This is the contents of an interview with Steem witness, which may help us know better about the hard fork 23.0 initiated on May 20.Translated from: https://joind.io/market/id/2098
image from Shutterstock
Blockchain project Steem will implement a hard fork on May 20 at 11:00 pm (Korea time). The hard fork announcement will be uploaded on May 19 at 11:00 pm (Korea time). The scheduled hard fork is different from the HIVE one conducted in March. To examine the background and controversy around this hard fork, JOIND interviewed the witness team of the Steemit-based reward site Triple A. Triple A is a Korean project that has been securing a place in the top 20 witnesses after Hive Hard Fork. Below is the full interview.
Q> What is the background of the hard fork?
“When Hive split the blockchain in March, certain accounts were excluded from their airdrop. Hive responded by saying that they ‘excluded accounts that oppose decentralization,’ but it is not true. Only users who had not sided with the Witnesses before Hive Hard Fork and who had mediated between Steemit Inc. and the old Witnesses were excluded.
The situation further worsened after HIVE Hard Fork. They continued to attack the Steem blockchain ecosystem in the following ways:
- Disrupt network stability: cause disturbance with different node versions and meaningless price feeds
- Conduct block RAM spamming through infinite small amount transfer by using bots
- Write offensive and pointless spam comments to mislead other Steem users, or leave extremely long comments that are impossible to comment on
- Exploit the Steem Rewards Pool by astroturfing in the comment section and voting for themselves, which violated the spirit of “Proof of Brain” they insisted on when they were witnesses
- Spread fake news including rumors
- Publicly attack users, collect personal information and even threaten murder
For these reasons, we decided to start a hard fork. ”
Q> What changes does this hard fork cover?
“First, this hard fork includes a reduction of the power-down period from 13 weeks to 4 weeks, which is intended to allow investors and users to access Steem more easily.
It’s worth noting that the hard fork is executed by witnesses rather than Steemit Inc., and would request assistance from Steemit Inc. if necessary. In addition, seed node list will be updated in parallel with the hard fork launch to keep the Steem blockchain stable.
Lastly, hard fork 23.0 covers response to the attacks on Steem blockchain as described in the hard fork’s background above. Accounts posing a direct threat to the Steem blockchain or the legitimate assets of Steem holders will be seized (about 5 million US dollars’ worth of assets will be frozen). This is included as a mandatory measure to improve Steem’s network stability and user environment.
Q> When will the announcement be made and what’s the exact update time for the hard fork?
“Announcement on the hard fork will be released via Steem account @Mysoftfork22888 on May 19 at 11:00 pm (Korea time), along with which the related code will also be made public. The time of update is currently scheduled at 11:00 pm on May 20 (Korea time), and the code will then update to v23.0.”
Q> There have been doubts around whether the hard fork can be executed.
“Currently, main witnesses have agreed to update to v23.0 by consensus and the code has been shared with the exchanges. Witnesses who do not update to v23.0 will create a chain that is forked to v22.0, where changes covered in v23.0 will be inapplicable. Theoretically, if there are enough witnesses running the 22.0 code, there can be chances for a chain split. ”
Q> What is the plan after the hard fork?
“Current Steem witnesses went through a difficult time urgently preparing servers since the last Hive Hard Fork. Now we have some knowledge about the system. While preparing for the hard fork, we realized how much pressure was on the existing system. We will keep upgrading the structure of the Steem ecosystem to prevent this incident from happening again. Also, priority is given to improving blockchain stability and user experience, and we will strive to build Steem in a way that allows users and investors to grow and develop together with it.”
Q> You said you realized how much pressure was on the existing system. What does that mean?
“It has a lot to do with the behavior of old Witnesses. To understand this, we need to take a look at what blocktrade (@blocktrades) did, who used to be the No.1 witness before the hard fork in March. Blocktrade had been one of the core miners since the birth of Steem. It is managed by Dan Nostein, who owns another company besides Blocktrade.
By the end of 2019, blocktrade had received 25 million Steem in the past three years from Steemit Inc. in the name of development costs. He also designed the developers’ fund SPS, which in reality served as a window for old witnesses to make profits. Currently, SPS is running on HIVE under the same mechanism, and will eventually become a tool for distributing rewards to a handful of witnesses and those around them. Requesting 1000 HBD (SBD) per day for 63 days, it is taking more than $50,000 to build an image server. It is a method that facilitates collecting development costs directly from the reward pool without applying to Inc.
Blocktrade used the same method on Steemit. Information on Blocktrade's account and funds can be checked through the records on the exchange. Based on the above information, it can be seen that Blocktrade received more than 20 million Steem from Steemit Inc and moved them to exchanges over a course of three years. Blocktrade also abused another account, @darthknight, and voted for old witnesses during the 22.2 hard fork. At that time, @darthknight had a Steem Power-up of over 3 million Steem (the greater the power-up amount, the greater influence the witness voting is), and the transaction records on the exchange prove that this account belongs to blocktrade. The aforementioned deeds are evidenced by the transaction records and can also be verified directly through the transaction tool on Steem. The SPS that Blocktrade abused in Steem has now been locked by Steemit Inc.”
Q> Why are you making a late announcement of the hard fork?
“As mentioned earlier, Steem has been attacked again by Hive following the hard fork in March. Therefore, a late announcement buys us time to prepare for the hard fork. The announcement is going to be uploaded at 11:00 pm on the 19th, one day ahead of the hard fork.
Q> Some people believe that this hard fork is being conducted for the personal interest of the current Steem Witnesses.
“Now, few Steemit Witnesses make a living by this. If this is an operation for personal benefits, I think it would be better to simply post content or develop a DApp and sell products. ”
Q> I heard about a new project - Blurt airdrop, do you know how this project started?
“There was a guy named BIRDINC who used to work at Steemit and be in charge of B2B affairs or contacting exchanges. As HIVE hard fork took place, BIRDINC moved to HIVE. However, BIRDINC was not rewarded for his work since he was not a witness of HIVE. So he asked Hive if he could get compensation through SPS. He asked for a reward of around $300 per day, but he was kicked out after Hive refused him.
Afterward, BIRDINC stated that he would also conduct a forking. I am not sure how exactly it will be done, but the following facts have been confirmed.
- Unlike Hive, all accounts will receive airdrops with no exception.
- According to the disclosed information, snapshots are conducted on the 20th at around 2 pm.
- The launch date of the said chain is scheduled for July 4.
- Initial witnesses are provided with benefits such as a guaranteed position of witness for two years.
Considering that the launch date is July 4th, it seems to be a way of turning the snapshots taken on May 20th into a database and transferring to each account. However, details such as the means of forking have not yet been released. ”
Q> Why is there a delay in Steemit after Hive’s hard fork?
“The frequent delays have been caused partly by the effort of eliminating the system built by old witnesses all at once and partly by the attacks from HIVE. It is our hope that this fork which did not come easy will free us from the stagnation and create a foundation for our respective development and prosperity.”
※ The author has held Steem since 2017