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RE: Vlog 459: A sad day for Steem

in #exylelast year (edited)

Thank feck dude. I'm with you. It's hard to see so many, we did it posts. It's a precedent that on top of all the other things that has happened here just adds that little bit more tarnish to the perception we have.

The exit criteria lacks definition, which is worrying too.

Sad day indeed.


Freeze first, talk later. I would have preferred the other way around.

Yes it is a sad day, I agree. It should not have come to this. This should risk have been mitigated by code long time ago. Why wasn't it? It's a tough cookie to crack, but has always been on the table. But only recently gained critical mass. Just as @steem.dao is a special coded username in the blockchain, the Steemit Inc stake should have that coded in (IMHO).

Per your suggestion: if it was (more) talks first, freeze later: it could would have resulted in a hardfork once a huge powerdown would have started. Which then all exchanges in question need to have had addressed. This is a softfork which blocks certain operations from being executed by accounts owned by No funds are nullified.

That said for over a week numerous witnesses have tried to reach out to Steemit INC, talks with Steemit INC devs and we formulated pretty specific questions for the AMA. But the AMA was very disappointing: self-moderated, picking 3 lame questions on the spot and one vague answer: "for now". I feel that with the PR moves from Tron Network specifically there is an anology with your "Freeze first, talk later". What they did, and are still doing is pushing a narrative of an upcoming Token Swap of the STEEM Blockchain, thus: "Publish first, talk later".

Please understand this:

  • Nobody took it lightly to decide upon doing this.
  • This is not a precedent: My opinion is, if any single person buys a major stake now, wether OTC or via exchanges in STEEM, and starts voting with it then so be it: But the Steemit Inc stake is a special one as defined in "social contracts", code upgrades, video interviews.

Some articles which are good reads on the current situation:

I do understand why the action was taken and the reasoning behind it (even though I completely don't agree with it).

If you ask anyone here if it's ok to freeze their account, they would run for that PD button indeed.

So you don't ask. You do it (with consensus but obviously without debate).

For me, that is a problem, I believe it has set a precedent and it will be a looming option over the chain for anyone that in the eyes of the current governance might have bad intentions to the chain (whatever that may be, and that is the slippery slope).

Unfreezing the account will be a whole new puzzle to solve now too.

I hope you can imagine that it hasn't been easy for me to have such an opposing view from others on this topic, especially after all these years.

Thanks, Roeland, for your reply.

the precedent is more like the biggest whale threatening the safety of the chain and the community reacting to it. you're nitpicking the investment side of it. for any future investors the lesson is keep your fingers off twitter if you dunno what you're doing. not a bad precedent if you ask me.


governance ...

the simple fact that accounts CAN be frozen whatever the reason proves my point that this thing is about as centralized as any government, a few people decide and you are fucked, and that's that

the exact opposite of what BTC originally intended : DE-centralization ... no one is the boss, this stinks, another reason not to buy one cent of STEEM anymore

Agree, temporarily freezing pre-mined stake is actually a bold and protective move for the community and all who have honestly invested in Steem. Steemit's stake is similar to Steem DAO and should not take part in voting for example but only be used for maintaining, developing and marketing Steem. That was an unwritten agreement we had the last couple of years and should now be set in code, steem on :)

Yup. Talk first. Them take action if need be.

It seems that communication and transparency is only cared about when 'we' demand it of others.

Communication was done first, Exyle was too busy to acknowledge this I guess. Doesn’t fit his narrative maybe 🤷‍♀️ Not sure.

The key question of whether or not the stake would be used for voting, and if it would be non-voting and for community growth the way it was promised by Steemit Inc before the acquisition, was asked by the witnesses to Steemit Inc just minutes after the news broke.

The witnesses then got together to formulate questions for the AMA between Justin and Ned which we were told would be used, instead, they were completely ignored.

On a daily basis, we asked for clarification on the most important subjects, such as whether or not there would be a forced token swap or if the stake would be used for witness voting. No answers came (I do understand that it may have been difficult to give a prompt and absolute answer to those questions, but it was still a very serious situation).

It is important to note that this soft fork is not a change to the blockchain or the relevant accounts. It is temporary, and can be completely undone once the situation is clear and different. I would consider it more of a "pause" while the Steemit Inc team and Tron gets the time to discuss and clarify their planned future to the rest of the community. Where there's now no need for the same irrational fear that existed before.

At least, I only approve of this conditioned on it being temporary, and that those who run it pursue a positive outcome with Steemit Inc and Tron.

What are the exact exit criteria of the fork?

I think that is quite important to nail down. There are no clear criteria for the cessation of the fork. In fact, If I were to be picky the wording of the statement implies that based on community feedback the fork can be adjusted.

That doesn't sound temporary to me.

If an action such as this is going to be taken then it should be communicated very clearly what needs to be done in order for the fork to be removed.

Unless the intention is for the fork to never be undone completely? If that is the case then it should not be ambiguous. It should not be open to interpretation.

Communication should be clear and concise and unambiguous.

I would challenge the idea that clarification was never received on the forced token swap, from what I saw it was. I am referring to the conversation with Andrarchy that Exyle himself had and posted about just recently. There was a lot cleared up there.

This asking ona daily basis. Who asked who? Via what channels? How was it escalated when no response was given? Was there any response?

Finally, the perception is what is key. The perception outwith this little fragile bubble we live in. We already have a poor reputation. This, in my opinion, does little to paint us in a better light.

I am glad that you approve of it being temporary. But how can it be if we do not know what I have outlined above?

What are the exact exit criteria of the fork?

Different witnesses may have different expectations. So far, there seem to be only two witnesses in the top 31 who do not run the soft fork (timcliff and jesta). Of these, some may be content with Steemit and Tron giving more information such as a roadmap or vision, plus stating what they will be doing with the stake. Others may have a more drastic view and think that the stake should not have been Ned's to sell for profit to begin with, and should instead stay with the community.

So how would it be resolved if there are different views for what the criteria should be? It's quite simple. As we learn more, some witnesses may be comforted by what they see and choose to not run the soft fork, then eventually there'll be a majority who do not, and it will be reverted.

My criteria is first that we get a concrete and detailed answer by Steemit Inc and Justin Sun themself. If their answer is drastically different to the original promise Steemit Inc had, then I think it would be fair for the community and stakeholders who invested time and money into Steem on that basis to have the time and availability to leave before such changes are applied. If they promise to treat the stake the way they did before through not voting, then I would expect them to use the "decline voting rights" operation which removes those functions from an account. If they do go along with the opinion that some have that the stake they have is supposed to be used for community growth and further decentralization, then I would hope to see some action performed that make this "trustless" through either a donation to the steem.dao, or a foundation.

The important part is this: We need to know if the previous conditions for the stake still apply or not. And if not, what the new conditions are. And then be able to move on from there.

I agree that there is a risk here in terms of perception. I also think Tron and Justin Sun offers a unique opportunity for Steem to gain some much needed marketing talent and financial resources. So I am motivated, and can promise, that I will do what I can to pursue a positive outcome for Steem, and hope for a situation where the two projects can find mutual benefit and create a win-win for users and stakeholders on both sides. Therefore I will be spending a lot of time and effort the next few days in a diplomatic way to try and make that happen.

The precedent set by what they just did is going to be felt throughout the entire crypto industry by all DPOS and POS blockchains. There had to be a better way.

What exactly were these witnesses saving btw? Their seat at the table?

Even if Justin tried to move steem over to tron, everyone would have the option of remaining with steem classic if they so desired. This looks like more about preserving witness spots then actually protecting steem. All of the Top 20 Witnesses (that voted for this) should step down indefinitely to prove that this was best for steem and not just for them financially.

While it may have taken this soft fork to trigger the news and install the potential FUD that it may, unfortunately, bring. It still was possible the whole time and thus never really changed in terms of dpos security and quality (although perception is of course important).

Also, the demonstrated negative effect that one entity of aligned witnesses can have also reinforces the argument for why it is so dangerous for one giant stakeholder to be able to vote in all the witnesses needed to have super majority...

My preference would be that following this, we reduce the total witness vote to 10. While it will still be theoretically possible for someone to spend a hundred million dollars (assuming they would make price go up) in order to get the stake needed to vote in 20 witnesses, it would take a lot more stake than it does right now.

That said, I can understand that in the face of such a vulnerability, witnesses find it responsible to "pause" the ability for that to happen until a workable solution or sufficient clarification/guarantee is in place.

My preference would be that following this, we reduce the total witness vote to 10.

Exactly! I think five to (at maximum) ten witness votes per account would be fine.

Already now the influence of - for example - @freedom on witness voting is far too big.

Therefore I will be spending a lot of time and effort the next few days in a diplomatic way to try and make that happen.

That is very comforting to hear. I appreciate that.

I wish, reading your criteria above (third para) that they were defined as such by the community consensus statement because your criteria are concrete and do elicit confidence.

As we learn more, some witnesses may be comforted by what they see and choose to not run the soft fork, then eventually there'll be a majority who do not, and it will be reverted.

They may, or they may be caught up in the group think and not wish to step out with the common thinking. You might be able to tell but I am not very fond of may in this circumstance. You could say that there may be a chance that strong personalities push their own distrust if Justin Sun onto others through the coming weeks. There may not be a sufficient answer and the softfork may remain in place forever.

I guess we will see. Sorry for removing your witness vote after such a short time, I will, based on your splendid discourse here, re-instate it.

Told you I was flighty ;O)

I very much appreciate it! I also realize how providing clear criteria would make this appear more thought through and also make the whole situation more clear and not look as uncertain.

But the intention is for it to buy time for such conversations to take place without any fear of sudden irreversible actions being done.

In any case, I look more forward to getting to know what future plans Steemit Inc and Tron have come together to find. I am an optimist at heart and do think that we can turn all of this into strength going forward. I have never seen this many witnesses get active as has happened following the acquisition news. Nor have I seen as many users participate in witness voting and conversation on the fundamentals of what we want this blockchain to be. And that is promising to me of a community that cares deeply about thsi chain.

Yes, I understand that groupthink can be an issue. Which is why these conversations now with the rest of the userbase is so important.

I much appreciate that you put trust in me and my team. I'm here for the long-game with Steem and will do my best to see it succeed.

Thanks for answering all the questions in the calm and respectful way that you have, man.

do you have an information that witnesses did not try to talk to tron foundation? Because they said that they did try and were not able to. If you have that info would be nice to share it.

Also do you think that Steemit ninja mined stake (that was promised to not be used for votes and influencing witnesses) should be used for votes and witness votes?


It is a sad day. To me this looks like they were trying to protect their spots as Top Witnesses more than actually trying to do the best thing for steem. In my opinion to prove they actually believe this is best for steem every one of the Top 20 Witnesses that voted for this should step down indefinitely because from where I am sitting it looks like they are just fighting to remain in power.

The thought that their motives were fuelled by self-preservation had crossed my mind. In defence against that I understand there was a pile of them outwith the top twenty also in on the discussions. Then again, maybe the ones outwith the top twenty were vying for approval and playing the long game with an eye on the top 20 prize!

It sounds like a Bank. I did not get into crypto for this kind of crap.

Yeah, it's exactly something a bank would do. For the good of all...