this when you got here.

Are you concerned at all about the precedent this sets? The Top 20 Witnesses can take away your stake if they choose to. That is something that steem will carry with it forever gong forward. It looks a lot like a move by the top witnesses to ensure they remain as the top witnesses going forward. If this was truly a play to protect steem (and not to financially benefit themselves), all of the Top 20 Witnesses should step down indefinitely.

Steem has a lot of things that it will have to carry with it, like having a retard like Ned as CEO for 4 years and having him ninja sell the ninja mined stake.
We are not concerned about the witnesses having done what they should have done a long time ago, at all.



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Ha! This is much more concise and clear compared to your post yesterday "Thoughts".

This is amazing. Real strength of this chain is shown right here. Gratitude for all the hard work of dedicated witnesses to make this happen and protect the Steem community.

Note—I also would like to see the views of those witnesses who have qualms with how things are being done to make sure there is not overreaction/overextension of limitation going on.

EDIT: Something that concerns me a bit is the "preparing for the worst scenario" mentality. It is possible that Sun and Tron intend to use some of those stakes benevolently in delegation or otherwise. (Actually, looks like they would still be able to delegate.) I know being optimistic is often seen as naivety, but by comparison it is equally imbalanced to expect a negative outcome.

The other quandary that comes up is whether or not this is setting a bad precedent for the future of this chain's politics. Especially in the scenario of substantial appreciation of the token value, I could see a devolution into petty squabbles among factions of witnesses ruining the integrity of the chain and undermining investor's trust in its viability as a store of value.

Self-upvoted for visibility.

It was good to finally see some coordination to address blockchain security risks. I, @ats-witness, am in full support of the actions taken and have an official statement posted. I invite anyone to read it and leave me comments and I will answer them.

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I am currently supporting this temporary soft fork and have been working with an amazing group of Steem witnesses, community members, and stake holders to come to this point. You can read more about my perspective here: What is property? Is it defined by consensus?

I welcome questions about my perspective and look forward to useful conversations with the Tron Foundation.

Been a long weekend and discussions before that, @ocd-witness is also fully supporting this update, hoping for the best outcome for both chains and communities.



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Thank you @acidyo / @ocdwitness for supporting this update.

PLEASE investigate the Matrix-8 Multi-Level Governance Platform to be, as a potential system of governance for Steem. You can begin to find out about it here: https://steempeak.com/naturalmedicine/@atma.love/why

Namaste
Atma

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Justin bought this stake, and if you want to counter it, buy more steem. Or, at least be consistent and include all ninjamined accounts.

To be clear, Justin's actions and FUD have made me greatly concerned about the future of Steem. But we all knew about the huge Steemit Inc stake and its potential for abuse. This is a stake-based platform, and in doing this, it will set a dangerous precedent in the future of the platform.

While everyone recognizes the fact that Justin made a purchase of a company and its holdings, with any merger/acquisition comes a process of due diligence. We are responsible for the sanctity of the Steem blockchain and its excellent community first and foremost.

We are responsible for the sanctity of the Steem blockchain

I would argue this soft fork goes against that. This is a stake based platform, and what this essentially does is says "your stake matters, but don't have too much of it".

This stake is a piece of property that had specific terms of use on it. Take a look at the helpful roadmap link in the post. This mitigation is proposed, written and implemented by a group of people who believe in decentralization and the vision behind Steem building communities like nothing before it first and foremost.

So why didn't the fork happen when misterdelegation started delegating steem power, even though that stake was never to be using the reward pool?

Face it, there was no terms with this stake, there was only empty promises, which could have been handled in good faith by declining voting rights.

Because some people foolishly believed in Ned's good faith as a founder, bought into his continuous stream of empty promises, and others frankly were benefiting from the delegations and preferred to take the route of self-enrichment. That's a pattern that has played out over and over, but it doesn't mean that taking firm action to stop the misuse of the stake and general screwing over of the stakeholders and community at various different junctures wouldn't have been the right decision then, nor that it isn't now.

Now the same people who didn't have the foresight to enforce this "social contract" regarding steemit inc stake are making a seemingly emotional decision based on what might happen. I for one hold the people who have allowed the situation to get here more culpable than something that may happen because a questionable character bought @ned's bags.

This is a good question. I guess its because we all knew Ned and people normally like to believe that others are honest and are good. Declining voting rights is absolutely something that's a desirable outcome.



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That view obviously has a very good point. And raises the question: is the motive for this action expediency motivated by fear? Does it violate basic principles of what the chain stands for in a "ends justifies the means" fallacy? Or it an example of the valid use of supermajority consensus to protect those very basic principles?

And this is the important question. Was this a blockchain protecting itself similar to a User Activated Soft Fork or something worse? Either way, the code is temporarily and can easily be changed.

It doesnt matter. The chain put itself over a disrupting and dangerous factor that threatened to dismantle the chain (be that only for PR purposes or not) on day 1...

I fully support this Important update to ensure the security of the Steem blockchain. C-squared is in the process of updating.

Any Hard (or Soft fork) that proposes to fork out any account or limit the actions of an account on the Steem blockchain we will oppose now and in the future and anyone on the Steem blockchain should be able to do with their stake whatever they want.

We would have liked to have seen more communications and talks between Witnesses, Steemit Inc. and the TRON foundation.

I guess it is time for me to look at my witnesses that are associated with this account. We the end-users and the blockchain itself is being protected by the supporters of this temporary measure.

My witnesses protect the blockchain, when they don't? I find a new witness that will!

That's the whole purpose of proof of stake platform.
You weren't invited in a secret slack?

They were invited, yes.

I have a question? As of today I’m not able to access my account from steemit.com but can for other frontends. Is my not accessing my steemit account has something to do with that? I don’t know, just asking cause it’s weird to me. Thanks

You will have to take that up with steemit.com support. If your account works on other platforms then it isn't a blockchain issue.

And where is that at? Are they in discord? Where in discord?

I don't know. Maybe try the #help channel on steem.chat. That still exists, right?

yeah, steem.chat is still alive and a lot of witnesses and steem lovers are still there ! I still use it and the help channel there is awesome !

Thanks for the info!

I am so glad to see this finally happening. I wish it would have been done about 8 months ago, but regardless this is an excellent move for the integrity of this blockchain.

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oh, it is good news for me.

As a stakeholder and activist, I am good with this. Thank you!

At first look, my reaction is that witnesses have gone mad. While I understand the reasoning behind this, I think it is an extreme measure that undermines the blockchain integrity. Once acquisition happened those stakes were no longer ninja-minded.

If this is a negotiation tactic to bring the other side to table to work out a mutually beneficial and long term solution, I think it is smart.

I don’t think this is a good permanent solution. Sounds like “we were scared of a hostile take over, so let’s attack first”.

Let the power battles begin!

Once acquisition happened those stakes were no longer ninja-minded

Sorry I can't agree on this point, particularly in so far as the transaction was described as acquisition of the company. I fail to see how the identity of the sharesholders of a company, or a change in the list of shareholders, changes anything about a particular block of stake that was ninja mined to support development of the ecosystem.

If the stake alone was sold (not that there is any evidence of this), then I would think either there would or should have been disclosure of any baggage associated with the asset (whether legal, reputational, unrealized risks, or pertaining to strategic business considerations surrounding the use of the asset). If not then it seems like something for the parties to the sale to work out.

"...those stakes were no longer ninja-minded."

This is true. The Steem community has been, as @starkerz noted recently, quite naive, lulled into trust by @ned's lack of pecuniary intent and avarice. This is a trustless platform, or should be. The founder's stake has continuously been claimed as solely intended for use by development initiatives, and this verbal (written) allegation has sufficed to preclude concerns of it being deployed to centralize governance of Steem.

However, that threat has always existed, mostly due to the 30x multiplication of the influence of substantial hodlings of stake over the witnesses. It is this mechanism that made of the founder's stake a centralizing threat. As long as the substantial stakeholders could trust @ned not to use that stake, their influence on governance was dramatically increased, and they clearly benefited from this.

This temporary solution but points to the need a decentralized trustless platform has to prevent concentration of influence on governance through code that enables some stake to wield more influence than other stake. Eliminating the 30x multiplication of the influence of substantial stake on governance eliminates any threat of @justinsunsteemit, or heirs, beneficiaries, or assigns to exercise instant governance of Steem. It also makes all Steem equally influential, from large or small stakeholders, in witness elections.

1 Steem = 1 witness vote is the fair and equitable way to solve the problem temporarily mitigated by this soft fork, as well as the undue influence that has heretofore inured to large stakeholders over the majority of the community.

I think other measures like significantly decreasing amount of witness votes an account can cast would produce better results and further decentralize the chain.

Some users have tens of thousands of accounts. How much does limiting the number of witness votes they can cast per account affect them? Sock puppets will get around any limitation on witness votes per account, to greater or lesser degree depending on how limited witness votes are.

If you reduce the number of witness votes an account can cast to one, @justinsunsteemit can spread his stake to 20 accounts and replace the consensus witnesses at will.

Frankly, equity really demands 1 steem = 1 witness vote, and you can see how the present system is inequitable and centralizes governance now if you read this.

It would still be based on SP you have. Instead of having an ability to vote for 30 witnesses it would be less, maybe like 10. So that one stakeholder can’t decide who all consensus witnesses are.

I don't think you grasp that splitting your stake across multiple accounts causes the limitation on witness votes to be split across the accounts as well. It's true that it would reduce the amount of stake each account could vote with, but the ~75M Steem is still enough split 20 ways to be a deciding factor in consensus witness elections.

Consider this as well. If one stakeholder has 1M Steem each witness vote cast is for 1M Steem, meaning that stakeholder applies 30M Steem worth of influence on the witnesses. Another stakeholder has 10 Steem, and each vote for witness they cast is worth 10 Steem, meaning they deploy 300 Steem worth of influence on the witnesses. The difference in influence on governance between the two stakeholders is not 999,990 Steem, but 29,999,700 Steem. This is how the current witness election mechanism effects centralization of governance by multiplying the influence of substantial stakeholders 30x.

I reckon influence on the witnesses should be equitable, and 1 Steem = 1 witness vote increases decentralization of governance of the blockchain 30x from current conditions.

I think we are on the same page. We both want to see decreased amount of witnesses votes per account. Your idea is basically to lower to 1 vote per account, still based on Steem/SP you have. It makes sense. I like it. Not an easy task to convince the witnesses.

I find that nothing worth doing is ever easy.

No matter what rules you come up with someone with 150% as much stake as all the other voting stake put together is going to be overwhelmingly dominant to the point of breaking all hope of decentralization.

There are some limited mitigations possible, which carry security tradeoffs (since you are, in effect, deliberately enabling a minority which you can't know is "good" or "bad" in any instance) but they're partial at best.

you are not listening, reducing the amount of witnesses an account can vote would have no effect in this situation, Justin could just spread the 80 million steem in several accounts, do you understand this or do you need a further explanation?

For example limit the votes amount to 7. Now show me how you can spread 80mil sp to take over the chain. Consensus is 17, you need to split 80 mil into 3, which is 26.6 mil each and not enough to vote in all 17 consensus witnesses.

Aha, ok, you vote in a fraction of the 17 witnesses that are needed for consensus, say 12? Then how is consensus achieved without the approval of those 12 witnesses? ;)

You spread your 7 votes from the 73 million SP across an overlapping mix of 17 witnesses, which is 30 million each. That's probably more than enough. Currently top witnesses get around 45 million but that is with everyone having 30 votes as well. If you drop the 30 to 7, then the other witnesses' vote totals will drop too. If we, probably conservatively, estimate that totals drop by half, then totals are down to 22 million, and 30 million is easily in control.

If somehow that isn't enough, which I doubt, then you buy a small amount of STEEM to net up the total, campaign and count on at least a few people always being easily swayed to anything or confused, and/or you offer a few people to pay for their votes. It won't be hard to get what you need, even if this means the rest of the stakeholders are voting, say, 90% against you.

No plausible voting rules are going to contain 71% of the active voting stake from taking control. It won't happen. (And if you could, it would greatly weaken the chain by allowing small minority, potentially attacker, stakes to exert greater influence).

Those are some fucking balls on you guys. Took you a while but i cant be more proud. Hope you dont let up and i hope that the words of us from the community had at least a small effect on this decision.

Time for negotiations
with SteemiTron on equal-footing. The witnesses have spoken.

That's a good point. This creates a more level negotiation between equals.

good moment to pick few witnesses to vote on :)

Excellent approach, thanks to the witness community!

This is getting interesting. Waiting for some users' comments

And here you have a user comment. I salute the consensus witnesses for making a hard choice to protect Our Blockchain.

I understand the reasoning of the dissenters, but this action was needed and prompted by the mixed messages coming from Justin Sun. I am sure that it was a very difficult decision to make, but a necessary temporary measure until we know what in the hell is going on!

As a user and small stakeholder in the STEEM ecosystem, I am in full support of this action as long as it is a temporary one. Ned is the villain here, no one else to include Justin Sun. Hopefully, this all gets sorted out.

That's great news in times of total silence from Tron Foundation and Justin Sun. I hope that this update will ensure Steem's decentralisation further into the future and promise to readjust my witnesses votes as of tomorrow. Glad to see Consensus and community related actions.
Thank you all.

For who is reading: We are discussing the Soft Fork NOW at minnowpond.org / the PALnet server.

Make sure to mention who broke the NAP first ;)

Well, this is going to get interesting.
Never a dull moment.... :)

Lol, lots of unexpected developments recently!

With every blink :D

I mean, Steem has never exactly been a stranger to drama—to say the least— but recently it's been extra crazy!

I am nobody. Small fish, no importance. But I don't like this. I understand the witnesses/big money are afraid of losing their power, but changing the rules and locking a guy out seems to me to be wrong.

He bought his SP just like everyone else did, and now he is excluded because you're afraid of how he might vote it. Its bad karma.

"First they came for your neighbor, then they come for you".

Like I said, I'm nothing. But frankly, I'm even more disgusted with Steemit by the way people are acting on this issue. I will never forget this lesson and I'm sure it will taint the chain forever (or as long as it lasts).

He bought his SP just like everyone else did

Really? Who else bought a massive, consensus-breaking block of ninja-mined stake from Steemit Inc?

No one.

Did he not pay for the Steem Power that he purchased? The witnesses let Ned sell the so-called Steem onto the market and never locked it up like in a "soft-fork", so I think its the same Steem that everyone else has.

And regarding the "consensus-breaking block" its irrelevant... are you trying to say that people can buy Steem but not too much so that the witnesses keep their control? Bad message.

And regarding ninja-mined stake, aren't all the witnesses aware of many "ninja-mined" stakes that are out there? Why have they not been blocked before, is it because the witnesses benefited from the delegations from the ninja mined stakes? Why aren't you blocking other ninja-mined stakes right now?

It is totally a farce what you guys are doing, its visible to many and mark my words... It will backfire on the witnesses. While I don't have the power, and most people on the Steem blockchain don't have the power to stop you; you will find out soon enough what the legal system is like.

I have nothing against you all personally, in fact about 5 of the witnesses are my friends, but it won't stop the fact that this is a blunder that will not only cost you all personally, but will bring down the whole integrity of the Steem blockchain.

Sadly you can't defend it, you can try, but we both know you are twisting the facts the make you feel like you chose properly. Its called cognitive dissonance. But when you mess with multi-million dollar players its not the same as squashing a minnow into submission.

If you were informed, you would know smooth is no longer a witness.
In so far as the rest of your devil's advocate diatribe:
that was then, and this is now, better late than never.

lol... devil diatribe? hahahaha

Thanks for fixing that @jaguar.force! I was hoping you didn't really think I was the devil :) ... Have a good day and I appreciate the engagement even if we disagree!!!

Did he not pay for the Steem Power that he purchased?

I have no idea the terms of any deal which may have happened between Justin, Ned, and Steemit. The rumor is that Justin bought Steemit, the company, and not the stake directly, so I fail to see how a change in the shareholder list would make any difference. The company is not the blockchain and the blockchain is not the company.

Apart from that, as many others have said, a change of ownership even of the stake doesn't change anything. Could Justin sell everything back to Ned, and Ned would then be off the hook for any statements that he ever made pre-sale ("That was Old Ned, I'm New Ned, please don't try to hold me accountable for anything that Old Ned said"). This is absurd in my view.

And regarding the "consensus-breaking block" its irrelevant... are you trying to say that people can buy Steem but not too much so that the witnesses keep their control? Bad message

That is hypothetial. It is much more difficult to buy a controlling stake on the open market. That is one of the premises behind any proof-of-stake system: that buying up enough stake to break consensus is extremely expensive and unlikely. If that turns out to be false we will have to face the fact that proof-of-stake (including DPoS) is a lot weaker than we thought and may not be able to be trusted. But again, that is hypothetical. Buying up a huge block of ninja-mined/premined/etc. stake that was described as non-voting is not hypothetical.

aren't all the witnesses aware of many "ninja-mined" stakes that are out there?

I'm not aware of anyone other than Steemit who manipulated the mining to guarantee the outcome they wanted (effectively an 80% premine) by withholding information, posting broken mining instructions, resetting the chain when it didn't go their way, making public statements about how the ninja-mined stake was not going to vote on witnesses and earmarked to develop the ecosystem, etc. No one else did that. Steemit did. The situation is unique, and you can't wash away that history by selling a company.

Also, I'm not a witness, just a stakeholder like you, and I am voting to support the witnesses who are running the update. Your logic in trying to convince me to change my mind is seriously wanting, but you are free to vote your way and the votes will decide it. I'm not even sure what is the point of all this noise when we have voting. Don't like what the witnesses are doing? Vote them out!

ok... thanks for the discussion, I have nothing again you and wish you well!

This isn't about losing power or money. This is about mitigating the high possibility that the entire chain would be shut down. When Steemit Inc sold their company and stake the messages that were received from Tron and are still received (look at their Medium article) is that the intent was for the Steem blockchain to be cannibalized, STEEM swapped, and all the dapps that people built on Steem to be moved to Tron. Tron decided to make this decision for independent companies and dapps, on their behalf. That's why this had to happen.

For whatever noble reason you may think (or imagine), it doesn't justify "THEFT".

  1. The bottom line is Justin Sun PAID money to buy SP like everyone else. There were no conditions EVER placed on that steem in any formal manner (a blog post or promise doesn't count as restricting that Steem). It is not Justin Sun's issue, if that SP from Ned was not valid, then the restrictions should have been in place long before now.

  2. Many (if not all) of the witnesses were well aware that the SP existed and chose not to do anything about it at any time for YEARS (until it was sold to someone that they felt threatened by). That puts the witnesses into a situation where they have NOT been "duped" by Justin Sun and in fact, they have now opened themselves up personally to being sued for:

a) possible collusion (20 witnesses had secret meeting with possible backers to "take this guy's stake"???), b) possible extortion (put your money in limbo land unless you do what pleases me???), and
c) outright theft (taking something that belongs to someone else and doesn't belong to you).

They better be prepared to spend $100k or more to defend themselves, because its a no brainer this guy will sue them too if they don't remove this.

3 This group of witnesses just created a situation where Steem is pretty close to guaranteed to go away now. Because a) they will lose this battle in court b) they have taken actions that are major deterrents to investment in Steem by real money and c) they have destroyed the myth that this is a "decentralized" exchange (and that will be a hard one to ever shake again).

I'm not saying this because I care about Justin Sun, I'm saying this because I have been through many things like this before. I've seen how it will play out and it is a very stupid decision. They may think (and have some people convinced) their actions are noble too. But that will never justify taking someone's private property because you are worried about what he may do with his intentions.

What's the solution you might ask? If they were really concerned about Sun taking over and doing something unsavory, they should've bought more Steem. That's what a real decentralized platform would've forced as a solution.

ps... don't think for a second this is something that "had to happen". That's absurd.

  1. Actually, there were conditions. There were very specific conditions of what that specific piece of stake was to be used for. If there weren't that'd be an entire different ballgame. 2. You are absolutely right on this, excellently put. Except for the part where witnesses would be sued because as you know, if you sell a piece of property and fail to disclose that property had condition, the seller is the one going to court.

a) No. Did not happen. b) No, mitigation until a solution is obtained. c) Not what the code does.

  1. No, the situation was prevented. a) Witnesses aren't the one who sold a product under false pretenses. b) Preventing the destruction of dapps and investment like yours is encouraging for investors. c) This is exactly how decentralization works; preventing one person from shutting down a public OS blockchain.

Think for what would happen to all of the Steem ecosystem, users, dapps and communities if they suddenly have no blockchain to exist on and are mandated to move to someone else's corporate controlled blockchain.

Yes, buying STEEM is definitely a good idea.

I appreciate the effort and never have a problem with someone sticking up for what they believe!

My respect to you :)

Perfect timing and thumbs up to all witnesses who stepped up and acted fast.

Better be safe.

To @therealwolf & all other Witnesses that supported this measure.

I have seen a lot of unpopular moves done in communities over the years by those responsible for the security and safety of said communities. There are always folks (usually those either not well informed or those with an over-inflated sense of being informed) who 'after the fact' dislike the decisions that were made for the protection of a community which often leads those same folk to taking up a stance of confusion, doubt, hostility and purporting a general lack of faith in the decision makers.

There are also those folks who tend to either take some moral or ethical 'high ground' whilst espousing that they would never make such decisions which in my not-so-humble opinion amounts to a sort of cowardice and failure to take action and do what needs to be done regardless of the blowback or potential risk to themselves... which is exactly why those folks are not in a role of responsibility for the security and safety of a community to start with.

In this instance a Super Majority of fairly voted Witnesses have made a difficult choice and executed that choice in a non-hostile fashion with the hopes of maintaining the safety and security of the community and all any of us should really be doing in this moment is saying thank you but hey I am not here to tell you how to live or what to do so please feel free to behave/misbehave however you want to!

If these Witnesses had not voted on this protective measure and something horrible happened with the ninja mined stake everyone would be blaming them for failing to protect the community... call me a liar on this PLEASE!

"When there is a loose canon on the deck of a ship you chain it down before it can go off and sink the ship with it." ~ Unknown Sailor

Most importantly I think is the fact that we have a LARGE number of the active witnesses working together to come to a consensus to do what they feel is in the best interest of the chain. This seems like a kinda historic moment.

I fully support this update and am now running it on my servers.

I wish this would have been done earlier when Steemit Inc was in charge. Also, Steemit Inc shouldn't have been allowed to delegate or vote.

Tron shouldn't be allowed to delegate but they should be allowed to withdraw at a certain pace which is slower than other accounts.

Completely agree. The community is right to demand that code is law, but should have demanded such from Dan/Ned when they made those promises to the community which so many have invested time and money based on afterward.

Do you also think they should not be able to delegate to new accounts? Personally, I think delegations can be fine as long as it can be shown to contribute to growing the ecosystem and the rewards don't go back to Steemit Inc, but instead to other projects that comes to build here (thus living up to the promise of being used to further decentralize stake and grow the platform). I understand and respet that there are different opinions here though.

As for withdrawals, I was also against this being included. My condition for approving this was that it would only be a temporary limitation until Steemit Inc's new ownership has shared their intent with using it, and i's been guaranteed that they will do as promised.

In any case, it is very promising to see so many community devs, witnesses and stakeholders come together and put in such an amount of work this fast! I'm left very optimistic about where we can go from here.

Delegations are never neutral and advantage some witnesses over others. The repercussions are long-lasting and widespread.

I think they should be able to withdraw their Steem Power but a slower pace than everyone else. 50% slower would be neat.

Even 50% slower, after a few weeks, you have a big unaccounted for block of ninja-mined stake potentially with no transparency or accountability at all.

The already happened in the past when Ned was concerned that witnesses might take some action. He started powering down and hiding Steem, and to my knowledge that Steem was never accounted for in any way.

That would be the end result for sure but in the end, it's their stake. They should have access to it.

I wouldn't vote to withheld their stake indefinitely.

It is better described as development stake (non-voting at that) held by a company (a company which has now changed hands, but the company changing hands doesn't change anything about the nature of the stake).

There is no real doubt that Ned said it was all to be used to develop the ecosystem. On other occasions he said it was theirs to do as they see fit.

But, really, I don't see how one person or company saying one thing when it is convenient and then saying another thing when that is convenient should play in his favor. If anything the opposite.

One practical issue with power down is that it can be hidden and powered up into other accounts to vote for witnesses, proposals (SPS) or payouts. Even at a slow rate, a small to moderate portion of 73 million quickly has enormous influence (only 5-10% of it is still easily one of the largest stakes on the platform).

If the decision is made that voting is harmful and unacceptable then IMO you have to likewise consider power down too as a practical matter, until some other arrangement can be made such as putting a trustee in place to ensure that powered-down stake is then only used appropriately when the chain can no longer enforce it.

Witness @rotfl fully supports this update.

Adam of Team ROTFL.

Thanks @rotfl. You have my vote.

PLEASE investigate the Matrix-8 Multi-Level Governance Platform to be, as a potential system of governance for Steem. You can begin to find out about it here: https://steempeak.com/naturalmedicine/@atma.love/why

Namaste
Atma

Regardless of how you feel about Justin, Ned or this situation.

What we learned today is that a small group of people can make a decision, write code and execute it without a single public conversation.

I am very thankful today for this lesson in our governance model.

Thank you for bringing that to light, it will be discussed when everyone has forgotten about what their first reaction to Justin was.

I second you on this. This is an interesting lesson given to everyone about the governance model of Steem, probably one of the biggest (hardest for some) since I'm there. But well, we keep learning day per day.
I am still torn between few feelings... even if this is not a big suprize to me.
Apparently Justin has reacted : https://steemit.com/steemit/@justinsunsteemit/open-letter-to-steem-community