A brief history of the "ninja mine"

in #steemit4 years ago (edited)

I've heard about the Steemit ninja mine for a long time. I was on the platform at the time there was mining occuring, but I wasn't yet saavy enough to know how to do it or even bother to do it. Steemit was my first foray into crypto. So, there wasn't much to go on. That said, I've heard about this "ninja mine" for the 1.5 years that I've been around here.

What is the ninja mine?

Actually, there's something before that. The restart. So, let's start there.

Steem was launched and there was a bug

So, Steem was launched and there was a bug in the code. It made them want to restart fresh. So, they did that... actually let's go further back.

Steem was a blockchain that was about to be launched

Dan and Ned did this funny thing. They told everyone they could mine Steem, but barely said much more than that. They gave advice here and there, but basically didn't tell anyone much about it. The reason they did this was to get around the ICO laws. They didn't want to make it look like a security so they didn't promise anything. They also didn't really want the whole world mining, but they went through mining to make it legal to do an ICO without doing an ICO. So, the people that could mine this thing were a handful of devs that were reading the old bitcointalk forums, Steemit, and Steemit employees.

They launched under those pretenses

Within 1 day they found a bug. Rather than hardfork to fix it they simply restarted the coin. That pissed off the people who were already mining it. It started a rough reputation for Steemit with the investor community. It looked to some like they had competition for the coin so they rebooted to scare people off. Dan doesn't seem the type for that, so I'm betting it was a legit code bug... I mean, Steem's had those before... but it left some early miners with a bad taste in their mouths. The argument became why mine if these assholes are just going to reboot the coin if they don't win the mining war. When people don't trust Steemit I think it starts with this mining plan and this reboot.

Ok, next up there was mining for months

Steemit, employees, and a handful of other miners were mining the coin. Mining it turned out produced an assload of stake. More than posting even with random $40k makeup tutorial posts getting out there. In order to mine you had to have a lot of different accounts. So, the mining accounts were all over the place. Steemit was the heaviest miner, but after they gather up 70% of the minable steem stake they quit mining and let a handful of other devs catch up and take it. Eventually they stopped the mining altogether.

What did they accomplish?

Steemit seemed to have wanted a majority stake in the coin without it being a security or without it seeming like it was handed out and represented ownership or something like that. It was literally one type of work around to the laws. So, they made it so they could ICO without actually ICOing. The challenge it created was a truly warped distribution. Now there's 100 accounts with 93% of the Steem. When I look around and see problems on the platform I mostly think it's related to distribution on the network.


EOS seems to have a slightly more elegant solution by allowing daily purchases open to anyone. They explicitly didn't make any promises to again avoid being a security and to claim it's a utility token. In this case Dan now had enough money to straight up buy his own coin at release allowing him a larger stake of the "utility" token. This seems more fair than making it so any devs are the miners which means only devs are the whales, which means curation on the platform gets really wonky too.

EOS Steem Competitor?

Dan's coming out and saying that they'll create a Steem competitor on EOS. Seems interesting. Dan is pretty convinced that only a community with true identities known by everyone will work out. So, he seems to implicate there will be trusted oracles or something like it that will make sure everyone is a true and verified person. Maybe that's birth certs? IDK. I prefer psuedoanonymity. I think it's enough to know what actions Aggroed is taking without have a crypto probing my terrestrial privates.

Anyway, a lot of investors got pissed about this whole thing.

Frankly though, after taking a week or so to investigate this thing I mostly walk away thinking Ned and Dan aren't the complete dicks they are made out to be. If anything the government seems to be the asshole. Their need to control how ICOs are managed created the need for this work around, which resulted in a totally fucked distribution. I know it was partially their intention to have a large stake and be Steem blockchain kings, but like we're seeing it mostly seems like benevolent dictators who choose not to intervene (much). IDK, I wasn't in the room at the time the decision was made, but I guess I'm a little less fuming mad about the distribution around here and now mostly hope that the market recovers enough to make some of these investors choose to divest to a little more reasonable percentage of blockchain ownership. Then again... I keep saying Steem's gonna hit $50 by the end of the year, and it's the most undervalued blockchain around. So, I guess I can't totally fault them for sticking around either.


http://bytemaster.github.io/article/2016/03/27/How-to-Launch-a-Crypto-Currency-Legally-while-Raising-Funds/ (this is Dan)


This is also Dan (aka thereverseflash) https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=803221;sa=showPosts

I'm hosting a live music concert featuring Steemians this Saturday at 11am EST on MSPWaves. Come check us out..

I've also dropped a few ranks on the witness totem pole. Please consider voting for my witness if you haven't already.


Interesting, does this mean the demise of the platform when the eventual big competitor, on EOS or elsewhere, appears? It doesn't take long after joining steem to notice the imbalance and the massive circle jerk.

No kidding.

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Very interesting. I agree the distribution is completely skewed but That will be difficult to avoid going forward. Crypto is now well known and the rich can simply buy more tokens than the non rich. Crypto won’t address that even if the initial distribution is fixed, as soon as the token hits the exchanges, rich people will simply buy more!

Yeah don't think we can stop that part, but the blockchain technology does give other benefits in security and value redistribution in that instead of the majority of the value being captured by an application that value flows down into the protocol/blockchain.

I prefer psuedoanonymity as well.

Thank you for this history report of Steem. It's all very interesting and kind of mind warping for a crypto beginner. I'm still getting my footing and trying to find out who and what to trust and not trust.

That's an interesting STEEM history lesson and I was recently looking for something like this to explain why I found an account that was farming STEEM from other accounts. (over 250)

To me, it looked like STEEM was given away during the account creation process as a POW stake, but your story suggests otherwise.

The only problem with a start like this is, these account handles will never be recovered, and the ones I found were very short common names that people could have used.

I'll continue with my research, and quote this article in my post when it eventually is released.

Yeah that's not cool. Good point.

I've been wondering how all this happen. Thanks.

That was the most perfect TL;DR.
I appreciate your brevity, as it's something I lack. 😂

I totally didn't know about this false start.

Though have been seeing all the talk of something better with EOS coming...

I still love it here, at least for now.😍

Thanks for detailing the history. I never heard about the restart and wasn't sure how the whole mining thing went down... but I do see some bitter references to it every now and then. I hope Ned and Dan appreciate that there are a lot of people around the world relying on their creation and that it is bigger than both of them now. I hope they can both act like doctors and take a hippocratic oath to do no harm. Especially with the imminent launch of EOS.

I just thought I'd pop in and maybe get some EOS tokens just in case they do become a true competitor to Steem... but it looks like they won't sell tokens to US citizens. Very strange.

That is strange.

They want to, but they're not allowed to.
Get a VPN.

Thank you for addressing this. I read a post here earlier today pushing a new site supposedly competing with this. I asked some questions and was surprised at some of the accusations being leveled against the founders and what was referred to as their close circle of friends. Being new to all of this, I wasn't sure what to make of it, especially as it doesn't seem to affect what I have begun nor many who have been here for some time and believe in this platform.

It's interesting to learn this history and story, thanks for sharing.

@aggroed, I quite agree with some of the points you have raised tho. But let's get it clearly, a lot of websites are springing up (I even had access to one of them earlier today) and they are working on the flaws of this platform. Imagine requesting for SP only for me to wait 3 days and it wasn't filled. While a couple of others (cartels/cabals) would apply for much higher SP and it would be filled.

Need I say more? But trust me, there are some distributions around here that isn't going the right way and it would surely affect the system.

I love the way you see and analyze things @aggroed

That's incredible, I didn't know about this earlier Steem history. Since Steem depreciates over time, their stake will slowly diminish without them selling it off. Do you think this is their intent?

People seem more excited about EOS. What more can you say about EOS competing with Steem?

I'm not too worried initially. We have 706k accounts over here, and we'll have Steem as a tradable token that should be worth an assload later. I don't know how Dan's gonna handle post rewards etc or other forms of encouragement ot post over there. I dont' think handing out EOS tokens is the plan there.

Steemit also seems to be slowly divesting their stake. We'll see.

Nice steemit nice post thanks for sharing....resteemed

Thanks for sharing the nice post brief history of Ninja...

I really like your post, your post is very amazing I want to join with you thank you. visit my post once.

It is very nice to talk about the success stories of others
Really wonderful article done well, my friend

Already a long and old story.
But I didn't know it
because I' m a newbie.

very nice story.

good post to get motivation to learn to achievement to get good quality thanks have been sharing information

thanks for the informative article sir.... :)

Its really interesting story my friend..
Thank you very much for sharing with us..

very interesting story steemit and cryptocurrency have..
Thanks for sharing and awaring people @aggroed

a very interesting experience, hopefully can be inspiration for many people to be better, thank you for sharing [email protected]

I think after reading this my thoughts revolve increasingly around the fact that if Steem / Steemit has a future long term, it’s going to be because people are finding and creating community here that is for them the primary value as it sounds like the crypto side of it is a bit more of an already decided thing / way too early for me to want to throw “rigged” at it as a term, but it does carry the feeling a bit after reading it

It’s really good information at minimum so I really thank you for putting it in front of us. As a person who even has Steem on his radar for like 12 days, you are helping me more clearly understand a few of the threads I’ve been seeing in the community here


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If I recall correctly, the EOS token launch also happened (is still happening?) over a long period of time as an effort to distribute it among as many people as possible.

On the matter of psuedoanonymity... I do like the idea of a verification process that makes it nontrivial to get an account -- like a time lag or big enough fee to make some attempt at limiting spam accounts. I guess Steemit already has something along those lines, though.

I absolutely don't agree with a "true and verified person". I haven't read Dan's thoughts on this, so I might be missing the mark -- but something like a KYC for a social media platform completely kills it's ultimate power as a voice for change. People who are already doxxed are incentivized to say what's safe, not what's important.

Is it really shocking that the small group that helped create a thing would end up with a lot of that thing?

Well, 100 accounts (so roughly 0.01% of all) holding 93% of STEEM is a bit more than just a lot, isn't it?

I'm not going to argue with you over the definition of "a lot".

Interesting read.

Specifically the part about "benevolent dictators " and " undervalued blockchain "

They were sure upto some shenanigans early days...hopefully the distribution get more even in coming years.

Your writing style is a smoothe read, thank you.

I appreciate your research and informative post.

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