The Steem and Sun Debacle

in #steemlast year (edited)


After the dust has settled a bit and emotions have calmed, I wanted to offer my say.

For those who need a recap to bring you up to speed on the issue, just in case you haven't heard, check out THIS POST by Steem News. I don't have time for a recap.

After closely following the story the last couple of days, listening to the AMA with Justin and Ned and the follow up meeting between Witnesses and Justin, I have some thoughts I'd like to share with our top witnesses and Mr. Sun ideas about moving forward.

After all the bad blood and confusion that has been generated I think it's most important to find a way forward quickly. If we don't, the longer this power struggle continues the more we demonstrate that the system is ungovernable and unstable. How can anyone hope to thrive on a chain that can't be priced - due to the broken price feeds - and that is always under threat of a power struggle should a powerful user decide to use their stake to influence the chain?


It's important to give the benefit of the doubt to both @justinsunsteemit and the Witnesses. At the moment everyone is seeing everyone else in their least charitable light. Justin is a liar, the witnesses are thieving hackers, etc. This kind of dialogue is 100% not going to help either of us and it needs to stop. We need to err on the side of being a little more charitable if this is going to work out.


We know what Justin wants. He wants to make money! Knowing this is good. He's transparent in that way. From the last conversation between witnesses and Justin, Justin sees himself as a business man and looks at his stake as an investment to sell once he makes Steem better and more valuable, like an angel investor, and in almost any other case where angel investors are involved, they have some control over the product their investing in, BUT ONLY SOME.

After all, it's in the investor's self interest to protect his investment, JUST LIKE the witnesses. Both the witnesses and Justin have a claim to some of the value and power over the network due to their own investments. It's how the system works. It's how it was designed and everyone knew that going in. I think everyone knows now that Ned's promise was merely a fig leaf for what he really wanted... which was to cash out. You know what? GOOD FOR HIM. He created something that we all love to use, maybe not at the moment, and now he gets to collect his cheddar. BYE! The community should be adult enough to know that's a huge reason he got into the game to begin with.

We have to move on from Ned and Steemit and look to the future and what we can build with the power of the community and hopefully this new investor.

Justin is a major stakeholder now and it's time to start treating him like one and let him in so we can keep building with new understanding and clear eyes.

His stake should be given back do with as he pleases. It's his right.

What @ned did by not disclosing his promise - I have yet to see any actual evidence that Justin's current stake was promised to be used in a certain way contractually - is unethical, but I do not think it's right to hold Justin to the verbal promises of another when he didn't know about them to begin with (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt). That is quite literally between Justin and Ned and there's little value in going back to that well as an argument to keep Sun's funds locked up or force him to use them in a way that he doesn't want.

If the promises of the past weren't contractual or coded into the blockchain in some way, the promise was merely a courtesy to probably preserve the harmony and value of the network (by my humble guesstimation) at the time.


It's worth pointing out that the soft fork was a measure I agreed with. Justin and his team are terrible communicators. Just awful. By the looks of it, Justin also didn't know what he was buying. Justin's reputation for centralization and talk of swapping tokens, rightly freaked everyone out. At the time, it seemed like a necessary stop gap until we understood what was actually going to happen and felt hostile from the beginning. This whole thing was a disaster of miscommunication, a comedy of errors, a cascade of classic blunders.

I think many people regret how each side acted / reacted and are deservedly salty, but it's spilled milk. Time to move forward.

Regarding Justin's poor due diligence, I think instead of looking down at him about about that, as I sensed in the conversation last night, we should help him become a part of Steem. Teach him the ways of the Chain and community.


Because of the aforementioned communication problems, the witnesses felt compelled to force a conversation with the soft fork and a conversation they got in the form of an all out power struggle that has resulted in a harmful stalemate. If I am to understand things from last night's conversation, the chain cannot continue in this manner for very long without destroying it due to the broken price feeds and the top witnesses not being in consensus.

It also demonstrated though that the community truly cares about their platform and I commend the Witnesses for doing what they thought was best for the network at the time, but I think it's time to change direction. I also commend the community for stepping up to prevent the overwhelming power directed at the network by the exchanges at Sun's behest.


In my opinion, Justin was wrong to coordinate this roundabout way of usurping the witnesses. It destroyed whatever goodwill was left between us and he should apologize for that more than the malicious hacker statement and reverse it. At the end of the day, your besmirched honor is worth far less than the network and we need to focus on the real problem here, the exchanges and dealing with large stakeholders going forward.

Likewise, the witnesses should apologize for locking up Justin's stake as an act of goodwill and unfreeze his stake.

That said, I don't see any way forward for the exchanges and Justin that doesn't involve some aspect of the law. The SEC needs to look into what the exchanges did and Justin should be scrutinized for it. Let the organs of law do their job so we can move forward with the chain.

Official complaints should be filed against Huobi, Binance, Poloniex, Steemit Inc, Ned and Justin, but we should let the law do what it does even if it takes years.


  1. I agree with the witnesses that the power down time should not be changed to accommodate the exchanges and let them off the hook. Personally, I think reducing power down time for bad actors is a non-starter and should be rejected, even at the cost of the original Steem chain with a fork. They should suffer the consequences of being sued up the ass by their users because their funds have been misappropriated and if the chain forks and their funds are jacked, hate the game, not the players.
  2. Justin should be allowed to use his stake. I even think he should be allowed to be a witness or he should be able to use a witness of his choosing, but only one. That said...
  3. If possible, there should be a version of the code that limits the power of users and witnesses after a certain steem power has been reached. Let's say, randomly, that at 1,000,000 SP, you're vote won't be worth anything more. Just an idea. Maybe even make it 100,000 SP. Whatever is most beneficial to flattening out the monied hierarchy a bit.
  4. A new version of Steem should be presented as the compromise. Call it 0.3.0, or whatever, where all the ideas of code are presented as a means of compromise that all current witnesses, even the sock puppets, agree to use, even if it's just to get the price working again. Code in whatever you want as a means of negotiating, but it has to be reasonable. We can't dictate to Justin what he can do with his stake, just like we really couldn't hold Ned or Steemit to their word. If we can't bounce the sock puppets, the least we can do is to get them to run a temporary code that keeps things functioning at a stalemate.
  5. Once the exchanges are able to power down their stakes, Steem should be delisted from their exchanges. I know it means less liquidity, but it also means less hostile takeovers. They can't be trusted.
  6. Regardless of how we proceed with Justin, formal inquiries from authorities should happen simultaneously. I don't think there's getting around any of that at this point.
  7. Let's keep it civil and try to work our way out of this and not make it so adversarial.
  8. EDIT: Justin's stake - at least some of it - should be locked into the network in the form of Steem power so that when he decides to cash out it will be orderly and predictable.


Thanks for hearing me out. I may not be a witness, but I am an advocate and investor in Steem. This place is great and I want it to continue. I know that many of you will disagree with me, and that's okay. I voted for all of our human witnesses and see the actions by Justin and the exchanges as hostile and unethical. That said, we should unwind things, let the authorities do their job and let the chips fall where they may once we let Justin in.

I believe our witnesses can find a way out of this and that we as a community are in the best position to govern the network with or without Justin or ned or Steemit.

That said, if the witnesses decided to fork the chain tomorrow, I'd follow.

@fredrikaa, @starkerz, @cervantes, @someguy123, @followbtcnews, @roelandp, @themarkymark, @klye, @netuoso, @ausbitbank, @lukestokes, @aggroed, @liondani, @timcliff, @theycallmedan, @anomadsoul

God speed,


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I like your common sense perspective. However, have you done a deep dive on Sun's projects? You will find censorship and an authoritarian rule. I am in the Tron ecosystem and have been using it. Binance basically controls that chain. They have only one block explorer. It's pretty much centralized control. I didn't realize the extent of this including censorship on Dlive until i began researching. It's worth looking into. What i found made my stomach turn. Sun, is a dictator. He will destroy any aspect of decentralization on this platform.

Hi there! Thanks. I agree. After watching how Sun has behaved and his constant lying about the devs and witnesses, what I feared has been confirmed. He's going for an all out takeover. I still think that he needs to be allowed to do with his own stake what he will but this exchange fiasco needs to be resolved and investigated. I think he needs to be investigated as well for lying to the exchanges. It's fraud.

I like what you have writen above. I've been searching for answers here and there inside this community and I'm glad that I found few more bloggers that have a positive mind like you.

I'm not sure what is going on around this platform. I can't understand things about code or fork. It's too complicated for my mind.

I just want to enjoy my time here and of course if there is a chance to earn some cash I would really love that.

The thing that made me come into steemit is because of the chance to get some money from writing.

The one thing that made me stay is the communities, everyone, each of us human excluding the bot in this platform. The price of steem is going down but the share of thoughts that everyone put in here is priceless.

Well, that my share of thoughts. Happy day.

Thanks! Yeah, Steem is a great platform despite its drawbacks. I love earning directly from my writing with no middle man! It's a great feeling. Keep on Steeming on and enjoy the network. There are a lot of great and creative people here who really care about the ecosystem.

I agree with you. I too love earning from my writing even if it is only a little. It still make me happy. I will stsy on this platforms and keep steeming as long as it is here. It is better because of the self earning opportunity it gave to us.

Was nice to see a rational post on the feed of someoen actually talking about facts not reactional judgments. I feel this has helped me catch up to speed as I haven’t been keeping track on what’s going on and the other posts on it are too emotionally biased. Thanks :) I agree about respecting suns declaration as a business man, I value authenticity over anything else and at least he’s honest and as long as he is fair and improves the platform that’s really what everyone’s doing wanting their investment to grow whilst simultaneously working as a community.

I don’t know enough about it but the fork sounds like it was unethical and not in alignment with the values of a decentralised network from what it sounded like anyways.

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Great post.

I've echoed this elsewhere, but I think the trustless solution would be for Justin to find a legal custodian for the steem, where the custodial agreement has specific parameters enforced regarding what he can do with the STEEM.

Thanks! I disagree that we can dictate to Justin what he can do with his legally purchased property. I think Justin is right in this case and we're screwing up the chain by essentially throwing out his right to use his stake as he sees fit on a network with hard coded, pre-existing rules that we all voluntarily agreed to participate in, that say he can do what he wants with it. The witnesses always knew this was a possibility and did nothing - or couldn't do anything - and now they are panicked. I understand that, but if we were to reverse the scenario and apply it to anything in our lives, we'd be pretty apoplectic if we bought something and then a bunch of strangers locked it away from us.

Yeah I agree. I feel mostly people wanted to feel some way from their stake be it make money, feel powerful, have an investment, make the platform better etc etc Who are people to judge just because someone came along with more money than them to set the rules. I guess the previous big investors are now in the shoes of small fish like me who always felt dictated to anyways on the platform. It’s always been ruled by those with the biggest investment, it’s just how the platform is.

I'm not advocating dictating anything. I'm just describing the sort of action necessary to build trust on his end. If his intention is merely to hold and sell, there are legal vehicles to enforce that and signal to the community he will keep to his word.

I got all my posts and comments flagged recently because I got accused of plagerising my own artwork. I wasn’t asked if it was mine I was simply accused then all my posts and comments flagged. I couldn’t even respond to the comments as they all got immediately downvoted. It took a lot of time and effort to get it removed. I have never felt I have any real power over the network whatsoever and have always felt completely dominated by those with a higher investment. I have accepted this about steemit and it’s just the way it is. But I think the people who used to maybe have these roles of control don’t like feeling the same ways the smaller fish have always felt.

I love this post.. Great job.

Well no ones every tried to buy a company that owns a chain that’s already been with the community for years so it makes an interesting case study for this type of accusation and how NOT to work with the community and communicate with them to allay fears

The poor communication from the start had people on edge and fight or flight kicked in and everyone wants to protect their property

It could have all been avoided with better comms and a roadmap and even if he appointed someone to be hands on with PR and witnesses

But that’s a lesson we have now learned and for other chains to learn from! I hope it gets resolved I still think he can help expedite a lot of what we’ve wanted to do get this place rocking and 5x his investment and exit

I agree. We need to learn from this and find a way of letting Justin in. I agree with the sentiment of finding a win-win scenario here.

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