In the one thousandths two hundredth and fifteenth year of our Lord the barony of England gathered to lay the legal ground work of rights by which they, the people, and the king could abide one another. The document was called the Magna Carta. In it was outlined 60+ points regarding how the king, the barons, 25 elected barons, and free people were to interact. It outlined tax assessment, hereditary titles, rules of commerce, standards for justice, religious freedoms, and rule of law. It has been hotly contested for years and went through many revisions. Some have challenged its validity while others site it as the basis for common law.
Eight hundred and five years later the Steem Power holders (barons), and their elected witnesses are facing a challenge over the elevated powers of one individual (Justin) granted by a hotly contested purchase of stake. In order to temporarily ensure no unexpected hostile actions befall the Steem community and drastic changes are met with time for substantial planning I (and many other consensus witnesses) have enacted softfork 0.22.2. I'm dubbing it the Steema Carta.
The Steema Carta in brief
The Steema Carta in my eyes is much simpler than the Magna Carta. It involves three parts all of which are aimed at maximizing the freewill choice of all parties involved.
- Temporarily impose restrictions to the Steemit accounts matching the expectations Steemit has laid out for 4 years.
- Wait for Justin to tell us his intentions.
- Give ourselves time to plan around those intentions.
My criteria for lifting the restrictions have nothing to do with Justin's actual intentions. He's free to do and be as he sees fit, and we should be free to do and be as we see fit. The main ingredient allowing community wide voluntary action is time. The restrictions can be removed once his intentions are made clear and the Steem community has had time to code a response that allows members to voluntary interact as they see fit.
I find it unlikely Ned the Snake provided much detail regarding the origin of the stake @justinsunsteemit has purchased, but for those who have been here for several years we know there's a strong history of it's purpose. From the early days of the bitcointalk forums filled with @bytemaster's commentary (Dan), to the product road map of 2017 (page 21), to various videos and github release notes the internet is peppered with a relatively plain message: "Steemit will use the stake that was mined and then inflated in the early days of the chain to pay for development, onboard users, and remain non-voting." This was the bargain. We, the community, would tolerate this outrageously sized stake in the hands of one entity so long as these conditions were met.
I wrote a post about the ninja mined stake two years ago. It's not my best work, but you can find some of the important references.
The efficacy of how well Steemit has performed on it's promises has been questionable, but at least in principle those promises have been delivered until Feburary 14th, 2020. This is the day Ned the Snake sold the Steem holdings of Steemit and pocketed them for personal gain.
This would be akin to a non-profit chair selling the money they hold in a public trust and pocketing the money. Ned has not only abandoned his fiduciary duty but pilfered funds from the community.
Selling this premined stake for personal profit, which they alleged over 4 years was to be used for the benefit of the community is a horrific act of a thief and traitor to every man and woman who ever engaged with Steem. Ned is a conman and a despicable human being. I believe his actions represent a crime. I intend to limit the harm that can be inflicted on Steem by Steemit. I believe it can all be settled, but the one requirement is time! That's what this softfork is about.
Justin got robbed!
What I highly suspect is that unbeknownst to Justin he's purchased stake from Ned the snake that was already promised to the community for the development of Steem and onboarding of new users. I sympathize with Justin as I believe it's likely Ned the Snake has committed legal fraud in his sale to Justin. It's possible he has specifically committed securities fraud. I think Justin is a victim of a crime. I think it's important to call a "timeout" and bring all the facts and discovery to the public to protect any additional harm or criminal activity.
My sympathy ends however with ongoing statements/announcements of "Old Steem token will be traded for new Steem token on Tron through a token swap."
Some of Justin's rhetoric is encouraging and promising like at the Dlive event, but the rest of the communications either lack detail or directly contradict his live statements. Mostly, his silence is deafening. His mixed communications indicate an intolerably large willingness to abandon Steem as a blockchain in favor of existing EXCLUSIVELY as a tron side chain/token. The Steem blockchain must continue to run. That's literally the one non-debatable job of a Witness!
Steem is an amazing technology and community
It would appear Justin doesn't understand the power of the Steem he's purchased or he'd never consider abandoning this project. Steem has integrated aspects of the same technology used by Facebook to organize data on the chain. It's highly unlikely that any chain is as capable of scaling as the Steem blockchain. Not only that, despite 2 million followers on twitter he's received more interaction on one steem blog post than he has on any recent tweets. Our community is strong, worthy of a chain, and worth defending.
This is a community of real people, many of whom call this place home, and we the elected witnesses have a responsibility to see it developed and continue to exist.
Steema Carta details
FOR-NOW I and other witnesses are enforcing through code what has been stated for years:
Steemit stake will remain non-voting.
Steemit stake will be used to develop the Steem blockchain.
Steemit stake will be used to onboard new users.
FOR-NOW the witnesses who choose to run this fork are blocking transactions by Steemit accounts that seek to circumvent the promises Steemit has made for 4 years. The code is implemented through a soft fork and can be easily altered or abandoned.
Here are the on chain actions this soft fork prohibits for accounts owned by steemit:
I can't speak for my fellow witnesses, but I'll continue to run this code until:
Justin puts his intentions in writing and we have time to react.
This could result in Justin writing on the chain that he'll honor the 4 years of promises that Steemit has made. Specifically-
- Steemit stake will be non-voting
- Steemit stake will be used to onboard new users
- Steemit stake will be used to develop the chain
At that point witnesses will figure out how to trustlessly ensure a mutually agreeable plan with Justin/Tron.
Another possible outcome is Justin states his intention to complete a token swap and attempt to shut down the Steem blockchain. In that case I'll continue to run this softfork until such a time as a hardfork can be prepared to ensure the survival of the chain and the chronicle of it's inhabitants.
Ultimately, I just need to hear from Justin his plan and be given a chance to work with witnesses to code and communicate something that's mutually agreeable, or alternatively, we need time to ensure Steemians the ability to carefully plan and set forth on whichever future chain they see fit to follow (as I imagine multiple would form at first).
Philosophy behind it
The slogan of the Peace, Abundance and Liberty network is "Non Nocere. Non Accipies Stercore."" It roughly translates into "Do no Harm. Take no Shit." Temporary measures to codify the current contract until a new contract (enforced by code) can be created is harmless to a man with the means of Justin. This action may actually end up saving Justin millions of dollars that would have been paid to fraudster Ned by bringing to light obligations Ned may not have shared. It also might stop him from also entering into what I believe to be criminal activity of which I believe he's currently uninformed.
Justin can make whatever choice he wants here, but not without us having due time and planning. Essentially, we as a community will take no shit.
A case for fraud
Justin if you feel like you've been cheated out of millions I strongly urge you to consider a case of fraud against Ned. It's arguable he sold you property he and his company promised to the community. You've been cheated, but not by the Steem community. Just Ned. If you're still holding a piece of the deal I strongly encourage you question paying him the rest. I would also strongly encourage you to consider suing him for whatever portion you may have already paid. If there's a case for a class action against Ned I'm interested in participating and helping to organize steemians against him. For the legally minded I'm interested in a criminal case as well. Feel free to DM in discord.
I recognize codifying the status quo is an escalation. The goal should ultimately be deescalation. Here's hoping that Justin will communicate his intent and we can have time to react and plan.
A bright future?
Despite all this I think I'm still the most bullish of all the witnesses on the potential that a partnership between Tron and Steem can provide. I think the future can be incredibly strong for the SteemTron ecosystem by combining the powerful technology and community of the Steem blockchain with the powerful marketing arm of Justin Sun and the Tron Foundation.
It's less awesome if we unamicably part ways leading to a null future together, but so long as we have time to plan for it I see that as a potential pathway as well.
Here's hoping we can all work together to save Justin millions of dollars, legally fuck Ned, grow Steem, and zip all these chains together through voluntary interaction for one hell of a network. Smells like money...
May the eternal blockchain upvote us all!
- Do Nothing
- Implement changes to how governance works
Re: Do Nothing
The challenge here is that Tron has stated multiple times their intent to perform a token swap. While this is a great option for projects that are on test nets or have unsustainable communities it's a bad plan for Steem. Steem is a healthy ecosystem with a 4 year history, 41M blocks under our belt, and people who interact and rely on this chain with it's specific feature set. We've recently seen Justin's willingness to use his stake to vote for consensus on his own chain and it poses a real threat he could do the same here even potentially shutting down the chain on his own accord. Witnesses have one indesputable job. Keep the chain running. It's our job to ensure we collectively Steem on. The soft fork is the least invasive way to ensure the chain continues and the easiest to revoke. Doing nothing posed and poses an existential threat to Steem without proper planning. I can't abide that.
Re: Implement changes to how governance works
I'm in support of this. At the moment I don't have a distinct plan other than to ensure that the number of witnesses that a user can vote for is smaller than the number of consensus witnesses or has something like diminishing returns by voting many. While this is a great conversation to have it does necessitate a hard fork. A hard fork puts exchanges in the position where they have to choose which version of the chain to run. This irreversible change puts decision making power in the hands of exchanges choosing which fork to run or potentially staying neutral while the chain is incapable of trading tokens. This would inevitably lead to harm. So, while this is absolutely a discussion worth having it's not the correct time or approach in the current fork.
My heart goes out to all of you. I'm sure this is an exceptionally difficult transition. Thanks for all you do and it's on honor to have you on the chain.
If you think this is the right action, if you think I provide value to the chain, or if you think I make good decisions on behalf of Steem please consider voting my witness. I'm the only consensus witness without either the Freedom or Blocktrades vote and I require broad community support if I'm to continue serving.