Deescalating and working towards a mutually beneficial solution

in #stopthepowerdown5 years ago (edited)

Hey Ned,

Thanks for going on air these last couple times. I haven't agreed with all of your statements, but I do have to say you're a lot more natural in this format. It's a nice first step to show that you are personally making an effort to be more communicative and it's a great way for the community to ask you tough questions so the current rift has a chance of healing.

The powerdown

Recently you started a power down on the @steemit account outside the scope of the standard powerdowns you call "programatic selling." Normally you power down 800,000 steem a month to sell and use it to pay for expenses. Now you're powering down 34M steem. This is the note you left when you initiated that 6 days ago:

Moving STEEM to secure wallets. Steemit's STEEM supports our Mission, Vision and Values which are built on Steem and Our vision is to grow into a vibrant communities web app, expanding the boundaries of community coordination and online discussion by incorporating cryptocurrencies as incentives. The company focuses on sustainability and decentralization by lowering run costs and increasing revenues by increasing stickiness through better homepage and community tools, and while always demanding a secure and safe, client-side signing experience.

One of the central complaints I resonate with and hear frequently is that the 800k steem per month you're spending doesn't seem to help the chain grow. It only crashes the price, lowers our rank on CMC, and community investors are getting pummeled by your choices. It would be one thing if there were more improvements coming and mainstreaming was ongoing, but site usage is down, you sunset the flagship app, and it took a year to build out HF20 at a cost of 10M steem, and we still don't have a great onboarding process. It's unsustainable and unwise for investors to support this.

Concern has escalated for both Steemit Inc and the Steem Community.


I get that it started as a knee jerk reaction to johan's pull request and witnesses abandoning an open conversation with you and choosing instead to migrate to a platform where you are absent. HF21 that your former contractor put together based on HF9 (which was implemented) forks out Steemit's steem. Couple that with witnesses suddenly abandoning you en masse and I get why you could think it's a cause for concern.

I can confirm at this point it wasn't a giant conspiracy when it started, but there's a lot more dissent now.

In light of that I'd like to try to pull all hands off the BIG RED BUTTON.

Please stop the powerdown

Ned, I've said since the very beginning of my journey here that people are the value. My primary goal is to keep this community as tightly knit as possible. All the bitcoin forks have siphoned off value from the main chain. We're on Hardfork 20 and that vast majority have stuck with the primary Steem chain. My sole intention is to make sure that as much of the Steem family stays on one chain as possible.

I don't think I've ever seen stakeholders so mad as I have for the past few weeks. It's gotten to what I'd call an extreme. I've noticed contingents that support a multitude of plans. Here's what I'm seeing out there. These are in chronological order of what various people shared with me.

  1. Fork out Steemit accounts
  2. Start a fork of Steem and fork out their accounts on that
  3. Work cooperatively to solve the problem
  4. Status Quo

I'll talk through those choices a bit down below, but your choice to powerdown @steemit puts the community that literally despises how you've behaved, communicated, and how you've spent the mined stake in an awkward position. The peaceful resolution that involves forking would be to start a fork of Steem, and remove your presence from that. I'll call it Neosteem for now. If you're powering down Steemit and hiding it in exchanges then it jeopardizes the ability of the most outraged to find a peaceful solution that successfully eliminates Steemit from their future.

Your choice to powerdown is literally enhancing their need to leave immediately or fork you out immediately. The powerdown is pouring gasoline on the fire. I'm betting and hoping that you haven't considered this aspect. So, I'm presenting it here and asking you to please #stopthepowerdown. Stopping the power down will let things slow down, cool off, and let calmer heads figure out a mutually agreeable path forward if one exists.

My pledge

If you stop the power down in the very near future and there's still any chance of success of a mutually beneficial way out of this I pledge not to run a hardfork that forks out steemit accounts.

Options on the table

Option 4. Status Quo
I'm absolutely positive that if the status quo remains some of the best witnesses and largest stakeholders will leave Steem. This is directly against my desire for the chain to stay together. On top of that I personally can't consent to the way that the mined stake is being used. It feels like I'm growing Steem Monsters in an uphill battle as the price, userbase of steem, and activity on and off the chain has slowed. I admit some of that is the bear market, but I think Steemit's choices have been critical in how much we're slipping. I personally really need to see changes happening. Ned, you're making some good steps towards communications, but that won't go far enough. If things stay the same this place will fracture, and that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid.

Option 2. Forking Steem without Steemit

I think the most likely scenario if there isn't an accord is people will simply make a fork of steem and not include steemit on that. In the long term I think it will end up being the more successful fork. It'll be more decentralized and have a lot of the incredible talent move towards it. If the current chain does create anything useful it'll be quickly absorbed and then further outpaced than the Steem(it) chain. In the meantime it'll be shitty as a ton of people walk away, the community is ruptured, and we lose the biggest asset we have (people/community). This is the exact opposite of keeping the chain together and is my least favorite option (Status quo essentially leads to this).

Option 1. Fork out Steemit accounts

Forking out Steemit is super contentious and is going to have a shit ton of downfalls. The votes might not be there to make it happen, though if things spiral more they very well could. However; Ned might spin up 20 witnesses and vote them in to prevent it. There's so many nightmare scenarios to choose from!!!

From the perspective of keeping the community together I hate to say it, but this is actually the plan that includes some kind of forking which keeps people in one place the best. Yes steemit is lost, but steemit is essentially one person with a big stake. I'd rather see that lost than a ton of people and their stake.

Inertia is one of my favorite thought leaders on Steem. He has stated on multiple occasions that hardforking steemit out is theft to do. I disagree. I have the liberty to run whatever code on my witness as I so choose. As a witness I'm elected in part to help create and define consensus. If the consensus is that Steemit is a bad actor that's hurting us all then I have the right and frankly a responsibility to run code that honors that. Do I want that? FUCK NO! But would I do it to keep the community as a whole if all other options have failed while Steemit was escalating the situation? Yes I would, and in a fucking heartbeat. This is my home and I have the will to do what's necessary to defend it.

See, their stake isn't gone. It's on the chain. He can run his own version of Steem that includes Steemit's stake by rolling back to a previous spot on the chain. He could even grant himself more Steem on his very own private Steem island. But Steemit isn't Steem. Steem is comprised of thousands of people and I'm here to protect their interests more than I am to protect Steemit Inc, which is essentially just Ned, while he consistently makes poor judgments.

I don't buy the argument forking is theft. I don't buy the argument it's piracy. I buy the argument that I get to choose what code to run that will benefit the most stakeholders, which to me is whatever keeps the population of Steemians growing. It's up to you the steem hodlers on the platform to choose me if they agree. So far so good :)

Option 3. Working together. AKA the right plan!

My ultimate hope and complete attention is on finding a mutually beneficial solution that gets both parties to the promise land of mainstreaming Steem, spreads our values, and let's us benefit from a high token price.

I personally don't care for the language that to me comically amounts to "give us the money nedowski or we'll cut off your whale balls."

But I do resonate with something like "Stop spending so much money and producing so little of value that you're literally eroding the positive efforts of everyone else working hard to make this place grow."

I'm of the opinion that a community structure could cut costs for ned/steemit, produce more valuable work (quality and quantity), open up more community development, and engage the community like never before. So, that's what I'm proposing vis a vis Steem Council. I'm doing what I can to make an outcome where we all benefit rather than all lose. Here's hoping we find a way!

Our future is in our collective hands

The best days of the chain may very well be ahead of us or we could be watching the split that kills us. It's up to all of us, our choices, our voices, and our actions to make the best outcomes possible. Ned, I hope we can find a collaborative way out of this mess.

Thank you for your time, thank you for your consideration, and I'm committed to doing everything I can to work together,



I know this isn't a laughing matter, but holy shit this quote cracked me up!

"give us the money nedowski or we'll cut off your whale balls."

The Dood abides!

I agree with much of this post, but not so much this part:

I don't buy the argument forking is theft. I don't buy the argument it's piracy. I buy the argument that I get to choose what code to run that will benefit the most stakeholders, which to me is whatever keeps the population of Steemians growing.

And our disagreement is the beauty of DPoS. People can vote based on who they trust most to secure their funds. We can also discuss back and forth our understanding of property and maybe come to better conclusions all around.

To me, a blockchain has to stay immutable and only in the most unusually incredible circumstances should something be modified. If the code breaks, for example, that might be a reason to set things right. If there was theft, that might be another reason. If we're talking Utilitarianism, I see your perspective, but I personally prefer self-ownership and how property rights are derived from that principle. If DPoS blockchains are just about whatever the majority want, then there really isn't any real property here from the framework I'm using. (More on my moral perspective on an old post here).

I was about to post on exactly the same point. Glad I read comments before I comment!

I completely agree with you on this point. If the standard for witnesses is 'the greatest good for the greatest number' then we are not talking about property rights at all, IMHO, but essentially communism.

We have agreements, written and tacit, that govern our possession and use of Steem, Steemit, and etc. If they can just be abrogated by a majority, then we don't have a rule of law, but of a mob. This is an important point for those that maintain 'code is law', because code is infinitely mutable. It can just be rewritten on a whim.

While I have great respect for all concerned parties in these discussions, particularly not leaving out @aggroed here, I hope he has a chance to reconsider that principle and discovers that he actually does mean that property rights are as sacred as they can be made to be, rather than simply what is convenient for growth, or whatever.

That latter point is the scary one, as he may find swifter growth more pertinent than private property rights - today. If he remains not strongly committed to property rights, and later growth is less important than some other matter, say decreased centralization, or even logo color, then what is to stop a fork on that future day to take people's property in order to turn the logo blue?

I am not a fan of ninjamines. I do not see that I have any right to tokens so created prior to my participation on Steem. Those two views aren't irreconcilable, and Steem either tolerates the past without becoming predatory or, IMHO, it loses all credibility with investors.

If Witnesses can take away one guy's stake, they can take mine too. If they can censor that guy, they can censor me too. Sauce for geese, and sauce for ganders.

Forking away stake needs to be behind a line drawn so deep that only existential need can cause us to cross it, or we can have no confidence that it isn't so shallow that it can just be crossed whenever it's convenient.

'First they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I said nothing. Then they came for the communists, but I was not a communist, so I said nothing. They came for the gypsies, homosexuals, and those born with defects, but I was not one of them, so I said nothing.

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak up for me.' (paraphrasing a Holocaust survivor).


I agree. I get the frustration. It's shared amongst many in the community, but I vehemently disagree that it's acceptable to fork out someones stake because you don't like what they're doing with it. I appreciate the witnesses that are coming out and letting their positions be known and I hope everyone reading these votes where their opinions lie.

I also just want to say I strongly disagree that there is any scenario where a fork like this would end up being what's best for Steem overall and that it's a hard sell to talk about working together in the same post with an open threat.

I'm echoing @lukestokes reply with STRONG emphasis on this..

To me, a blockchain has to stay immutable and only in the most unusually incredible circumstances should something be modified.

Didn't Steem already restart once. I believe ninja premine happened twice. It already doesn't have this immutable property you are talking about.

Aggroed has put in a ton of work to improve steem, so his opinion is prob different than others who have done much less work.

Btw, look at what happened after Ethereum forked out Ethereum Classic. Who even talks about it?

I'm not saying I agree with the fork but it should def be an option on the table.

We are the actors relevant to this present situation, and we were not involved in the ninjamine. What happened then was not our responsibility, and what happens now is.

See my full reply to @lukestokes above for why I think we should keep our hands off other people's stakes today.

tl;dr do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If we start taking folks money, no one will put their money where we can take it - and Steem will die.

We are the actors relevant to this present situation, and we were not involved in the ninjamine. What happened then was not our responsibility, and what happens now is.

Okay, lets just pretend it never happened and so we have no problem.

But wait....

My point is that we came here after the mining was over. If we put money into Steem after the mining, and now claim to be offended by the mining, that's on us. If you didn't know about the mining before investing, you didn't do due diligence. If you did, and you're now claiming it's a problem, you're being disingenuous.

Either way, it's not our stake.

  1. Mined stake is a part of the game.
  2. Rules of the game are not set in stone and we could change it if having enough power and will.

Good luck finding anyone who'll invest under those rules.

Any blockchain including steem operates under these rules.

If any big bitcoin miner announce that they never accept any block with your transaction - say goodbye to your funds.

I don't buy the argument forking is theft. I don't buy the argument it's piracy. I buy the argument that I get to choose what code to run that will benefit the most stakeholders, which to me is whatever keeps the population of Steemians growing. It's up to you the steem hodlers on the platform to choose me if they agree.

I see it as theft, and have always thought it ridiculous when people have demanded steemit to be accountable to them. I would not trust anyone who would think forking out steemit’s stake is considered fairplay. Regardless as to if I like them or not, their stake is their stake. It seems immoral that people think they can mess with another’s share regardless as to how they got it. I assume you were a businessman and know the risk you were taking when you bought into steem. So I don’t have sympathy for anyone who is complaining now, especially the larger stakeholders. It’s certainly not ned at the forefront of my mind when I think poorly of steem. It’s the whole culture and ecosystem. So for a long time now, I am tired of the whining from the big accounts blaming steemit for everything. You yourself seem reasonable, but there are a few dickish big holders that make the platform come across disgraceful.

How would you feel if someone decided that SM is bad for the blockchain and moved to minimise your influence? It’s a gang up mentality. I think those who might have triggered the powerdown behavior only have themselves to blame if they don’t like the reaction. I vote you go build your own blockchain instead, and hope no one decides you’re doing a shit job and then want to fork you out of existence. You’re all making steem look bad.

I’ve always seen steem as a privately own startup that sold us an idea of decentralisation. If the prices tank, then that simply is showing the true state of affairs. So if he sells out, you can buy up and become the new king? I thought that’s the process....people get fed up, leave, those who truly believe can fly in and save the day, proving they really believe. I don’t see how negating a large stakeholder is meant to inspire confidence, or make you and those who agree with you anymore trustworthy. I don’t know you, I don’t know ned, but my time on steem, I just see a lot of self interested people, leeches and ass kissers. Should we add thieves to the list too?

So @Ned some food for thought .....

Here is one of your top Dapp owners, built on the very chain you help build. How is it that you are not drinking buddies? @aggroed is very successfully growing Steem Monsters. They have 100k+ page views per day on there website, a happy and growing customer base, ad revenue from said page views, outside investors chomping at the bit to buy a piece .... the list goes on and on.

@Ned here's the thing, you have a few other successful, growing projects on this chain atm like @actfit, @magicdice, @partiko, @busy, @steempeak, and @artzone. You have people cross branding like @stephenkendal.

@Ned - Stop the mass power down. Hire me as Director of Business for Steemit and let me make you several hundred million that you are literally throwing away. You can PM me in discord. I am in @aggroed's Steem Monster discord, same name.

@andrarchy and @justinw might want to point this one out to the boss before it's to late.

@ned maybe you should listen. I think in San Jose, we would have blown up Steem into a much bigger property already AND distributed the controlling power to new USERS that would REDEFINE the internet.

You STILL HAVE A CHANCE if you want to make a very big splash SOON, and blow up on the market share chart, but you have to give away controlling interest so investors will take you seriously, that you really can create the new model for the internet. It needs to be public property, even if there is 25% of the rewards pool saved for investment in development.

You forgot to mention the STEEM Poker League aka which is my personal favorite DAPP on STEEM. I agree wholeheartedly with your comment though! @aggroed along with many others has indeed done the marketing for STINC probably saving them a great deal in advertising expenses.

#pleasestopthepowerdown #hirethisfellaheseemssmart #letsworktogetherwithoutveiledthreats

While I'm not pushing to get you hired on, I'm also not agin' it. I don't know you, but this is a very valid point. While it may not bear much on fiduciary responsibility for extant stake, it certainly might, and it sure does make sense from a business standpoint. Stinc could be much more strongly capitalizing on it's assets by working with dedicated and successful partners on Steem.


It's easy money for the right person.

Couldn't agree with you more!

i dont like where this is going for.

Fork someone out is bad too. The Blockchain loss then allot of Trust. Think about someone would buy the Steemit Stake.

If Investors think they can loss they stake by forking out, Steem has lost all Trust. And its against a open speech comunity-

And i know it sucks what steemit is doing, like the Smt delay etc.

But i think we should stay cool. Only my 2 cents :)

Best regards

Yup that's exactly what happened with Ethereum and Etherum Classic. People are afraid to buy ethereum obv.

Maybe they can donate a big chunk of their stake to a development fund, that will be used by the community to improve the blockchain. Community decides how and who to develop ....

In this way they will reduce their central role, remove pressure from their self, and in the long run actually end up with more valuable stake ... Win win :)

That's an alternative I hadn't heard discussed before. It deserves thought. It also shows how powerful the community can be when sourcing mechanisms and roadmaps. I expect that more ideas may be forthcoming as the situation develops, and as long as sound principles guide those involved, who must set out to blaze a trail with chosen mechanisms, best practices and results are far more likely when folks like you set out to help.


Who would you trust to run that fund?

Nobody :) .... a system with a set of rulles

Posted using Partiko Android

In all honesty, keep the power down. Get them out of steem so people don’t apply steemit to steem. In fact the price is much higher now from the power down start date. Capitulation???

Time will tell.

Posted using Partiko iOS

Quite the dramatic price increase lately ehh? I find it very interesting and quite timely.

That’s the way markets work my friend :)

Thankfully I have been able to take advantage of it so far. Maybe this is a sign that the current situation is going the correct direction? Seems to me that the redistribution of the Steemit stake is the best thing we could ask for. It would remove the direct control and ability to kill the system.

Seems to me that the redistribution of the Steemit stake is the best thing we could ask for.

Agree. Painful but nessesary

And do not rise precisely because of the volume of the shutdown that enters the markets? Coinmarketcap includes the steem that is in steemit or just from the markets? Although the large volume is seen in the Korean markets

i agree with this post as well. interesting enough these are the user experiences that cause things to be very unbalanced which in turn destroys the hard work each user has done to create a presence here.

Even discussing that it could be possible to get consesus to fork out someones wallet - with only 17 witnesses is enough to scare any serious investor into never touching Steem again.

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