Steem is ‘Overly Centralized’ Says CZ While Announcing Support for the Controversial Hard Fork

The leading spot exchange Binance has received a request to upgrade the STEEM network to version 0.23.

This controversial hard fork earlier this week aimed to freeze 23.6 million STEEM tokens worth $5 million of 65 accounts and reduce the un-staking time to 4 weeks from 13 weeks.

In an attempt to prevent the takeover of these funds, they were sent to crypto exchange Bittrex but as we reported the exchange has decided to not turn over these funds to their owners as they would be following the “consensus of the blockchain.”

Now, Binance has also agreed to support the upgrade and allow the users the “freedom to use their STEEM tokens as they see fit.”

“We don’t want to support this upgrade. But there is a flip side. If we don’t support it (technically), no users can withdraw any STEEM coins. The wallet stopped syncing at a certain height, and there are no other forks,” said Binance co-founder and CEO Chagpeng Zhao.

Over the next two months, the exchange will further reduce support for STEEM by cutting down its trading pairs to just one from the current 3 pairs.

CZ also advised one of the victims who reportedly lost $1 million due to this fork to “create a fork of STEEM just before the hard fork, and we will likely support that.”

As CZ himself wondered, “Thought you would have sold those for HIVE long ago,” the Twitter user They Call Me Dan shared it was because he “fought in the voting war and kept my steem powered up until Hive was born.”

He powered down his Steem but as it takes 13 weeks to fully unstake Steem, which has now been reduced to just 4 weeks, they remained stuck on the Steem network.

Earlier this month, when Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun had a hostile takeover of the Steem, which he acquired late last year was with the help of Binance, Huobi, and Poloniex, a crypto exchange also acquired by Sun last year.

Later on, Binance and Huobi retracted their influence, which they gained through the tokens staked on the exchange.

Although this time there is no “power-up and voting” involved, this one is tricky, because this upgrade turns the asset balances on a few addresses into zero of which Binance is against, explained CZ.

“The fact that this can happen on a blockchain means it is overly centralized,” he said. And in that case, “fork away from it.”

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Author: AnTy

Bittrex Exchange Won’t be Returning the ‘Stolen’ $5M in Funds From Steem Owners

Yesterday, the Steem blockchain went through the controversial hard fork 0.23 that seized the tokens of former Steem “witnesses” — blockchain validators that created another blockchain called HIVE.

The hard fork – codenamed “New Steem” – seized 23.6 million STEEM tokens from 64 witnesses.

A letter was also sent on Tuesday by a legal firm representing the affected members, urging cryptocurrency exchanges not to support the hard fork.

But Bittrex would be doing no such thing because the exchange co-founder Richie Lai said, “my own personal feelings do not matter.”

Yesterday, when $5 million worth of tokens were meant to be seized, they were moved to the main wallet of the Bittrex exchange in an attempt to move them to their original owners.

But it was for nothing.

In an official announcement, the exchange said they wouldn’t be returning the funds.

“The fact is, we only interpret the data on the blockchain, and in this case, the consensus of the blockchain – regardless of how it was reached – agreed that the funds from those 64 accounts be moved to the ‘community321′ account.”

Bittrex’s stance is clear, the witnesses are in control of the blockchain, and they get to decide what happens with these tokens. And now, unless Bittrex changes its decision, those Steem owners won’t be getting their funds back.

Back in December 2019, Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun bought the Steemit blogging platform. In February, this year, he made a hostile takeover of the platform which led the Steem community to build its own blockchain, Hive.

At that time he worked with Huobi, Binance, and Poloniex, which he acquired in November, last year. The crypto exchanges have a lot of power given that they used the voting power gained through customer’s funds. However, Binance and Huobi later withdrew their support and Sun has been since battling with the community.

About the latest hard fork, Sun denied his or Steemit Inc.’s involvement but said: “the hive witnesses did this to them first and took all their assets.”

He is also working with law enforcement to fight against the Hive witnesses.

“As for Steemit Inc., many millions of dollars were stolen by Hive witnesses. We are working w/ law enforcement & will take actions to get our funds back! We have lots of sympathy for all Steem witnesses who have suffered the same at the hands of the Hive witnesses,” wrote Sun.

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Author: AnTy

Steem Freezes $5 Million of 64 Hive Users Funds in Coordinated Hard Fork Today

  • Steem Blockchain’s hard fork on May 20th has been lauded by current Witness Group Triple A as essential to ensure network stability. However, some of the users are opined that these are punitive measures to those that did resist the Sun’s takeover bid.

The Steem project has been thrust into the spotlight yet again. This is as an oncoming hard fork on May 20th will see some users accounts frozen and lose up to 23.6 million STEEM valued to be well over $5 million.

The Tron CEO, Justin Sun acquired the SteemIt blogging site towards the end of the last year. Then was involved in a hostile takeover for the Steem Blockchain despite widespread criticism from the Steem Community.

Hostile Takeover

The Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) protocol allowed the takeover as the SteemIt Blog owned about a fifth of the total STEEM tokens. This combined with key support from Binance, Huobi and Poloniex was enough to rally their weight (about 45.6 Million STEEM) behind new witnesses in a bid to get rid of ‘rogue actors’. This was seen as an attempt to quell the soft fork within the Steem Blockchain and resulted to some staunch Steem users retreated to their new Blockchain namely the Hive.

The witness group, Triple A recently highlighted that the imminent update will only target those that are deemed a direct threat to the Blockchain. They cited that this would be crucial in ensuring the Network was stable and improve the Steem Ecosystem.

“Publicly attacking users, collecting personal information, threatening murder… spreading fake news, and damaging network stability.”

Punitive Measures to Hive Defectors

However, some share the sentiment that these are just some of the punitive measures Sun is rolling out for those who opposed his takeover bid. This and the fact that majority of Hive’s users weren’t allocated any free token according ‘TheMarkyMark’ who was a witness prior to Sun’s takeover. A screenshot from a Steem employee stirred speculation that some user accounts would be victimized by the new update. The code that was released on May 19th confirmed this as it was seen to contain names of the supposed ‘rogue actors’.

The targeted users have not taken the issue lightly and have threatened all those supporting the hard fork with civil suits. Targeted users such as ‘They Call Me Dan’ and ‘pharesim2’ are set to lose $600,000 and around 80,000€ respectively if the hard fork is to go through.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Steem Community Accuses Justin Sun of Removing Hive Hard Fork Content On Steemit

  • The STEEM vs Justin Sun beef is heating up as the community complains that the TRON Founder is censoring Hive-relate content on his Steemit platform.
  • As the community plans to hard fork the STEEM blockchain to Hive.io, Sun has called out the community for trying to “violate the private sanctity of users assets” through forking.

STEEM Community calls out censorship on Steemit

The Medium-like decentralized platform, Steemit Inc. is being accused by parts of the STEEM community for censoring content related to the planned hard fork, Hive. Well according to one crypto trader and educator, Girl Gone Crypto, Steemit took down her neutral explanatory video on the planned hard fork on Mar. 20. She explained on Twitter,

The post which has now garnered over 400 social engagements on Twitter seems to have rattled the Hive community. Jon Olson, a Steem community member wrote,

“This is a pretty big deal. And if you ask me, the ENTIRE reason why this community is forking to $HIVE. There should be no doubt now, this is the right move.”

Exchanges in support of the hard fork?

As the community awaits the hard fork, set to happen in some hours, the exchanges are yet to give a unanimous decision on the way forward for the blockchain –similar to the Bitcoin Cash / Bitcoin SV split. Bittrex exchange is expected to take a snapshot of the balances in Steem Dollars (SBD) and Steem (STEEM) and credit holders Hive (HIVE) and Hive dollars (HBD) in a ratio of 1:1. Binance and Huobi will also join in supporting the hard fork to HIVE.

Over the past week, the price SBD has shot up over 150% as users anticipate the hard fork, which will airdrop new tokens to their wallets

Image: Coinstats

Is the community in support of the Hive hard fork?

According to the founder of the second-largest dApp platform on STEEM, Steempeak’s Scott Jarvie, a large part of the community is increasingly showing signs of moving to the new fork, Hive. In a poll conducted between staying on STEEM and moving to Hive, Jarvie explained that a majority of the users showed interest in moving. With over 200 participants commenting on the post, Jarvie deduced that the “community wants out.” He wrote,

“I have read through every post and am hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t want to move to Hive. We asked them to be honest and we would make sure they wouldn’t get attacked on comments if they were firm in their resolution to stay on Steem.”

However, there remain Steem supporters who see the current planned hard fork – excluding Sun’s tokens – as a move to steal “hard-earned cash” from investors and violation of the private sanctity of users’ assets. Justin Sun, who has remained rather mum during the hard fork planning, threw a dig at the STEEM community planning the hard fork on Twitter.

“When #Bitcoin invented, the beauty of the cryptos is that no one can take them from you,” Sun wrote “The sanctity of private property is guaranteed by the math and code behind it. Freezing people’s funds violates the basic foundation of cryptocurrency.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

STEEM Community Launches Soft Fork To Limit Justin Sun’s Potential Voting Power

STEEM blockchain prepares for a soft fork in light of the recent acquisition of Steemit, the most prominent platform on the blockchain, to prevent a concentration of power on the chain. According to the statement released by the STEEM witnesses (similar to Bitcoin miners), the fork will effectively stop the top holders of the STEEM token from voting in key decisions.

The STEEM community has mumbled on the future of the blockchain following the acquisition of Steemit by Justin Sun, TRON’s founder, earlier in the year. The Steemit platform reportedly owns over a fifth of the total STEEM tokens, which creates an issue on the delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus system.

Sun’s Steemit.com acquisition raises fear

The system is quite similar to EOS, whereby a smaller number of decision-makers are able to influence the development and management of the blockchain accordingly. With Justin Sun making a purchase of the dying Steemit platform and incorporating it with Tron, questions and fears across the community raise on the influence Sun will have on the blockchain given the reported fund (approx.. 20% of total token supply) Steemit holds.

While the STEEM community, witnesses and developers praised the entrance of a well-resourced and marketed figure (Justin) to its platform, security and decentralization issues crept in, hence the soft fork. The statement reads,

“To this end, we have updated to a temporary protective protocol to maintain the status quo currently established in regards to Steemit Inc.’s stake and its intended usage. This update is reversible, and is simply to be used to ensure that the security and decentralization of the Steem blockchain remains intact.”

Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake

STEEM holds a particular amount of tokens minted at the genesis of the chain to ensure the development of the blockchain holds longevity – Steemit Inc. ninja mined stake. So far, the fund has been used for its intended development purposes and to be non-voting in governance issues. However, all this has been done under good faith by the community, but with the addition of a new owner, the chance presented itself for STEEM to turn the fund into a trustless platform.

While the community is yet to give a way forward on the ninja mined stake, a proposal has been brought forward to place all stakeholders at the decision-making table. The statement reads,

“For now, because there has not been a clear declaration from Steemit Inc on the use of this ninja-mined stake, Soft Fork 0.22.2 has been deployed to allow for the entire community to discuss how best to achieve the original goals that this ninja-mined stake exists to support.”

Sun responds to the Steemit community

With the qualms of the soft fork on the blockchain raising, Sun released an open letter to the Steemit community asking the community to be patient as the TRON Foundation starts development on Steemit 2.0. He said,

“We have so much to work to do to make Steemit.com the power that it really can be.”

Sun further invited the top 50 witnesses to STEEMit 2.0 Town Hall meeting, which will be held tentatively on March 6th.

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Author: Lujan Odera