Justin Sun Conversation with Witnesses Is Online. @Ned Sold Out The Community - Failed to Disclose.

in #steem4 years ago (edited)

UPDATE: Ned just commented on Twitter:

ned tweet.png

Thanks to @ausbitbank, the recording from the private witness conversation with Justin Sun is now online.

steem tron discussion

The short summary is:

  • @ned failed to disclose to @justinsunsteemit that the Ninja mined stake had been earmarked for community development and was not to be used for witness voting prior to selling it to him. Evidence of this was requested by the TRON team.
  • The TRON team said they were flexible with regards retracting their false and slanderous accusation that the consensus witnesses were malicious 'Hackers' - but failed to provide a guarantee that they would publish a retraction at this time.
  • The TRON team claimed their aim is to profit from the purchase, rather than to participate in governance.
  • The TRON team claimed they want to cancel their witness votes asap.
  • They TRON team intends to put a fork in place to allow the exchanges to power down the stake they powered up in order to vote for witnesses with their clients' tokens. The witnesses generally highlighted that this was not agreeable and that the fallout from the actions taken by these exchanges needs to be handled by the exchanges and should not be accommodated by a hard fork.
  • The TRON team have limited understanding of the fine points of the block chain governance system in general.

It seems that even during the meeting, more STEEM was being sent to the TRON accounts that are voting in their top witnesses in order to maintain their position, despite the community moving to reinstate their own top 20 witnesses via rallying around them with their witness votes.

Meanwhile @ned has made his twitter account private and possibly has some difficult questions to answer.

The full recording is on now on 3speak:

Youtube version is below:

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Quite likely the TRON team promised the exchanges that once they had control they would implement a hard fork to allow them to re-liquify their stake.

For me, and many others, trust is gone. The STEEM community has no obligation to make good on the sale of Steemit nor to facilitate or compensate the exchanges who have acted in bad faith.

The exchanges have been cought out let them take the fall out.

Bittrex didn't. The legends

All support for Bittrex is warranted in this regard but I wouldn't call them legends merely for doing the normal thing that all exchanges should be doing: Not misappropriating customer funds and then claiming it was a 'mistake'.

Agreed for sure.

What I meant was kudos to them for not caving to pressure from Justin Sun if he asked them to power up and vote witnesses in. I know you shouldn't have to congratulate some company on doing the right thing

What he's saying is this is not "the right thing", it is simply what's normal. They didn't go out of their way to do something good. "Not doing something bad" isn't "doing something good".

Indeed. I am still quite shocked that a market leader like Binance has trashed it's reputation for a few shekels in payoff. It was an incredibly poor business decision.

It's a you scratch my back, I scratch yours rich boys club. The exchanges are corrupt but will still prosper (probably) unfortunately. They think the masses will shrug their shoulders and forget about their treachery but I think the peasants are PISSED.

In the grand scheme of everything this is minor for him. And he publicly took blame on him.

The "onwards" hashtag he used in his tweet will be the reality. One can but hope he will audit how things went and design a better decision making process but that's probably slightly too idealistic. But who knows... he and huobi may have learnt from this?!

No, I'm not downplaying his mistake but life is fast-paced for those decision makers. Dan's celebrating DPOS` resilience, Vitalik's probably sniggering at his position on DPOS being validated... just another day in crypto & life goes on.

And he publicly took blame on him.

No, he claimed it was a 'mistake' and they thought it was a normal hard fork update being pushed by the devs. Except that one does not lock up customer funds for a normal hard fork update, so this is a lie.

Fools do business with fools, liars, and thieves.

No one that cares about their money will.

exactly - new video coming up soon regarding this - in my own subtle way of course.
(endcoding as I type)

that I'm psyched for and am surprised after some shenanigans by Ned in the past people are surprised he did this, Cognitive Dissonance is a thing I guess O.o
this is proving a hard lesson in the cryptoverse on how DPOS cuts both ways, yikes

Freedom of the community requires eternal vigilance by all. Fortunately the witnesses had an inkling of this and had the SF. Ned sold his soul for his pound of gold-good riddance.

Indeed. For many trust is gone, and for people who were optimistic - trust is very shaken :/

Agreed, trust is way gone, they are villains.

Is there any proof in writing that Neds stake was not to be used for voting ? Is there any proof that the exchanges use customer coins and not their own? They did control large amounts of stake of their own. At the end of the day if this was done with stake that rightfully belonged to Ned and Tron and the exchanges. I stand by it. I'm more troubled by the witnesses shuting down an account to redirect power to themselves. Whos next? themarkymark Blacklist? Where will it end. ? All accounts are now clearly in danger of subjective opinion by the mob. I guess i should be careful of what i say. I could be next . Right? Im now watching people upvote (buy) witness votes. THe very same vote buying bot people. HOw centralized are they with Witnesses?

lol...is it ok if i upvote my own comment? i dont want to anger the witnesses in case they regain control. They might freeze my account. Should i ask The black list god father the markymark for permission first?

A sock puppet account if ever I saw one.

Please do better next time.

Actually, been around since Paycoin. Used bitcoin miners to heat my house when trading them a $200.oo dollars. This was neds legal property. What lawyers did the witnesses talk too before freezing more then 10 million in legal property?

I listened to the recording. Mr. Sun was very evasive on the important questions but holding him hostage has created huge mistrust.

Calling the version being run .444 is childish and mean. Saying you won’t even meet again until demands are met is not helpful.

Some of our witnesses in the meeting were tactful and held out olive branches. They did great. Others threw fuel on the fire. Not smart.

I’m hopeful but some need to take a deep breath, calm down and be more diplomatic.

There are many thousands of people being represented by the witnesses and many viewpoints and feelings - so it is understandable that the responses from them would be mixed. For me, it's interesting to be able to see a combined expression from a group instead of a, perhaps rehearsed or forced, impression being given by a single individual. I'd say he saw the reflection of his own actions.

Interesting for sure.

Mr. Sun was very evasive on the important questions

He was the same right from the beginning. I really don't understand people that were expecting anything good from him, like getting involved in development and investing in Steem. It was crystal clear that he bought to trade. The whole thing became a nightmare when the funds got frozen and he had to ask for help from the exchanges to get control over them again. It was a buy the rumor sell the news strategy right from the beginning and I said that multiple times on my blog as well. The reality though is that both of them are low character human beings, Ned and Sun. The first one was a bit more clever I guess in negotiations...

You really don’t understand what steemit is to Tron. Trons building an eco system so everything will be under one roof. Dlive for streaming, vibravid similar to YouTube, BitTorrent for file sharing and storage and now steemit for social media. Steemit wouldn’t just be flipped and sold off to make money. It will make Justin money by evolving, more users and growing the platform. This is where the money is. This is why the Tron community is exciting about this.

I guess you don't understand that. Listen to the conference that ha had with the witnesses and see what he confessed and what he actually bought Steemit for. It was clearly a pump and dump action, or buy the rumor sell the news.

Like I said I don’t really know what’s going on because I’m too new but I saw the video and it sounded like Justin had enough with everything that has happened and was ready to sell up and get his investment back.

Agree 100% on the childish .4444 shit - apart from that I am proud about the community and especially that we finally get some support from big guys of other blockchains.

sorry i (genuinely) don’t get what is childish about the number?

I know there’s some ties to death or the devil in numerology but that’s about it...

oh well - forgive me as a German I should stay away - but it is racism in my view (or could be seen as it - at least it is attacking via childish shit) to use such numbers that offend anyone in the Chinese World

I have seen language calling Steemit employee a "monkey" and to vote for a "human," in addition to cries of "Chinese communism" from multiple witnesses. These statements are dog-whistles for ignorant xenophobia and racism.

Cut and paste from google

{The angel number 4444 signifies hard work. It's telling you that all your hard work will soon be paying off. ... If that major achievement is still a work in progress, the angel number 4444 wants you to work harder than ever to make it happen. You have done so much work already to just give up now.}

I'm sticking with this........ for now :)

edit: agree with your summing up

When I saw the 4, my brain associated it with the sport of golf. People yell, "Fore!" It means, "Get out of the way!"

I'm certain the version number could have been 22.9369 and folks would have found ways to find hidden meanings.

Why don't we just go full on mainstream politically correct and get rid of the 22 as well. Like. OMG! Two plus two equals four! Burn the witch!

The year 2024 has been cancelled and the month of April is now banned.

lols. I seem to be allergic to number 7. When they get near me i tend to move house, change wives and even change jobs! Numbers like 777, makes me faint just looking at it. Scares me almost to death it does. :)

oh thanks for popping up. need to get around to reading your blogs. seem to have misplaced everyone... somewhere

I came here and it said you wrote that comment 7 minutes ago. I hope you're okay.

You haven't missed much in the blog department. It didn't seem right to attempt my usual brand while so much was going on. Today I tried out a comedy skit and it seems the community isn't quite ready to start laughing again. Things seem quiet.

Thanks for putting this up. I haven't hit play yet.

They TRON team intends to put a fork in place to allow the exchanges to power down the stake they powered up in order to vote for witnesses with their clients' tokens. The witnesses generally highlighted that this was not agreeable and that the fallout from the actions taken by these exchanges needs to be handled by the exchanges and should not be accommodated by a hard fork.

They stood their ground. I needed to hear that.

I pressed play.

  • Sun said, "Not interested in governance."
  • Sun should therefore stop governing, now.
  • Exchanges will have to wait 13 weeks. Good. The real witnesses lost money. Many on-chain services were shut down here and lost money. This mess has taken center stage, pushing many content producers aside, and they lost money. Everyone lost potential profit because of this. Staff quit their jobs. I can't say I feel sorry for those exchanges. Not one bit. They knew what they were doing and now they can face the consequences. No special treatment.

What more needs to be said? All Justin wanted was his money. He got his money. Now where is ours? Remove the sock puppet account FAKE witnesses and let's just get back to work. Anything else that still needs to be settled which doesn't directly impact everyday operations can be handled in the background.

Oh, I thought he was signing of as your son. Maybe some long lost family? :)

I don't see any resemblance.

Postscript: A potential win-win way forward
My standard byline below could provide a win-win way forward for Justin Sun and the Steem community.

Just as Steemit Inc came with pre-existing obligations to the community regarding the ninja-mined stake that Justin didn't know about, it also came with a ~$400M legal claim against Facebook and Google for banning Steem advertising, which he also didn't know about.

This legal claim is worth far more than the ninja mined stake and is more than enough compensation for what Justin feels he has lost.

Rather than spending his money trying to take over the Steem blockchain, Justin can sign Steemit Inc up for @jpbliberty's crypto class action and participate in the funding of it. It needs less money ($US 2-3M in total) than he has already spent on Steem and has a huge ROI for his Steemit Inc claim alone.

If Justin supports this, it is a huge win for the Steem community also because every Steemian has a claim in this class action based Steem being worth $6.14 when the Ad Ban was announced and being very directly affected by the ad ban. We have great evidence of this from Steem posts.

We are well advanced with a law firm, top barristers, initial funding and US$350M in claimants signed up.

Signup for the Crypto Class Action against Facebook & Google's Crypto Ad Ban

This is a really good idea actually.

Yes Yes, Picard Said, make it so.

Can you post the pre-existing obligation legal doccuments Steemit inc had with the community?
How can there be a debate on this issue without the legal facts?
Steemit inc was worth a least 12 million dollars, surely there are legal documents showing the commitment Steemit inc had to the steem comunity.

OK , "gradual divestment" , "development and promotion"
One can easily argue that there has been a gradual divestment , neds stake sits today a 17% of all steem from 41% . The remaining 17% was sold to sun , who is more then capable of development and promotion of steem and its divestment. Sun wasnt even given an opportunity to show how he would use this stake. Also the exchanges involvement is still not even clear and is a separate legal debate. Ned and steemit inc commitment to the community is wide open for interpretation . Now if it isnt written , it isnt true.

They TRON team intends to put a fork in place to allow the exchanges to power down the stake they powered up in order to vote for witnesses with their clients' tokens. The witnesses generally highlighted that this was not agreeable and that the fallout from the actions taken by these exchanges needs to be handled by the exchanges and should not be accommodated by a hard fork.

This point is fundamental. They must assume the consequences of their actions without putting the burden of a hard fork upon the community.

My legal analysis. Justin failed to do due diligence on the public blockchain code which contained restrictions on the ninjamine stake. He bought land on the moon and is now trying to convert it to land on Earth by illegal means.
Second, despite his statements of not knowing about the understandings regarding the stake, he IS bound by them. These understanding bound Steemit Inc which owned the stake. He bought the company and thus became bound by its pre-existing obligations.
More details here: https://steempeak.com/steem/@apshamilton/sun-s-folly-will-be-taught-in-future-blockchain-business-schools

We don't know what is in the NDA between Tron and Ned. (@48:25)
I'm not convinced that they don't understand what has transpired and there's more to the backroom deal than they admit to.

Hard to believe that a supposedly savvy businessman like JS wouldn't check every potential pitfall before dropping millions on an investment. Interesting times ahead.

Makes sense to me. Those restrictions were stated in writing in public. @justinsunsteemit could have done due diligence and found them. An intern and a couple pots of coffee would have been all it cost him to do so.

If @ned did not disclose those agreements, he's likely to face some blowback from Sun on the matter.

This just gets more fun all the time. I'm still waiting for the meeting to start on the recording, so I'll understand better soon.


A crook cheating a crook. Hopefully they'll eat each other in court but I'm not holding my breath.

While I strongly empathize with your sentiment, it is the hapless investors whose money is being used as a weapon by both that concern me.

We are the parties that matter, and the Steem community is continually stated to be the reason both sides are acting. This is the heart of the matter.

I'm trying to follow that argument but, I don't think I agree.

Big amounts of the ninjamined stash has been sold in the past to other buyers, yet the encumbrance did not get transferred to those buyers. Why should it be any different when the buyer is Justin? Just because he bought the entirety of the remaining stash?

Since Steemit Inc is a sole proprietorship, let's try to pierce the corporate veil and see how this looks: The ninjamined stash was, effectively, Ned's. He promised the proceeds of any sale would go to Steem's development. Now, Justin came and bought that stash of STEEM (again, as others have before, albeit in smaller quantities), paying good money for it. Ned simply cashes out, grabs the cash and walks away, A.K.A. an "exit scam", which totally violates his past promises.

I do not see how the attached strings would transfer to Justin. He just made a perfectly legal purchase. Ned did not misrepresent the property being sold. Ned is still bound by the promises he made and he must thus dedicate the proceeds of that sale to Steem.

2 answers:

  1. it wasn't just 'any' ninja-mined stash, it was the one which specific promises had been made to the community regarding and which a previous hard-fork had put restrictions on.
  2. Justin didn't (or didn't just) buy the ninjamined stake from Steemit Inc, he bought Steemit Inc itself. This comes with all the prior agreements, debts and claims that the company has. That's basic corporate law.
  1. Ok, but you'll agree that sine die freezing those funds precludes from spending them on development, right?

  2. I see the point, but I notice that Steemit Inc was simply Ned's proxy. Promises made by Ned would bind him directly, and not just the company. I highly doubt corporate liability limitations would apply to adequately shield him away from his promises: The "contract" in question is informal enough and unspecific enough to consider it was agreed by Ned himself, not just by him acting exclusively in representation of Steemit Inc.

I think this aspect comes down to which legal entity actually owned the stake and the accounts. Was it actually ned as an individual, via the proxy of the various steem blockchain accounts? Or was it Steemit inc., headed by Ned, but it's own legal entity. This would be within the contracts that TRON holds, so perhaps we will see this at some point.

What if Ned Scott Ned, whatever his name is, made a secret deal with Justin Sun? Imagine that they made a deal where it appears as if Justin bought it and that is just a cover story in order to move the money and the liability of an American Steem INC company might have in the United States under the laws of the USA and move them secretly to China and other countries as a way to avoid paying taxes and who knows what else. Perhaps, Justin is making some money as a fall guy. It is possible that he agreed beforehand that he would take the blame and look like an idiot. That would be like a win win situation where Ned and Justin both make some money and Ned then gets to lay low and avoid liability for whatever might happen legally to a USA company like Steem Inc. That would be like a new movie called Ocean 15, Dealing With The Sun and Moon lol.

Careful, that sounds like a conspiracy theory.. Don't you know conspiracy theorists are terrorists? lol ;)

Yeah lol. A conspiracy realist.

Following on what @apshamilton wrote, I want to picture this, maybe it's easier to understand. Think at Steemit's "ninja stake" as being land. Or any type of security. The owner of it uses that security to entice partnerships. In public writing, @ned committed to use that stake in a certain way in regard to witnesses, and that compelled them to invest.

It's like on some land he owned, @ned said: let's build a condominium. I'm putting the land, you're building. But, after 3 years and a lot of condominiums, he says: "Ups, I changed my mind, I'm going to give my land away". The guys that gets the land from @ned doesn't want to build condominiums, he wants to build a mall.

The problems are:

  1. @ned deceit towards the builders, they wouldn't have invested if the security wasn't there
  2. Justin Tron necessity to comply with any liabilities that he bought (hence the need of a due diligence, which, in my opinion, was made, the parties just decided to ignore it, miscalculating the response from the remaining parties: witnesses & community).

You can't stress too much that analogy. The property in question is a pile of fungible STEEM, not a specific land lot, and Ned had been already selling part of it those last years to fund expenses.

I would say that Ned had been selling parcels in one place to fund the building of the Steem condominium in some different place. Now Justin has come and bought the remaining parcels, but not differently that the other smaller investors before him.

Ned is still bound by his promises and must dedicate the proceeds of the sale to the Steem condominium. The encumbrance did not transfer to Justin, in the same way as it did not transfer to the other investors when they bought a parcel.

obligations are obligations, regardless of who they obligate and what they are obligations on. This is a clear principle at law.

Interesting Analogy

Thank you for sharing this valuable opinion.

"whose voting rights could be frozen by simple board decision".

Sun replace the board with himself and reversed the freezing. What is legally wrong with that?

His coup against the community witnesses (replacing the board) was also done illegally by exchanges powering (locking) up their Steem in breach of their fiduciary and ethical duties. It also appears that Justin misled the exchanges by describing what was going on as a hack and security breach rather than the legitimate governance dispute that it really was.

Let's clarify one point - Justin claims Ned never disclosed any encumbrances against that ninja mined stake. The only way we would have absolute proof is to see the Representations and Warranties Ned signed off on from the Purchase Agreement to know the absolute truth of it.

He said he will make money out of it and exit -> Pump and Dump!

Exactly what I predicted from the instant I heard about the "aquisition." To the word.

Just listened to the recording...somebody needs to get some lawyers involved. The whole Tron team and the exchanges are nothing but thugs. Criminals. Folks need prison time for this.

Be interesting to see if financial laws can be used against them but that's such a grey area it seems (Binance is based in Malta and Huobi in Singapore so not sure what the regs are)

Binance.us is a US corporation.

The only problem with calling for financial regulators to look at this, as I see it, is the possiblity that they take one look at the entire Steem platform with relatively large amounts of value flowing all through it, and demand KYC or shut the thing down.

Agreed. I never really liked their attitude. I never liked Tron. I always had a funny feeling concerning how Tron works. Not that I'm not optimistic. I try to be open minded.

Justin and out. ☺️

Justin dodged the question about why exchanges would receive a reduced power down time. The question was asked and Justin jumps in and doesn't provide a direct answer. Sketchy!

@followbtcnews Thank you for jumping in and nailing him on this, explaining the exchange power down feature is purely to give users their money back, WHICH SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN LOCKED UP IN THE FIRST PLACE.

It's become very clear to me that part of Justin's deal with exchanges to power up and vote his new witnesses was to implement a fork so that they could power back down. THAT HAS BACK FIRED! Now that enough OG witnesses are back in top 20 to block a fork, exchanges and unfortunately their users are out of luck on this one..

When making any purchase, large or small, it is the buyer that needs to be aware, and that needs to do their own due diligence on the viability/usability of that purchase. When you buy a house you hire an inspector, when planing on buying a collectible antique car you hire a professional to verify the provenance of the vehicle. Ned sold steemit, if Justin Sun did not know what he was buying it was his responsibility to understand and to verify what he was buying. It sounds as if he did not even read the Steemit Road Mao, yet he was talking Tron's Roadmap, so I feel he likely did read and saw the uses of the Steemit Stake.

When you power up steem you are told that it takes 13 weeks to power it down. The people that powered steem up knew this, if it was not their steem to power up they should not have powered it up. It would be interesting to see a steem run on those exchanges where the depositors were demanding their funds back.

For the witnesses that read this, I would be against any shortening of the withdrawal time frame as I have been with all the previous post over the course of the last two months talking about it. The Next Hard Fork was supposed to be a stand alone SMT Hard Fork, and nothing else. It should be made perfectly clear during the next meeting that this is what one of the items will be when the Community witnesses re-take up the duties they were voted in to do.

At the end of the day, it is the job of the witnesses to protect the chain, not a front end.

Steemit Road Mao,

That's a funny typo. :)

I think I will eave the typo there. My proof reading skills are like my spelling skills not really up to par.

Please do so. It's a fantastic typo. Love it!

Perfect plan.
The only problem is that exchanges will just disable withdrawals. And later on maybe even delist steem.

They will be hit with a class action lawsuit if they do. @jpbliberty will organise it.

Sounds great. Like the time I tried to sue a company for not paying my paycheck.

He shuttered the company, reopened under a new name the next week and I was out a significant chunk of change with no (legal) recourse. What prevents that?

This can sometimes happen with small businesses with no real assets, but there are laws against it.
Large exchanges with licences and huge asset bases can't practically do this.

"This can sometimes happen with small businesses with no real assets, but there are laws against it."

What "laws" are those? There are no laws against a company shutting down in order to escape some liability that it may have. It happens every day!

"Large exchanges with licences and huge asset bases can't practically do this."

Perhaps not! But do you realize just how low the chances are of ever winning such a lawsuit against a giant company like Binance? Do you know how many lawsuits are on the books against companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and other such giants? Such companies have teams of lawyers who can make sure that cases are never heard before the plaintiffs either go broke, give up, or just die.


Steem (the company) has the power in this situation, I can't be the only one to notice the power struggle with the witnesses that ended with a whole pile of staff 'resigning' a few days later. If nothing else, that shows that the owners have the real power in this dynamic.

People love to go with the Steem is not steemit is not dapps. Except that without the company, the rest just falls apart, it might still exist on servers, just minus everything that gives it value stripped away (overly simplistic, I realize).

"Except that without the company, the rest just falls apart, it might still exist on servers, just minus everything that gives it value stripped away"

And that is exactly what blows my mind when I hear so many people naively talk about crypo and blockchains. Somehow they have adopted the false belief that if you have a decentralized system, it can continue on even if, and after, its founding company folds. Yet in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. As you so accurately pointed out, there is so much more to a successful coin or blockchain than its blockchain. Without the company behind it (providing core centralization), the rest is just a pile of unorganized parts which will very quickly fall apart on their own, and then everything is lost.

Well, what the exchanges did already was illegal.

"Well, what the exchanges did already was illegal."

Says who? I'm sure these exchanges have their own teams of lawyers who see otherwise.

Do you like robbery?

"Do you like robbery?"

No I don't, which is why Steemit witnesses must be removed, one way or another.

"They will be hit with a class action lawsuit if they do."

First of all, no one has enough Steem value to start a class-action lawsuit against a giant such as Binance. They would likely go broke before they would ever see a dime from such a lawsuit even if they had the potential of winning. And even if they won, they would likely never receive enough to cover all their legal expenses, let alone anything else. And secondly, the whole cryptocurrency industry is still seen as being rather shady, so it would be very unlikely that a Court would grant class-action status to a such a claim in the first place. Obtaining a judge that even understands the crypto industry would not be an easy task.

I am glad I do not know very much about the crypto process of buying and selling. I am learning slowly, mostly learning that you get screwed pretty easy in the crypto world.

Especially the small fish like you and me, hehe.

"The only problem is that exchanges will just disable withdrawals."

I am told this is ongoing presently.

Even Blocktrades, hehe.

What they did, the powering up of the Steem, is illegal.

"What they did, the powering up of the Steem, is illegal."

Says who? I'm sure their lawyers are prepared to argue that point with you.

So, you are pro-theft?

"So, you are pro-theft?"

Not at all! On the contrary! I am very much against theft which is why I want to see the removal of most if not all Steemit Witnesses. They are the real thieves here, who for years have stolen from the vast majority of Steemit members in order to fill their own greedy pockets. Remove Steemit witnesses, and Steemit will be a far better place, not the cesspool of fraud and corruption that it has now become.

"It would be interesting to see a steem run on those exchanges where the depositors were demanding their funds back."

I am confident this is ongoing presently.

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