My Thoughts About TRON - Steemit Partnership

in #steemitlast year (edited)

I have been very quiet for the last months, only posting my weekly witness updates. But being quiet is not equal being inactive.

For those of you who switched on the tv sets a bit later, I'm on this network since October 2016, a continuous witness since February 2017 (with a couple of months hiatus) and, at the moment of writing this, I have more than 10,000 posts written on this blockchain.

I invested in this. Time, knowledge, experience, patience and, by subsidizing my witness nodes for over a year now (after the STEEM price went too low for the server's cost) money. I have an active interest in this project and this is the position from where I'm writing this. I am a stakeholder.

I may not always agree with other witnesses on various topics, but, at the end of the day, in crypto consensus is reached by signing blocks, not by words. As long as my witness node is signing transactions, then we have consensus. We may safely agree to disagree on a lot of minor stuff, as long as we're all committed to drive this in the same direction.

So, here's my position:

1. TRON Foundation and Steemit Inc

This is a partnership between two corporations. They have certain assets (pun intended, for the few who'll get this), certain goals and visions and they may choose at any time to align these goals and visions, and to mix their assets. I am not a stakeholder in Steemit Inc, so I have absolutely nothing to say about this.

2. STEEM Community

On a parallel plane, there is the STEEM community. It is made of witnesses, developers and content creators. Some witnesses and developers are on / from Steemit Inc, many are not. The overwhelming majority of content creators has nothing to do with Steemit Inc. There is a certain overlapping between all these communities, but the main point is that the STEEM community is an actor more complex than the Steemit Inc corporation. I would also dare to say, an actor more powerful, in economical terms, than the Steemit Inc corporation.

3. Potential Scenarios

The partnership announced involves all 3 actors listed above: TRON Foundation, Steemit Inc and STEEM Community. After watching the AMA a couple of hours ago, in which Justin Sun and Ned Scott tried to clear the waters, I confess I'm still confused. No clear path was shown, only general statements. It's true that's still early, but I would expect something more transparent, at this level (both private actors can be evaluated at many tens / hundreds of millions of dollars).

In the absence of a clear statement, I am left with the only option of speculation. So here are the potential scenarios (as much as I can think of, obviously).

3.1 Aggressive Takeover

TRON Foundation will use Steemit Inc stake to tilt the DPOS balance and effectively alter the blockchain, introducing a new token. This token will then be integrated into TRON. At this moment, this looks like the most plausible scenario. In this case, STEEM community - as we know it - ceases to exist, and 100% sure a fork will happen.

3.2 Gradual Takeover

There will be some incentive presented to key witnesses, which will be guaranteed a certain (similar, equal?) stake in the new chain, for the new token swap. It may take anywhere between two weeks and 2-3 months. The outcome will be that the STEEM community will be fragmented, and we will probably see 2-3 smaller forks. This comes second, in terms of probabilities.

3.3 Status Quo

TRON Foundation will leverage the private assets of Steemit Inc, increase development turnover and maintain both chains: TRON and STEEM. A pegged token may exist on TRON (or as a SMT) that will link both assets, but nothing will change in the witness structure. In this case, STEEM community will probably grow, benefiting from attention and support. This comes third, in terms of probabilities.

My Position As A Witness

As a stakeholder, I find the third scenario being the only one in which my interests are protected. Unfortunately, the first two options seem to be favorite now, and the interests of private stakeholders may come first.

If any of the first two scenarios will happen, I will obviously cease to be a de facto stakeholder in the new TRON / Steemit partnership. I will support a fork and accept that I lost time and money for more than 3 years. It's not the first time I'm losing (as an entrepreneur, losing is more common than winning anyway), probably not the last. It has been a tremendous ride, really beneficial for me, in terms of learning, personal development and evolution.

I am writing this to express my support for the third option and I'm curious to see how many other witnesses / stakeholders think the same.

I'm a serial entrepreneur, blogger and ultrarunner. You can find me mainly on my blog at Dragos Roua where I write about productivity, business, relationships and running. Here on Steemit you may stay updated by following me @dragosroua.

Dragos Roua

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I read in one of the replies "take out the Ads" again. Wrong. Build a user base that draws high end corporate and government advertisers.

As far as i understood from the interview, JS was talking about the third scenario, which is the best scenario. Things remain the same, there will be development, i heard about mobile app, taking out the ads, onboarding and the Samsung thing that none is talking about,lol. Lets be cautious, but not overthink our probably good luck:)

Let's see how this unfolds.

I would definitely like to see the third option. I am here because of the Steem blockchain not Tron. I believe by using the third option Justin Sun could keep the Steem community by his side and both Tron and Steem could grow and benefit eachother.

It's a shame the AMA turned out to be more of a "history lesson" than an actual Q&A session... but I guess they had to go through the motions that go with a company merger.

I'm mildly hopeful that some variation of scenario 3.3 might still be worked out.

I like the third option as well. That seemed to be what JS was talking about but it contradicts his announcement tweet. We need something more formal. A pledge of sorts.

My thoughts exactly. With the information that's publicly available now, we can't draw any consistent conclusion.

It occurred to me that both Ned and Justin saw the loud, negative reaction to the swap and changed course without having to actually admit that they made a misstep.

Got the (almost) exact same feeling.

Third solution is the one and only solution. Pass by PAL discord voice channel, a lot of discussion going on

The third scenario actually sounds most likely considering the actual statements they were making in the AMA.

Let's hope so. I didn't get the same feeling, more something like: "we'll see how we'll go forward, now that we already partnered".

Option 3 is the best for everyone but when one thing is written and another thing comes from his mouth, we have no clue what will happen. Business is business and likely he will do what is best for his bottom line and profit margin regardless of the user base. It figures that the "ama" was just us getting talked at with seeming platitudes, pseudo assurances, and no solid answers.

I did hear a little of the after show on discord in msp waves, there was some talk about a forking of steem blockchain. Now one thing I really do not understand is that if it is the witnesses that decide the actions on steem block chain, (the changes), then all they have to do is not approve any hard fork the new tron/steemit team want, and just approve what the other developer teams put forth. It is not steem witnesses that will need to fork the chain it is the T/S combo that would need to do it. There are several independent applications and methods of accessing steem block chain for the social aspects.

People need to look at the history of both and of Tron and see how they handle their employees, Steemit laid off a lot of employees just before Christmas one year. No thought given to how that would make the ex-employees feel. I do not know how many people from other companies Tron acquired are still employed. Most mergers end with duplicate positions so someone has to go, and generally it is the new kid on the block.

A lot of talk has been made about not enough C++ developers at the other front door organizations, and that none of them have the knowledge on how to keep the chain running, I seriously doubt that take myself and I am no programmer. If that is truly and honestly the case then all the talk that was taking place about preparing for a split, a real fork of steem, is just that a lot of hot air and empty talk.

Either the witnesses control and protect the chain or they are nothing more than paid actors to keep the mob at bay. We will see what the future brings, I look forward to Monday night football style review of the weekend shows. I would urge people to just pretty much remain calm, and see what the coming week brings.

We saw the response during the last hard fork when something went wrong and effected Steemit, (no others), and then a quick fix with out any thought, with out any checking for other errors, was put in place to satisfy the needs of not the users. Then the aftermath of that quick, approved by the witnesses fix leading to another hardfork, and a few more days of steem chain not completely working as normal. The first fix was after all just a small fix in one number or so we were led to believe. It showed where the loyalties of the witnesses laid, in the pocket of So it will be a very interesting thing to watch the fallout of all this.

Perhaps the fallout will be a new batch of witnesses.

I'm not a particularly large stakeholder, but I have also invested a lot of time on Steem, since May '17, with something like 3x your posts. I strongly support your analysis and position.


Considering forking, I recall it was Ned or Dan who wanted to keep the source code non-open source with a proprietary licensing scheme. Many, me included voiced our concerns that it might bite them or the community in the ass eventually, as it basically removes the option of 3rd party forks.

Not sure what the situation is now though.

(Edit: I checked from Wikipedia, and it seems like the software license as for now is the Open Source MIT License. So forks are still possible, until they revoke the license. GPL would've been better, since it is unrevokable, and protects the software.)

Great post - the only good summary I've seen posted so far...

"ASSETS" - That term floats over the heads of most Steemians like little fluffy clouds above the heads of sheep...

"As a stakeholder, I find the third scenario being the only one in which my interests are protected."

I think you will find that your "third scenario" is the least likely to happen. When it comes to Steemit, getting rid of the "status quo" is the most likely (and most important) outcome of all. It has been the maintaining the "status quo" which has put Steemit exactly where it is today...on a downward spiral into oblivion.

In order for Steemit to survive, and attract/keep new members, massive changes will have to be made. Many Steemit members already realized this fact, but few were willing to stand up and speak up, primarily for fear of being downvoted and their reputations ruined. Many instead simply cashed in and left the platform, which no doubt accounted for the rapid decline in the value of the Steem token.

I suspect that your "first scenario", an aggressive takeover, will be what Tron will implement. No doubt, there will be many long-time Steemit members and witnesses who will not like this scenario for obvious reasons, not the least of which will be their loss of power, but they have only themselves to blame for that. The writing was on the wall for months, but they chose to ignore it. Now it's time to pay the Piper.

I think that, while yes the witnesses and devs have made a lot of bad decisions, there has been demonstrable efforts to improve everything from top to bottom. I think that the process is just really messy. We're now involved in the sausage making, if you'll allow me the comparison, and we're having to deal with the fact that side of things provides for an awful experience. That, combined with the missteps has definitely hurt the community and the price, but to imply that there has been a desire to "keep the status quo" isn't very accurate. There's a difference between making the right decisions and not trying to.

"but to imply that there has been a desire to "keep the status quo" isn't very accurate."

I'm not so sure! While doing the same thing over and over may not technically be the same as "desire" to keep the status quo, the outcome will be the same.

"There's a difference between making the right decisions and not trying to."

Oh, yes! There is a very big difference. Only too often however, people do not make the right decisions because they simply do not try, either because they did not want to, or else were afraid that anything they might do or suggest would upset the apple cart in some way.

There will certainly be a fork given scenario 1.

That's the exact threat that inspired the preparations that were undertaken to do exactly that. Tron has a great desire to benefit from the greatest asset of the Steem blockchain, and it's one they cannot purchase: the Steem community.

I disagree with you, and hope Tron realizes that acting in a way the Steem community views as hostile will prevent it's acquisition of that community, which can only happen voluntarily. I point to Sun's comments during the AMA that indicated he did understand the idea of folding Steem into Tron immediately, replacing the token with something derived from TRX, and centralizing governance will prevent Tron from profiting optimally from it's investement in Steemit.

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