Most heard by now that the blockchain experienced a soft-fork yesterday. The Witnesses voted upon it and it was implemented. The new code is now running on the Witness nodes.
Before going any further, this was not unanimous decision. There were a few of the Top 20 Witnesses who were against it. There was a super majority which meant the fork carried through.
The other aspect that must be spelled out is it stated to be temporary and reversible. This is why it is a soft instead of a hard fork. It also does not affect the exchanges nor require then to do anything.
What Is It?
So what took place?
Basically, this was a software upgrade that took the Steemit Inc accounts and froze them. The big move was it disallowed the Steem Power in those accounts to be used for Witness voting. It also stopped the ability to power down and move the tokens elsewhere. Delegation and content voting are still live.
At the core of this is the stake that Steemit Inc had that was ninja-mined. Most of the Witness assert this stake was not to be used for controlling the blockchain through Witness voting but, rather, for development. Ned Scott had alluded to this on a number of occasions. The feeling is that just because the stake is owned by someone else, that does not change.
Hence the soft fork.
Why was it done?
Essentially, this move was taken as a precautionary measure to protect the blockchain. Whether one agrees with the decision or not, we need to agree that the Witnesses who did this took the action to protect our beloved Steem. Even more importantly, it was also to prevent a hijacking of the STEEM token. The token is associated with the blockchain since that is where it is distributed from and not Steemit Inc.
There were a number of questionable events surrounding Justin Sun and the Tron Foundation over the past couple weeks. This most likely played a role in the Witness' decision. Sun comes with a reputation that is a bit divisive which makes the moves made also a bit more concerning.
At the heart of the matter is decentralization versus centralization. Sun is erecting an organization of control. There is no other way to look at it. The Tron Foundation, along with its acquisitions, controls all that takes place on that blockchain. They account for 55% of the tokens distributed.
Applications are coming under the Foundation's ownership. This means that it has a vested interest in protecting all that goes on there. Steemit Inc obviously never saw things that was as Busy.org, Steempeak, and eventually the tribes arose, all which took users away from Steemit.com.
Tron does not appear to look at things that way, at least according to one group of developers that tried to move from Ethereum to Tron.
The bigger issue took place just this week. Three super delegates were voted in by the Tron Foundation, something it promised not to do. This caused an uproar within the Tron community, an issue that is still not resolved.
How does this apply to Steem?
To start, Sun had the ability to set up a node, establish 20 accounts, and vote them all with the Steemit Inc stake, thus taking over the entire Witness pool. This is a concern because of the comments right after acquisition and during the AMA.
Immediately, the idea was expressed to do a token swap of STEEM for something on Tron. This would mean that they were looking to merge (or do away with) the Steem blockchain. The goal appears to have all Steem activity migrated to Tron in an effort to prop up that blockchain. Of course, the new token, according to statements, were to also be given to Tron users, thus diluting the holders of STEEM.
With the Steemit Inc stake, this could have been set in motion in a matter of minutes. Sun could have set up the node, taken control of the Witness pool and said "this is how it is going to be".
Here is an article detailing what took place on Tron.
Where do we go from here?
That is hard to predict.
This action was taken by the Witnesses to buy time. Since there were no discussions or interaction from the Tron Foundation with the Witnesses, there is no way to know what they are planning. What came from both Justin and the marketing team at Tron are sending mixed messages.
The fact this fork is reversible means that an agreement could be reached which enables the Witnesses to reverse the action. Of course, there needs to be a mechanism where the community and the steem blockhain are protected.
In this regard, the proverbial ball is in Sun's and Tron's court. The Witnesses were making it very clear that Tron purchased a company, not a blockchain. Steem is decentralized with the community being an important part of the picture. The idea of simply migrating over to Tron because Sun bought a private company was not about to happen, especially under force.
Did Sun know about this before buying Steemit Inc?
It is impossible to know what he thought was taking place or what was presented to him. Perhaps Ned Scott pulled a major heist, selling him something without explaining all the details. At the same time, maybe it was not up to Ned to define the difference between a private company and a blockchain community.
So, on that end of things, we have no idea what occurred and who was misguided.
What we can conclude is that Justin Sun appears to have thought he was getting everything tied to Steem. The path, based upon the original statements, was to have Steemit Inc start working on bringing all of Steem over to Tron. This would render Steem basically useless. The next step would be to "bribe" the applications that he wanted to come onto Tron. Finally, the holders of STEEM could get a new token which is on Tron.
This was the plan according to Sun's own words. Even his backing off when confronted about this was followed by a "For Now". It is obvious this did not reassure the Witnesses a great deal.
By taking this action, the Witnesses made it clear that Steemit Inc is not Steem. They also showed that Sun is not going to come in and destroy things. Based upon some comments by Witnesses there are plans in place depending upon which direction Sun takes things.
The best outcome would be an agreeable solution to both sides. However, the main thing to take from all of this is that the Steem blockchain is not going away. I think that is something that all agree is a good thing. The question of whether this action should have been taken is what is up for discussion.
What are your thoughts?
The full statement from the WItnesses can be read here:
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Posted via Steemleo