My Thoughts on HF22.5: You Can't Make An Omelette Without Breaking Some Eggs

in #steemit7 months ago (edited)

We've all seen dramas unfold on Steem, but this one has a different edge. We are faced not only with losing control of the Steem blockchain (well we already have), but have been suddenly placed in the situation of not really knowing if our great Decentralisation experiment has just failed! What was a worst case possibility of happening has happened. I can barely believe my eyes looking at the witness voting chart! So in this post i would like to share briefly about what has happened if you don’t understand, and then some thoughts and some personal advice to anyone who does not know what to do right now!

Background Information - The Least You Need to Know:

Justin Sun, the owner of Tron Bought Steemit INC a few short weeks ago, and with it he bought a LOT of Steem, including many millions that were held but never used for voting of posts or witnesses. This had been the case since the start, and was a weakness that was covered by a mutual agreement and understanding between @ned and the Steem community. There was enough Steem Power in those accounts to knock out the Witnesses and replace them all with someone of your own choosing. In theory you could do what Justin just did (but he did it another way!). So, when Tron bought Steemit INC. many people got really worried that Tron could replace the witnesses and thereby take control of the whole blockchain. He could then publish any new hard-forks and change the rules of the game as he saw fit, or indeed do anything he likes.

The response was to lock out Tron from these accounts, effectively locking up millions of dollars that Tron could then do nothing with. That was called Softfork 0.22.2. It was reversible, but not a great start to the relationship that for sure. This happened since there was not enough trust or clear communication from both sides, with us not even knowing if Justin understood the inn's and out's of what he had Just bought. I think he has demonstrated now that he does!!!

So the response from Tron today was for them to do what the Softfork was designed to stop! Instead of using the Steem that was locked up in several accounts, Binance was used instead, which holds millions of Steem and they powered it all up! That was enough Steem for Tron to then up-vote all his own witnesses and replace the balance of power with himself as sole director! This meant that he could make his own Hardfork, which is HF22.5 and unlock his accounts again. They also published a post explaining their moves and reasoning behind it. I should add that it also contained some reassurances that the Steem blockchain would not be moved to Tron without community approval. He mentioned a few other things too, many of which sounded quite positive.

What Does This All Mean For Steem?

The greatest upset in this whole show is not so much what happened, but the implications of it. Many people are saying that this is the end (at least for them) as this has clearly demonstrated that Steem is not decentralised! Right now at least they are quite right, at least in some ways. Decentralisation is not a black and white thing, and whilst Steem clearly has a lot of centralisation and hierarchy, let us remember that it is still not the same as it would be according to current day capitalism. Steem is decentralised, and it is also anarchic. What this means, and the key difference here that I believe gives Steem a lot of space to call itself anarcho-capitalism is that even now, and at any point in time, any person or group of people can claim back control or some of it at least by acquiring Steem, powering it up and voting for new witnesses.

In my view, Steem is still too small, and the price too low to avoid this happening. This ability to take control of the chain has happened because there is not yet enough Steem in circulation, and the market cap value of it is still relatively easy to overcome if you have deep pockets. In my view this is also a criticism that you can levy on all Cryptocurrency, since anyone who mines more than 50% of any coin can also take control of the ledger and do with it what they wish. This has happened a few times as recently as January, with Bitcoin Gold which got hit by 51% attacks, with $72K in cryptocurrency double-spent!

There are a lot of issues converging here, and it is not easy to understand a lot what is going on because we do not know the exact intentions of Tron or the course things will take. With the great benefit of hindsight it does seem clear that locking up $Millions of dollars of someone’s Stake is a very bold move, and it has brought about a bolder response. I can only hope that people watch this with great interest and minimal fear. We have never seen anything like this before in the history of Business! Anarcho-Capitalism is new, and evolving. We will all surely learn lessons from this experience, and perhaps make some different choices in future.

What Should You Do?

If you are not sure what to do right now then my best advice is to just do nothing! Keep doing what you were doing, and see how this plays out. There’s no point selling your Steem if your worried about the price, this even may not cause the price dump that you think it may. It could still easily go either way, with the resources and support of Tron to improve and market Steem far wider than we can do alone.

If you are worried that all your hard work and posts are going to vanish, then I would say don’t worry! This community is TOO strong to let that happen,. There are many ways this can play out, but there are many witnesses who could quite easily Fork Steem and all its content and make its own coin. The value of that might be significantly less than it is on Steem, but you would still have your Steem tokens too. So whatever happens with Steem as we know it, all our hard work and connections are I believe quite safe..

If you have lost hope in Steem being a decentralised model, then i understand.. but, I still see Steem as a great improvement on any other business model I have seen, and yes there have been mistakes and lots to learn along the way.. but Steem has always been an experiment and this experiment is not yet over! We are definitely breaking some eggs on both sides of the fence, but i still do believe that in time we will have a quite tasty omelette.


Who's response was to lock out Tron and why?
I.believe this is what some Steemians decided, some witnesses, not every Steemian's opinion was asked. Worse most do not even know what is going on.
There's a lack of information and many users are non native speakers if it comes to the English language.
We struggle on a daily base to find info and translate, translate and translate and still know nothing or at most 10% of what is going on and decided.

I wonder since when this happened. I asdume over 24 hours ago by now since I noticed @partiko no longer showed what I posted and the rest of the dapps followed a few hours later. No message, no warning, nothing.

I can not blame Justin Sun for taking the control back. My hat of for him. This was for sure a very bad start, a sign you have no faith in him, trust him (you is the witnesses). Not only a very bad start but one that honestly speaking makes me speechless.

I am [email protected] took over.
He's the owner, bought Steemit inc and the captain of this ship. Personally I wouldn't tolerate pirates on my ship either.

At least after all misery this post of yours gave me a good laugh.
Well done @justinsunsteemit you beat them on own ground. You must have had a good laugh too after you turned out to be smarter and took back what is yours.

The witnesses told you exactly what to do.

Thanks gor writing this post.

totally understand what you are sayin! lots of weirdness going on here!
The top20 witnesses agreed to do it, along with 30 others who were consulted.. we could have been asked, but tbh i dont think most steemians are able to make that decision without a course in BLockchain! The witnesses we vote for are a bit like our politicians ;-) x x

Yes. Afraid for losing their seat and voice, not opening up and now blaming others for starting a war. At least you gave me a good laugh the way you wrote it. Thanks for that. 💕

Indeed a very bad start made by the witnesses.
Their biggest fear became true.
@justinsunsteemit bought steemit and is the one who sails the ship wherever he likes.
To Justin I can only say: Well done! My hat off for you.

This was really helpful to me. Thank you. The biggest take homes for me were (1) the softfork was an aggressive move and (2) the experiment goes on. Steem's decentralisation will only be really possible when the stake is very widely spread. For that we need to grow.

What to do?? Breathe. Give myself a night off from curation & posting. And continue planning & creating great content. I have loads to say & contribute, as do so many.

Steem remains the best option on the market. To evolve sometimes has growing pains. Im confident & committed.

i think you got it! and yes have a night off at least!! there is a world out there too ;-) but i »know you know that! xxx

A big part of the problem is witnesses being s bit slack about explaing who they are and what they stand for. Giving a proxy is not anything I, or most steemians, like. We came to be part of true decentralisation. Im guilty of not having filled most of my witness votes. I HAVE ASKED several leaders in my steem world to please POST about their top 10 witnesses & WHY THEY CHOSE THEM. To hear "he's a good guy" isn't enough.

I think I will lead this morning with a POST & invite comments around this issue to help people vote well.

Appreciating your insight & comment @kennyskitchen. Thank you.

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As long as bottlenecks are allowed(witness governance and stake weights) steemit never was nor ever will be decentralized. It's run by an Oligarchy and the only way forward towards decentralization is to remove the bottlenecks.

...yet this simple fact continues to elude people, and are then surprised by its mechanisms...smh...

Thanks @eco-alex for the clarity given in this post! I was ignorant of what was happening for I just logged in and decided to scroll down my feed seeing these posts about the new witnesses being put in of Sun's choosing.
I trust your view point and am grateful of your understanding of the working of things and willingness to share with us and know we have similar values.
I am with you on carrying on seeing value in the Steem blockchain experiment and I'm willing to keep being a strong community member and will do my best to keep adding value to the Steem blockchain, the best I can.

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I will continue doing just like nothing happened. I hope I will not be desperately hoping for nothing in the end. Stay positive and wait whatever will be. Thank you @eco-alex.

I would suggest people prepare for the worst case scenario otherwise they may be the ones holding the bag! Just continuing on like nothing is happening is the same as approving of what is on going, now is our time to protest not remain quiet!

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Great informative read, although a bit disheartening. Thanks @eco-alex for your two cents on the matter. !BEER !trdovoter !giphy tron

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