Many things have happened since February, and we believe that this is time to wrap up and move on. The Steem blockchain has been under constant attack from malicious accounts and this has heavily influenced user experience, Dapps useability, and the stability of the chain itself.
Note that 22.8888 was previously implemented as a temporary, reversible measure to resolve issues.
Unlike 22.2 (where now-hive witnesses froze Steem Inc. related accounts (total amount 65M SP, worth about 13 million USD) without any public discussion or notice), 22.8888 was different in two ways:
(1) pre-announcement was made so that community had time to discuss and affected accounts could make changes (for example, powerdown routes), and
(2) the reasons were based on what actually happened ("HIVE" chain split), while for 22.2 the reasons were based on something that did not happen (it was mere speculation like "it may happen" or "it is likely to happen", argued by some 22.2 witnesses)
- Note that there was a legal request not to use the name "HIVE" for the STEEM code-copy chain (Source: HIVE BLOCKCHAIN REQUESTS CEASE AND DESIST FROM NEW STEEM COMMUNITY HARD FORK USING SAME NAME.) While the current version of the article uses the name "HIVE" for simplicity, we will modify the article if we receive a request from HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd(TSX.V:HIVE).
Since 22.8888, we have observed even more negative actions, including (but not limited to)
(1) Intentionally undermining network stability by running different versions of the witness nodes and/or spamming malicious transactions (note that this can be solved by Hardfork as these transactions will now be ignored)
(2) Spamming meaningless or hostile post/replies, to displease Steem users and render the ecosystem unattractive for the existing user base and all potential new users, PO, and investors,
(3) Negatively and severely affecting the ecosystem by siphoning the rewards pool and using bots to automate the farm-and-dump on the chain without any care given to the PoB concept. The purpose of these malicious activities was to push users away from Steem by allocating part of the reward pool to their farming circles in the aim to highly lower the rewards that genuine authors are getting, engaging in heavy farming by recycling and posting stolen content to damage the SEO advantage that the community has built during the past 4 years, in addition to putting huge selling pressure on STEEM to keep people away from it by continuously dumping all the STEEM generated by the farming,
(4) Spreading FUD, rumors, and targeted disinformation, along with attacking, doxing, and publicly shaming users with different opinions.
Thus, witnesses have decided to make changes with HF to protect Steem network stability, enhance Steem user experience, and protect Steem community users' property rights. In particular, we expect Steem users may enjoy faster, more stable Steem blockchain as the issues of (1) will not be relevant.
We notify that there will be three changes:
I. Power-down period will be reduced to 4 weeks, instead of the current 13 weeks. This change is to promote more users to stake STEEM without fearing their assets locked up for a long period and to participate in Steem activities. By creating a more friendly environment for investors, we expect this change to positively enhance STEEM stakeholders' experience.
II. Update the documentation and other key related materials necessary to secure Steem, gain network stability, honor user experience, and ensure the proper functioning of the chain and projects that are built on top of if by providing accurate and up-to-date data.
III. Seize some user accounts that participated in criminal activities by actively contributing to the threat against the Steem blockchain and/or to the theft of STEEM holders' assets.
- The launch of HIVE chain is not a protocol update to improve blockchain performance or security, but a hostile split action to exclude certain accounts.
- Some of the previous main Steem witnesses (now most of them are HIVE main witnesses) put Steem blockchain at risk by threatening the stability of the Steem Blockchain while running a hostile Hardfork version on Steem, even though their main job as main witnesses was to protect and maintain the integrity of the Steem Blockchain. See Steem Consensus Witness Statement: Softfork 0.22.8888 for more details.
- Some HIVE launching members decided to take away HIVE tokens of 326 Steem users' HIVE tokens and placed it in the @steem.dao account (total amount of 83.2 million STEEM, about 23% of the total STEEM supply that worth around 16.6 million USD, as of 20th May 2020) that is de facto controlled by a small group. This is a clear violation of the property rights of STEEM holders, as these HIVE members illegally transferred assets of the Steem users that were assigned at the time of snapshot (code-copy chain split time). One may find these transfer records on Hiveblocks or Hiveblockexplorer, for example, one sample screenshot is provided below:
- Reference of all transfer records: Block 41,818,752 from Hiveblocks else Block 41,818,752 from Hiveblockexplorer.
Ironically, the very reason that HIVE witnesses got their spots at the HIVE launch was the result of STEEM token holders' voting. And it is even more disturbing that many Steem users who got their assets stolen actually had voted for more than 5 HIVE witnesses (then Steem main witnesses), but these HIVE witnesses betrayed STEEM holders who voted for them.
Note that some HIVE witnesses use the misleading word "airdrop", but it is a mere copy-chain so "snapshot" is the proper one. If a chain is to start from scratch, "airdrop" is a proper term and the chain designers may choose whatever airdrop method. However, the HIVE case is a clear copy - HIVE copied everything of Steem blockchain, such as account names, passwords, previous postings, assets, etc. What they have done is taking other users' assets after the snapshot.
- Also note that some HIVE users use another misleading concept like “there was no HIVE before the split, so no HIVE can be taken away from Steem users.” This is categorically inaccurate and misleading - how can you transfer something that does not exist? Their blockchain record clearly shows that HIVE, HBD, and Hive Power were transferred.
- Date: 20th May 2020
- Time: 14:00 UTC
- Github Code: https://github.com/steemhardfork/steemhf/tree/hf0.23
However, witnesses understand that some Steem community members may have different views regarding specifics. We reiterate that witnesses respect the importance of the Steem community, encourage Steem community discussion sessions, and fully support Steem community decisions.
Proposals may be made via SPS so that any Steem community members may suggest potential exclusion of certain accounts that were affected by the HF.
More details will be posted soon.