The Steem blockchain has gone through one of its greatest test, the results are still coming in and likely base on who you ask, they give varying answers. For me personally, I was not surprise to see how this unfolded, it remains to be seen whether this would unite the community or draw further division as factions begins to take sides. Nonetheless, I believe the exchanges did not show the best practice as it reflects the delicate nature of cryptocurrency where a select few can make decisions that has huge impact on an entire blockchain. I want to present a very balance approach to my discussion, I want also give Binance and Huobi the benefit of the doubt as it was significant player who probably has a large holding on the exchange giving them liquidity and market making activities. From a business perspective, the exchange likely acted in their best interest but looking at it from a common user who probably has less than 1 thousands USD deposited it got a lot of these users upset and hence the backlash on social media.
I also want to alert the Steemit community if they probably aren't aware of it, but Justin Sun is now the largest stakeholder and can do as he wishes with his stake. Now the actions of witnesses with the soft fork probably push Justin Sun to pull some strings on some exchanges where he consolidated another significant portion of Steem and voted for witnesses where his vision of Steem can be realized. What is important here is to realize that this is the nature of "DPOS", where your stake literally determines/ shapes the direction of the blockchain. Now you cannot blame Justin for his actions, this is the nature of DPOS, if the witnesses aren't happy with the decision of this stakeholder, they can acquire more Steem, have it vested and vote for their witnesses of choice. The power struggle of DPOS, comes down to how much a stakeholder is willing to outbid another stakeholder by buying more Steem and having it vested. This also comes with significant risk as the funds/ Steem is lock up for over 13 weeks, within that 13 weeks, Steem can go to zero and that Stakeholder, would have just lost a significant portion of his investment. The battle of securing your investment and keeping stakeholders happy keeps everyone playing a game where each other enjoys some sense of happiness. This is really the scenario that is likely to play out in the coming weeks.
I heard some folks talk about about 'fork', as they say, why not "fork-off" and go your own separate way. This particularly scenario would not work for both parties. This would likely lead to split in the community and a chain that has significantly less financial disposal and as a result the end user suffer as most have been experiencing on Steemit for the last two years. We know that the Steem token has suffered huge losses, in fact, the only excitement has been a occasional pump from SBD where users get to enjoy some profits. The Justin Sun version of the chain would likely have significant financial backing but lack the community Steem once enjoyed.
When I look at all of this, and I look at the role exchanges played, I am a big fan of exchanges like Bittrex and HitBTC. While HitBTC has its wallet maintenance issue, once you deal with the support staff, you actually realize that the exchange is probably acting in your best interest. Some may say, well I can't deposit but then you have to look at it from the point of view of that opening up that door results in a select few who without regard dumps and withdraws Bitcoin from the exchange, resulting in loss of users who are bag holders. This has been one of the main reason why so much exchanges has pull support from Steem. This certainly isn't an excuse for HitBTC, there should be a commitment from the exchange if they are indeed offering the pair, then the wallets should be up and running. Putting Steem drama aside, HitBTC trollbox is still a fun place to be, its probably one of the few exchange that has maintain this tradition. HitBTC also has some tokens not found on many exchange with excellent liquidity. HitBTC remains the place to be for me if you looking to trade Steem and SBD, especially SBD as it offers speculators some excellent opportunity. Now if you trading leverage or Futures on some other exchange where you likely to lose all your funds, why not come to HitBTC and have some fun on SBD/BTC or SBD/USDT pair. Base on what being said in the trollbox, we likely to see some action coming up and given its history, you won't want to miss out.
I hope Steem blockchain figures out whats best for it and Justin Sun gets a return on his investment and all stakeholders can come to an understanding, I am certainly against another "fork", as it would be detrimental to both parties.