The recent controversy between Steemit Inc and the community - the premine, control, and where it leads this blockchain

7개월 전

I'm not going to candy coat any of this, since I think the greater community needs a splash of realism and less pandering. At this point in time I have nothing to lose (besides wasting my time) and just think this entire situation is absurd. The vast majority of the "scare" surrounding the issues discussed over the last week have no actual merit and are, in my opinion, cases of manipulation to maintain the status quo.

Buckle up, this is going to be a long one.


How we got here

To start with, let me explain all of the events from an objective perspective. I'll try my best to leave my opinions out until later in the post, after I first try to give a better sense of what has happened up until this point.

Last week/weekend (between the 10th and 13th of January 2019), a discussion started and set this entire chain of events in motion. This was in the so-called "Secret Slack", a Slack community controlled by Steemit Inc which houses discussion between Steemit Inc employees, Witnesses, Developers, and other randomly selected Steem community members. I was present and participating in these discussions, as were a many others.

This specific conversation started as a discussion about how to attract developers into the Steem ecosystem. Ideas being tossed about, examples of other comparable systems debated, and opinions being stated about the challenges in the current environment. This type of chatter happens a lot - which isn't surprising due to the incredible amount of passion in this community.

The conversation eventually turned though, when a Steemit Inc employee chimed in. At this point in the conversation it was specifically about incentivizing blockchain developers (external of Steemit Inc) to contribute to the code that runs the platform. A disagreement occurred involving the approaches, the value of, and the effectiveness of this sort of effort. There were a few comments made during this exchange, which were viewed as talking points and an excuse not to act. This sparked the powder keg. From this point on the conversation was no longer about attracting developers but a serious discussion about Steemit Inc, it's overall competency, and it's leadership.

This is actually another common topic that comes up in the "Secret Slack" regularly. With the New Year having just occurred and everyone reflecting on 2018, it's been brought up more than usual. As the conversation progressed, with some strong statements from community members on this topic, this is the point in time where a fork was mentioned for the first time, on Friday the 11th. It was mentioned as a method to force Steemit Inc to change how they are operating, as opposed to all of us involved "just complaining". The fork proposed would have done one thing: freeze Steemit Incs premine assets.

The participants in the channel (community members) engaged in this topic. During this time there was no mention by anyone of supporting the idea. It was discussed like any other idea proposed, with speculation of both the good and bad it would do for the Steem ecosystem. The discussion continued over the weekend, hopping to different channels, as more community members were invited (even those not in the "Secret Slack"), and the debates continued.

As far as I'm aware, no one had planned on talking about any of this, it just happened organically. It was presented as a "nuclear option" to force change.

Sunday the 13th is when Ned joined the channel on the Secret Slack and made his first remarks of 2019 to any of us. The immediate tone was a defensive posture, labeling one of the participants in the discussion a "hacker", and then claiming the witnesses were considering the going through with the fork. Around this time is also when the Steemit Inc power down began (directly to exchanges), in an effort to protect themselves against this "threat".

No one anywhere at this point had expressed support for actually performing the fork on the live Steem network.

The participants attempted to defuse the situation on the spot (with mild success), and since Ned wanted to talk (after being absent for the previous weeks), those involved decided sure, why not talk. It was then decided that instead the usual tactic of "everyone just saying whatever we want in chat", a committee would be setup to represent the views of the group, while trying to address the problems at hand. The idea being less individual voices (from the community) = less confusion (for Ned).

I am/was a member of this committee, which regularly talked with Ned over the week (14th-18th). Many suggestions made by the committee were outright dismissed without any discussion. Unlike the public discussion where we discussed the merits of an idea, regardless of personal opinions, this discussion was unproductive in meaningfully exploring anything. It's unknown if any benefit will come from the efforts of the community and committee due to these efforts.

Yesterday (the 19th), we've all decided to open up publicly and share with you what's been going on.

So here we are. I'm a day late, but this post took a while to compose.

Note: This is where my objective view of the situation ends.


Why we are here

From here on out I am expressing my views as an individual, based on the behavior I've observed and past experience/history.

To disclose: I have been very vocal in these private chats about the direction Steemit Inc has been taking Steem over the years, especially over the last year. None of my opinions should come as a surprised to anyone involved in the "Secret Slack", whether they're a community member or Steemit Inc employee. I typically don't bring these opinions up publicly, like I am right now, because Steem and DPOS have enough public perception problems as it is. However, at this moment in time, one of the following is true: either I am at a point of inflection or the entire community is.

To put a TLDR in front of this entire section, the reason I believe we are here today is because Steemit Inc exists within the Steem ecosystem as an "unaccountable actor" who ultimately controls far too much. I'll attempt to highlight this belief as we push forward through this post.

The situation from a general crypto perspective

To help frame the conversation a bit, let's step back out of Steem and look at crypto in general. When you're considering the viability of a DLT project (blockchain or otherwise), in order to gauge "risk of investment" (either your time or money), one of the things you generally look at in the distribution is "how much control is the founding entity retaining?". This is typically referred to as "reserve fund" or a "premine" (depending on how fancy of ICO terminology you want to use) and is critically important in any system that relies on a token as a mechanism of control.

Generally from my perspective, the less tokens the founders control the better. There are multiple reasons for this:

  • Risk: a platform which contains a premine almost always relies on the entity receiving it to be successful.
  • Risk: the "control" (mostly in block generation) of the decentralized aspects of the platform can be manipulated by this premine.
  • Risk: the entity could cause downward pressure on a market as they sell this premine (which typically is why there's a lockup/vesting period).
  • Risk: the potential for corruption and abuse, due to the non-binding agreement in which they are granted tokens in a premine.

Today, I, as an investor, will likely reject the premise of a blockchain on this single merit alone. I didn't hold this view when I got started in Steem (which was the first chain I engaged full time developing on), but as I've learned (thanks to so many people here), this belief has been cemented in my head.

Any individual actor in a blockchain ecosystem that is just "granted" a significant portion of the token distribution becomes an "unaccountable actor". That doesn't mean they are good or bad, just that they are unaccountable to the token holders. It's a very common misconception that by owning a specific token, you have a say in how these prefunded entities operate, but you don't. You don't own any portion of whatever company was created with that distribution, nor do you have any say in what they do. They're completely unaccountable to anyone but themselves.

Steem

That brings us to why we are here today. We are in a situation, as witnesses, developers, and members of the community, where the unaccountable actor in our space has repeatedly failed to accomplish anything meaningful or even meaningfully consider alternatives.

From my point of view as an "insider", Steemit Inc has:

  • used their premine irresponsibly, likely due to inexperience (common startup problem)
  • consistently failed to resolve some of the biggest issues facing the Steem platform
  • retained/taken control of this "decentralized" system, both with their rhetoric and threats to use their stake to control it
  • acted in the best interest of their company, their product, and not in the best interest of the platform
  • has demonstrated a priority of company over the platform, refusing to entertain ideas simply on the grounds that it may be detrimental to Steemit Inc

The really sad part is they have every right to do this, and aren't in any way accountable to any of us.

I am not here to argue about ownership of the ninja/premine stake, simply because in every legal sense on this chain it’s Steemit Inc property and there’s nothing concrete that holds them accountable for its usage in anything. Ned could literally decide to retire, and using the same logic he's promoted over the past few days, shut down Steemit Inc because it owes nothing to anyone. Why? Again, there’s absolutely no accountability or responsibility.

It's always been this way, even though many of us would like to hold Steemit Inc to higher standards. That, to me, is the core problem of this entire conversation long before the discussion of a fork occurred. There’s not really a way you can force someone who is “accountable to no one” to change course, no matter what harm or good they cause. This is the case in most situations where a premine exists.

The committee and it's conversations with Steemit Inc

Sadly - through the process of this entire conversation, we actually pushed everything further in the opposite direction of the goals.

Not only are we in a situation where we (those involved in the conversation) have to explain ourselves against outlandish claims of a supposed fork, but now we have Steemit Inc powering down their premine to ultimately make it less transparent than it already is. Not only are they unaccountable to anything the community wants, but now they by hiding their funds we've lost transparency... all based on a conversation that started about addressing their constant failures and what the system would be like if they were actually held accountable.

I can tell you now, if over the past 2.5 years since launch they were being held accountable, Ned would have been fired, the entire organization reworked, and the direction would have changed to a more sensible approach to build great things for Steem. That's not happening and there's literally no leverage to make this happen, at least there wasn't until the word "fork" was brought up. Sadly those conversations also didn't go anywhere because many members of the community latched onto Ned's spin of "theft" and "hackers" causing further distraction.

Speaking of which, let's talk a bit about the fork that was being discussed.

A fork

I just want to make this very clear regarding the fork: these talks never even got far enough for anyone involved to decide anything. The idea wasn't immediately dismissed either, but in discussing nuclear options like this, you can't be dismissive.

Not only did no one commit to doing it, but even after reassuring Ned of this in private, Ned then started a social tour to drum up favor in advance of anything put out by the community. When asked about the power down cited this group as a "threat". Suddenly not only were we trying to have talks with Ned, but those who bought into the spin started expressing concern for what was going on. Either someone fed Ned bad information, he's spinning this for some more nefarious reason, or most likely he's making incorrect assumptions based off his limited understanding. That last one sounds just about par for the course.

Regardless of how it happened, it was a manipulative play, which is yet another common occurrence in a system where a premine exists.

Overall, the idea of the fork had a single goal of forcing accountability, it was not about "theft" or "hacking", it was about correcting one of the biggest problems in this entire system. A problem, which isn't recognized by the only people Steemit Inc is accountable to, themselves.

Fork Alternatives

During the discussions a few other ideas took shape that essentially achieve the same goal of making Steemit Inc accountable. Most of these ideas got pushed aside during the talks with such an intense focus on the fork option. Personally I don't think with Steemit Inc's recent statements of "this is our property" any of this will actually happen, but I figured I'd share them since there's such an intense focus on the fork alone. Some of the other ideas were:

  • Steemit Inc voluntarily giving all/majority of their tokens to an elected body which would, in return, fund Steemit Inc. This provides oversight, transparency, and accountability based on performance.
  • Steemit Inc being willing to burn their token supply in exchange for some sort of alternative funding mechanism.

These both remove the unaccountable aspect of Steemit Inc, which ultimately would lead to a more healthy ecosystem. Ned has made it crystal clear that he's not giving up control of those tokens or his grasp on the Steem.

Where to go from here?

If the goal is still to achieve accountability, I don't see a path forward anymore.

As someone who's spent 2+ years working on Steem, this is a really hard pill to swallow. Probably even harder to accept for those who have actually invested their own money in Steem. At this point the options are incredibly limited. We have already been told "if you don't like it, leave". In reality (and again, sadly) "leaving" is the first step in most of the options available for anyone unsatisfied with the status quo.

It's either drink the kool-aid Steemit Inc is serving and pretend this isn't a problem, or quit.

My confidence that things will improve is nearing zero, so I'm leaning towards the latter of those options at this point but still haven't decided. The last shred of hope I have for any success here isn't completely gone, which is the only reason I haven't officially quit. I'm still watching as things unfold, but with the direction things are heading (the discussions, threats, and the power down), that last bit of hope is slowly fading.

The status of my decision can easily be monitored on block explorers as to whether or not my witness is disabled, which will be the last move.

Final thoughts

I've spent far too much time on this post already, and while I could continue to ramble on a number of topics within this post, at this point I even question the value in it. I also didn't expect to be engaged in any of these topics this week, let alone for the situation to get far worse than it was a week ago (which mind you, is when this happened, along with the "reason").

My perspective today: Steem at this point is corrupted by the "unaccountable actor" and the premine it performed years ago. Those who still believe in Steemit Inc won't believe this - at least not yet, but that doesn't mean it's not true. A centralized actor is in control of this blockchain. Not only a centralized actor, but arguably a malicious one who does not listen to reason, ever admit fault, persists down unproductive paths, makes rash decisions without thinking them through, acts superior despite consistent failures, and also attacks the decentralized community that makes it all possible. All while there's nothing you or I can do to hold them accountable for this behavior.

Ask yourself, is this what you want in a system like Steem? If you're just here for the rewards, you probably don't care where it comes from. More power to ya for that, keep up your hustle. If you're here for the same reasons I am: the ideas a blockchain represents, a fundamental shift in how we can communicate and trust one another without third parties, I would hope this matters to you. There is plenty of innovation happening in this space right now, it's just unfortunate it's not here.

Everything in this system is voluntary. The reason Steem has value is because you believe it does. Steem, and every other blockchain, are all huge social experiments we choose to be a part of. The situation in this experiment at the moment is pretty dire, and it's up to every individual to decide if this is acceptable and if they want to be a part of this.

I'm trying to make that decision and it's not easy.


For further reading, may I suggest a number of other posts, created by community members participating in the same discussions:

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timcliff [7:27 AM]
joined #steemit-stake along with Ricardo Ferreira (thecryptodrive).
Ricardo Ferreira (thecryptodrive) [7:29 AM]
first we need to determine how much visible stake they have:
steem - 11.3 Mil SP + 45K STEEM
steemit - 44 Mil SP + 8.7K SBD + 1.064 Mil STEEM sent to bittrex
steemit2 - 10K SP
steemit3 - 3.6K STEEM
gsr-io - 730K STEEM (not sure if Steemit)
misterdelegation - 18.8 Mil SP (edited)
I think we can agree that only Steemit inc funds are in play and not Ned's personal funds
not those of other developers
crimsonclad [7:38 AM]
joined #steemit-stake.
timcliff [7:39 AM]
set the channel purpose: Discuss the details pertaining to Steemit's stake that is relevant to the conversation (which accounts, how much STEEM, power down rates, etc.)
timcliff [7:39 AM]
set the channel topic: Discuss the details pertaining to Steemit's stake that is relevant to the conversation (which accounts, how much STEEM, power down rates, etc.)
liberosist [8:10 AM]
joined #steemit-stake along with reggaemuffin.
timcliff [8:43 AM]
is there somebody that can monitor the list of accounts above (ned's as well) to see if there are any changes in the power down schedule?
pgarcgo [cervantes] [8:48 AM]
joined #steemit-stake along with smooth.
smooth [9:21 AM]
I don't agree that "Ned's personal funds" are a thing.
All of the founder accounts were vested as part of the ninjamine exactly like (and in fact on the same day) as the steemit account, with exactly the same privileged information about how the vesting system worked and how to ensure that it represented 80% of the total stake.
Moreover I am aware that there were various vesting contracts with some of the founders where their stake would revert back to steemit if they left, and some did indeed leave.
Ricardo Ferreira (thecryptodrive) [9:23 AM]
sure if we can find out about those vesting contracts would be good
to be fair if we go after neds funds we can't exclude dan's
and we don't want to target dan
so best to let ned be with his "hidden" funds
timcliff [9:24 AM]
Ned can't negotiate with Dan's funds
smooth [9:24 AM]
Generally speaking I would think that outside of a "no deal Brexit" (Steem-exit? Stexit?) where those engaging in a fork will just have to do their best to come up with whatever list they think is the right approach, a negotiated outcome should include an audit of these things as well as an audit of the stake that has already been sold and not yet spent. (edited)
Ricardo Ferreira (thecryptodrive) [9:25 AM]
we must take care not to overreach
i agree with audits
who do you propose does the audits?
smooth [9:25 AM]
@timcliff in the abstract it is not really clear what funds in which account belong to whom and for what reason as I mentioned. Without an audit we are guessing or relying on representations which I absolute do not trust.
An independent expert hired by steemit
Probably a public accountant working with a blockchain expert, i guess the selection of both should agreeable to both parties. I don't see a real obstacle.
timcliff [9:27 AM]
Ok, good idea. I'll edit
Ricardo Ferreira (thecryptodrive) [9:30 AM]
if they hire them they can get them to put in whatever facts they decide
don't assume all professionals are above board or not friends of Steemit
Ausbitbank [9:45 AM]
joined #steemit-stake.
smooth [10:52 AM]
@thecryptodrive You are right. Although I said "agreeable to both parties", in fact it may be necessary for each party to hire its own auditor. We can cross that bridge if and when we come to it.
Ricardo Ferreira (thecryptodrive) [10:54 AM]
Sure
themarkymark [11:23 AM]
joined #steemit-stake along with 3 others.
therealwolf [1:27 PM]
Have you seen that Steemit is powering down all of their stake?
This message was deleted.
timcliff [1:39 PM]
So the clock is ticking. That would mean every seven days we loose 1/13 of our negotiating power as well as the effectiveness of a lot of the solutions
therealwolf [1:40 PM]
I moved the message to general as only 12 people are in here in contrast to 30+ in general
followbtcnews [2:25 PM]
joined #steemit-stake along with Bhuz.
Ricardo Ferreira (thecryptodrive) [2:46 PM]
Actually we don't need to panic too much, they sent 1 mil to the exchange and their first powerdown is 2.6 mil
So that is within an acceptable retention they may be allowed to keep to cover short term costs
If we dont want them to have that then we price it in to the milestones, we say you have already kept x so we expect y deliverables in exchange before we issue another milestone for further pay
therealwolf [2:51 PM]
I agree - we should keep calm, but it seems that what we're doing is working
putting pressure on Steemit Inc
lukestokes [4:35 PM]
joined #steemit-stake along with 5 others.
timcliff [9:02 PM]
Is someone able to clarify which account(s) Steemit, Inc. actually started a full power down on?
blocktrades [9:03 PM]
https://steemd.com/@steemit
it wasn't a full power down, just a lot
timcliff [9:04 PM]
Is that the only one that they started powering down?
blocktrades [9:06 PM]
I don't know. Also as a side note, the probable reason it wasn't a full pd on that account was that it wasn't possible to do so immediately
First they had to wait for the return of 10 million SP that was delegated out (which came back 16 hours ago, apparently)
So all signs point to a planned full PD on that account
timcliff [9:07 PM]
sure, likely all that was possible at the time. my main question is if anything appears to have happened on any of their other accounts.
blocktrades [9:08 PM]
don't know, but if you have the accounts to check, just look on steemd like the link I sent
timcliff [9:41 PM]
Here is a summary of the stake being powered down based on the account list above. (afaik, gsr-io is a third-party)

steemit withdraw 34,014,847 SP from vesting
steemit2 No
steemit3 No
misterdelegation No```
themarkymark [11:24 PM]
Is Val-b a Steemit inc account or just investor?
Also wonder about cdec84
Ricardo Ferreira (thecryptodrive) [11:25 PM]
ex employee i think
val-b
timcliff [11:25 PM]
^ yes. afaik, @val-b was an original Steemit, Inc. employee. Pretty sure not there anymore
Ricardo Ferreira (thecryptodrive) [11:25 PM]
he was the frontend dev
themarkymark [11:25 PM]
https://i.imgur.com/Jg8I1Wz.png
https://i.imgur.com/Jg8I1Wz.png
that's a lot of steem for an ex employee
especially a front end dev
timcliff [11:26 PM]
pretty sure not working there was a result of the "purge" that occured with the 70%. no idea though - just kind of going off partial information and rumors :slightly_smiling_face:
themarkymark [11:27 PM]
up to 323K steem in a month, with multiple large monthly 100k+ steem leads me to believe it's not an "employee"
much less a web dev
timcliff [11:28 PM]
I also think he was one of the people named in the original whitepaper author list
he's always been one of the larger stakeholders
jesta [11:42 PM]
What I know lines up with what Tim said. He was a very early webdev, day 1, and if you look at the account creation dates he had an account before Ned.
Gandalf [11:51 PM]
It's Valentine. You guys should leave your basements once in a while :slightly_smiling_face: There's a life behind the firewall, really :joy: He was at SteemFest in Amsterdam and SteemFest2 in Lisbon.
smooth [12:21 AM]
val was a founder. I believe he left.
There were some vesting terms on founder accounts and I don't know the details. so it is not clear whether those accounts (including that one) may have reverted back to steemit upon founder departure (or not)
the val-a and val-b accounts were both staked from the ninja-mine along with other founder accounts
Gandalf [12:51 AM]
Who actually was in that founder group? People named in initial whitepaper?
smooth [2:01 AM]
Probably yes but you can see which accounts were staked from ninja-mine on day 1 of vesting
I believe all the (originally liquid) mined coins from accounts steemit1-steemitN were moved to steemit and then powered up to various accounts
Ayogom [6:36 PM]
I think maybe @gsr-io is ned's secret account.
If you look at the account that gsr-io has withdrawn to the exchange,
deepcrypto8 "101493714"
huobi-pro "135681"
This exchange account already has a record of remittance through the following account.
https://steemit.com/@brixtongg/transfers
https://steemit.com/@cdec84/transfers
And the history contains @Ned.
So I think gsr-io is a ned secret account.
whatsup [7:05 PM]
https://www.gsr.io/  ...  Just in case you haven't seen it.
therealwolf [7:07 PM]
Can someone contact them and ask if they have a business relationship with Steemit Inc. .. just in case?
themarkymark [7:09 PM]
If they did, they wouldn't admit it.
If it is close to Ned or is Ned
and they likely can't due to privacy issues
I sure wouldn't want them telling random people I was a customer if I was. @
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First of all, this is theft.

All the ad-hominem/political attacks on @ned and STINC do not make theft justifiable.

Secondly, this goes against one of the core principles of the blockchain - its most appealing value proposition - which is that your tokens cannot be taken away by anyone.

Principles aside, I think the forked version of Steem would not bode well.

1.) Most people are just "talkers" and not doers. They are complaining about problems, but will fail to materialize solutions.
2.) Decentralized "governance" has (to my knowledge) 0 historic proof of being effective.
3.) I seriously doubt that "the people" would magically pony up the resources to move Steem and its ecosystem forward. Without economic or other incentives, such behavior is irrational. Like it or not, STINC is the entity with most economic motivation to innovate/invest in Steem.

We have some friendly whales in the community, however making an assumption that they would gracefully and competently carry the project is risky.

Thus, my speculation is that if STINC were forcibly removed, Steem would most likely stagnate, have increased politics (bullshit) and die in an ETC-like fashion.

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yup, it is theft...also, decentralized governance sucks ass (check bitshares).

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So just because some version sucked ass it means it couldn't be improved on and made work right? That attitude would kill innovation instantly.

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Good point. Agree on both examples.

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It's as much theft as what's been done with the PreMine over the years... I say FORK'em and let the currencies that come after compete. I'll accept just about anything that get's rid of the actual problems of STEEM... Forking appears to be the only real way to get rid of him.

I'd like him to got to jail... but I'm an anarchist so whatever.

Screen Shot 2019-01-24 at 9.18.08 AM.png

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I'm shocked to hear that from you to be honest, unless you're just missing the context of this entire discussion.

So any selective snapshot, which does not include a specific actor, is "theft" in your opinion? Was it theft when Golos forked and assumed control of the premine?

(I'm pretty sure that happened, but was so long ago and that chain has all but failed at this point. It's hard to find info on it anymore. Either way this additional note is just to state that I'm not sure what the history was at that time.)

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Yes, its theft, because it removes stake from 1 party, and the reduction of supply increases the value of remaining stake for everyone else. Practically this means that someone benefits from other persons forced loss.

With Golos its different, since they went on to create a new chain.

I think if someone forks-off Steem (hey, the code is open-source), removes people they don't like and airdrops to everyone else, its totally fine.

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Any fork is always "a new chain". An existing unforked chain would continue with the existing consensus rules.

There may be one or two (or less likely, but possible in the case of a severe botch) no viable chains after a fork, depending on the actions of independent individuals in the ecosystem (users). By now in cryptocurrency we have seen every manner of forks which have intentionally or unintentionally resulted in new chains, and many which have not (but which could have).

In many cases a fork may be viewed as an upgrade in which essentially everyone participates and that is their choice, resulting in only one chain. But again, this is a matter of the choices people make and that is all.

There is no "reduction of supply" resulting from any fork, because even if the fork did do that, the larger supply still exists on the other fork if people choose to continue to use it. Arguably forks always create new supply, not reduce, and some have even made the case they are inherently "inflationary", which in some sense is strictly true but the economic reality is a bit more subtle (and off topic here).

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In Steem people don't really have a choice - rather, the decision is made by the witnesses.

An existing unforked chain would continue with the existing consensus rules.

Theoretically perhaps, but unlikely in practice. In any case, a chain that is not recognized by the ticker symbol STEEM would have almost no value.

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In Steem people don't really have a choice - rather, the decision is made by the witnesses.

People always have a choice what code to run. If you don't like how things are working with the witnesses you can change the entire block production model if you want, and/or if existing witnesses don't participate in such a chain, the chain can limp along via backup witnesses until witnesses can be replaced.

Theoretically perhaps, but unlikely in practice. In any case, a chain that is not recognized by the ticker symbol STEEM would have almost no value

What chains will continue and what price they will have is always speculation. Perhaps informed speculation, but still speculation. I don't agree with you that anything not with the magic S-T-E-E-M imprint on it would somehow become worthless, were it otherwise of value.

Moreover it isn't even a predetermined matter what symbol applies to which fork. If the Ethereum community (miners, users, exchanges, etc.) had ended up not supporting the anti-DAO hacker fork as they did, what is now called ETC would have ended up now being called ETH, and Vitalik said he was open to that possibility at the time.

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Those clarifications were very much needed. I'm not sure why they were not more predominantly specified in any of the discussions.

I held those statements as correct.

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There was never support to do this on the live chain, though it was discussed (as it should be to explore the consequences). I'd also argue that in the greater discussions, a new chain was actually discussed far more than doing this on the live chain.

Everyone who even mentioned the slightest support for the idea of a "Steem without Steemit Inc" never actually said "on the live blockchain".

The context here is incredibly important.

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There was never support to do this on the live chain ...

News to me.

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You are/were in those chats, you want to go dig through them and find a single instance where someone actually supported it? I'll wait.

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Thanks for clarifying. My points do not apply to new chains.

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It's not because people would invest more time and energy on the steemit free chain that it's by any mean theft.

The forked chain might die, if they're worried about that it could mean they've contributed less than what what they've stalled.

BTW I have made zero commitments to that other hypothetical chain yet. Like almost everyone.

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My understanding is predicated on the assumption that the fork being discussed here is applied to Steem chain itself. This is a contentious modification as it violates the core promise of blockchain systems.

If the intent is to create a new Steem-like chain that is not Steem, but based on Steem's codebase and modified state, well, I have no objections to that, and I wish the new project/chain best of luck.

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And yes, I don't have the full context. I've been removed from "secret slack" a while ago...most likely due to inactivity.

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Well man... this phrase resumes everything as always in here.

1.) Most people are just "talkers" and not doers. They are complaining about problems, but will fail to materialize solutions.

It doesn't even matter what we are talking about inside the chain... seems like a soAp opera and to be true the problem must not be so difficult to resolve.

We have many smart people... just can't understand why we keeps with that!

Peace V!

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hmm Soup :)

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I wasn't sure if it was on purpose or not ;) I kind of liked a soup opera, was envisioning all kinds of soups with different roles, the happy tomato one, the sad broccoli and the easy going aubergine one..

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Now we only have to figure out which one Ned is?

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If they forked out @steemit, I am pretty sure @steemit and @ned could create another fork, with @steemit's stake included.

It would break up the community and is NOT in the interest of Steemians @jesta. Witnesses appear to be overreaching their boundaries, and may be doing more harm than good.

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You can't "fork out steemit". You can only create a new chain with new parameters and campaign for people to participate (i.e Golos). If people still run the software put out by Steemit Inc and visit steemit.com it'd be like nothing happened.

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I don't think you are aware of the conversations witnesses had about nulling Steemit's passwords with a hardfork @riverhead.

It was discussed and the actual code was even posted on Github. That is what lead to @steemit Powering Down almost all of their stake.

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Hello, with my qualities posts and content not getting enough visibility,
I would like to plead in any way whether you can help me out by delegating some amount of steem power to me for me to grow my account and curate more. I will be happy for your helping hand been rendered to me and i promise to make careful use of it and use it also to impact and grow others on steemit.

Thanks.

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What's your position on EIP in HF21?

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Agree 100% - Was there consensus for these proposals we see today?

Shame, Shame, Shame!!!

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These weren't proposals... these were talking about "what if" and "how". No one actually proposed anything, the conversations never got far enough before Ned went on the offensive.

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Somewhere in a hidden dark room on the interwebs we talk about "what if" and "how" and we don't tell others about it, its called a conspiracy ... consensus on opinion is all about dpos, when there is no consensus, it's should be dropped, done, move on, next....

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I really don't have the patience to argue with you, but I'd recommend you ask questions and learn more before you start applying labels like "conspiracy" to this situation.

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I'd recommend you focus on eos...

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It'd probably be better for my sanity, that's for sure. The literal definition of insanity happens within the hidden dark rooms you talk of, not only in slack, but in the Steemit Inc offices.

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Wait, who is talking anything about stealing Steemit Inc's assets on the blockchain they are right now? Nothing that currently exists would be destroyed with the fork.

To the rest, you might be right but we'll see. The ninja mined (stolen stake) has always been the anchor holding Steem back. I'm sure people will continue to choose decentralization over centralization.

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Agree on everything you said. People are building castles in the sky and when things really start happening, they will have to wake up. ETH vs ETC was a good example. Personally I'd love to see a similar scenario just to sell the free coins and buy into the chain that has not committed "Theft".

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If you are looking at this discussion and are asking yourself: Is there no witness out there that has a sense of reason.

Someone I can trust.

A witness that is not part of any secret slack and is not afraid to speak their mind because the witness has no political votes they rely on.

A witness that is very open about their own witness votes and give a monthly report about which witnesses they vote for and why.

A witness that is against forking out any account on the blockchain now and in the future and believes that anyone can do with their own Steempower whatever they want.

A witness that is active and develops for the blockchain and is also knowledgeable about projects on the blockchain because they are here every single day.

A witness that is 100% dedicated to Steem.

A witness that will fight for these ideals.

Then consider @blockbrothers. We are @s3rg3, @bennierex, @eqko, @brittandjosie and @exyle.

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Level-headed and sincere Witness Group. I can vouch for these guys!

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Geweldig!!! Verstop je niet... DPOS = Consensus of opinion.

No consensus = Move On, Drop it, Next Proposal!!!

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Sure why not :)

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That would be ironic as pumpkin is most probably owned by steemit inc

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Ned has several times over claimed to not have control over the @Pumpkin (Freedom) account and would sure as shit have unapproved all witnesses holding that accounts approval that would have Hijacked his accounts.

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I know Ned has claimed he doesn't control Pumpkin. There are many hints that Steemit Inc control Pumpkin and I will share those hopefully soon. I don't know if they do but the facts are perplexing, to say the least.

would sure as shit have unapproved all witnesses holding that accounts approval that would have Hijacked his accounts.

That's an assumption.

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People can draw whatever conclusions they want from the chat log that is shared here.

I would like to state a few things though - which I don't think these logs (with limited context) do a proper job framing. (None of what I have said here or elsewhere, in public or private, is in contradiction to these statements.)

  • I have never through this whole thing had any intention of applying a hardfork change to my witness node to fork the main chain. I have entertained and discussed the idea, which included giving it serious consideration, but I have not gone so far as to support it, or make any statement indication that I would move forward with it. Full disclosure - entertaining the idea does mean that I was open to the possibility of moving forward with it. For clarity though, there is a big gap (in my mind) between giving it serious consideration and actually doing it. I was quite a long ways off from doing it.
  • timcliff set the channel purpose: Discuss the details pertaining to Steemit's stake that is relevant to the conversation (which accounts, how much STEEM, power down rates, etc.) My intention with the formation of this channel was to know how much stake Steemit had, and in which accounts, and whether they had reacted to what we were doing yet. I can see how it looks like an intention to proceed with an attack on those accounts, but it (as with a lot of the conversations) was intended for information gathering. This is still information that I am interested in having, and it has nothing to do with anything related to forking.
  • The reason we are talking about "negotiations" in the channel is because Ned reached out to us and asked to "come to the table" to discuss.

I have documented my views on this whole property rights thing, in a reply to someone else's comment in another post. I'll put it here, so my views are clear:

I would ask you to look at the fact that I haven't forked (even though I didn't "get what I wanted" as some would say) as an indication that I am not going to toy around with these things. I do though still reserve the right as a witness to adopt any hardfork that I truly believe is in the best interest of the stakeholders and platform, and in absolutely extreme situations - that might include freezing somebody's account.

Here is one example to think about - if an exchange has more than enough STEEM on it to be able to single-handy take over all of the top 20 witness votes and they get hacked by a malicious actor who wants to destroy Steem - I would seriously consider it in that case. You can start to get less black and white - let's say that Steemit, Inc. somehow got "taken over" (not hacked) by a group of people that wanted to adopt a hardfork that would somehow screw over all the other stakeholders. Again, I might seriously consider it in that case too. Where does the line get drawn?

Honestly, it is a really difficult question. And a serious one too. Part of me would love to just take a simple "I will never do it" stance, but honestly - I feel that it would be irresponsible to do so. I take my job very seriously, and I reserve the right to use whatever tools exist in my tool-belt if I deem them necessary to do what is best for the Steem stakeholders.

The point is, it is not always black and white, and I am not going to make an on-chain commitment to never consider using it as a tool. I am also not going to cloud up a post which had a specific intention (to ensure Steemit that their funds were safe if they didn't power down) with a long drawn out explanation of when I found it appropriate to use this type of hardfork as a tool.

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I do though still reserve the right as a witness to adopt any hardfork that I truly believe is in the best interest of the stakeholders and platform, and in absolutely extreme situations - that might include freezing somebody's account.

Anyone can fork Steem at any time, as @smooth has put it, nothing is lost but something new is created. It's up to anyone to choose which fork they would support and could even support both chains.

When a witness publically support a fork that as little support then this witness is at high risk of getting vote out.

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You are all acting like kids. It's not a good look.

He said, she said...

It's gross.

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You're right. Acting like kids. But my money is real, not a toy.

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Yep... Just remember anyone who wasn't working with the community prior to this ... Still isn't.

It's all virtue signaling. prepping for an up and coming custody fight for the community. Daddy's going to buy us ice cream and mommy is going to promise a better life and remind us when Daddy cheated.

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Do I get to choose my ice cream? Or do I get stuck with strawberry?

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But can't I get both? A better life and ice cream, hehe.

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all this drama is making me feel dizzy. is steem fucked? @ned

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While they are doing their best to fuck it. It's too soon to tell.

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I agree. It feels as if we were moving in circles.

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logicmove.jpg

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This makes for interesting reading. But when you leave people with only a nuclear option to get their opinions taken seriously, you can't be surprised by the reaction.

As someone who as been using the steem blockchain for almost a year now, I can say the following:

  • Steemit Inc has been very poor at communicating with the community
  • Steemit Inc has shown little to no respect for people who own steem and whose investments have given value to steem.
  • Steemit Inc's development of the blockchain has been sub-par, there are other projects that have achieved a lot more with a lot less

Anyway, we are where we are. We can't rewrite the past. It's a shame that you are not able to take on feedback and grow with the project. Maybe it's time to accept that steem has outgrown steemit inc

It would be prudent for everyone to accept that steemit inc cannot be held accountable and the sooner we create a community lead development team to develop the code base the better.

Or we could just outsource the whole thing to Block One, IOHK, Blockstream or any other development team.

@kabir88

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Wow Nail on the head....
I have been on the Steem Block Chain for a year and 9 months ago, I did the following cartoon...
steemitdesignproblems.jpg

If there is bondo which makes the paint job bubble on a car.
You can bet there is rust on the under chassis.

But I will say that @Ned is a young guy and it is obvious to me he has been learning on the Job, but leadership and management is a very different set tools then are needed for the marketing/ sales, and for innovation and development. And thruth be told it takes more than 2 years to know how to run a business with a million accounts and 100s of thousands of Users.

That's why most businesses (which SteemIt is) bring in different CEOs as it transitions to different sizes. Ned still should be a founder and beacon to bring people to the block chain, sitting on the Board of Directors, but he should bring a seasoned gray beard in who has dealt with transitioning technologies to Open Source Community building. That's what DEC did with Netscape / Mozilla. At&T did with Unix through bell labs...

All I know is that, it really all comes down to does @ned want to Steem to be around in 2 years or 30? Because I can tell you, with out knowing any of the specific politics and technologies out there,

Within 2 years there will be a blockchain that will be able to cheaply duplicate the the historical information on the Steem Blockchain and through compatibility mode run a virtual node that mimic's the actions of steem apps and api's. Making SteemIt Inc. virtually worthless unless they have further innovations which can only come from a large vibrant Open Source Development community.

After all everything on Steemit is on the wayback machine already....

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And there is 1 positive about SteemIt divesting itself of it's Steem.
When it is bought by portfolio investors, which there are more of everyday now.
They lock it up on a wallet without powering it up.

That means scarer Steem ,
Scacer = higher price...
Note price increase since Hivemind, the annoucement and some divestment!
.24 to .43 in 6 days!!!! Without the rest of the market going up!

And as a business person thats important! Considering the average price I bought Steem at was $1.42!!!!!!

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I'd agree with all your assessments, and add one more:

  • Steemit Inc has shown very little to no respect for the witnesses whose time and efforts have given value to Steem.
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I was just thinking of the points that bug me, but I guess as a witness, that must be annoying.

You should checkout @dolphincouncil, we are trying to coordinate and if there is a fork needed, that would be a good group of people to have onside

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Oh absolutely, and I'm glad you took the opportunity to illustrate the points that bug you. They all bug me as well, and I feel the same way, with just that one addition :)

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This thread just went full !ned with that screen shot.

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Enjoy your ned and don't forget to recommend nedcore!

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I'd encourage everyone to read the above chat log. Put it in the context of:

If a fork were created, either on a new chain or on the live network, what accounts would make the chain vulnerable to control by Steemit Inc.

The above was part of discussions.

As far as I'm concerned, all of these conversations should be public. I'd encourage you to share all the logs that you were a part of, I'd love for the community to see how you act in private. Especially the part about "extortion" and your other rhetoric.

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all of these conversations should be public.

These are leaked from a Slack I am excluded from.

If a fork were created on the live network, what accounts would we freeze?

Here's a congruent context ^

There's no getting around this basic tenet of what's transpired.

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"These are leaked from a Slack I am excluded from."

You excluded yourself from everything by not speaking for a month and a half you fucking chump.

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I hope they get rid of you bud... Seriously.

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There were invite links sitting all over the slack you're part of. You didn't join it because you didn't click the link, you weren't excluded as far as I'm concerned. Maybe you didn't see them though because you left nearly every channel in your own Slack and stopped engaging.

Edit - maybe those links were deleted by the time you returned to slack, I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong here.

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Also just to reply to myself to add more context:

This "slack Ned was excluded from" was free for anyone to join for the longest period of time. Only after the point where Ned went on the offensive, were links removed and Steemit Inc employees not allowed access.

Fun fact: the entire reason the slack was created was because we (witnesses) needed a place we could talk with one of the top 20 witnesses. The reason we couldn't talk to him in the Steemit Inc paid-for slack was because Ned banned him for talking about another project he worked on, provided no explanation, and then days (weeks?) later he restored his access. As witnesses we needed a place, for emergencies, that we were all available and could communicate. So we created a new (free) slack community.

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The fun fact is correct. However, the ban of the top 20 witness was not clearly "for talking about another project". In fact it was abrupt and done without any explanation at all (as far as I know, to this day there still has not been one).

It put the Steem blockchain at risk (granted small risk in practice since it was only one witness) because of the inability of an elected top 20 witness to communicate with the developer team in the event of chain emergencies (malfunction, critical vulnerability, etc.) which has happened before and required coordination between these parties to address.

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I believe my assumption as to the reason was based on a statement (likely speculation) made by the individual who was banned.

Though you're absolutely right, we have no idea why. Thanks for the correction.

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You need to save steem, you need the users and unfortunately reassurance is part of that and you have only started to realise how important that is because people have started to panic and think removing you/steemit is the answer. Time to speak up.

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Screen Shot 2019-01-20 at 4.23.51 PM.png

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Thanks for the context. It does appear, on the surface, as "scheming" when read in a bubble.

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It's Ned trying to twist the narrative from what it actually was. That's this entire situation in a nut shell.

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first rule of fightclub is that we don't talk about fightclub

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CSI steem edition, we're going to need a rape kit...

Posted using Partiko Android

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And where is the famous blockchain transparency you're all talking about?

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...this is insane.

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Which part? The lack of context or the fact that Ned was planting spies in a group just trying to have a conversation about an idea, without the fear of being banned from the slack he pays for?

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Isn't Slack free?

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There's free and paid plans, the paid plans offer a lot more message retention and features. I think the free version only records the last 10k messages, and in an active community, that 10k limit is hit pretty quick.

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There must be some really magical "context" hiding somewhere if you're implying that's all that's needed to make any of this seem okay. It just might be a difference/disagreement in values, but I've read all the posts by everyone who's given one, and what's being talked about here, compared to the implied state of the conversation of these "ideas", feels like this wasn't an overreaction and it also seems like this was more than spitballing ideas.

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I shared the context in another comment, but the context was an open discussion about "what would it take to create a blockchain without Steemit Inc in control of it". Discussions were had about what it would take, who would be involved, and what the implications of these changes would be.

If you went through the same steps and replaced Steemit Inc with my name, I don't consider that a threat to me. Fork away and the best of luck.

Also to add to the context: no one ever specifically committed to "let's do this on the live Steem blockchain". You wouldn't make a decision like that unless you got to the point of knowing what it would take, who would be involved, and what the implications would be...

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If you went through the same steps and replaced Steemit Inc with my name, I don't consider that a threat to me. Fork away and the best of luck.

Really? You don't seem to care much about your stake then. I definitely would start a power down and try to save whatever I could.
On the other hand, I'd try to communicate a lot more and earlier, so I don't think I would find myself in that situation.

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Really? You don't seem to care much about your stake then.

A fork is a fork, and in the event of a fork there's always the option for two chains to exist. The chain that has my balance could still exist, and it's probably the one I'd personally support.

On the other hand, I'd try to communicate a lot more and earlier, so I don't think I would find myself in that situation.

I totally agree, I'd probably try my hardest to communicate with whoever is even talking about it, to see if there's some sort of remedy to the situation that didn't involve all the work involved in a fork. Sadly that didn't happen, and here we are today.

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I shared the context in another comment, but the context was an open discussion about "what would it take to create a blockchain without Steemit Inc in control of it". Discussions were had about what it would take, who would be involved, and what the implications of these changes would be.

Not sure if I read the specific comment you're referring to, but this was the general gist of what I'd gathered so far, but I read this as "we were just having a casual what if conversation about what if we bankrupted Steemit Inc and stole all of Ned's STEEM."

which I think is insane. I'm trying to think of a less sensationalist word than "insane", but...yea I can't. It's pretty insane.

If you went through the same steps and replaced Steemit Inc with my name, I don't consider that a threat to me. Fork away and the best of luck.

I appreciated your post because it feels like you were just trying to keep it real, and let us know where you stood so let's keep keeping it real and not pretend that all accounts are created equal. If you, or me, or any other account on the platform other than about 30 powered down and disappeared no one would bat an eye. But forking out Steemit and Ned would not only represent a substantial shift in power in stake holdings, but would also irreparably damage the main developer of the blockchain, these two situations are not comparable.

Also to add to the context: no one ever specifically committed to "let's do this on the live Steem blockchain". You wouldn't make a decision like that unless you got to the point of knowing what it would take, who would be involved, and what the implications would be...

If I were Ned, why in Gods name would I risk letting things get to THAT point, it's already too late if the discussion escalates to let's push this on the blockchain. The fact that this was on the table is a clear and present danger and I think anyone smart would do exactly what Ned is doing. That's just my opinion.

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"we were just having a casual what if conversation about what if we bankrupted Steemit Inc and stole all of Ned's STEEM."

I think that's a false premise.

Regardless of how the fork occurred, we'd have 2 "Steem" blockchains, one with a Steemit Inc balance (which they could use for funding) and one chain without it (which they wouldn't then be able to control).

If, in the event that a fork like this, were it pushed onto the live Steem blockchain (an idea no one actively supported) - you don't think Steemit Inc would just create their own fork reverting the change? I'm 99% positive they would, and then they'd change steemit.com to use that blockchain. They'd also use their exchange contacts to ensure it's listed on exchanges and traded.

I appreciated your post because it feels like you were just trying to keep it real, and let us know where you stood so let's keep keeping it real and not pretend that all accounts are created equal.

I am, and thank you for the dialog on all of this. It's been interesting to engage the community on these topics and try to actually get a bit of less-sensationalized thoughts out there. There's a ton of misinformation and speculation, not only on Steem, but across all communication channels that Steem token holders use.

It's been incredibly time consuming this weekend to deal with it, which I can't always do, but I really do appreciate the opportunity to talk about this stuff.

If I were Ned, why in Gods name would I risk letting things get to THAT point, it's already too late if the discussion escalates to let's push this on the blockchain. The fact that this was on the table is a clear and present danger and I think anyone smart would do exactly what Ned is doing. That's just my opinion.

Do you still feel this way after knowing that regardless of how a fork was performed, that Ned/Steemit Inc could just as easily deploy their own "Steem" reverting the fork, do you still feel this way?

The only thing this powerdown and move to exchanges is doing is reducing transparency and accountability. No matter what the outcome of the events are of any scenario described, there was always an option for Steemit Inc to continue on like they are today. We would just have two independent chains and some headaches.

Also to be clear, I'm still not supporting a fork, just playing through ideas.

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I think that's a false premise.

Regardless of how the fork occurred, we'd have 2 "Steem" blockchains, one with a Steemit Inc balance (which they could use for funding) and one chain without it (which they wouldn't then be able to control).

If, in the event that a fork like this, were it pushed onto the live Steem blockchain (an idea no one actively supported) - you don't think Steemit Inc would just create their own fork reverting the change? I'm 99% positive they would, and then they'd change steemit.com to use that blockchain. They'd also use their exchange contacts to ensure it's listed on exchanges and traded.

Ahh, okay. No, I didn't understand this aspect of it. I would imagine that maybe a lot of people looking into this don't understand this part.(maybe I'm wrong) I'd have probably led with/put more emphasis on this part of your stance.

So for me this does take it out of the "theft" territory and it is definitely not as extreme as I'd first imagined.

That said, I still can't disagree with what Ned is doing from a business perspective. That fork would definitely be harmful to Steemit Inc. and if I were the CEO of that company it would be my job to protect my company and it's assets with whatever levers I have at my disposal.

This is in line with people's(yours, I forget) complaints that he has put company over community. As CEO, the reality is that's his job. Obviously the best case scenario from their point of view are things that are good for both. Maybe the road forward is considering ideas that don't throw out the baby with the bathwater?

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reducing transparency and accountability

And immediate trust that Steemit Inc is acting rationally.

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Upvoted for visibility. Conversations indicate this is a credible threat. I think it is important everyone gets a balanced picture of what is happening.

It is very disappointing to see so many witnesses pushing for such extreme measures. Clearly it is not improving the situation.

@ned do you have the date of the above conversations? I think it would be useful to see this in respect to the timing of the witnesses open letters.

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Happy to share dates:

  • The conversation started on Sunday the 13th, and on the 13th the conversation ended with @therealwolf's comment about "putting pressure on Steemit Inc".
  • The conversation resumed on Friday the 18th, with @timcliff's comment of "Is someone able to clarify which account(s) Steemit, Inc". The entire rest of the log is from the 18th.
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Ok thanks, that helps with context.

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For context: putting pressure regarding the power down.

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Good addition to context.

I'd also like to add that this conversation/channel is only a small fraction of the discussions that were going on at the time, conversations that add a LOT more context to everything.

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So all these conversations started after the power down started?

To clarify, were there conversations of similiar nature made prior to the ones above?

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The conversations started 2 days before the power down, as a "what if" with literally no commitment from anyone.

The discussion about "how" (implementation), mentions of negotiations, and "pressure" occurred after the power down began.

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To comment on the substance of your post (beyond asking for dates), if I said:

I wonder what the blockchain would be like without @spectrumecons, if we were to do this, what accounts does @spectrumecons control?

Is that a threat to you, enough for you to powerdown and make a stink about it?

No one was pushing for anything, ideas were being explored and no one expressed support for the actual implementation of this.

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That feels like that could be a threat. I would seek further clarification before powering down.

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That'd be the smartest move, I'd applaud you for wanting to learn more. Unfortunately that didn't happen in this situation :(

Thank you, Jesta. You've given more to this blockchain than most people combined. Your tools, Vessel, Steemdb, and more. I could go on and on... No one could say this as well as you because you've built so much value here.

In years past, many who saw these problems and shouted them from the rooftops did so in ways which were hard to receive as fully credible (at least for me). Their arguments weren't very sound and/or they seemed to argue and complain about anything and everything. It's possible they were the canaries in the coal mine of this whole system.

What we do next is what counts. Will many of the old guard finally throw in the towel, step aside, and let a new batch of fresh meat try to create value, build community, and create education only to later come to the same conclusions about Ned/Steemit down the road? What kept me coming back at SF2 was meeting some of the team and seeing communication improve. I thought maybe it could work out, and I had conversations with @andrarchy where he'd talk me off the ledge and convince me things were getting better. It's no secret I've never really understood Ned. Just about every interaction I've had with him has rubbed me the wrong way. I thought it didn't matter because this was a decentralized blockchain. I thought one person couldn't matter that much.

Clarifying things with the "unaccountable actor" language is really helpful.

What we do next matters. Will all this talent and shared understanding of the system float away compleletey to other things, or will there be some new future where something could possibly work? As I see it now, that depends on the actions of one person. Unless something changes, that's not acceptable. We want decentralization. That's what we signed up for.

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First step would be, you all should abandon secrecy and establish an open forum for everybody to see. I know you were/are an advocate of opening up the secret slack, at least make it visible for everybody. I think all of this drama happened because of this secrecy. I hope top witnesses, Steemit Inc, etc will leave secret groups and open up for the entire community.

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Thank you for stating my position correctly. I’m not a fan, at all, of private conversations. One approach we’ve been exploring in the DAC governance model is read-only channels for elected custodians to dialogue freely without noise, with most conversations happening in memeber channels and full open conversations in community channels even for non-members (eosDAC has this structure in our discord).

I’m comfortable with my words always being transparent, but many are not. I’ve been told by some that my thinking on transparency is flawed because some aren’t comfortable expressing themselves completely if they don’t know the audience involved and think their words will be twisted and used against them. In my experience, this happens more often with “secret meetings” than with open transparency (nothing is secret unless it’s encrypted and even then...)

That said, I respect how leaders are sometimes needed to lead, organize, and propose action. If they spend all their time justifying their every word and providing context so people don’t take things the wrong way, they get little accomplished.

We have to find the balance and part of the way forward may be creating public, read-only feeds from these various “secret” communication mediums. The challenge there is it can actually decrease communication. If people who are not comfortable being transparent know their every word will be displayed, they simply stop talking. That’s when communication fully breaks down.

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Facts, but that still looks like a lose/lose. Keep the secret conversations and wish for the best or open up a feed and people filter what they say with potential hidden agenda's.

Hardforks, secret meetings, powerdowns... sounds like a brew for a bad situation. I wish I had a answer, I don't want to just be another person complaining. What ever direction is for the better is what I will hope to support as a invested user.

Hearing from a insider about lost faith does not re assure me and I am sure other "users" feel the same.

Truce.

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Я тоже так думаю!

Greetings @jesta,

Happy New Year!

Thank you for this enlightening and well articulated article.

There has always seemed to be disturbance at the top, unknown, unacknowledged yet there. Objectively, one might say most of us do not need to know the minutia, afterall in order to get things done it really need not be bandied about.

However, from a business perspective, investment-wise, at some point, particularily when the price of the asset goes down in a big way, investors begin to ask questions....and so they should.

Just because one has invested does not mean they are here only for a return, however a return is in the mind of anyone who invests their energy, be that energy; time, dapps, money, etc.

Steemit is a worthy and worthwhile project and investors have invested their energy in many forms....all of them are looking for returns, be that return recognition, rank, renumeration, etc.

I for one would appreciate and have looked for Steemit to get out ahead of its investors of all types, keeping us posted on how Steemit is progressing and in all fairness it must come from the top.

Principle, Leadership cannot be divorced from Salesmanship.

Wishing you all the best.

Cheers!

NB Thank you for all you do and have done for Steemit.

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Happy new years to you as well, and thank you for engaging. I agree with pretty much all that you've said and I really hope that sort of change happens.

Thank You @jesta, this is the most refreshingly honest and transparent post I've read on the state of the entire blockchain.

A centralized actor is in control of this blockchain. Not only a centralized actor, but arguably a malicious one who does not listen to reason, ever admit fault, persists down unproductive paths, makes rash decisions without thinking them through, acts superior despite consistent failures, and also attacks the decentralized community that makes it all possible. All while there's nothing you or I can do to hold them accountable for this behavior.


Drops the Mic.
Damn, that's a the entire issue in a nutshell.

  1. Centralized Control - Agreed
  2. Incapable of Listening / Basic Communication - Agreed
  3. Unaccountable - Agreed
  4. Directionless - Agreed
  5. Poor Judgement - Agreed
  6. Superiority Complex - Agreed
  7. Contempt for Wider Community - Agreed


I can only speak for myself, but I also came here because of the potential of decentralized platforms and for a vibrant community trying to build alternative models to the tech giants that currently dominate our the landscape.

How ironic that Steem Inc has been promoting "communities" (Hivemind, etc) for years but lacks the basic understanding of what 'community' actually means.

Definition of community

1 : a unified body of individuals: such as
a : the people with common interests living in a particular area broadly : the area itself the problems of a large community
b : a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society


Whether we like it or not, we're all part of this Steem community. Yet, we have an "unaccountable actor", as you succinctly put it, who continues to act in their own self-interest irregardless of what's best for the community as a whole.


You also hit the nail on the head when you said that the whole notion of a 'fork' option has further polarized the debate and brought us no closer to finding a solution to the persistent community dissatisfaction.

Perhaps what should be getting more attention are the other options on the table.

Steemit Inc voluntarily giving all/majority of their tokens to an elected body which would, in return, fund Steemit Inc. This provides oversight, transparency, and accountability based on performance.


This sounds like it would be a viable solution to some of the most pressing issues - Oversight / Transparency / Accountability.
Am I correct in the assumption that this option is unacceptable from Steem Inc's perspective?

Thank you for your great contributions to the Steem community and for airing your sincere concerns to the wider community who are consistently left in the dark on important matters.

Respect

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This is a little off-topic but in regards to an elected body looking after funds, do you think a percentage of newly created Steem could go into a development fund? Instead, of 10% interest, 15% witness, and 75% rewards pool, could we have something like 10% interest, 15% witness, 25% development fund, and 50% rewards pool?

I remember reading somewhere about a development fund, I think it was @whatsup. I think the idea was a little different.

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Why not lay all options on the table?
I'm not going to pretend I know what the perfect solution is but what you're proposing here may have merit. If a general agreement on principles can be met first then the details of reward allocations can be ironed out through negotiation and by outlining a clear proposal of said distribution.
But the issue here, at least as I see it, has more to do with the largest stake holder having no accountability to the community. Future created steem allocation is not as pressing an issue as Steem Inc acting as a responsible and accountable community member.

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Yeah, absolutely. I think that was one of the topic we were discussing before chat blew up, or it's been something we've discussed in the past. The idea though would probably hit some resistance from the community and Steemit Inc, since the community may not like lowering rewards, and Steemit Inc may not want to put the effort into implementing the system (it's not part of their roadmap).

Personally I think it's a great idea to look deeper into, but if the only developer we have (Steemit Inc) doesn't want to participate and there's no development fund to pay for it - it might be hard to get someone to actually design/implement the system.

Past examples of trying to bootstrap projects like this are the bounty system that was discussed a few years ago.

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"...the only developer we have (Steemit Inc) doesn't want to participate and there's no development fund to pay for it..."

This caught my attention. It's the status quo, but it's not cast in stone. Participation by Stinc in such isn't a prerequisite for such a fund, and it even might be able to succeed in the face of active opposition. I also don't think Stinc would object, and might even be willing to delegate to it. The optics would be good for them, at least.

The core issue that seems to underlie your disaffection (and every problem Steem faces, possibly) is the unaccountability of the developer. I am confident that most critics of the extant circumstances would cite Stinc as the reason for their complaint. That seems to be the case from my reading hereabouts, anyway.

Creating a fund for a development team is just as possible as any other initiative that has been undertaken on Steem, as far as I can tell. Since I'm not a coder, haven't worked in the industry since the 80s, and more disqualifications, I'm not really competent to judge.

But, you are. @personz is. @blocktrades is. Lots of Steemers are.

Seems to me many of ya'll have been hankering for this kind of opportunity to effect development unhampered by the problems you've detailed in this post that are only necessary when depending on Stinc to do the developing.

Before you guys bail on us (which I reckon will doom Steem, and ruin my favorite platform) could you give this a try? You've put years into this platform. Don't give it up before having a go at routing around the problem(s) that have depleted your hope of it's success, please.

@spectrumecons threw out some figures with his idea, and some serious thought might refine them and create a viable mechanism that folks could get behind. I'd happily onboard a portion of my rewards for the purpose. I already provide 25% of my post rewards to folks that have been shown to deserve it using the Steempeak benefactor mechanism. I reckon none of them would really mind if I sent that to a development fund that was accountable for improving Steem instead.

Thoughts?

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Sorry for taking so long to get back to replying on this one, it's been really hard to keep on top of the dozens of threads happening.

This caught my attention. It's the status quo, but it's not cast in stone. Participation by Stinc in such isn't a prerequisite for such a fund, and it even might be able to succeed in the face of active opposition. I also don't think Stinc would object, and might even be willing to delegate to it. The optics would be good for them, at least.

It's not a requirement, but it would require changes that might impact Steemit Inc's roadmap. Arguably a fund like this wouldn't be enough to simply fund via the rewards pool or delegations, it'd require a substantial amount of money considering the talent you'd need to hire. Blockchain devs don't come cheap these days, and the cheapest way would be via salaries and guarantee's of longer term commitments. I'd probably throw around $1MM USD as a wild guess out for a good starting position for a team. You'd be able to get half a dozen decent programmers for a year and have a small amount of wiggle room for non-salary costs.

The only way to get close to that amount would be a change in inflation (or be the owner of a large premine). The problem with changes to inflation for funding is that you're going to get pushback from Steemit Inc (I'm assuming, and would love an official stance). Altering inflation directly impacts the draw of the Steem rewards model, which is very possibly something they wouldn't want since it could be perceived as "harming their business model".

We have talked at great length about ways to pull this off and improve Steem, a viable solution just hasn't been found yet.

Seems to me many of ya'll have been hankering for this kind of opportunity to effect development unhampered by the problems you've detailed in this post that are only necessary when depending on Stinc to do the developing.

Yeah, it's been a commonly discussed topic for a long time at this point. There are a large group of us that are involved in Steem to see innovation occur and to push DLT forward for humanity. That itch isn't being scratched right now, as focus has (for the last few years) exclusively been on the products of Steemit Inc, rather than the platform.

Before you guys bail on us (which I reckon will doom Steem, and ruin my favorite platform) could you give this a try? You've put years into this platform. Don't give it up before having a go at routing around the problem(s) that have depleted your hope of it's success, please.

We're still trying, and if anything drives us away at this point it's going to be the hostility shown by Steemit Inc. As this situation continues to unfold over the coming days/weeks, we'll see where things head.

@spectrumecons threw out some figures with his idea, and some serious thought might refine them and create a viable mechanism that folks could get behind. I'd happily onboard a portion of my rewards for the purpose. I already provide 25% of my post rewards to folks that have been shown to deserve it using the Steempeak benefactor mechanism. I reckon none of them would really mind if I sent that to a development fund that was accountable for improving Steem instead.

The benefactor system is good for initial bootstrapping, but beyond that, the rewards pool just isn't large enough to support a full dev team and build out a full business. Some of the fundamentals behind it just don't line up, because as the price of Steem rises, the higher competition for that finite rewards pool, and businesses just can't rely on a stream of revenue that fluctuates that wildly.

Some great points and thanks for engaging on this :D

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Well, I appreciate your taking the time to respond substantively, even if you feel it's not possible.

Thanks!

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Steemit Inc voluntarily giving all/majority of their tokens to an elected body which would, in return, fund Steemit Inc. This provides oversight, transparency, and accountability based on performance.

@ned actually talked about making Steemit Inc decentralized in the past. I'm not exactly sure who detailed he was about it or what he meant. I remember mentioning this in more than 1 interview and at least once on Steemspeak. I'd love to remember where to find to mention but sadly I don't.

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Am I correct in the assumption that this option is unacceptable from Steem Inc's perspective?

With their recent updating of the website, the various town halls Ned has done, and other messaging I've seen - yeah, this is unacceptable from their perspective because it's their property.

Thank you for talking the time to read it all!

This was in the so-called "Secret Slack", a Slack community controlled by Steemit Inc

Herein lies one of Steemit Inc's biggest problems and one of the biggest problems with the Steem project as a whole, it operates with no accountability and is making things up as they go along.

The Steem project is not decentralised at all, STINC has the final say what goes in and what doesn't, with witnesses choosing to support the updates or not (they have a sizeable stake of Steem in comparison to everyone else). Because witnesses are earning money for running nodes, most are not going to compromise their earning potential by disagreeing with STINC in most cases.

Like we saw with Hard Fork 20, it was a total failure, an embarrassment and there was substantial outrage from the community about how such an inferior and bug-riddled update achieved any kind of consensus at all.

While there is a Github repository and people can contribute to the project, it moves incredibly slowly because STINC selectively controls the project and it has hampered it substantially. I know for a fact there are enough talented devs in the community who could have made SMT's happen in 2018.

Not only that, but the Slack is secret. If this were a true open source project, there would be no secret Slack where people seemingly get to engage with the company and discuss development matters, that's not how open source works.

Sunday the 13th is when Ned joined the channel on the Secret Slack and made his first remarks of 2019 to any of us. The immediate tone was a defensive posture, labelling one of the participants in the discussion a "hacker", and then claiming the witnesses were considering the going through with the fork

Time and time again, @ned has shown he lacks the maturity or experience to run a project like Steem. There is a pattern here, look what happened recently when STINC pulled delegations from numerous projects with no warning or explanation. When DSound pressured Ned for a reason, he claimed it was because he was not personally receiving updates from DSound or other projects, like some kind of dictator.

Many suggestions made by the committee were outright dismissed without any discussion

I don't think anyone is surprised to hear this. Steemit Inc has shown absolutely no care or concern for the community and its willingness to help evolve the Steem platform.

My biggest gripe with how things are being run is the fact that STINC does not care, at all. This place has so many damn problems, problems that are an easy fix and others that are not. The reality is, STINC rode the great bull run of 2017 when values for even the worse coins were going sky high like Dogecoin and Verge. They got complacent, they thought they could sit pretty on their crypto fortune and watch it continue to rise until reality struck and the bear market set in.

The failure to deliver when STEEM prices were quite high, going on a hiring blitz and trying to deliver on their whitepaper promises is why they had to lay off employees and scale back their ambitions. STINC had the perfect chance to deliver (or make substantial progress) and they blew it.

And now, the knee-jerk reaction from STINC and Ned to move funds and reduce transparency is going to hurt this platform a lot. For those not aware of what is going on, all they see is a company moving its holdings to exchanges (the stupidest and least secure move ever witnessed) which looks like a bank run...

Under Ned's leadership, STINC has squandered away millions of dollars and has almost nothing to show for it (except a content platform dominated by spam and paid bots).

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Well said, and I can't disagree with any of it. The one comment to make is related to:

Like we saw with Hard Fork 20, it was a total failure, an embarrassment and there was substantial outrage from the community about how such an inferior and bug-riddled update achieved any kind of consensus at all.

We (as witnesses) were irresponsible at that point for letting HF20 go out like it did. We are definitely in-part to blame for the nonsense that ensued.

At that point in time it had been almost a year and a half since the last major hardfork. HF20 contained something like 400 commits and 40,000 lines of code changed, had a testnet for a couple weeks, and a largely inactive version of condenser running that the community was encouraged to test.

With such a massive update pending and witnesses begging for any sort of progress, we were far too eager to accept and try to get something accomplished.

We all know how this situation turned out, with the vast majority of Steem users waiting a week (or more) just to use the site as the resource system "reached equilibrium".

I'm speculating here, but I think part of the reason we didn't see the same problems within the testnet was because the testnet had already been running for a while, under Steemit Incs leadership, and it was a bad test of the real world conditions. It gave us insufficient insight into how the real deployment was actually going to go, and a false sense of security that things would be fine.

Really the way to approach this in the future is for the witnesses to establish a testnet themselves, without being handed a testnet from Steemit Inc. Unfortunately with the lack of progress on Steem itself, coordinating the deployment of a new testnet (like HF20) is still a pretty daunting task. The tooling surrounding testnets has improved recently, but I don't know how many witnesses currently would even be capable of something like this due to the lack of documentation and the modifications you'd have to make to kick start the new testnet chain. If I had to guess, I'd assume it's probably 5-8 at most.

Lesson learned on our part, and from one witness, I apologize for my part in the fuck up.

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We (as witnesses) were irresponsible at that point for letting HF20 go out like it did. We are definitely in-part to blame for the nonsense that ensued.

The witnesses definitely had to share some of the blame there, agreed. However, I do remember when the situation went down and those issues came about with the new resource credits system and mana, witnesses such as yourself and @timcliff acknowledged the stuff up and apologised.

I think mistakes are fine when people acknowledge and learn from them, like most of the top 25 witnesses did from memory.

witnesses begging for any sort of progress, we were far too eager to accept and try to get something accomplished.

Completely understandable. HF20 was a huge release and from the outset, it did look like Steemit Inc were dragging the chain quite a bit, so the yearning for anything was quite high. I think anyone in the same situation as witnesses were wouldn't have done anything differently.

I am a little apprehensive about SMT's based on how STINC rolled out HF20, not so much from a witness perspective, but rather the STINC employed developers working on them (not to put them down or anything), but with the recent staff cuts and cost-cutting measures, as well as winding back the scope of them, I am concerned. We'll see though, it might be fine.

I wish STINC entrusted the community more and utilised the resources on hand. They have enough monetary resources to create a development fund, create a Trello board or Github project board and then award community members with bounty payments like @utopian-io does in the form of Steem. My C++ is rusty, but I could contribute in other areas, and would be willing to for Steem.

I am in the same situation as you right now, I don't know what the future holds for this blockchain and whether or not I will be in it. I've been slugging away in this place for almost a year now and I like it, warts and all, even if I haven't really achieved success or a following here. I am working on some dApps at the moment, so who knows.

I just wish STINC let the community in more, instead of operating as a walled-garden.

I appreciate the honest account of things that happened. You and rest of the top witnesses are guilty of keeping secret slack, regardless of Steemit Inc's control. Open it up already.

Partly you and other witnesses are responsible for all of this debacle, because you chose to keep everything in secret. Your account probably is the least diplomatic, hence most sincere. I suspect reason is because you are no longer top 20 witness. Would you be this honest and sincere if you still were a top 20 witness??? I am not sure, but still appreciate an honest account and observation being shared. I appreciate your work for the platform and I voted for your witness as soon as I saw you were out of 20.

As far of Steem/Steemit, I think it will still be around because of all the people involved, and as you said people still believe in it. I think Inc has done ok, just failed in PR, budgeting, and marketing. I strongly hope @ned will hire a PR mentor or assign CEO duties to someone else. He had a great opportunity to become a face of the Crypto for people in general. He still does. He can become the visionary of the crypto space, only if he wanted to. Just need to ditch that guitar. :)

I believe 2019 will be awesome for all of us. This debacle happened because you all chose to be in a secret environment. If you all chose more openness and rejected secrecy, things would be different, in my opinion.

Steemit will do whatever their vision is. Yes they are the largest stakeholder. That has been the fact since the beginning. Nothing has changed in that regard. I see @andrarchy as a visionary, I wish Ned would listen to him and take his advice or make him a CEO or something.

Anyway, crypto speculators will do their thing, community will still be around. I doubt things can get worse than they are. It is disappointing that human error is stopping the progress though.

In conclusion, forking out any account funds would be the dumbest move ever. I doubt any of the top witnesses would ever go with that. I am kinda surprised the idea was even entertained. Bottomline, if there is no security of funds why bother using the blockchain?

Huge respect for you. I hope you will still be around for years to come.

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I think Inc has done ok, just failed in PR, budgeting, and marketing. I strongly hope @ned will hire a PR mentor or assign CEO duties to someone else.

Have they really? I'm asking because I've heard many different and conflicting statements about this. Is it really just the PR and communication or does mismanagement of funds also play a part in this?

If I'm looking at other projects with similar sized teams, I see that they generally get a lot more done. I know this might be comparing apples with oranges, but I don't really have the feeling that Steemit Inc. is working very efficiently.

Don't get me wrong, I'm really hoping that I'm mistaken about this, but some of the problems that they're working on now should have been resolved much earlier.

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Well, Steemit.com works. And works just fine. That to me is team has done ok. I do see progress. If it wasn't for Steem price going to unexpected levels (below $1), I think SMTs and other dev works would be on track to completion. I think it will still be happening and eventually, Steemit Inc will deliver SMTs, Communities, etc. Everything else is just a distraction. That's why I think better PR is needed, to actually show all the work being done, maybe even exaggerate a little bit. :)

P.S. I don't like the fact that Steemit Inc and/or Ned is actually not interested in continued development of the flagship site though.

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Did you know that before HF17, later known as HF17.5 and finally HF18, we had 16 hardforks in less than a year, I think it was 8 months or almost two HF's a month. Did you know the most anticipated change after HF16 was for a linear reward curve/proportional rewards to stake, which was completely absent from HF17, HF17.5 and HF18 (All known as hf 18)? Did you know that after months of the community demanding it, HF19 finally addressed that singular issue, only to be revealed in the weeks that followed as not necessarily a fix as much as it was a problem especially alongside delegations? When do you think this will be fixed, a simple yet profound change away from linear and not quite back to exponential that ought to have been made more than a year ago but which to my knowledge has still never even been acknowledged by stinc? O yeah, what are the proposed changes for the next HF?

Do you think, knowing that we've had only 3 (or 4?) hardforks in almost 2 years, that steemit is developing and pursuing development of steem in an OK way? Do you really think that stinc can even say "we've been listening to the community"? It seems like as long as they keep making promises, maybe even a little embellishment on top, everything else is a distraction from where you're standing. As long as they apPeaR to be working on the supposed solution to whatever problem community and SMT will solve you will happily encourage them, even though stinc has not given a shit to the community directly evident from HF17 onwards, and even with HF19, as they haven't reached to the community or assessed the results once. I don't know on what you base your thoughts on how well they have done, or them doing OK, but by my standard stinc is completely fucked and it's no wonder that nuclear options are discussed in the slack they created and run, they are after all the ones responsible for the complete lack of communication with the community and the assessment of the changes committed through HF's and the followup to those assessments that has driven the discussion in the direction of considering the options available should their unresponsive and otherwise unacceptable and unaccountable stance to the development of steem continue.

What do you think the community should do if the ones in charge of development don't care about the community? Keep on keeping on?

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No, I am not really familiar with the history before HF19. I understand what you are saying. I can see the frustrations and disappointments for lack of progress (or visible progress). I just choose to focus on the positive. Among them, I see platform working as positive, smts still in development, there were improvements to dev portal, hivemind, etc.

I was also a bit frustrated and disappointed towards the end of 2018. This year will be awesome for Steem. I think/hope Steemit Inc will deliver this year.

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Unfortunately that's just it, they could have sat on their hands all this time since Dan left almost 2 years ago and the platform would still be functioning /working. Why is that a positive then, if it's not strictly framed in terms of HOW MUCH WORSE IT COULD BE. As if keeping it running was/is an accomplishment, I guess it could be if you consider that they could have broken it.

Steemit- At least it's still working.

Steemit- #SMT2kandwhen

Steemit- From 2 HF's a month to 2 years every HF.

Steemit- Etc. (ETC).

Posted using Partiko Android

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What project has anything done? Every blockchain out there is a fluff of dreams. Steem is the only one with actual work, even if it's not too much.

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When I wrote my reply, I was thinking of LBRY to be exact. They've been issuing updates very regularly and the amount of work they've done in a very short amount of time is pretty amazing.

Now, it's still comparing apples with oranges, because their project is a lot more straightforward than Steem.

Source:
https://lbry.io/news

To be clear, they have a working product, nothing fluff about it.

I mean just look at this one development update and compare it to Steemit's development updates. The difference is huge IMO.

https://lbry.io/news/nov-dec-update

Compare that to:
https://steemit.com/steem/@steemitblog/new-year-new-devportal-updates

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In my time around Steem this is not the first time that discussion of a fork has occurred. It is the first time it has come out into the open and that maybe is a good thing. It lays out the arguments and lets the community respond with their views.

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Discussing topics is fine. But, in the end, any blockchain that can just delete accounts/funds/stakes will be a failure. I thought the main promise of blockchain technologies was/is TRUST. Nobody will trust and/or invest in a chain that has a history of removing accounts/stakes/funds.

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i quite agree about not liking the reasons for the proposal. The discussion coming out into the open is healthy in that the community gets opportunity to weigh in. It also provides opportunity to observe the behaviour of the witnesses.

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Then explain why almost nobody trusted ETC and and why everyone trusts ETH.

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You and rest of the top witnesses are guilty of keeping secret slack, regardless of Steemit Inc's control. Open it up already.

Steemit Inc's paying for the slack, we don't have control to open it up. It's a terrible excuse but it's the truth. I don't disagree with you at all in that 99% of those discussions should be public, even if just to give insight into the daily happenings. Maybe once all this blows over, solutions to open up transparency on the witness side should come next.

Your account probably is the least diplomatic, hence most sincere. I suspect reason is because you are no longer top 20 witness. Would you be this honest and sincere if you still were a top 20 witness???

My rank I think is irrelevant at this point in regards to my sincerity. I actually had most of this post done (and all of it outlined) before I lost the @pumpkin vote and dropped in rank. I'm not sure if the loss of the vote was related or maybe pumpkin just saw something @themarkymark was doing and decided he was better than I (which is cool, I've been quiet for ages and can't blame him).

Either way - this post was coming whether that vote changed or not. If I was ranked 1 right now, I'd still be in the same situation, saying the same things, all while still considering quitting Steem all together. I think most of the sincerity comes from that.

Normally though, I'll admit I wouldn't be as public as I am right now about the drama behind closed doors. Couple reasons being the time commitment to summarizing it (the logs are just absurd), the existing stigma against Steem and DPOS by the greater crypto community, and trying not to let these situations out of hand.

Well, this one got out of hand, and for that I apologize to everyone having to deal with this crazy situation. Never did I expect this weeks events to occur lol.

I strongly hope @ned will hire a PR mentor or assign CEO duties to someone else.

This would probably be an incredibly smart move.

In conclusion, forking out any account funds would be the dumbest move ever. I doubt any of the top witnesses would ever go with that. I am kinda surprised the idea was even entertained. Bottomline, if there is no security of funds why bother using the blockchain?

I think nuking a rogue nation would be the dumbest move ever as well, but I guarantee it's still being discussed behind closed doors somewhere. Sometimes evaluating an incredibly bad idea can lead to a better idea, which is exactly why we were discussing it.

I also doubt 17/21 of the top witnesses would deploy the hardfork either.

Huge respect for you. I hope you will still be around for years to come.

Thanks, respect back to you as well for engaging with me as well :)

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Mother won at bingo last night. Promoted with as many bots as possible to reach the audience this post deserves. -Lil' Beanie 2019

Screen Shot 20190118 at 12.16.28 PM.png

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I know I'm pretty much begging for another ass-kicking but that's funny! If he zaps you for posting it, and/or me for pointing out the humor (...UH-gain!) then at least we'll go out laughing.

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VOTE FOR WITNESS @NEXTGENCRYPTO!!!!









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Firstly, thank you for a comprehensive explanation of what had actually been going on. It was feeling a bit cryptic with all the little titbits that were coming out.

I have to say that I think Ned's reaction and stance is purely human nature. He is the creator of Steem, is he not, so is it any surprise that he feels it's property? Most people feel that their creations are and want some sort of control over it. So to hear people say he should be cut out from any control would make him feel like his project is being stolen from him.

I know the idea behind this is that it is decentralised and run by the community, but relinquishing and allowing yourself to be overridden isn't easy for anyone, especially when what you've created is being touted as something pretty special and is even being copied by some. He's probably feeling a bit betrayed at this point with all the criticism coming his way, whether it's rightly or wrongly received. Pride can make it very hard for us to hear advice, even when it's in our best interest.

Not making any judgements either way here and I know nothing of programming. Just some thoughts to put behaviour into perspective. It kind of begs the question, will decentralisation ever work with human nature as it is?

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Well said, I can't disagree with any of that.

I know I've felt the same sort of "desire for control" over open source projects I've started, that others have forked and improved upon. I've asked myself the question of "why don't they just work with me instead of forking it?", which is a valid question, and maybe the answer is just that they'd rather go it alone without my involvement.

It is human nature to question these things.

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It is human nature to question these things.

Isn't it just! I guess that's why they came up with copyright protection. We're not the best at sharing. ;D It can't be easy to see someone forking something you've created, even when it was created open source.

Posted using Partiko Android

Thanks @jesta for posting publicly on these matters. I'm not part of the "secret slack" and the amount of communication that goes on in private venues when we have a permissionless blockchain for communicating is disturbing to me.

The post discusses the nuclear option of a hard fork to remove Steemit Inc's share. While this sets a dangerous precedent of theft by the masses, it also is the most straightforward method for rectifying an undeserved premine. What percentage of all STEEM does Steemit Inc own? If my understanding is correct the early distribution of STEEM was a disaster and the inequitable distribution of early stake creates problems to this day.

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What percentage of all STEEM does Steemit Inc own?

~30% of all powered up Steem, if you factor in liquid Steem/SBD they own 23.4% of all tokens. But they have sold a lot over the last 2.5 years.

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Good to see the number decrease, but still too much. All that selling has put pressure on steem to stay about #51 on CMC

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currently #39

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You're absolutely right that the early distribution as it occurred does cause some problems on the scales of a social platform. Not all of the actors from that period are good or bad specifically, but it's created some really weird power dynamics.

I'm not part of the "secret slack" and the amount of communication that goes on in private venues when we have a permissionless blockchain for communicating is disturbing to me.

Yeah, you'd think a better solution for accountability would exist at this point. Unfortunately Slack, which is permissioned and very controlled, has far better communication tools than what we have on Steem today. That to me is the primary reason - it's hard to use Steem to talk about this stuff, unless you write massive blog posts that take almost 3 days to write :)

  1. I don't see how Steemit is exceptionally unaccountable. In what way are you or I or anyone else here accountable to the community in ways that Steemit Inc. is not?

  2. Do you think Steemit Inc.'s role is deserving of a higher standard of accountability than any other user, and if so are you willing to articulate that standard?

  3. Do you recognize that a substantial contributing factor in this scenario is your and others' willingness to participate in a secret governance forum? Will you stop?

  4. Why is Steemit Inc.'s vague potential use of their premined stake to influence events unacceptable, but Freedom's actual use of premined state to vote you (until yesterday) and others into top witness slots something that needed no action?

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There is no democratic action happening here if someone owns that much stake. If as a developer or investor your ideas can't get any leverage or traction because they can be turned over instantly then what is the point of having a "decentralized" system?

-#3. I agree on this one big time, while ultimately there is no way to stop this, communications should be happening publicly on chain.

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To be completely honest, it's hard to have productive conversations on-chain with the tools at our disposal. It's a lot more efficient to use a polished tool like Slack, which in my opinion, is far superior to steemit.com for this purpose.

If we had a Slack-like interface that used Steem to make the conversations public record, I'd be pushing for that.

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Yeah, it's essential and a killer app at the same time.

Posted using Partiko Android

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People have explored it, there are a number of hurdles in the way of "doing it right".

It'd probably also take a significant amount of time, more time than I have available as one dude.

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Well, theres always hurdles in the way. Still think it can be done and monetized quite easily.

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Yeah.. Make one...With the computerizing and the keyboarding and the coding.... ;)

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There exist one. I'm not sure how good it would be though but it exist.

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  1. Witnesses are accountable to voters (the community). Beyond witnesses though, there is no expectation or accountability for anyone else. I'd like there to be ideally though, for anyone who wants to contribute and be held accountable. Those people should be rewarded.
  2. In short, yes. In any blockchain project out there, if during it's genesis the founding group reserves a portion of the supply for themselves, do you think they should be held to higher standards than those who purchased in? I think it's implied, otherwise why would anyone ever agree to participate?
  3. I've never been opposed to making all of those discussions public, except security incidents. I don't choose where these discussions happen though.
  4. Steemit Inc's premine was a premeditated act by the organization launching the blockchain (in secret) as part of a "plan" to fund themselves. I don't have enough information on who freedom is (as does anyone else) to render any sort of opinion. I do think the way the entire inflation model has played out (with many early miners earning millions of steem) is also a problem, but is not the subject of this post. A fair distribution is an entirely different topic, especially in how it relates to a social economy.
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Witnesses are accountable to voters (the community).

By which you mean "Witnesses are accountable to Freedom."

So a registered company with an address and an ability to receive service of documents exercising outsized control over the chain is bad, but a complete unknown exercising outsized control over the chain is fine because you don't know enough to judge? That is a bizarre position.

I'm beginning to doubt the "nobody knows" narrative anyway. The recipients of his support have been remarkably well-organized to defend his interests here. Maybe that just happens to be a coincidence.

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I'm beginning to doubt the "nobody knows" narrative anyway

I can tell you that I don't know, I've heard plenty of rumors though that name every notable personality you can imagine.

By which you mean "Witnesses are accountable to Freedom."

Eh, to some degree. There are a number of witnesses, myself included now, who are still up there even without the pumpkin vote. Having a massive anonymous stake like that voting against you does make it incredibly hard to progress in ranks.

So a registered company with an address and an ability to receive service of documents exercising outsized control over the chain is bad, but a complete unknown exercising outsized control over the chain is fine because you don't know enough to judge? That is a bizarre position.

I didn't say that at all, what I did say is that I don't really know enough to make an opinion on that account specifically, then further stated the fucked up distribution on this chain is also a problem but not the subject of this post or recent drama.

Steem has plenty of problems, I'm not saying any of the issues you raised are "ok", just that I haven't been focused as much on those lately.

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By which you mean "Witnesses are accountable to Freedom."

Well, yeah. He has the most stake. Thats how DPOS works. :D
We signed up for this... for all the good and the bad and now it doesnt suit us anymore?
All you can do is hope that whats good for Freedom is good for the rest of us.

Enjoy your ned and don't forget to recommend nedcore!

Decisions worth making are never easy, but you have to make them sooner rather than later, for your own sanity first and foremost. It is, of course, your decision to make, but I hope you don't mind if I add my interpretation of your post.

Based on the content and tone of your post, it seems to me that you are very frustrated with the status quo, and your objectives are simply not met with said status quo. I would think you should be leaning heavily towards a fork. Of course, a fork is difficult, and will require coordination with other witnesses, but if you are as serious about blockchain innovation as I think you are, you need to make it happen with like minded people. What do you stand to lose? Maybe rewards in the short term, unless the fork ends up worse than Steem - but even so, you'll know that you tried. Right now, it's just an endless abyss of frustration, don't give in to the sunk cost fallacy. So, it comes down to - does the stability of current rewards matter to you more than your penchant for blockchain innovation?

Clarification: Before someone accuses me of shilling for a fork, I don't care for or support a fork. I have made a statement committing to not support a fork, and I stand by it. That doesn't mean I can't understand and appreciate contrary views on the matter.

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Clarification: Before someone accuses me of shilling for a fork, I don't care for or support a fork. I have made a statement committing to not support a fork, and I stand by it. That doesn't mean I can't understand and appreciate contrary views on the matter.

LOL, I don't blame you one bit for this disclaimer. So here's a disclaimer of my own:

I am not supporting a fork by saying any of this. I enjoy solving problems, and exploring ideas that may lead to better solutions.

Based on the content and tone of your post, it seems to me that you are very frustrated with the status quo, and your objectives are simply not met with said status quo.

Frustrated at this point almost feels like an understatement.

I would think you should be leaning heavily towards a fork. Of course, a fork is difficult, and will require coordination with other witnesses, but if you are as serious about blockchain innovation as I think you are, you need to make it happen with like minded people. What do you stand to lose?

When it comes down to actually creating a competing project, I think my preference would be to go far beyond just a simple fork. Discussions in all of this never actually got far enough for me to express that idea, but I don't think long term I'd simply want to just fork Steem and improve upon it.

The hard truth at this point is that the Steem codebase isn't ideal at this point. If you look at most other variations of Steem, they've all had to solve a lot of "round peg, square hole" type of problems due to the rigid way it was setup. Some have made due, while I believe others have migrated completely off the Steem codebase (or plan to). It's been interesting to watch as developers attempt to adapt the Steem codebase for various purposes and the struggles they've run into.

Truthfully if I were planning on creating a competing platform to Steem, I'd probably either start from scratch or adapt it from a different platform, one which offers more flexibility. Steem could probably have been a lot more modern if it weren't for the whole "product over platform" approach that's unfolded over the years.

Right now, it's just an endless abyss of frustration, don't give in to the sunk cost fallacy. So, it comes down to - does the stability of current rewards matter to you more than your penchant for blockchain innovation?

Innovation matters way more than the rewards, which is exactly the reason I've considered outright quitting. I still put a decent amount of time into Steem at this point, and it doesn't help scratch that itch. I do have a certain fondness for both community and content software though, so there's a part of me that really wants to see it succeed. I think that's what makes it hardest to leave. I know there's potential in a system like Steem, whether it's Steem or not though is what remains to be seen.

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@jesta !
IF you want to migrate this community to another BC, I think you could do it. You have garnered the respect of many, and have learned so much in the recent years. I do believe if correctly airdropped and distributed over a long period of time, this community could have the best dapps and biggest rewards, and truly redefine the internet. Unfortunately, the current skewed distributions of Steem are not what @dan had in mind certainly, and also dont work well with DPOS.

Form a DAC, list 20 reasons how a community based BC will have much more fair and inclusive participation, the role of bots defined or at least limited, etc.

For the community, owned by the community.
Thanking all the progenitors that came before it for the leg up!

It could also be FAR MORE SIMPLE to understand for users if simplified at it's core. Ned has always been operating his laboratory more than selling a product... so for example, SBD gone would help.

This type of thing is exactly why Steem has a "public perception" problem. The problem isn't the public's perception... the problem is that "blockchain" was invented to eliminate the kind of BS that Steemit Inc has lorded over the community.

Trusted Third Parties are Security Holes

what steem needs, for any long term success, is to shed itself completely from Steemit Inc.

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I believe this as well, and it's not out of malicious intent towards Steemit Inc, but out of the potential positive effects it could have on Steem overall.

The intense discussion about "forking" completely overshadows all the other potential solutions that could be discussed to achieve the same results.

One of the best posts I have ever read since I got here over a year ago and investing a big chunk(it’s relative) of usd into a system that I believe in much like you do for the same reasons. The ONLY thing I disagree with was in your final thoughts and that his post may not have any value. It most certainly does and validated feelings I have been experiencing for many many months and I appreciate you perspective. I am in the same mindset as you right now, you just about spoke everything I am thinking at this moment and I too am in a quandary. Really appreciate the post and hope we can find a great reason for both of us to continue on.

Thank you for your post and giving us all clarity on the situation!

One thing I’m left wondering about:

If the main problem is “the unaccountable actor” and the proposed fork would solve exactly this issue - wouldn’t that be a good solution?

To me, a fork would mean that we’ll have two Steem blockchains and people can choose which one to join. Wouldn’t that be the best way for the community to choose wether they want to stay here or move to the new version where Ned doesn’t have the kind of control he has here?

Or am I misunderstanding something? I don’t understand why this proposed fork is being labeled “theft” when all it does is give people an alternative. If nobody joins it, it won’t change anything. And if everybody or most people join it to co-create something new and much fairer - then that’s a good thing and shows the power of decentralization and the “people freeing themselves from centralized control”, no?

At least that’s how I view it, but I might be missing something.

Posted using Partiko iOS

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If the main problem is “the unaccountable actor” and the proposed fork would solve exactly this issue - wouldn’t that be a good solution?

You're not wrong to think it is a potential solution, but "good" really would depending on how it's done and is ultimately subjective. I don't understand the "theft" label though either, nor do I understand a lot of the reasoning behind what they're doing.

I don’t understand why this proposed fork is being labeled “theft” when all it does is give people an alternative.

There were basically two way the fork could have unfolded, one of which I think gets the "theft" label more commonly than the other, but when you think through the label doesn't make sense in any situation...

The two ways it could have played out are:

  1. 17/21 of the witness on this blockchain, applied the hardfork.
  2. A new blockchain was started to apply the hardfork.

In the first scenario, which is the more aggressive play, it alters this network specifically. The one we're using to talk right now. If that were to suddenly happen, I can only assume that Steemit Inc would deploy a new chain and reverse the hardfork. They would then point steemit.com and all their tools to use this new blockchain.

The end result is: 2 blockchains, one with the hardfork applied and one without.

In the second scenario a brand new chain is just launched from a snapshot of the network we're using today, while applying the hardfork, while the old network continues to operate as it has been for years. Steemit.com continues to operate on the old chain and a new ecosystem is developed around the new chain.

The end result is: 2 blockchains, one with the hardfork applied and one without.

It's the same result no matter which way it's performed, so how is one theft and the other not? I really don't understand the logic either.

The one "dick move" part of the first scenario is that by taking over the live chain, all of the exchanges and external services Steem users would be on the hardfork-applied chain immediately, and service could potentially be interrupted. This was one of the best reasons against the first scenario, since that sort of external facing drama could cause exchanges to drop support for Steem all together.

Once you get past this slanderous narrative being spun, it's a pretty damn interesting topic to talk about lol.

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Once you get past this slanderous narrative being spun, it's a pretty damn interesting topic to talk about lol.

True enough. I've heard @ned refer to Steem as an experiment and it has been damn interesting watching it develop. Maybe it's time for a second experiment, a second chain not with just Steemit Inc's premined stake removed but all the premined stake removed (or as much as can be identified) and let's see how that would develop. I have a suspicion that people will people and much the same situation will evolve even without the premined stake.

@shadowspub
The current Rambling Radio Schedule can be found here
It's All About Community!

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People will people! Love that and I suspect you are correct but maybe a less extreme model. :)

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sometimes you just got go for the tough test lol

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Once you get past this slanderous narrative being spun, it's a pretty damn interesting topic to talk about lol.

That is absolutely true! :D I am totally fascinated by all this and the possible implications (regardless of price), while also trying to understand the argumentations of both (or however many sides).

In the end - to me - this all about some pioneer humans trying to handle the gift of decentralisation they have been given, and they just don't know how yet. This is a learning- and also sort of personal development experience for everyone involved, even the ones just watching from the side lines.

Everything comes down to consensus. How do you do consensus best in a decentralised network? It's great that so many people are trying to figure that out right now, especially here on this blockchain, right now, over the past week. If you have different agendas, it's time to part ways --> fork.

Steemit could go down in blockchain history, depending on how this is being solved.

Thanks for explaining the two options in detail. I didn't know about the first one with the 17/21 witness vote. I can see how this one could be seen as theft technically. However philosophically I would argue that it's more of a "returning of what belonged to the community in the first place". I'm not talking about funds, but about power.

I kind of like the thought that "bad actors" who are more committed to their own profit, rather than the wellbeing of the whole network and community, can be voted out by that very community. So, as long as everyone contributes to the network, there's consensus and the community can thrive. The moment someone does something "out of consensus" they get rejected. Just like a bad transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain, only with humans :)

But still, like you say, it would be sort of useless, since Steemit Inc could reverse the fork. Also it seems this game could then go on forever :) Makes me wonder when Dan's Steemit 4.0 is coming out... ;)

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This was one of the best reasons against the first scenario, since that sort of external facing drama could cause exchanges to drop support for Steem all together

I've not once heard of a single situation where an exchange has dropped support for a coin/chain because of the need for an update, or an unexpected crash, or a hard fork that resulted in two chains (in the last instance they may or may not support both chains, of course).

This claim is about as close to pure FUD as one can get, given that it lacks any historical precedent whatsoever.

The only scenario relating to exchanges in the event of a fork that required a code upgrade to get the chain going would be that it could result in downtime. History in this case supports that the downtime might be significant (months, though not likely for all exchanges, but some of them).

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Not disagreeing at all, but I'm curious to know how you think a sudden hardfork by the witnesses would have played out in regards to exchanges.

I don't think there's much historical precedent for it, probably the closest being Bittrex delisting Bitcoin Gold over the recent 51% attack, but even still that's a fairly difference scenario.

I suppose framing it as "exchanges are out to make money" and really don't care otherwise sort of defuses the entire idea. Maybe I'm assuming Steemit Inc has deeper relations with exchanges than they actually do (probably in part by Neds mocking comments about "thinking more" about directly powering down to them).

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I'm curious to know how you think a sudden hardfork by the witnesses would have played out in regards to exchanges.

Probably about as you predicted elsewhere. Steemit makes a new code release to restart the exchange nodes on the old chain, resulting in two chains (and points steemit.com at the old chain). Whether exchanges end up supporting both chains is hard to predict but has plenty of precedent in general. From an exchange perspective, chain broke (stopped reporting new blocks), devs fixed it. They're pretty wedded to the model of getting code releases from the "official" repo and probably would never agree to run code from some allegedly-community repo (mostly understandable) even if the Steem (sort of) consensus rules say that witnesses get to decide on hard forks. Yeah, that all seems pretty stupidly centralized but that's the crypto exchange view of the world 2019.

delisting Bitcoin Gold over the recent 51% attack

Delisting after 51% attacks is reasonably common, though not universal. Yes that is a different situation.

I suppose framing it as "exchanges are out to make money" and really don't care otherwise sort of defuses the entire idea

Likely a good first order model.

powering down to them

They didn't actually do that, which may say something.

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Hey @smooth! Is there a way to reach out directly to you, whether on discord or steemit.chat? Thank you ;)

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You can DM me on steem.chat. I only check it occasionally though.

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Awesome i just sent you a message there - so today may be a great occasion to check your account :-)) M.

"My perspective today: Steem at this point is corrupted by the "unaccountable actor" and the premine it performed years ago. " -Jesta

I've believed this statement about the Premine and it's influence upon the network for a number of months. And it seems each day it becomes more and more apparent to others. But one thing I've noticed @jesta. Democracy has funny ways to flip the script, turning existing power structures upside down. I believe steem is still a democracy, even though the premine stake warps that democracy towards Steemit inc. The network will fight this, as is proof with your post, and things can turn around for the better in a single pivot.

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It sure is refreshing to hear @jester speak openly about many of the things we have been speaking about in discord and people shutting down your insight for many many many months! Not much you have been wrong about if anything ... glad people are finally starting to listen and realize.

I totally missed this post when it was published. Thanks for sharing all the details and thinking. I see you are now out of the top 20 witnesses @jesta - Not surprising, I guess. I know I've seen other high witnesses going on full out BS campaigns trying to posture as if they are the 'true' saviors and would never set a foot 'wrong'. Thanks for your hard work, transparency and aim towards integrity.