How did the early whales get their massive amounts of Steem Power?

in #palnetlast year (edited)

Hi everyone,
before you stop reading as you think that you know the answer already, this is not a rethoric question - there is indeed a missing piece which I cannot find so far.

I was inspired by a post from @lauch3d ans started to dig deeper. I read the early beginnings in the ninja mining thread on bitcoin talk and some explaining other posts from @aggroed and others. It was fascinating to read all these early posts when @berniesanders and @smooth were just starting to learn more about Steem and finally became whales. There was drama from the beginning when a bug after the first hours of mining led to the decision to start over again, and yes, multiple accounts and bot farms dominated the place from the beginning on.

It is unbelievable that this is just 3.5 years ago - so much has happened since then and yes, I admit that I am a little bit sad that I have not been here at the time.

I wanted to understand more and tried to find out which accounts belong together - I put hundreds of accounts into excel spreadsheets and in deed, the early miners which became whales were all using multiple accounts - to be precise they were even encouraged by @dantheman himself.

steemit and blocktrades were two of the most active ones using dozens of accounts to mine. I do not want to judge on this behaviour, in the end it was the result of the decision of the founding team to avoid the legal consequences of an ICO.

In the beginning, roughly 95 pct of all newly issued Steem was issued to the miners. They had to solve a Proof of Work puzzle - and when they did that they were put in a cue. New Steem was than issued to these accounts in the order of the cue. You can see these PoW transactions in the early blockchain data.

When looking up this data I also ran across some other accounts of people, which appear rly were part of the early team or close to them. These accounts, however, got there massive accounts of Steem somehow differently - and this is exactly were my question comes into play. I simply cannot figure out how that worked.

One of these accounts is @ben, but there is others as well. Looking if the account data of @ben from the start, you can see that he never mined. Indeed there was not much activity, so you can see very well what I mean in just one picture:

As you can see, @ben never mined. The account was created by steemit, then steemit bested 8,071 Steem to the account. But looked at what happened then. @ben powered down 4,124,440 Steem. How is that possible? What am I missing? I do not want to spin around conspiracy theories, I am sure that there is a reason which might just not be shown correctly by - but I would like to understand.

Do you know the answer and can help me? I would be glad to learn.

Many thanks in advance and best regards,


Ich bin nicht ganz sicher, denn meine Recherche dazu (ja, ich habe den ganzen Kram auch gelesen) ist schon eine Weile her, aber ich glaube, dass die Ernte (Mining) einem anderen Account zugewiesen werden konnte.

Das kann sein, irgend so etwas ist es wahrscheinlich. Aber bei allen Seiten ist es nicht zu erkennen...

Wow 😮 this is really weird ! I would love to know how did this happen. Please comment there if somebody gives you a credible answer.
This is worrying !

If I get to know I will let you know as well

I'm not sure if this information is relevant to your research. I'm no expert in Steem, but I remember more than a year ago watching videos from early users who bragged that all you had to do to earn tons of STEEM was to simply stake your tokens and wait. In the early days, the staking rewards were much more abundant, and the number of accounts receiving rewards were very few compared to now. I even remember one guy bragging that he posted his high school term paper, and earned thousand of SP. But to be honest, I don't see how you can go from 8,000 SP to more than 4,000,000 in a little over a month!!! I can only imagine that this was some kind of flaw in the system, otherwise, it doesn't make sense!

I think you are right in general, but this increase is too strong to be explained by this

I agree!

Fork Ben out! :p

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This is almost impossible, as he has sold a lot of his stake already I think...

Tolle Rechreche! Habe mich auch eingelesen. War aber sehr zeitaufwendig und mühselig. Ja am Anfang wurde viel ausgenutzt. Wenn der Mensch Macht hat wird er diese auch zu seinem Vorteil nutzen. Denke das gleiche wie @oliverschmid , das es einen anderen Account zugewiesen wurde. LG Michael


indeed, looks mirrored

No, I think they know each other but they are separate people

Not now that you drew my ttention to it, that looks confusing also to me. Or maybe there was a bug or something that increased his earjing then

I do not know.

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