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.
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 Steemit.com. Our vision is to grow Steemit.com 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.
- Fork out Steemit accounts
- Start a fork of Steem and fork out their accounts on that
- Work cooperatively to solve the problem
- 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.
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,