@ura-soul Witness Update - Anarchy vs. Empire: TRON Replaces Top Witnesses and Takes Over the STEEM Blockchain

in #witness9 months ago (edited)

@ura-soul witness status

I started missing blocks on my server an hour ago and saw that the top 20 STEEM Witnesses have been replaced with brand new accounts created by TRON/Steemit inc.

Having just read through the steemit company blog and the many comments, it seems that:

  • TRON collaborated with crypto exchanges (most, except Bittrex) to use customer tokens to vote in new witnesses, force a new version of the blockchain and unfreeze the tokens that the community froze in SF 0.22.2.
  • TRON/Steemit Inc. are framing the actions of SF 0.22.2 as being 'illegal'.
  • TRON/Steemit Inc. seem to think that the community should be behind their decision.

The implications for this are clear to me, but there is a tangled web of propaganda being spun in all directions - I will do my best to be clear here and not 'spin' anything.

Soft Fork 22.2 was maliciously structured, intending to freeze a handful of very targeted accounts and taking away their rights and possession to their owned asset, and may be deemed illegal and criminal.

I take it from the poor command of the English language in this comment that it was not written by any of the US based Steemit Inc. team. Regardless though, as far as I am aware, the statement is false in several ways:

  1. 'Malicious' infers an intent to do harm. There was no intent to do harm and SF0.22.2 was specifically structured only to try to prevent exactly the kind of action that Steemit/TRON have now taken. The tokens were not 'stolen' or 'lost', they were simply 'paused' on the live version of the blockchain in order to allow space for everyone to communicate and choose an agreeable destiny path that works for everyone. The buyout of Steemit had no pre-warning and the many thousands of STEEM users represented by the witnesses, who have invested in STEEM, effectively voted with their stake to support this temporary move to try to secure the chain for the community and to keep some semblance of decentralisation.

  2. SF0.22.2 did NOT take away any assets - it always left the possibility open of TRON meeting with the community and deciding on a workable direction for everyone involved - then having the freeze reversed. They also always had the possibility of creating their own fork of STEEM and reclaiming their tokens that way too - if they couldn't find a way to work with the community. TRON did NOT buy STEEM, they bought Steemit. STEEM is a decentralised blockchain and the value of any STEEM tokens held by Steemit inc. is independent of the control of Steemit (the company). If TRON's plans for Steemit inc. are so great then they can just make their own fork, unfreeze their tokens and make their tokens rise in value through hard work and dedication. So far, they have not produced any hard work or dedication, so their new fork might not be worth so much - but that's just how capitalism works. The basic design of blockchain self governance and DPOS facilitates this process and the decentralisation that Justin Sun claims to understand and want to promote. Justin Sun cannot claim to support decentralisation while also claiming that the actions taken through decentralised governance are illegal when he doesn't like them - well, not without seeming hypocritical and out of touch.

Centralisation vs. Decentralisaton


STEEM has always represented an experiment in drawing together the ideas of centralised hierarchy with decentralised network design. There has always been a failure within the design of STEEM here, in that the ninja mined tokens and also the entire concept behind stake weighted voting, has always meant that the existing chain did not and would not really deliver a decentralised experience of the kind that Bitcoin is favoured for.

In reality, true decentralisation cannot occur in a situation where each person who participates can be overpowered by others who have more resources of some kind (whether that be tokens or computing power in mining farms). However, in general, most people don't seem to mind that some overpowering takes place as long as there isn't a blatant centralisation of power of the kind that we are now seeing with STEEM.

I have long complained that top witnesses being able to draw out high levels of STEEM means that over time they will solidify their power position and become more and more difficult to challenge. What was not spoken about so much was that the exchanges are in an even more powerful position and have been amassing tokens for years without seeming to act with them a great deal (publicly anyway).

As this piece on CNN makes clear, this is not the first time Justin Sun has been involved in similar hostilities and indeed, it is stated that the large crypto exchange @Binance owned, at that time, 55% of the TRON tokens. If true, this means that TRON is really Binance as much as it is anything else.

Given that Binance is (as far as I am aware) a Chinese company and China is a psuedo communist and highly authoritarian nation, it is totally understandable that STEEM users would be highly alarmed by the situation. STEEM was founded on ANARCHO-Capitalist principles and it is these principles which have kept STEEM free and exciting for many people here. Anarchy ONLY means 'no rulers' - but as I have said all along, a system that is dominated by money is not one without rulers.

The only saving grace here is that DPOS and the blockchain design allow for hard forks which split the chain and allow groups with differing outlooks to go their own way, without being 'ruled' by whoever has the most money.

Do you want an emperor or do you want to be self empowered and enjoy a state of 'no rulers'? Having lived in England all of my life, I am acutely aware of the problems of authoritarian control. I am also aware of the need for liberation for all beings if we are to live life to the full (and even survive at all, long term).

The actions taken by @ned over the years and now these latest actions really reinforce to those who are paying attention, that the promise of decentralisation is one that can only manifest for those willing to take responsibility for putting in the work to create the systems that will truly support real decentralisation. Anything less than a strong willed intent to create real decentralisation (and ultimately distributed technology/networks) WILL result in centralised power grabs by those who don't really value free will sufficiently.

My future on STEEM


I covered some of my thoughts about the ninja mining and recent TRON takeover here and made clear why 0.22.2 could be seen to be justified. I chose to upgrade my witness server to run 0.22.2, on the understanding that discussions would be held between witnesses and Steemit inc. - allowing for a mature course of action to be planned.

In reality, this has not happened and Justin Sun's statement of intent to hold a meeting with the top 50 witnesses seems to have been a bluff or at least only intended to buy some time. As others have pointed out, he seems to either not really understand how DPOS works, not really care about the STEEM user community, is on an EGO rampage or is perhaps taking orders from exchange operators who may be themselves being controlled by other political groups.

The reality is that many in the community see this as an ideological clash and struggle for survival and in some senses, they may be right.

I personally have learned to go by a combination of careful reasoning and emotional intuition. Given the extent to which free will has been abused on Earth for so long, anyone who is sensitive to the emotional reality of the situation will be likely to feel moved to make the decision that they feel most likely to ensure both survival of STEEM and of the community bonds here. Love is ultimately the force that keeps us alive and it is desire, not money, that makes the world go around.

With love and desire, we are capable of great things. As long as desires and needs are denied, love is also denied. Wise people know this and move with peaceful intent and consideration of the feelings involved in order to reach the best outcomes. When communication happens through cold technology, such as computers, there can be a loss of connection and an overly mental approach that skips over the feelings of the moment. I feel that this is what is happening here with some people, just as happens every day in many other areas of life.

This situation does not feel good to me and my own will guides me to move to find a workable solution. I would be fine with working with TRON to find a workable solution, but at this point, given the history of Steemit and it being clear that they didn't really intend to work with the community (over and over again), emotionally, I don't feel like continuing this trend again with TRON - who I know even less about that than the US team of Steemit Inc.

The public news media stories about TRON, including their apparent malicious treatment of the POP blockchain, do not give me confidence here.

I feel now, as I have always felt, that the only way for a system like STEEM to thrive and to challenge the existing mega platforms, such as Facebook, is for it to run in a truly decentralised manner. This means no ninja mined token pool and a greater ease of software development that results in more diversity and more chance of variation and forking. Having looked through the code for the STEEM blockchain a long time ago, I was alarmed at the obfuscation in it - making independent forking of the code unnecessarily costly and difficult. This was also a red flag that the promise of decentralisation was not really an honest one.

My feeling is that the only successful path for STEEM is one where real decentralisation is valued and steps are taken to bring it into reality.

Whatever happens, STEEM has greatness because of the community that use it. I am reminded of Tribe.net, back in the mid 2000s, which is the only social network I would compare to STEEM - it's community was a great meeting of inspired minds. Tribe got bought out by Cisco systems, who then destroyed it deliberately imo (the same Cisco systems that helped the Chinese government operate mobile EXECUTION vans (actual physical murder of political dissenters)). Without the community, it dies - just as Tribe did. I felt at the time they had done this to stifle free thinking and dissent and it is this experience, plus so much CENSORSHIP on mainstream internet sites, that has motivated me to support STEEM.

Never forget that YOU have the power here, not those who hold tokens. Even if you are forced to leave the blockchain, YOU still have the power. YOU can use your power to create what you need. Voluntary collaboration holds the answers here.

Anyone wishing to contact me can do so at [email protected]

Wishing you well,
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couldn't say it better mate! I only supported 0.22.2 as a temporary measure, as I shared in my witness update, waiting for the supposed meeting of 6th... I am still in shock with this take over and it's implications to STEEM blockchain and STEEM token. I don't really care about Steemit Inc. I only care about STEEM blockchain and community and this is a serious attack that we are suffering as a community. I want to help in any way I can to minimise the damage of such an event, please count me in! :(

Absolutely, yes - though it seems that there is a bit of a lack of organisation in terms of producing new code within the community. I listened to about 4 hours of today's mayor show in Discord and there is some headway being made towards various solutions, but I think it's up to each of us to take the initiative to create what we need rather than relying purely on others. That said, what the community needs on a basic level is quite clear to me and to most people, I think.. So I am optimistic that solutions can be found relatively quickly.

I agree. I was shocked too.

Well said.

Thanks - may this catalyst produce a better future!

Our communications are dependent on centralized mechanisms at multiple layers. From ISPs to the physical network, we speak at the pleasure of overlords. The Steem blockchain itself is but a tertiary expression of this vulnerability.

In fact, this notification of our vulnerability to censorship is an extremely valuable warning.

Our ability to know facts enables us to act to secure our lives and property from danger. Today across all enemedia, we are being misled regarding a pandemic that may threaten all our lives, and society itself. Steem is inconsequential in comparison, as I'm sure everyone values their lives and families more than their wallets.

I sincerely and even desperately hope that devs, network engineers, and coders immediately undertake to create a mesh network through which we can reach each other as long as the physical network is powered up, to run blockchains, troll each other, or let us know about outbreaks of plague in our cities.

This is not a drill. This is life or death. We need not to exist at the pleasure of overlords.

Let's live at our sole option.

Distributed networks are really the only way to fully deliver the promise of a decentralised system such as Steem. I imagine we are not that far away from such a system and perhaps that is why there is such a clamour for control in these relatively early days!

Where there is decentralization, centralization will seek control.

It is why the world is disintegrating today. There has been power untapped by banksters they now seek to possess. The plague is their key that will lock us all in.

Edit: I believe this is a fatal flaw that has now been evidenced in legacy Steem, inequity of stake. Going forward, equity will be basic to creating a robust economy that will resist centralizing force.

I should add that my economic treatment of Steem, or rather my failure to treat it economically, has been due to my abandonment of banks, and banks being necessary for exchanges, and exchanges necessary to make Steem money.

As long as this system is governing the economy of a cryptocurrency, I will not use it as money. I cannot trust banks, who have stolen $hundreds of thousands from me. Decentralization is the key to monetization of cryptocurrencies without the intervention of banks, and in the event banks can be excluded from cryptocurrency transactions, I will be willing to entertain them.

That does not mean I will spend them as money. There will have to be nominal security features to enable trust, and I know of few cryptocurrencies that meet my standards today, and none of them use centralized exchanges with KYC.

I do not expect crypto to be usable as money for me, due to these reasons.

Is KYC a stock exchange like the New York stock exchange?

KYC is an abbreviation for Know Your Customer, which requires banks and similar institutions to collect identifying information on their customers, which authorities can use to track and prosecute those customers.

I wonder if KYC violates the 4th amendment potentially.

It certainly violates the 10th, and regardless of it's relation to the text of the Constitution, subjects property owners to the power of government overlords to enjoy the use of their property, which is contrary to the principle of sovereignty.

Thank you sir, well articulate and clear.

I can see that the suggestion I made to strike first and null out the Neon Green stake would not have mattered.

Justin was surprised by the witnesses and their ability to temporarily control his stake.

We were all surprised by Justin's control over the exchanges, and their use of other people's STEEM to regain control.

The fact that justin lied to the community about his response to the situation should demonstrate to us all that Steemit is now a centralized platform, and we should further expect CCP direction of the platform.

The language use by the new and improved steemitinc in their own open letter underscores that.

I think that I am done here as an investment, but i'll keep posting until we see the censorship start up, and then why bother

Steemit's main US developer has now resigned, so the 'bargaining chips' continue to be adjusted in ways that can change outcomes. I remain open to all possibilities, but will only choose the one for me that ensures liberty and 'no rulers' as much as is practical!

@valued-customer suggested meshnets in an earlier post

that seems like a good starting point

I would also suggest people start networking with other local steemers and see what ideas come about.

I am interested in seeing how justin et al play this out on steemit, but I am extremely cynical about the outcome

TRON Overlord Justin Sun, like Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Disney, Comcast, etc, will lie about the good people, will continue to try their best to bury the truth, will try to censor patriots, etc, etc. That is what they do and have been doing. It is an information war in so many ways. We have been talking about these things for years and years. We win as we expose them. They win as we zip our lips.

I encourage people to post articles, to make videos, just like the Fandom Menace are always posting Star Wars videos exposing the tyranny of Overlord Walt Disney.

and yet, Disney just keeps shitting up these properties

I wish I had a better answer for you, and i dont see any harm in your idea

as for me, I'm just divesting myself from as much connection to these subhumans as I can

Funny that you should mention Tribe.net in this context... I remember it well. From a community perspective, there are indeed some parallels.

I suppose the "battle" between greed driven capitalism and idealism will always have its "moments." Sadly, idealism tends to lose because we get too stuck in doing the "right thing" while not enough people are ready to do the work in a hostile world. We want ideals to come true, but few idealists are at their best in the context of "yeah, but who's going to RUN it all?"

Think early days of Bill Gates (greedy driven little phuck) vs. Steve Jobs (idealist) and how Apple floundered for years and years while Microsnot conquered the world... and it's only 20 years later that the value has returned to make Apple the behemoth it is now. And the Apple of 2020 is a FAR cry from Jobs' vision...

Meanwhile, may we all put our best foot forward...

In my understanding, the key to holding balance is to literally live in and from our own hearts. Even those who know this can forget and get pulled back into the mental-only realm. For those in their hearts, new options appear that weren't visible beforehand.. It is possible to live in an ideal way but we also need to know the underlying patterns that have been holding us back and to do our bit to stop our involvement in their creation. Blockchain tech is a great piece of this puzzle for me, but ONLY when we are free to create and support multiple fork options that allow for real decentralisation and evolution. Anything less than ideal will suck! ;)

Yes, forks is key in that puzzle.

Did Tribe.net die?

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TRON/Steemit Inc. are framing the actions of SF 0.22.2 as being 'illegal'.

When I saw what the witnesses had done, my first thought was ''I wonder who will do the longest jail time."
I disagree that the action taken against Justin Sun's Stake was Not Malicious. If I took away your ability to use your stake I am 100% convinced that you would believe I was being malicious.

TRON did NOT buy STEEM, they bought Steemit.

No they also purchased a huge amount of Steem!

Justin Sun cannot claim to support decentralisation while also claiming that the actions taken through decentralised governance are illegal when he doesn't like them - well, not without seeming hypocritical and out of touch.

I find the above words shocking. I disagree with what you are saying here 100%
The decision to freeze Justin Sun's Steem came from the same Centralized Authority that held the platform hostage from day 1, led our witnesses around by the nose and done everything they could to prevent mass adoption of this platform !

The platform is designed to ensure that the choices made by the consensus of the witnesses are the ones which are enforced on the blockchain. The community voted the witnesses in using their own stakes, as per the design. The nature of decentralised blockchains is that in the event that there is a disagreement regarding the rules and direction, then different investors/users can fork the chain and do their own thing. That is all by design and is to be understood by anyone buying tokens - especially by someone who runs their own blockchain already.

If I took away your ability to use your stake I am 100% convinced that you would believe I was being malicious.

It would depend on the situation. If I were Justin Sun and I knew all the details of the Steem blockchain, then I might be triggered, but I would understand the reasoning behind the decision. If my intent were not malicious (in his position), then I would empathise and understand that it might be in the best interests of the blockchain and my own investment to work with the community and meet them in a neutral way - as he inferred he would do. He did not keep his word and in fact appears to have gone as far as to bringing the global reputation of major exchanges into question by the biggest names in cryptocurrency.

No they also purchased a huge amount of Steem!

Which was never taken away from them, as I already explained.

The decision to freeze Justin Sun's Steem came from the same Centralized Authority that held the platform hostage from day 1, led our witnesses around by the nose and done everything they could to prevent mass adoption of this platform !

Who are you referring to here?

The community voted the witnesses in using their own stakes,

No the community did not choose, the berniesanders group of accounts chose and has been in control of choosing most of the top 20 witnesses for far to long.
If that were not the case things like the EIP would never have been implemented.

And yes the ability to use it was taken away. No point in having something if you are not allowed to use it!

Many people have looked into that issue and I have yet to see any proof that your claim here is correct. Assuming you are correct, as messed up as that is, it is a situation made possible by the ninja mined stake that you are saying should not have been frozen. Would you have been upset if the freeze had included bernie's accounts too? It sounds like you are making a case for starting the chain over again without a ninja mined stake, as much as anything else.

It sounds like you are making a case for starting the chain over again with a ninja mined stake, as much as anything else.

shit no lol but we cant go back in time ether. I don't believe that the top 20 witnesses acted in good faith. The outcome was predictable and the dark forces will be trying to leverage the amount of damage they can inflict on the platform.

I suspect that Steem / steemit has a much stronger chance of mass adoption now. I have not been this hopeful about the future of Steem for years

Ah, I was tired when I wrote that last message. I mis-typed 'without a ninja mined stake' to read 'with a ninja mined stake' ;)

Now the centralized authority has regained 5 witnesses back in the top twenty, it seems that all hope is lost for a decentralized Steem and Steemit.

Is the ninja mined stake something that happened in 2016 or during the first two years of Steem of Steemit, which was around that time, around those years, right? I joined in 2017. I am going to assume the ninja thing must have happened near the very beginning or during one of the first ten hard forks.

Yes, it was at the very beginning - an initial period of mining to generate tokens to use to get the system started.

Do you prefer republics or democracies?

This much FUD is chasing me and probably many others away by the day. This is getting worse all the time. I appreciate your effort as a witness but the system is flawed from day 1. Ned and Dan failed to produce anything of value. Just look where we are now.

Soul, I like what you're saying and I have so much I want to say concerning these things. I wanted to come here and give you my two cents, pun intended, concerning the first two points. Specifically, I would try my best, if I was debating TRON and Justin Sun Bieber, to emphasize on how some of those things may be irrelevant.

Malicious

You mentioned that one word, Malicious. So, if they used that word. If they were trying to say that the hard or soft forks were illegal or whatever they want to call it, I would say to them, "IRRELEVANT." I don't know how to highlight that any bigger than that. That is why I like what you're saying.

Private Property

I believe in ownership rights. I believe you mentioned things like that in this article. Well, maybe not specifically. You were talking about witnesses, voting power, etc. But I enjoy correlating and comparing things. I write a lot about property rights. That's why I hate taxes. I prefer republics over democracies. I don't even have time right now to talk about how all of this relates to Steem, to Steemit, to blockchain social networking, etc. To be continued. I really do have a lot to say. But I will try to stop myself from writing. Maybe I'll just say a few more things.

Assets

In the second point, you mentioned assets. Again, if Justin Sun used that argument, I would say irrelevant. I think John Mcafee said Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not like assets, etc, etc, and I don't even have time right now to get into all of that. But suffice to say that if Justin Sun and others are saying stuff like that, then shame on them.

Justin Sun

We can all talk so much about Sun, about TRON, etc, etc. There are many lessons to be learned. We can debate about whether Justin was dumb, evil, etc, etc. We really can go back and forth concerning these things similar to how people debate some of the decisions Disney made concerning Star Wars, etc, which you know, for crying out loud, for crying out original oatmeal, don't even get me started on that haha.

Community First

But here is my point. Here is a big thing I want to say. I want to say that we gotta be on our guard to protect what we own. Well, it is better that way. I tend to believe in propertarianism. I believe in family first values. So, specifically, Justin Sun probably came in here and said that we would have a fork and then we would come together and talk about things. I read his post that talked about that. It appears that Justin stabbed us in the back. I don't mean to overly simplify the situation. It's complex. But it appears that TRON betrayed us. The moral of the story is that we should never trust people in those types of situations. Well, to each his own. But risk is involved. We are vulnerable in those types of situations.

Weku

There are some Steem forks out there already, like Weku, Bear Shares, Serey, Dream Real, Smoke, etc. There is Minds, Gab, Read Cash, Cent, etc. I cross post to Steem, to these other networks, to Blogspot, Live journal, Wordpress, etc. Specifically, I encourage people to fork Steem yet again if they want. I also encourage people to pull money out of centralized money exchange websites. Some of us can continue to try to save Steem. I don't know if that is possible. But at the same time, people should have backup plans like I said. Invest in different cryptocurrencies, gold, silver, currencies, land, vitamins, etc. Diversify your portfolio. Buy a water well. Try to have as many different streams (not Steem lol) of income as possible, the more the better. Always work hard with a smile on your face, thank you.

Is that why everything went down yesterday?

Yes, there were too many forks competing apparently.

How do I join the anti-tron fork?

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