I get away for only 3 days, and Steem is already on fire again!
If for some reason you were under a rock (or on a beach) like me, here is a small resume of what happened the last 3 days:
- Nothing new was published by Tron Foundation regarding their plans to Steem blockchain
- Justin sun uses his stake to vote on representatives on the Tron Blockchain, claiming that it was a protective move due to some representatives not updating theit blockchain version.
- A group of Steem witness, developers and stakeholders published a Statement that they were implementing a soft-fork that locked Steemit Inc. Accounts of doing some actions on the blockchain, like voting or unstake the SP. The soft-fork is fully reversible
- @justinsunsteemit publish a open letter stating how tron want to make "Steemit.com the power that it really can be, and calling a meeting with the top 50 witnessess. (https://steempeak.com/steemit/@justinsunsteemit/open-letter-to-steem-community)
- Community goes crazy asking if this is going to be good or not, or if it is a "crime" to lock up any user funds.
Here is a some interesting opinions:
Coindesk - Posted an article about what happened
@midlet - Bring up the concern of witnessess having the power to lock the funds of any user
@cadawg - Details how the soft-fork code work
@blocktrades - An non-lawyer analysis about the legality of cryptocurrency forks
@clixmoney - Shows how you can find out wich witness are running the soft-fork
@jrcornel - States his opinion that this was the right move to protect the Steem Blockchain
@drakos - Expose some of the reasoning that is behind the decision of the majority of witness to implement the soft-fork
Up-to-date already? Good, now let's talk about the implications
The trolley problem
Most of us already heard about the Trolley problem, an ethical dillema regarding an impossible decisions.
If for some reason, you don't know it yet, here is what it is about:
There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options:
- Do nothing and allow the trolley to kill the five people on the main track.
- Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.
Which is the more ethical option? Or, more simply: What is the right thing to do?
Now, due to the recent events, specially the unclear communication that was published by the Tron foundation regarding what are their plans to Steem blockchain and Steemit inc. stake, the witnessess are posed with a similar tough decision:
- Do nothing and hope for the best
- Implement security measures to prevent any hostile move by locking Steemit Inc. funds
There is good and bad implications on both decisions, and as is already known, most of them decided to risk the possible bad repercussion of denying an user to perform some actions on the blockchain.
But why this subject matters a lot? Here is a few reasons:
1 - Steem blockchain is liberal-democratic, not anarco-capitalist
While one of the main attractions of the blockchain systems is to be censorship-resistant, each blockchain have it's own governance systems, and they can be related to some political systems that we know on the "real-word".
Altough i understand a lot of the cries that this move by the witness is a 'violation of property rights' based on anarco-capitalist principles, what they are missing is that Steem is a democratic system, where each STEEM staked give the right to elect who is going to represent the community, and make the decisions regarding what are the rules of the blockchain.
In the end of the day, the elected witnessess are the ones who define how the blockchain works, and what will be allowed to happen.
What happened is just a great example that everyone here must know who are the witnessess they are voting for, what they are doing to improve the blockchain, and what are their intentions to be a witness, including choosing to support of not the witnessess that are running the forked version.
If you don't agree with the soft-fork, you can still remove your votes from the witnesses that are running the soft-fork and vote for those that aren't.
2 - The community is stronger than it seems
From @berniesanders vs @haejin flagwars, to @themarkymark harassment by abusers and many many others squabbles that happens daily here on our beloved blockchain, this showed that, when needed, the Steem community will come together to protect the blockchain.
No matter if you agree or not with the decision, what i have seen on the last days was a huge mobilization from the majority of users, be it witnesses, community manages, curators, investors...
3 - In the face of threats, it's better to be ready for the worst than hope for the best
The perfect example for this is how @justinsunsteemit broke the silence right after the soft-fork took place.
Before that, the interaction that happened between the head of Tron Foundation and the Steemit community could be resumed as 'Hey, i am here, and i want to grow this place. We have our plans, and we will keep you informed."
A lot of attempts were made to ask for more clarifications of Tron plans for the blockchain, from comments on the first post to open letters expected to be read by Justin.
No answer came from Tron, just a few more official announcements that still talked about STEEM tokens being swapped to Tron blockchain.
But the moment the community decided to make a stand, and to create protective measures to have some leverage over Tron's owner, Justin created his second post on Steem, inviting the the 50 witness to have a talk.
I call this a big win.
4 - Justin Sun focus is on the Tron blockchain
I always said that, and there is no reason not believe that Justin initial plans were always to re-create steem over tron, and swap STEEM tokens to an TRC10/TRC20 token version.
And i think this is still his plan. What got my attention on his latest post was this statement:
And there are many ways we can get it there, from bridging TRX, TRC10’s and TRC20’s into Communities to marketing and growing Steemit.com.
Notice that he want to grow bridge Tron Tokens and 'growing Steemit.com' , not Steem blockchain.
I hope the witnesses that will go to the meeting with him keep that in mind and be ready to defend the Steem blockchain.
5 - There is more positive expectations than before
At the beginning of this whole process, all information we recieve was confusing and truncated, wich created a state of fear about the future of Steem blockchain.
At this point, there is no turning back. Tron owns Steemit.com and a big stake of the blockchain, and with the resources they have at hand, it's not hard to see a future where Tron make the swap a reality, and abandon the Steem blockchain.
But he positioned himself open to discussion with the community, and this is the most positive news we had so far.
There is nothing more for me to say here, but i have been using Steem for around 3 years, and so to me, this is, at the same time, the best and the worst thing that happened on this blockchain.
I am still cautious about this whole situation, and i am still moving part of my stake to bitcoin until there is more solid informations about this platform future.
Let's hope our elected witnesses make good decisions.