@ura-soul Witness Update - Anarchy vs. Empire: TRON Replaces Top Witnesses and Takes Over the STEEM Blockchain
I started missing blocks on my server an hour ago and saw that the top 20 STEEM Witnesses have been replaced with brand new accounts created by TRON/Steemit inc.
Having just read through the steemit company blog and the many comments, it seems that:
- TRON collaborated with crypto exchanges (most, except Bittrex) to use customer tokens to vote in new witnesses, force a new version of the blockchain and unfreeze the tokens that the community froze in SF 0.22.2.
- TRON/Steemit Inc. are framing the actions of SF 0.22.2 as being 'illegal'.
- TRON/Steemit Inc. seem to think that the community should be behind their decision.
The implications for this are clear to me, but there is a tangled web of propaganda being spun in all directions - I will do my best to be clear here and not 'spin' anything.
Soft Fork 22.2 was maliciously structured, intending to freeze a handful of very targeted accounts and taking away their rights and possession to their owned asset, and may be deemed illegal and criminal.
I take it from the poor command of the English language in this comment that it was not written by any of the US based Steemit Inc. team. Regardless though, as far as I am aware, the statement is false in several ways:
'Malicious' infers an intent to do harm. There was no intent to do harm and SF0.22.2 was specifically structured only to try to prevent exactly the kind of action that Steemit/TRON have now taken. The tokens were not 'stolen' or 'lost', they were simply 'paused' on the live version of the blockchain in order to allow space for everyone to communicate and choose an agreeable destiny path that works for everyone. The buyout of Steemit had no pre-warning and the many thousands of STEEM users represented by the witnesses, who have invested in STEEM, effectively voted with their stake to support this temporary move to try to secure the chain for the community and to keep some semblance of decentralisation.
SF0.22.2 did NOT take away any assets - it always left the possibility open of TRON meeting with the community and deciding on a workable direction for everyone involved - then having the freeze reversed. They also always had the possibility of creating their own fork of STEEM and reclaiming their tokens that way too - if they couldn't find a way to work with the community. TRON did NOT buy STEEM, they bought Steemit. STEEM is a decentralised blockchain and the value of any STEEM tokens held by Steemit inc. is independent of the control of Steemit (the company). If TRON's plans for Steemit inc. are so great then they can just make their own fork, unfreeze their tokens and make their tokens rise in value through hard work and dedication. So far, they have not produced any hard work or dedication, so their new fork might not be worth so much - but that's just how capitalism works. The basic design of blockchain self governance and DPOS facilitates this process and the decentralisation that Justin Sun claims to understand and want to promote. Justin Sun cannot claim to support decentralisation while also claiming that the actions taken through decentralised governance are illegal when he doesn't like them - well, not without seeming hypocritical and out of touch.
Centralisation vs. Decentralisaton
STEEM has always represented an experiment in drawing together the ideas of centralised hierarchy with decentralised network design. There has always been a failure within the design of STEEM here, in that the ninja mined tokens and also the entire concept behind stake weighted voting, has always meant that the existing chain did not and would not really deliver a decentralised experience of the kind that Bitcoin is favoured for.
In reality, true decentralisation cannot occur in a situation where each person who participates can be overpowered by others who have more resources of some kind (whether that be tokens or computing power in mining farms). However, in general, most people don't seem to mind that some overpowering takes place as long as there isn't a blatant centralisation of power of the kind that we are now seeing with STEEM.
I have long complained that top witnesses being able to draw out high levels of STEEM means that over time they will solidify their power position and become more and more difficult to challenge. What was not spoken about so much was that the exchanges are in an even more powerful position and have been amassing tokens for years without seeming to act with them a great deal (publicly anyway).
As this piece on CNN makes clear, this is not the first time Justin Sun has been involved in similar hostilities and indeed, it is stated that the large crypto exchange @Binance owned, at that time, 55% of the TRON tokens. If true, this means that TRON is really Binance as much as it is anything else.
Given that Binance is (as far as I am aware) a Chinese company and China is a psuedo communist and highly authoritarian nation, it is totally understandable that STEEM users would be highly alarmed by the situation. STEEM was founded on ANARCHO-Capitalist principles and it is these principles which have kept STEEM free and exciting for many people here. Anarchy ONLY means 'no rulers' - but as I have said all along, a system that is dominated by money is not one without rulers.
The only saving grace here is that DPOS and the blockchain design allow for hard forks which split the chain and allow groups with differing outlooks to go their own way, without being 'ruled' by whoever has the most money.
Do you want an emperor or do you want to be self empowered and enjoy a state of 'no rulers'? Having lived in England all of my life, I am acutely aware of the problems of authoritarian control. I am also aware of the need for liberation for all beings if we are to live life to the full (and even survive at all, long term).
The actions taken by @ned over the years and now these latest actions really reinforce to those who are paying attention, that the promise of decentralisation is one that can only manifest for those willing to take responsibility for putting in the work to create the systems that will truly support real decentralisation. Anything less than a strong willed intent to create real decentralisation (and ultimately distributed technology/networks) WILL result in centralised power grabs by those who don't really value free will sufficiently.
My future on STEEM
I covered some of my thoughts about the ninja mining and recent TRON takeover here and made clear why 0.22.2 could be seen to be justified. I chose to upgrade my witness server to run 0.22.2, on the understanding that discussions would be held between witnesses and Steemit inc. - allowing for a mature course of action to be planned.
In reality, this has not happened and Justin Sun's statement of intent to hold a meeting with the top 50 witnesses seems to have been a bluff or at least only intended to buy some time. As others have pointed out, he seems to either not really understand how DPOS works, not really care about the STEEM user community, is on an EGO rampage or is perhaps taking orders from exchange operators who may be themselves being controlled by other political groups.
The reality is that many in the community see this as an ideological clash and struggle for survival and in some senses, they may be right.
I personally have learned to go by a combination of careful reasoning and emotional intuition. Given the extent to which free will has been abused on Earth for so long, anyone who is sensitive to the emotional reality of the situation will be likely to feel moved to make the decision that they feel most likely to ensure both survival of STEEM and of the community bonds here. Love is ultimately the force that keeps us alive and it is desire, not money, that makes the world go around.
With love and desire, we are capable of great things. As long as desires and needs are denied, love is also denied. Wise people know this and move with peaceful intent and consideration of the feelings involved in order to reach the best outcomes. When communication happens through cold technology, such as computers, there can be a loss of connection and an overly mental approach that skips over the feelings of the moment. I feel that this is what is happening here with some people, just as happens every day in many other areas of life.
This situation does not feel good to me and my own will guides me to move to find a workable solution. I would be fine with working with TRON to find a workable solution, but at this point, given the history of Steemit and it being clear that they didn't really intend to work with the community (over and over again), emotionally, I don't feel like continuing this trend again with TRON - who I know even less about that than the US team of Steemit Inc.
The public news media stories about TRON, including their apparent malicious treatment of the POP blockchain, do not give me confidence here.
I feel now, as I have always felt, that the only way for a system like STEEM to thrive and to challenge the existing mega platforms, such as Facebook, is for it to run in a truly decentralised manner. This means no ninja mined token pool and a greater ease of software development that results in more diversity and more chance of variation and forking. Having looked through the code for the STEEM blockchain a long time ago, I was alarmed at the obfuscation in it - making independent forking of the code unnecessarily costly and difficult. This was also a red flag that the promise of decentralisation was not really an honest one.
My feeling is that the only successful path for STEEM is one where real decentralisation is valued and steps are taken to bring it into reality.
Whatever happens, STEEM has greatness because of the community that use it. I am reminded of Tribe.net, back in the mid 2000s, which is the only social network I would compare to STEEM - it's community was a great meeting of inspired minds. Tribe got bought out by Cisco systems, who then destroyed it deliberately imo (the same Cisco systems that helped the Chinese government operate mobile EXECUTION vans (actual physical murder of political dissenters)). Without the community, it dies - just as Tribe did. I felt at the time they had done this to stifle free thinking and dissent and it is this experience, plus so much CENSORSHIP on mainstream internet sites, that has motivated me to support STEEM.
Never forget that YOU have the power here, not those who hold tokens. Even if you are forced to leave the blockchain, YOU still have the power. YOU can use your power to create what you need. Voluntary collaboration holds the answers here.
Anyone wishing to contact me can do so at [email protected]
Wishing you well,
YOU ARE A SOUL
View My Witness Application Here
View Some of My Witness Related Posts
Note: Witnesses are the computer servers that run the Steem Blockchain.
Without witnesses there is no Steem blockchain or DApps such as Steemit, Steempeak and 3Speak... You can really help Steem by making your witness votes count!