Softfork 0.22.2: why I didn't apply the changes to my witness node.

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I don't need to tell you what is going on on the blockchain at the moment, there are a lot of info running around already.

Context

On the Steem blockchain, the Witnesses are the block producers. We have technical knowledge on how to setup and maintain a server that has to be running 24/7. We do spend a lot of personal money and personal time to do so. Aside from those duties, Witnesses are also running community projects or supporting communities in their development on the platform.

In exchange, we are compensated by earning some Steem Power for every block we produce, validate, sign and add to the blockchain. The more block we sign the more SP we receive but to receive more blocks we need to get higher ranking through the Witness votes we receive.

Below is the producer distribution. As you can see, the earnings dramatically drop past the 20th Witness. As of last week, the highest reward was 2284.33 SP or $498.04 and I myself received 158.16 SP ($34.40) that week.

Producer rewards distribution chart

Concerns

  • Lack of communication from Justin Sun and Steemit Inc in regards to what the acquisition means
  • Tweets and articles spreading misinformation and statement that could be perceive as potential threats
  • Potential take over of the Steem blockchain from the use of Steemit Inc Ninja-Mine Stakes to upvote new set of consensus witnesses
  • Justin Sun recent use of TRON's genesis stake to upvote their own Super Representatives in order to protect their blockchain
  • Token Swap. Moving the Steem tokens to Tron based token would mean the end of the Steem blockchain. Or at least, what is remaining would be worth nothing. This would also mean that we would move to Tron's own governance system. There is also no guarantee that content will be migrated.

Softfork 0.22.2

Reference: Steem Consensus Witness Statement: Code Updated

The Top 20 Witnesses along with some backup Witnesses (including me), Steemians and large stakeholders were in a private chat to discuss the future of the Steem blockchain post acquisition of Steemit Inc by Justin Sun (TRON). The super-majority have agreed to create a Softfork that would:

  • prevent the use of the so called Steemit Inc Ninja Mined Stakes (SiNMS) from several accounts, previously owned by Ned, to be used for voting witnesses
  • power down from those same accounts.

To be noted that:

  • this Softfork is fully reversible and a temporary security measure
  • this Softfork does not affect regular users and their daily use of the chain
  • the target accounts of this Softfork are not any regular user accounts, they are Steemit Inc accounts powered with the SiNMS. It was agreed that those stakes are not to be used for votes (content and witnesses) but for the development of the platform.
  • the secrecy around the decision is understandable due to the potential risks. Also, by voting for your Witnesses, you gave them your trust to take care of the security of the chain on their own, so they have done what they were supposed to do.

Positive notes

  • As mentioned by others already, one positive thing with this event is that Witnesses all gathered to collaborate on a solution to a critical issue.
  • I also discovered that @netuoso has great blockchain development skills.
  • Right more or bad move, this decision does show to everyone, Justin and TRON users included that the Steem community is strong and Justin has bought Steemit not the Steem blockchain. If he wants the best from his purchase, he better work with us. Our blockchain is different to the others he acquired

My stance

I don't want to react based on just concerns but I do understand that others have chosen prevention over cure. But it is against my belief and values to tamper with someone else account and assets.

I do understand and respect the decision made to perform the Softfork 0.22.2. However, I feel goes against my values and prefer to wait until the Steem 2.0 Town Hall meeting with Justin Sun on March 6th 2020

Being a backup Witness, my decision wouldn't affect the effectiveness of the Softfork. However, there are potential risk that backup Witnesses are being pushed upwards towards the Top20 position, effectively rendering the Softfork useless.

Witnesses who haven't applied the Softfork to their node do represent a risk of being pushed to the Top20 so we should expect some changes in the Witness list. There are chances that all the Top 50 witnesses that are going to the Steem 2.0 Town Hall meeting will all be supporters of the Softfork. So it's time to cast your votes for the Witnesses you believe in.

I'm still a believe in the Steem blockchain and its values and will continue contributing various projects including the Steemit Condenser and various communities I'm supporting.

Related articles:

  • https://steemit.com/created/softfork
  • https://steemit.com/created/witness-update


Comments
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  • @witnessnews

    This post has been resteemed by @witnessnews.

    Follow @witnessnews to keep up with active witness updates.

  • @klye

    Good post man. I respect your stance on this.

  • @inertia

    I'm against the softfork, ideologically. But I do think it's a clever way to go about it. I realize that basically nobody's vote will oppose it. But that doesn't mean we cannot determine the opposition.

    Specifically, I want to see if we can approach the 12M SP mark, which is sort-of the high-water mark for the last "fork-them-out" vote, based on the capped measurement use to register votes in the Steem Foundation, if I remember correctly. Remember that they weren't voting on the fork, but instead, the formation of the foundation. It's not apples-to-apples. Just a look at magnitude for comparison.

    If we can reflect similar numbers, I'd see that as enough data (and only data) to go on for determining what the "regular users" level of interest is in this course of action.

  • @cryptogee

    Well done. I'm waiting to see what witnesses support this, and I'll remove my vote from them and transfer it to ones that don't.

    Cg

  • @therealwolf

    But it is against my belief and values to tamper with someone else account and assets.

    With the same logic, would you have supported the HF9, which recovered stoled funds? Source

    From a purely idealistic PoV, I can understand your stance. But the real world simply isn't idealistic.

    There is a big difference between:

    • stake on accounts belonging to Steemit Inc, the company that unfairly mined STEEM in the past and made social contracts to only use those funds for the Steem ecosystem
    • and every other account.

    With your logic, ever since HF9, people could have lost trust in Witnesses controlling the stake, but thinking that would be absurd.

    Same goes for the SF 222. It was a highly targeted security measure, to make sure that those funds, promised to be used for Steem, are also going to be used that way. Just because Ned sold his company, those social contracts are NOT simply nullified.

    People invested time & money on here, based on those promises given. And, we, the stakeholders that are voting for the SF 222, are now demanding that those promised funds are not just going away, potentially harming the whole ecosystem; but are going to be used for Steem - however that may look like.

    Also, most STEEM that was sold, was actually from those early days, which is also a reason why the STEEM price tanked harder than most others. Empty promises & hard sells from the company who created the software.


    Anyway, I respect your stance, but I disagree with it.

  • @bluerobo

    Succinct description of the current situation. Well done.

  • @abitcoinskeptic

    Philosophically and spiritually I agree, but technically and practically, I do not. I still support you and am glad to hear your point of view. In my opinion if Justin bought 70 million Steem on the open market, we would all be stinking up our pants now as he would have the full ability and moral authority to do as he pleases (I'm sure a lot of people would have dumped at the price spike). Also, if Mr. Ned was to sell 70 million Steem on the open market, the price would crash and we would just be really, really sad. The torch was sold/passed to a more interesting and seemingly capable person. I think he is a bit of a wise guy in the mafia sense, but I'm glad the witnesses won't kindly bend over and are also dealing with this is a mafia manner. Justin played the first hand like an asshole new boss. Now he is being shown who is boss. He isn't Steem's owner. He is Steemit's owner. Until he understands this and is willing to act accordingly, we won't let him play with his toys in our playground.

  • @wakeupkitty

    I do not even understand 40% of what you talking about and with me many others. I find it hard to vote for a witness since it's not clear to me who they are and what they stand for (next to mining).

    I noticed Tron is not even worth 0.016 cents so I wonder why we need to swap something better into a token hardly worth anything. Is it smart to throw away something people believe in?

    💕

    Posted using Partiko Android

  • @notconvinced

    I support and agree with your decision. I wish there were more free market freedom loving users on Steem.

  • @novacadian

    You have my continued support, @quochuy. All witnesses which installed 22.2 have lost my support. They have broken the trust of the chain in my opinion.

    The existential threat is not gone. A billionaire can still buy a majority stake on the exchanges. What was/is needed is a solution that will affect all accounts and not targeted ones.

    Some ideas have been put out there in some of my comments on the subject.

    Why Now?

    Because this is the first time that STEEM Witnesses, themselves, are threatened. If this BS narrative of protecting the chain were true then something would have been done when @ned was still with us.

    We are seeing Jonny come lately self interests in action, not solutions.

  • @mahdiyari

    We don't have any problem with Justin's stake, the problem is with Ned's stake. Ned sold stake that is not supposed to be sold. Justin should solve the problem with Ned.

  • @rynow

    I agree with your sentiment, witnesses should not have the power to block/freeze accounts

  • @coininstant

    .

  • @enginewitty

    You and I think a lot alike. Great write up and analysis.

  • @quochuy

    I'll respond to everyone in a single comment here.

    Note: The SF is affecting only the stakes of @steemit, @steem and @misterdelegation which is ninja-mined stakes. Those stakes were not purchased with fiat.

    Note2: My stance of not running SF 222 does not mean I'm for a migration from Steem to TRON or that I will agree to swap Steem tokens for another TRON based Steem token. I also believe that Steem as a separate blockchain is more valuable for TRON than a move to TRON.

    Should that be different from stakes purchased with fiat from an external exchange? Except from the fact that they were mined in an unfair manner, they should still be no different, it's like mining Bitcoins at the beginning and buying them now.

    Does unfair mining make those stakes illegal? If they are not illegal, is it OK or even legal for Witnesses to freeze them?

    @novacadian I'm also up for looking for an alternative solution

    @mahdiyari Was it Ned's stake or Steemit Inc's stakes and Ned owning Steemit Inc is also indirectly owning the stakes. If it's Steemit Inc's stakes then by selling Steemit Inc to Justin Sun, isn't it natural that the stakes are now also owned by Justin?

    @abitcoinskeptic thanks for your support and sharing your opinion.

    @heretickitten

    and he had no way of knowing if it was going to be worth a lot, or nothing.

    Those ninja-mined stakes, was there a way to know if they were going to be worth a lot or nothing?

    Did Ned have the right to sell that Steem? No. It was meant to be used for a specific purpose.

    The use for a specific purpose was a promise. Does it constitute a legally binding contract? I do agree that what Ned does was bad, he just sold us off overnight. But maybe he actually did have the legal right to do so.

    @dr-frankenstein I guess the difference between your points about Ned selling the Steem is that Ned sold directly to Justin and put the money in his pocket, selling it on a market would probably have pumped the price of Steem.

    @wakeupkitty, in a nutshell, when you perform almost anything on Steemit.com or other dApps, your operations (actions) are to be recorded on the blockchain. Before it is done, your operation needs to first be validated against the blockchain rules. This is done by a an app running on a server that was setup by a Witness. Once validated, it is digitally and cryptographically signed and then added to the blockchain. Like when you are signing a contract with another user, there is a 3rd party that should also sign the contract to state that they have witnessed the transaction. The blockchain rules are coded in the software that is running on the Witness servers. By modifying that software you can modify the rules but the new rules will only be taken into consideration when the super-majority of the witnesses are running a version of the software with the same rules. This is what happened with this Softfork. The blockchain software was modified to reject any operations related to votes and power down from the Steemit accounts holding SiNMS.

  • @lukestokes

    However, there are potential risk that backup Witnesses are being pushed upwards towards the Top20 position, effectively rendering the Softfork useless.

    Can you explain what you mean here? As long as the majority of witnesses support it (or don't), the longest chain will win. Micro forks may happen, but the longest chain will win which will exclude (or include) a transaction that is currently being blocked based on the majority of the elected witnesses. That's my understanding today, anyway.

    I'm curious, do you think the Townhall meeting would have happened if the witnesses had done nothing?

  • @bagofincome

    It's interesting to watch the latest developments.

    On his blog, BOI has wrote the first part about Steem blockchain and Steemit. In the second part, BOI will talk about Justin buying Steemit.Inc and all it's repercussions.

    BOI would appreciate some feedback on the first part.

    Thank you and have a wonderful day!